Gorgeous clothes of yesteryear at the Sydney Antique Centre
The Sydney Antique Centre in Surry Hills is Australia's oldest, and one of its largest antique centres. To truly appreciate the size and variety, you really have to take a visit there. But be prepared to put aside a couple of hours. You'll want them in order to fully browse the place.
The sheer size of the Sydney Antique Centre is amazing
Hard to resist finds like this Popeye
Walking in to the centre, it can be daunting trying to figure out which direction to head in first. But it doesn't really matter. Just pick a direction and start explorinG. You'll soon find yourself absolutely lost in all the treasures from eras gone by.
Do your best Mad Men impression with this cocktail set
A huge bowl of eighteenth century French books
The range of items here truly is phenomenal. One of the first things I spotted was a small dinosaur skeleton that was 120 million years old. It was standing right next to a cluster of Tudor period rings, and a group of 1950s pin-up style figurines in a glass cabinet that near some Royal Doulton dinnerware and a velvet chaise lounge.
If you can afford it, your house can look like this too.
Chandeliers make everything feel a little more fancy
Up one end you'll find some of the most exquisite antique furniture. There's a number of dark wooden pieces such as imposing leather-inlaid desks and ornately carved wardrobes. Chairs that stand tall and stately will make you think of a throne more than anything else, and in one section you'll find yourself standing under an endless number of sparkling chandeliers.
Hatboxes, cushions and urns.
Could spend an hour alone just digging through these old postcards.
The centre is separated by individual stall owners as opposed to item categories, and it's this that makes it such a joy to browse, although a little confusing. Having a dig around, I found a signed Bay City Rollers record, an amazing old Popeye statue, and a phone shaped like a pair of lips. There are also some truly special vintage and antique books to be found.
They really do have everything...
Downstairs are even more stalls, and it's here that you'll find a majority of the vintage clothing stalls. These house some amazing pieces, from genuine 1950's dresses and nightgowns, to designers such as Calvin Klein. There is occasionally the modern piece mixed in which is just styled to look vintage; therefore it might be best to know your stuff if you're after the real thing. Otherwise, browsing through the racks of taffeta, chiffon and nylon is just a clothes-lover's delight.
The clothing stalls are like dress ups for adults
Some people might prefer things a little more country
One of my favourite stalls has a wall of antique and retro telephones. These include the old-fashioned kind with the separate hand piece, ones that are shaped like shoes, and even a wall-hanging Garfield phone. I defy anyone not to find that fun.
The Biroska Cafť is inside the centre for if you get hungry or thirsty
A whole wall dedicated to silverware
The Sydney Antique Centre also has a cafe in-house. Biroska Cafe is a Brazilian-Australian cafe that offers breakfast, lunch and snacks. So once you've exhausted yourself with browsing, you can sit down and recharge before getting back to it.
A touch of 1950s in these figurines
The only downside I would mention with the Sydney Antique Centre is that those with sinus troubles or dust allergies might struggle with staying there for too long. I ended up with a sinus headache after my admittedly long visit. If you suffer the same, I'd recommend an allergy tablet or spray before going. Otherwise, just get stuck in and start digging around. It's a brilliant way to spend a couple of hours.
Jewellery older than you can imagine
Open every day for your browsing pleasure
Where: 531 South Dowling Street, Surry Hills.
Why: Because it's a treasure trove of amazing antique items.
Cost: Items range depending on value. I saw necklaces for $2.00, and a dinosaur skeleton for $38,000.00.
When: Daily 10:00am - 6:00pm
Good for kids: As long as you're comfortable that they won't break anything valuable.
I do love this place, & have bought a few items from here. My daughter bought me a Bunnykinís Statue of Liberty for my 50th birthday from here because I have such a fondness for Statue of Liberty items!