The amazing thing about girlfriends is their innate capacity to shop and consume sweets. I couldn't live without them (girlfriends, shopping or sweets) and so when Teena, Gina and I finish our 6 course meal at Marque, we jump in the car looking for more things to eat and buy. Zumbo was a little too far out of Gina's route home so we decided to pop in on the brand spanking new Donna Hay store in Woollahra.
Set in a residential street, it's not the place you'd necessarily expect to stumble upon a store. Beautifully merchandised, it's filled with Donna Hay merchandise that is not available at David Jones as well as other boutiquey brands from all over the world, many of which I haven't seen in other stores. Things are definitely on the adorable side although they aren't without a price tag to match with a teddy bear retailing for $360 and little bird feeders for $200+ and twine for $30. It doesn't stop me from wanting many things though.
Other items such as the Baby Eames replica chair are priced at $800 (is it wrong that I think that this is good value?). Of course no visit here is complete without a cupcake liner purchase and I'm happy to see that they've got two sizes of the French pleated liners that I've been carefully rationing.
We're interested in the sweet treats that you can buy. Unfortunately as it's a residential area, there is nowhere to sit and eat your goodies. In fact, there is a petition for shoppers to sign so that the shop is allowed to sell takeaway coffees but for now, goodies are strictly a takeaway affair. Towards the back of the store is the macaron display and they also bake cupcakes and brownies using the Donna Hay recipe mixes sold in the store. Clever!
Leaving the store with our goodies, we walk along Queen Street trying to find a place to sit down and sample these. We buy coffees and juices and create our own impromptu picnic.
The brownies have a nice crispy top and a chewy texture. The macarons aren't bad, although at $3.95 they're quite a bit pricier than other places.
The shortbread is adorable but quite sweet with the royal icing on top.
We were intrigued by the American brand Route 29's Peanut Butter sticks (as Peanut Butter cup devotees we had to try some) and chocolate turtles. The peanut butter sticks are delicious, like a cross between a peanut butter cup and a Butterfinger bar.
The chocolate turtles are disappointing though as the entire thing tastes like a Picnic bar or something similar from a supermarket but at a boutique price.
Our impromptu picnic is finished off with a spotting of chef Luke Mangan by the eagle eyed Teena. Ah yes that's why you have girlfriends. For chef spotting, shopping and sweetie consumption.
So tell me Dear Reader, what do you do with your friends when you go out? Shop? Eat? Drink? Or something else altogether?
Donna Hay General Store
40 Holdsworth Street, Woollahra, NSW
Tel: +61 (02) 9328-6555
Open: Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm