A hills Christmas

Bethany Claire cakes

Bethany Claire Cakes at Grassroots markets

Post by guest blogger Sandi Sieger.

This year, like the past couple of years, I’ll be doing all my Christmas shopping in the hills. I find no reason to venture off the hill; after all, we have some of the best shopping, produce and wine in all of Victoria. We’re truly spoiled for choice. And here’s the thing; I’d much rather support local traders and small businesses – my neighbours – than get frazzled spending forty-five minutes trying to find a car park at a big shopping centre only to leave with a headache.

So here’s a few of my favourite shopping haunts – for Christmas (and everyday) – I hope they inspire you to discover some of the wonderful treats we have on our doorstep.

Hugs for Kids: I’m so happy this gorgeous store opened in Belgrave over a year ago. With clothes, accessories and toys for babies, toddlers and children, I honestly have to restrain myself from buying half the store when I’m in there.

Soak Bathecary at Sassafras: One word – divine. Perfumes, candles, balms, soaps, scrubs…this store is heaven scent (see what I did there?) You’ll likely want to eat a candle or munch on some soap so enticing are the smells. They have some wonderful gift packs at this time of year. I don’t know a woman who wouldn’t love one.

Cream at Sassafras: A foodie’s heaven. Jams, pickles, nougats, ice-creams, cheeses, marinades, gourmet treats of all sorts…pick up a few things for the table at Christmas or create hampers for loved ones. I guarantee that no one could possibly be disappointed with a treat from Cream.

Tea Leaves at Sassafras: The destination for tea lovers. With over 300 luscious teas and infusions from all over the world, not to mention delicious flavoured coffees, hit up Tea Leaves for the one that likes a brew in your life. They also stock a gorgeous array of teapots, cups and accessories.

The Confectory at Belgrave: Merchants of all things sweet for those big and small in your life. I absolutely love the selection at The Confectory, and they also stock a great range of vegan, gluten free and sugar free treats. An essential stop before Christmas.

Cameo Cinemas at Belgrave: Christmas shopping is never completed before a few Cameo gift cards are purchased – they make a wonderful present, for all ages.

Smits & Bits: This Sassafras based treasure trove is always a winner – full to the brim of gorgeous homewares.

Belgrave Book Barn: Great prices, great selection. No more words needed.

Olinda Cellars: This family business is probably one of the last true wine cellars; boutique wine specialists, selecting wine on taste, not value. Pick up a few bottles for Christmas lunch (and dinner) or their incredible range is sure to make a perfect gift.


Market stalls at Kallista, Big Dreams and Grassrroots markets.

I also like to hit up the local arts, craft and produce markets before Christmas. Here’s some of my favourites:

Kallista Community Market: First Saturday of the month, 9am-1pm

Emerald Craft & Produce Market: Third Sunday of the month, 9am-3pm

Belgrave Big Dreams Market: Second Sunday of the month, 9am-2pm

Grassroots Markets: Next market March 29, 9am-2pm at Upwey

Have a wonderful Christmas and a very happy New Year.

See you in 2014 for my next blog.

x Sandi

Photos by Miro Anderson and Adriana Alvarez.

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