Cowrie Market, Torquay

The Esplanade, Elephant Walk – TORQUAY

To market, to market…

Make that the Torquay Cowrie Market – third Sunday of every month over summer-ish – September to April – 10am to 3pm.

‘She sells seashells by the seashore…’ Try saying that three times with a mouthful of Tibetan momos.

The Torquay foreshore really ups the ante on the market front for thissy. And, yes, THISSY is a BIGGY; and the organisers have more than nailed it.

I have friends who ferry from across ‘the other side’ – yep, Sorrento and surrounds – to experience a thrill or two or three, and to satisfy their epicurean cravings at the Torquay Cowrie Market. And many make the trek from big‑smoke Geelong and Melbourne.

The market site is a beauty, overlooking Torquay front beach. Children, big and small, can trip about on the little red choo‑choo train that chugs about the grassed areas. There’s some impressive local talent on the event menu. Live local musos and teen bands – and goodies, too.

You won’t go hungry here; that’s a given. There’s a smorgasbord of just about everything imaginable to tickle the tastebuds. And, yep, the Tibetan momos are the real McCoy. Hard to resist the Timboon Ice-cream and flavoured honey straws. And there’s plenty to take home for that post-beach Surf Coast snack-a-thon. Everything edible – and not – is local, homemade and sourced from the ‘hood here. Grab a bottle or two of the true-blue Italian pasta sauce deliciousness. Olive oils, antipasto nibbles are tops here.

Babies’ bits and nursery decor is in plentiful supply – clothes, dribble bibs, sun and party giggle gear, and toys. You’ll be certain to come across some divine handmade rompers and beach attire, dress-ups, baby bandanas, bonnets, and accessories – you name it, someone’s made it – well, and with panache.

The Torquay Cowrie Market is handmade soap heaven. I’m so gone on this stuff, I stock up big time last market of the season. The children’s rainbow soap is funky and fun, and not one nasty thing has come near it, or is in it.

These are a few of my favourite things…

SUMMER TAJ DESIGNS

Deliciously cute baby and children’s wear and accessories. Rachel Summer is a local designer from Ocean Grove, so keep an eye out for her there, too. Summer Taj Designs are My Surf Coast & Co’s favourite cruisy-cool, out-and-about Mini Me fashionista staples. Shrink me – I’d hang out in these fabulous little onesies and jodhpurs forever and a day – if there were only a way to make it happen.

https://www.facebook.com/summertajdesigns1525/?fref=ts

CHAI THIS

Just discovered this stuff, and heavily into the chocolate-spiced tea. Yep, it’s just as good as it sounds – chocolatey and spicey, and divinely decadent. Tried the original black spiced tea on the run at the market, and it was the best this side of Kerala. Love the packaging, and that it’s a local brew. This is real‑leaf, free of pesticides, low in tannin and caffeine, Surf Coast local Indain‑style chai. Tea party perfection.

http://chaithis.com.au

FLATIRONED

Also at the Torquay Farmers Market and NightJar Festival.

http://www.flatironed.com.au

TASTE OF TIBET

Also at the Torquay Farmers Market and NightJar Festival.

SAY CHEESE

Antipasto and cheese boards

If there were such a thing as The Torquay Peace Medal for originality and craftsmanship, these guys would be a ring-in for winners. I know, how many cheese boards does a person need? But one more can’t hurt, or if you think it may, then consider paying one forward as a unique Surf Coast gift. The Cosy Corner, The Longboard, The Roadknight, The Bells…fantastic!

http://www.saycheeseboard.com

KIMAMY & CO

Homewares and soft furnishings. Beautiful designs. Fresh and fabulous. Love the cushions, lampshades and potplant covers. Many more original and great gift-giving ideas here.

https://www.facebook.com/kimamyandco

DOGGY DELI

Look away vegans and vegetarians. This is a doggy thing, so perhaps you may forgive me this canine wrap-up. Supplied by local farmers, these doggy treats are all-natural, the-bomb take-home surprise for the love of your life.

PAUL FIELD QUALITY IMAGES

If you’re looking for some spekky Surf Coast photographic wall art, Paul’s your man. Some beautiful surfing shots in the mix here.

http://paulfieldqualityimages

ADRIANNE DESIGN

Took some detective work to track down this little graphic gemster. But I found you, Adrianne Dimitrakakis! Check out Adrianne’s wall art at Fisho’s and at the new Olé Mexican Fiesta in Torquay. I’m chasing Adrianne down next time for her zodiac designs. Hurriedly scribbled ‘Scorpio design girl’ in my notebook. Adrianne’s horoscope designs are superb. A ‘what to give the person who has everything’ surprise. Check out the Surf Atlas Surfboard Design and Limitless Sunglasses Branding & Package Design on Adrianne’s website. Way cool, and enough said. Every picture tells a thousand words…and more.

http://cargocollective.com/adriannedesign/About-Adrianne

TIMBERCRAFT BY CHRIS

STORYWOOD

Artisan recycled signs made in Torquay

Well, this is trully serendipitous . I’m listening to some pretty out-there ‘70s music right now, and feeling it. You know it – that best-forgotten boyfriend with the Kombi van, Doobie Brothers, let’s‑go‑surfing groove. Storywood is the epitome of local Surf Coast market fun and cool.

http://www.storywood.com.au

FRIENDLY TREE FROG

Natural cleaning products and personal care range. Natural skin care, bath and hair care products for grown-ups and children. Watermelon Wash a big hit. Love the latest Kyphi eye cream.

https://www.facebook.com/friendlytreefrog/

HANDMADE OLIVE OIL SOAP

Shelve the Pears and stock up on this stuff…seriously, it’s heaven. I’m a bit of a soap purist, and this is the purest I’ve found anywhere. So when you’re onto a good thing, I say stick with it. Made with olive, coconut and castor oils, lye, springwater, natural clays, botanicals and essential oils. No petrochemicals, parabens, SLS or detergents in this brew. If you miss the Cowrie Market, Torquay, you’ll find this froth and bubble at Steampacket 1st Sunday all year, Point Lonsdale 2nd Sunday all year, and Queenscliff markets, last Sunday September–May.

THATCH BROOMS AND BASKETS

Check out the pic. Yet another gorgeous French import.

WOODEN TOYS

Just adorabe and adorabler. These are just superb. A rare find indeed.

JAC’S HATS

Of course you need a beanie to have a really-truly Surf Coast life, and so do the little people in your family. Jac crafts the most beautiful crocheted toys, too. Colours are rainbow magic. Love anything beautifully and lovingly handmade. Jac’s work is sometihing else. Groovy beanies for grown-ups in good supply, too.

QUEENSCLIFF CERAMICS

Fabulous colours and design. Everyone needs a pancake batter or dough-kneading bowl, and set of jugs just like Grandmama used to use.

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