The Mill Markets (North Geelong)

The Mill Markets (North Geelong)

Where: 3 Mackey Street, North Geelong

When: 7 days a week 10am – 6pm


We recently enjoyed yet another visit to The Mill Markets’ North Geelong site. And as always, Oh! Hello Geelong came down with a severe case of feverish excitement & hyperventilation. For many folks in Geelong, The Mill Markets have become somewhat of an institution, an amazing drawcard for this old town & the perfect way to entice our super savvy vintage shopping Melbournite friends to visit us here in our adopted home town. And for those who are yet to venture to this vintage recycled industrial furniture and objects melting pot, be prepared to be completely overwhelmed, the scale of the North Geelong site is nothing short of epic.

A G-Town institution…

Since its birth in 1985, The Mill Markets has grown from one lone site in Geelong West to a business that is located in Newcomb, the Geelong Waterfront, North Geelong, Ballarat, Warnambool and Daylesford. Each site houses a seriously massive and fabulous range of unique collectables, antiques and vintage clothing which is put together by individual stall holders who have an eagle eye for discovering fabulous treasures from the past.

North Side: the best of the best…

For Oh! Hello Geelong, whilst we love all The Mill Markets sites, we have a pretty big soft spot for the North Geelong site. Sadly we didn’t catch The Mill Markets’ man himself Ian Ballis however we were greeted by the friendly vintage enthusiast Nathan who allowed us to explore, snap pictures and adore to our hearts’ content.

What makes the North Geelong site even more special and fun to visit is the recent opening of a second store right next door to the original building! The new space follows the traditional Mill Markets concept; a multiple range of individual stalls offering an eclectic range of vintage clothing, antiques and collectables, including a very awesome juke box! The old space offers an immense range of industrial furniture + machinery and quirky vintage collectables, all from Ian’s own collection.

Here is a short list of the goods we thought were pretty fantastic:

Antique ladders, pigeonholes / cube shelving, massive work benches, trestle tables and display cabinets, old school desks, big wooden and plastic alphabet letters, wooden crates, glass jars, kitschy kitchen goods, suitcases, industrial pendant lights, vintage gig posters and art by David Bromley (which is scattered everywhere throughout both buildings).

Also there are loads of Mantiques (man + antiques): an old traffic light, rope ladders, golf clubs and tennis racquets, tool boxes & printing machines.

Industrial collectables: an endless number of vintage tin signage, industrial washing machine and ironing board, an old weaving contraption and theatre lights.

One-offs: an old church alter (we’re not lying), a pianola and a hot air balloon basket!

The Mill Markets are something really special (the people from The Block definitely think so) and we are proud as punch that we can tell everyone that it all started in our new hometown! And pretty chuffed that we can visit them any time we like too – hooray!

Love Penny + Laura

Q&A with Talya Cooper from A Spot for Joe

A Spot for Joe

Where: 33 Little Ryrie Street, Geelong

When: Mon – Fri 7.30 to 4 & Sat 8 to 2

Web: on Facebook

Oh! Hello Geelong was pointed in the direction of A Spot for Joe many moons ago, and for good reason! We have come to love many things about this little café including the massive 1970s mural that hangs from the back wall (it’s called Poolside Gossip – love it and wish we owned it), the fact that it is a little tricky to find (just like a treasure hunt) and the industrial meets New York café interiors, complete with our fav colourful Eames chairs. But without doubt our fave things about A Spot for Joe are Tayla and Jared Cooper, the husband and wife super team who are the owners, operators and creative brains behind this G-Town café gem!

We thought it would be a bit fun to ask them a few quick questions all about coffee, tea and of course G-Town! Thanks guys!

What three words describe your cafe?

Relaxed, inspiring, warm

What is your favourite coffee and why?

Flat white – executed properly it is milk coffee perfected.

What makes THE perfect coffee?

Clean equipment, a great bean and a passionate barista!

A Spot for Joe is perfect for…

Catching up with friends, taking time out from the office and simply enjoying the perfect coffee.

What is your Geelong love?

Geelong’s great range of food and wine from its local artisanal producers.

Who are you tea and coffee suppliers?

Coffee – Dukes Coffee Roasters

Tea – Tea Drop

What kind of food is available at A Spot for Joe?

Toasted paninis; salad of the day; all day breakfast including our crowd favourite avochoke smash; soup for winter, alfajores; sweet treats by La Madre Bakery; Pat and Stick Ice Cream Sandwiches and more!

Love Penny + Laura

Sew in love with Patturn!


Find Patturn on Facebook and Etsy

Sometimes the most fantastic ideas and creations are born out of the most frustrating and calamitous moments in life! This is most definitely the case for G-town’s own queen of lamps, Rachel Burke who is the founder, creator and maker of Patturn lamps. Oh! Hello Geelong was lucky enough to spend a lovely afternoon sipping tea and chatting with Rachel about her rather fantastic lamp creations.

Old lamp shade + pattern paper + Nonna’s Glue = Patturn

Rachel Burke, a Melbourne-born G-town resident, is a gorgeous lady who comes with a very generous serving of creative ingenuity! Rachel’s Patturn story (which we just love) begins three years ago when she was randomly sifting through items at an Op-Shop. Whilst searching for old treasures, Rachel stumbled upon a bare little lampshade that made its way home with her. Initially Rachel had the idea of applying some beautiful vintage fabric to the lampshade, however she couldn’t find a simple way of getting the fabric to fit neatly and smoothly onto the surface. After reaching a point of extreme frustration, Rachel decided to experiment with old pieces of pattern paper and her Nonna’s super glue concoction of flour and water. As soon as she started pressing pieces of the paper onto the shade something instantly “clicked” and Rachel knew she was on to something awesome!

Turning point…

After more and more experimenting and after finessing her decoupage skills, Rachel felt it was time to put her lampshades into the limelight. Rachel’s first break came when she came into contact with Kay Gibbons from Oh So Kay who at the time was looking for artists using recycled materials to display in her gallery. From her experience with Oh So Kay, Rachel’s confidence grew and so did her presence in G-Town, with her lampshades being displayed in local exhibitions including Light Up Geelong and Peel Your Eyes and stocked by Geelong favourite Ballyhoo (check out our Ballyhoo blog post). More recently, Rachel’s beautiful lampshades appeared at the Love Vintage Show in Melbourne. Rachel and the Patturn brand’s presence are also making waves online, with her products available via Etsy and Facebook!

Made to order or ready made…

Whilst Rachel has a large range of ready-made lampshades for purchase, she can create shades to order. Oh and don’t think her shades are only limited to vintage pattern paper, Rachel is a decoupage genius and has used a range of paper pieces in her creations including sheets of music and pages from favourite books. What a fun way of turning your favourite comic strips or song lyrics into something really special! Rachel has also experimented with other mediums including chairs.

Passing it on…

And rather than keep her skills and experience all to herself, last term Rachel taught decoupage to young people in the Arts Attack school holiday program at Court House Arts. For Rachel the entire experience was energizing and she looks forward to teaching more classes over the upcoming holiday period. So inspiring!

And sew it is…

It’s quite hard to believe that where Rachel and Patturn are today is the result of one single moment of creative frustration. It just goes to show that it is in those moments we need to think outside the box (in this case er lampshade) and not give up because you never know what fabulous creation will come out the other side!

Thanks Rachel for inviting us so warmly to your home and studio. We also loved the kiddies artwork you had on display ! And you make a pretty delicious cuppa, such a treat!

Ps. Thank you to Rachel for also letting us borrow a few lovely photos of her finished lamps from her FB page 🙂

Love Penny  + Laura

Cartel Coffee Roasters + Tea House!

Where: 21 Leather St, Breakwater


Phone: 5222 6115


Oh! Hello Geelong really loves surprise discoveries, we just can’t get enough of them! One place we never ever expected to make a surprise discovery of such grand proportions was right in the middle of industrial Breakwater. Here we made one of our biggest (not to mention craziest) G-Town surprise discoveries to date.

What made this adventure all the more fab was that we thought we had it covered when it came to where to go for coffee and tea in G-Town, oh how wrong we were! Okay, okay, we’ll end the suspense! Our adventure this week was to the absolutely mad but wonderfully tasty coffee and tea house known as Cartel!

From go to whoa…

So we decided to do a random drop in to Cartel on a rainy morning after a friend suggested we go and suss it out. From the minute we walked through the front doors we felt the Cartel buzz (and forgot about the rain)! The staff, the delish smell of freshly roasted coffee, the sound of the coffee machines at work, the café’s kooky floor space, the display of scrumptious cakes and lunchtime goodies together created an atmosphere that was seriously hyperactive. However, what really gave the space a real zing was the energy of owner and super barista/roaster extraordinaire Nathan Johnston who made us feel instantly welcome and at home – thanks Nathan!!!

There’s so much to say about Nathan and his energy and business savvy, but what really stands out is his passion for coffee beans and his commitment to sourcing the finest quality and most aromatic and flavoursome beans from around the world for his customers back at home – lucky us! Nathan’s seasonal range of coffee comes from as far away as Ethiopia, Rwanda, Asia and Costa Rica and is roasted by Nathan and his team on a daily basis in his roasting shed which looks into the cafe; the smells and sounds are so divine. During our visit Nathan just happened to be roasting some Yirgacheffe beans from Ethiopia and let us watch him at work (there’s a bit of a science to coffee roasting we have to say). While we were watching the roast, Rylan, Nathans trusty apprentice whipped us up some delicious sample shots, Yum!

Now Nathan did give us LOTS AND LOTS of super random facts about coffee which we could never do justice to here so we suggest you speak to Nathan or anyone of his team of coffee experts behind the counter – there is way more to coffee than milk and froth!!!! Oh and if you’re really keen you can enrol into one of Nathan’s barista training or coffee appreciation courses! But don’t worry if it’s just a good cup of coffee and some grub you’re after, Cartel really serves it up.

Just chillin’…

So what do you do if you’re a tea lover like Oh! Hello Geelong you might ask? Or what if you’re looking for somewhere to mellow out? Well, Cartel has that base covered too. After we had thrown back all the coffee we could handle for one morning we were shown to the tearoom at the back of the café (keep your eyes out for the red door), which has a real kitschy Asian Zen-vibe going on – we loved it! The room is full of old-world treasures and off the wall (literally) displays, oh and most importantly jars and jars of lovely smelly tea! Like the coffee range, Cartel’s tea is sourced from all over the world and includes green, black and herbal teas (and many more!). And not to be outdone by the coffee bean out the front, tea master Sharyn Johnston (who happens to be Nathan’s adorable and hilarious Mum) offers tea courses for tea lovers and sells a huge range of tea products! Best of all, you can enjoy any one of the amazing teas you see on the shelves right there in the tearoom. Tea lovers unite!

From a nice surprise to serious addiction…

Since our first visit to Cartel, Oh! Hello Geelong has been back a collective total of three times (so much love)! What drew us back each time was how Cartel made us feel as well the passion of Nathan, Sharyn and all the staff who work there – great work guys, you rock! We also love the kookiness of the interiors and also that tea lovers were not forgotten amongst all the coffee hype. This was a truly fabulous G-Town surprise discovery.

PS: Cartel is ranked number 1 café (in Australia and the world, yep the world) on Beanhunter – and it’s right here in G-Town!!!! Now that’s a big deal!

PPS: The Cartel kitchen is preparing for a shake up…new look and new menu on the way. Can’t wait!