Shopping precinct: Bowral, NSW

As the Southern Highlands Food and Wine Festival kicks off in New South Wales, we pop into Bowral's best shops
Chris Warnes

A two-hour drive south-west of Sydney, the Southern Highlands town of Bowral is an ever-changing canvas. This October long weekend, it’s awash with culinary delights thanks to the Southern Highlands Food and Wine Festival. As spring settles in, its gardens burst into life and the annual tulip festival begins, while in winter, frost-tinged branches impart a soft glow on the countryside. Bowral is also home to the famous Bradman Oval, but is much more than just a garden- and sports-lovers’ dream; fascinating antiques and artisan stores and a fine array of eateries lure visitors to this delightful town all year long. 

Dirty Janes (Credit: Chris Warnes)

Dirty Janes 

Named after a renowned 19th-century Irish storekeeper, Dirty Janes market is run by Jane Crowley and her father, Athol Salter and is a treasure-hunter’s paradise. An assortment of 70 stalls displays everything from Bakelite phones and enamel kitchenware to vintage lighting, old camera equipment and retro art. 

Open: Daily 10am-5pm.

Visit: 13-15 Banyette St, Bowral, (02) 4861 3231,

Suzie Anderson Home

Suzie’s stall in the Dirty Janes market hall has been a magnet for lovers of French provincial homewares for years, so it’s no wonder the larger retail space she has opened next door (above) is a drawcard. Think linen-covered sofas, lovely tableware and crystal chandeliers. Simply unmissable. Recently, Suzie opened another store in nearby Moss Vale with equally beautiful, covetable pieces.

Open: Daily 10am-5pm.

Visit: Shop 101, 13-15 Banyette St, Bowral: 409-411 Argyle Street, Moss Vale, 0411 448 817,

(Credit: Chris Warnes)

The Potting Shed

It’s not uncommon for passers-by to stroll into The Potting Shed and settle on a bench to read the paper. This doesn’t worry owner Maureen Gardner, who wanted to give the gardenware and plant shop the feel of a real garden. Vintage benches, gates and doors vie for space with steel obelisks, fire pits, topiary, plants and terracotta pots. “The key [to outdoor style] is to reflect yourself, then whatever you buy works,” says Maureen. “It’s like decorating.” NB: the Bowral store is closed until November due to building works, but the sister store at 247 Argyle St, Moss Vale, has a similar, inviting vibe.

Open: Daily 10am-5pm.

Visit: 13-15 Banyette St, Bowral, and 247 Argyle St, Moss Vale, 0419 154 860,

Your Vintage Occasion Tea Salon

Tucked into the rear of the Dirty Janes market hall, this cafe serves a range of specially blended teas with intriguing names such as Mad Hatters Blend, Princess Belle and Alice Tea. “We didn’t want a new shop, we wanted something with character,” explains owner Lisa Muhlberg – hence the teas, sandwiches, cakes and delicious scones, all served on vintage Royal Albert fine bone china with antique cutlery, down to the last pair of sugar tongs. And, yes, espresso coffee is available – but why would you?

Open: Daily 10am-4pm.

Visit: 13-15 Banyette St, Bowral, 0457 106 970,

Three Wise Monkeys

The common thread in this furniture, homewares, clothing and jewellery store is colour – and lots of it! Bright cushions form a kaleidoscope on shelves and furniture, vivid throws and quilts hang freely and artwork adorns the walls. “I try to tone things down but can’t!” admits owner Jennifer Turner, who runs the store with her daughter, Dana Clark. Striking kantha quilts and Moroccan tea glasses are among the many colourful pieces.

Open: Mon-Fri 9.30am-5pm; Sat-Sun 10am-4pm.

Visit: 312 Bong Bong Street, (02) 4861 5566,

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