Mother of two, writing freelance ... creating memories and living the dream.
Published December 10th 2014
Elegance and nostalgia caught in a time warp
There's an everlasting magic that glistens in the Strand Arcade in Sydney for me. From as young as 7 or 8, holding my Mum or Dad's hand, looking up in awe at the balcony tiers or into the window of the still popular Nut Shop or a cake shop displaying all its vibrant, delicious beauty, to even now, in my motherly years, the magic is still there and just as full. No matter how many novels may be read for a hit of nostalgia, living it is still possible at The Strand Arcade.
To be honest, when I last walked through The Strand Arcade recently, I accidentally happened upon it with my 2 boys after we took a wrong turn and as a result it was a blessing. Their jaws hit the ground as I remember mine did as a girl when I first entered, and from that point it was as if their heels were stuck to the tiles outside the window of each and every shop window.
A large part of the beauty of The Strand is due to its original Victorian structure, all of which originally opened for retail back in 1891. Due to its historical essence, each merchant who sells their wares at The Strand respects their surroundings and presents their goods in a harmonious way that suits the decor and the spirit of the place.
There is fashion, food, antiques, hats, shoes, chocolates, clothes, spices, 2nd hand treasures, alterations, watches, engraving and much much more. If it's anything that deserves the title quality, then you will find it in The Strand Arcade. For a complete list of stores by category, you can find them here.
Another fabulous thing is you don't have to have a degree to work out how to get there. It's very happily situated amongst the Pitt Street Mall or you can enter the other entrance along the city's main traffic artery of George Street.
The train can be caught to Wynyard (11 min walk away), Town Hall (7 min walk), Circular Quay (17 min walk) or further if you want an extra dose of sunshine "D" along your way. Alternatively you can catch the ferry to Circular Quay and either walk or catch the 431 bus from The Rocks, opposite Globe Street. Suburban and city buses too come from everywhere to pull up right along George Street in the vicinity of The Strand's entrance somewhere nearby. If you find yourself at either the QVB or Martin Place then you know you're almost there!
Watch the world pass by at The Strand.
Trading hours fit in with the mainstream, The Strand is open from 9am Monday to Saturday, with a later, lazier start to the Sunday from 11am. All working weekdays close time is at 5:30pm, except for the traditional late night shopping time on a Thursday at 9pm and both days on the weekend have an earlier closing time of 4pm. However during the Christmas/New Year period, the times are varied from one day to the next. For full trading hour details over the silly season click here, and make an extra special trip just to see the seasons festivities spread with brilliant decorations throughout. Summer heat or not, you'll be wishing you had a mug of eggnog and snow falling all around.
I love that time has stood still in The Strand and I hope that with all its elegance and nostalgia, I get to share it with my grandchildren and in turn, they with theirs.