Today’s roadtrip from Canberra to Braidwood was a test run for an upcoming day trip for ARLIS/ANZ ACT Chapter (Arts Libraries Society Australia & New Zealand). We really enjoyed the town (thank you Ms. E!) and it looks like there’s lots more to discover.
It took under an hour to get there, but we needed to start with victuals! We went to the end of the main street and got drinks and pastry from Dojo bread, who also run bread-making courses through The Farm Dojo. I think all the pastries contained dairy, so I had secondary enjoyment by staring like a carbcreeper.
Braidwood Farmers Markets had excellent vegan manoush pizza – delicious thin crust with za’atar, lemony sumac and sesame seeds. The markets are on the 4th Saturday of each month. Dojo have a stall at the markets too, so if you can’t see the bread you want at one place, try the other!
Our first cultural stop was the fYREGallery and STUR gallery + store, who have some lovely gifts including baggies of vintage erasers and matchbox gardens. They’re showing FromAtoB: photographs & sculpture by Joteva & Ned Bott, till 29 June.
We meant to go to Left Hand gallery but I got confused and we walked to 18 Lascelles Street instead of 81 Lascelles Street. Oops. There isn’t much to see at 18, but we did see some nice ducks on the way. They ran away from us.
My other gallery oops (at the other end of town) was the Pig & Whistle, which looked like it’d been closed for a little while but still has signs for the gallery and parking (I’ll update this if I find out more).
Walking into String was like being inside an oversized cabinet of curiosities. There are so many miniature things to find, that it’s best to visit and find see it in person. If you like Melbourne’s Wunderkammer then you’ll love String. String was my favourite place in Braidwood – note that both String and Longbarn are closed all of July.
In the same building as String, Altenburg & Co was showing some great desert paintings, there’s also a Perspex-covered part of the wall in the giftshop section with graffiti from 1913. Each year seems to record the household’s yearly balance.
String’s other business Longbarn (a few blocks away, look for the old bicycle on the corner) is a house layered like a cake with a magical “storybook lovely” cottage garden, full of charming French furniture. They also have chickens! They ran towards us – sorry we didn’t have snacks!
The Boiled Lolly has the wonder of a retro lolly shop with rows of bottles lining the walls, and little packets of the sweets behind them. I found this really comforting, as I didn’t get to experience old-fashioned sweet shops so I only have Dahl’s description of Mrs Pratchett to go by (see The Great Mouse Plot chapter in Roald Dahl’s Boy: Tales of Childhood). There are lots of customised rock candies including “Braidwood rock” which would be a nice local gift, or the “Bugger rock” if you need a present for someone you dislike.
There were many unfamiliar lollies including a bottle of “Squill: herbal flavoured candy” (I have a new resolution of not using the terms candy or cookies, favouring lollies, sweets and biscuits, but this is a label quote). Squill! It sounds like the noise your brother makes if you are having a fight with him and land a stomach punch.
There’s a squill candy recipe in The Australian Women’s Weekly (16 August 1972), reproduced on Trove (scroll to page 69), it has brown and white sugars, glucose, aniseed oil, squill tincture/essence, icing sugar and water. I am ashamed to say I wasn’t game to try it, and now that I’ve found out it has aniseed it is an unlikely scenario. According to urbandictionary, squill isn’t a kind word.
I patted 8 dogs, a #PatADay record! Here is Ringo who had two-toned hairspray and was very sweet. The 7 other dogs included a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, German Shepherd, and a 57kg Neapolitan Mastiff (3 kilos less than me!) and some other little dogs who weren’t that interested.
Flowers at St. Bede’s Parish – I think these are pink wood sorrel, which are very pretty as a groundcover even if they are invasive.
Next time I’d like to see the church’s stained glass windows, and to go to Sugden/Hamilton ceramic studio and shop and McLeod Gallery and William Verdon jewellery. I’ve also heard that despite the name, The Old Cheese Factory apparently does some great vegan food if you call ahead.
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