Where: Shop 1a/ 7 Gilbert Street Torquay

When: Wednesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm
Sunday 10am to 3pm


Nat and I spent the day exploring Torquay. The first of our finds we wish to share with you is Echidna. Tucked away in an arcade in Gilbert Street, Echidna is bursting with colour, texture and an eclectic mix of things you just won’t find anywhere else.

Echidna Torquay

The force behind Echidna is Sue Ingpen. Inspired by natural fibres, traditional handwork and contemporary trends Sue designs all of the Echidna products, from hand knitted rugs and crochet cushions to beautiful screen printed papers to hand bound journals.

Echidna started from the concept of getting original designed product made well and made ethically. Just because something is ethical it does not mean that it lacks impact. Every Echidna product is intrinsically unique, handmade by artisans, sourced locally or made by a women’s fair trade co-operative group in Nepal.  Sue heads over to work with the group twice a year to create her Spring Summer and Autumn Winter collections.

Echidna stocks beautiful ceramics, clothing, knitwear, home wears and a great selection of unique gifts, vintage items and children’s toys. Echidna also sells hand dyed yarns, books and materials for the designer/maker. Our favourites are the knee length stripe socks and patterned scarves. Not to mention the amazing throw rugs!

Don’t despair, if you are not local you can visit Echidna’s new store in Kyneton that is opening on the 7th of September at Shop 56 Piper Street, Kyneton, open Wednesday to Saturday 10-4pm  and Sunday 11-4pm.

We will be bringing you more of our Torquay finds soon. Stay tuned.

Guest Foodie Review #1 // There There – Eating Room + Bar

Who: There There – Eating Room and Bar

Address: 8 Malop Street Geelong



Geelong and its environs is fast gaining a reputation as a food lover’s paradise! With its coffee revolution in full swing, an ever-growing café scene, award winning wineries and restaurants that are bringing our Melbourne neighbours down the highway, it’s little wonder this small part of the world is making such big headlines across the state!

Oh! Hello Geelong, with our healthy appetite for good food and drink, thought it time to start road-testing and showcasing some of the special places that are really whetting people’s appetite! The problem for us however, is that sometimes we find it hard to tell the difference between a fig and a pear, a shiraz and a pinot noir…and what do they actually mean when a chip is thrice cooked?

So, to help us with our foodie adventures we’ve recruited one of our good friends, Anna Spurling of La Madre Bakery, to help us make sense of it all and navigate our way through some of the town and region’s best food and drink – so much fun! To kick things off, Anna has recently taken some time out from the bakery and enjoyed a delicious dinner in one of our favourite G-town restaurants and watering holes, There There! Bon Appetite!  


If you haven’t been here here then you are missing out out.

There There Eating Room & Bar is hip, happening and very cool but without the pretension. Housed in an old bank it comes replete with extremely high ceilings and red arched doorways.  Pastel canvases adorn the walls in this light, bright and noisy space and an imposing Stag head in a nod to quirky sits underneath the expansive bar that travels along an entire wall.

On the bar, next to the La Marzocco, syphon, a skull and some apothecary bottles are cookbooks by a culinary elite.  Think Heston Blumenthal, Thomas Kellery and David Chang., which goes a long way to explain the ambition of the gorgeous food.  A gramophone is plonked up one end of the dark paneled bar with metal stools and screw up seats.  Coffee Cartel and Bonsoy indicate that for the serious coffee drinker, you will be well looked after.

The cellar is housed behind a black door with a red frame like an Alice route to wine Wonderland. We supped on Dal Zotto Arneis that was scarily drinkable despite there being so much else on the drinks list that tickled our fancy.  Take for instance the craft beer menu with some intriguing bottles including a 750ml Sorachi Ace Saison for a cool $30 or the Bridge Rd Aurora for $25.  The cocktails took our attention with a Southside hitting the table – a gorgeously simple combination of Westwinds Gin, Lime and Mint – alongside a Strawberry Caprioska with the deadly 666 Vodka (get it?) and Lime. There were also many Espresso Martinis making their way to tables.


There There’s menu is a graphic display of artwork which lends itself to shared plates. You can of course try for a traditional a la carte style with more substantial mains but in a bustling place like this the whole shared thang works so well. We turned up in the middle of one of those heat waves we’ve been experiencing this summer and there was only one way to describe my mood. Hangry. Yes, hungry and angry! But a few minutes inside the cool interior of There There all was right with the world again.

Our group of four decided on several, read many, plates including the spiked snapper ceviche (highly recommend); pulled pork lettuce cups (most excellent); calamari, chorizo + paprika (who doesn’t love this combination); Lonsdale tomato, buffalo mozzarella + basil (ultimate summer salad); avocado, pink grapefruit+ fennel (in a cute glass dish with a lid); There There chips that are triple cooked with gravy in a science beaker and brie (these must be the most popular item on the menu and perfect fodder for one of those craft beers); oysters (of course) and Drysdale haloumi + lemon (because we love cheese). Everything was great! So great in fact that we went back for more of those triple cooked chips and snapper ceviche.

After dinner we just sat, chatted and people watched all the while enjoying the respite from the heat outside. Lo and behold, the Oh Hello Geelong gals graced us with their presence at the bar with margaritas in hand but we always knew they had good taste. And because you can’t review any food place without eating nearly the entire menu, we took on a giant salted caramel macaron and the vanilla panna cotta. Despite not really being a dessert person (yes, a food blogger and bakery co-owner, go figure), both of these were exactly the kind of sweet treat I would eat.  Salted caramel is my sugary Achilles heel. Once it was teamed with caramelised banana and peanut ice-cream I was weak at the knees.  Its presentation upon an oversized crystal cake stand shows that the There There team is proud of this creation too.

All in all, There There is a great experience.  Friendly service, lovely food, cool tunes and an interesting décor all make for a fun night. G-Towners should be proud to call this their local knowing that the bar is being raised in this town’s ever-changing culinary landscape. Embrace the quirky menu, sharing plates and noisy room for you’ll have great food and lo and behold, a whole lot of fun!

– Anna Spurling


Thanks SO much Anna!

Love Laura + Penny

Ps. Big thanks to the talented local lass,  Molly Cusack for supplying a few of the photographs! 

PPs. Sorry, we were so busy gobbling down our meals that we forgot to stop and take more photos!! 

Quirk Collective

Where: Shop 85 Pakington Street, Geelong West

When: Wed – Fri 10 to 5, Sat 9 to 5 & Sun 11 to 2


Ph: 5229 9930

One of Oh! Hello Geelong’s biggest loves is going adventuring (of the shopping kind of course), especially when it’s to unchartered waters that we’ve never explored before! So as you can imagine we were a little excited when we received a special invitation to visit Geelongs newest design shoppe (complete with gallery space and it’s very own photography whiz) that goes by the sweet moniker Quirk Collective! Okay, so you’re probably thinking retail space, on trend designer pieces and fashion, gallery, art, photography…all under one roof? Impossible! Well not when you have Kate McLaren and Róża Marciniak, two incredibly intelligent, driven and über talented women in the driver’s seat! Together these two amazing ladies have created a unique experience and a space that G-towners will soon be calling one of their favourites!


A melting pot…

Quirk Collective is perfectly located in Geelong West in what was once a chiropractor’s practice; not that you would ever guess given the open plan interiors and beautiful displays! The space itself was born out of Kate and Róża’s desire to take their passion for art and design to a new level; Kate is the creator of beautiful handbags and accessories under the name iz & lotte, while Róża has completed training in photography and fine art printing. The result of this collaboration is a beautiful store that supports independent makers, handmade products and items with a conscience; an intimate gallery space that will host a broad range of art and design exhibitions and a new avenue for locals to develop their photography skills and produce beautiful photographic pieces.

A splash of shopping…

The shopping side of Quirk Collective is certainly a treat for those who love unique pieces and cute and innovate design. Some of Kate’s current favourites include Monolog clothing (they have recently collaborated with polymer clay queen Emily Green, we got to see a few pieces straight from the box!), brikch’s linen range, jewellery from local brand Ernest and Joe and the range of pieces from Rachel Hine and A Piece of Cloth. Oh! Hello Geelong’s favourites include; All About Heidi shoes for tiny tots, the range of fun ottomans by Mookah (who include some Ink and Spindle fabrics – divine), Iz + Lotte range – especially the felted bead necklaces, LOVE the range of wood pieces from Snug Studio, Jessalin Screen printed Tee’s, Status Anxiety wallets, Brun Mugs and plates, Edison Light Bulb vases and the Me + Frankie wooden racks and tree houses. We also love the cute vintage tables created by Round Room Interiors, and the funny selection of cards and tea towels by Anrol Designs. Pretty much everything, really…

A dollop of art and design…

And what about this gallery we mentioned? Once you have walked through and drooled over all the lovely items in the store, take a few more steps and you will find yourself in a gorgeous gallery space with lots of wall and floor space that will be filled throughout the year with a range of exhibitions from local and visiting artists and designers! During Oh! Hello Geelong’s visit Róża’s own exhibition titled “Land of Thunder Dragon: Bhutan and Beyul” was showing, which highlighted the true “art” involved in capturing and producing beautiful photographs.


And a pinch of photography…

Speaking of photography, Quirk Collective has invested in a state of the art digital printer for fine art printing, which is very very exciting for local (and non-local) photographers. Róża is available by appointment to collaborate with both amateur and professionals photographers to produce the finest quality prints.



There are hundreds of reasons to visit Quirk Collective but for Oh! Hello Geelong the best reason to visit is to experience a new way of enjoying art and design. Thanks Kate and Róża for giving us a tour of your wonderful world and sharing a little philosophy along the way!

PS: if you are like most people and have a digital camera that you want to get the most out of, make sure to get in touch with the girls at Quirk Collective, who will be running introductory camera courses in March/April 2013! They will also be running advanced courses and Photoshop classes too!

PPS: If you are an artist or designer and you are looking for a space to exhibit your work, give Róża a call, she’s happy to help!


Love Penny + Laura

It’s Our 1st Birthday + A Super Massive Giveaway!!

Can you believe it’s been one whole year since Oh! Hello Geelong first said…“Oh! Hello” to the big wide world? Crazy huh! The last 12 months has been such an amazing rollercoaster ride of new friends, fabulous places, brilliant talent and design, perky teas and coffee and oh so heavenly food! But the best part is that we’ve been able to share it all with so many of you! We want to say a huge thank you (with loads of hugs and kisses) to all our readers and everyone featured on the blog in 2012, for hopping on the Oh! Hello Geelong train and sharing this wonderful journey with us – it’s your support and energy that motivates us to keep looking for the next great G-town adventure!

Now Oh! Hello Geelong simply could not let such a super special milestone go by without doing something a little awesome to celebrate! We also thought this was THE perfect time to collaborate once more with some of our lovely and talented friends in Geelong and across the region who we’ve featured in the last 12 months.  

And so, it’s with huge excitement that we bring to you the Oh! Hello Geelong first birthday SUPER MASSIVE GIVEAWAY! And we’re not kidding when we use the words SUPER and MASSIVE – these prizes are seriously special and showcase what a great variety of products are available right here in our beautiful region (and while you’re looking through the giveaways be sure to revisit our 2012 features!). 

So to avoid disappointment please read our entry conditions below and make sure you enter…you’ve got to be in it to win it right?!

Thank you to everyone who has participated in this fabulous celebratory giveaway!


VERY IMPORTANT!   Terms, Conditions and things to note:

  • This competition is open only  to Australian residents.
  • To enter you must like our Facebook page and leave your name and postcode in a comment on this blog post. 
  •  Competition closes Friday 8th February at 5pm.
  •  Winners will be drawn at random by Oh! Hello Geelong and announced on the blog by Monday 10th February.
  •  Prizes cannot be returned or exchanged for other products, cash or vouchers.


1st birthday PHOTOS-#2

And HERE  is The SUPER MASSIVE Giveaway Prize Listing : 

A Skulk of Foxes

Studio Shop – Shop 17 Pakington Street, Geelong West

Giveaway – Silver Folk Fox Stud earrings (rep. $69.00 ) AND a Silver Folk Fox Keepsake Locket (rep. $179.00)

How would you describe your work in three words?

Best job ever!

Highlight of 2012? What are you looking forward to in 2013?

2012 : Tough question as there were many! A few of them were creating our lockets and having such a great response to them; collaborating with the super-talented Madeleine Stamer; working on artwork for the Falls Festival AND bring asked to sign one of our pieces for Wayne Coyne from the Flaming Lips to hang in his house!

2013 : Moving house, having all 3 kids at school and creating some special one-off pieces.

What is the best thing about living in our region?

Having the best of both worlds; being so close to Melbourne and the Surf Coast!


Sassica + Salter

224 Pakington Street, Geelong West

Giveaway – Le Creuset gift including Le Creuset 24cm Deep Casserole (rrp $230.00), Le Creuset Cream Apron (rrp $39.95) and Le Creuset Silicone Spoonula (rrp $16.95)

How would you describe your store in three words
Sassica + Salter in 3 words: relaxing, inspiring, uncluttered

Highlight of 2012? 
The highlight was being featured as part of the Oh! Hello Geelong Blog (gush) and consequently The Design Files in August! I am looking forward to seeing lots of new stock additions to my stock range that haven’t been seen in Geelong, let alone Australia!
What is the best thing about living in our region?
The relaxed nature of living, great customers who support small business and being so close to Melbourne without the traffic!

Elroy Ink

Giveaway – “Velvet Stems” Limited Edition Art print (rrp $240.00)

How would you describe your work in three words?
Elroy Ink in 3 words: abstract, colourful, engaging
Highlight of 2012? What are you looking forward to in 2013?
2012 : Highlight for 2012? Being featured in The Design Files was exciting and really helped to establish Elroy Ink in 2012.
2013 : This year we’re looking at developing some interesting new products and exploring the potential of some one-off original works.
What is the best thing about living in our region?
The best thing about living in the region (especially this time of year) is the proximity to so many great beaches. I’m happy in the knowledge that my kids will grow up to be little art and music loving grommies!


Boom Gallery

11 Rutland Street, Newtown

Giveaway – A Polly bowl by Lab De Stu designer Dale Hardiman (rrp $48) AND a timber geometric wall sculpture by John Heritage (rrp $260) constructed from Cassinia Aicuata timbers, oil paint.

How would you describe your cafe / gallery etc in three words?
art + design + coffee
Highlight of 2012?
Our 2012 highlight was the feature on your blog! (aw thanks guys) and subsequently The Design Files blog and the great exposure and love that followed!
What is the best thing about living in our region?
Best thing about living in the region would be the proximity to gorgeous beaches and Melbourne and the cruisey pace of Geelong. We also love the burgeoning interest and enthusiasm for the arts



Giveaway – A $100 Patturn Voucher

How would you describe your work in three words?

customised, vintage, chic

Highlight of 2012? What are you looking forward to in 2013?
2012 : Our two children who never fail to delight me while simultaneously wearing me out!
2013 : I’m looking forward to new creative challenges. I have so many ideas to get through I’m not sure where to start – and there are only 11 months remaining of 2013!!
What is the best thing about living in our region?
We have SO many lifestyle advantages but my all-time favourite thing to do with my hubby on a sunny day is grab a lunch of steamed mussels from the boat guy (next to Fisherman’s Pier Restaurant), take it to a local bit of park by the bay and tuck in… yum!!!


A Piece of Cloth

Studio Shop – 9/100 Lower Paper Mill Rd. Fyansford

Giveaway – Hand made Queen Size ‘Cross’ Quilt (rrp $350)

How would you describe your work in three words?
vintage + antique + textiles
Highlight of 2012?
My highlight of 2012 was opening up the studio and I look forward to sharing my vintage and antique textile stash with everyone!
What is the best thing about living in our region?
The amazing opportunities it has to offer, like finding my beautiful heritage listed studio in Fyansford only 5 minutes from the city centre!


The Flower Dispensary

333 Pakington Street, Newtown

Giveaway – Edenborough Evans personalised sterling silver necklace valued at $79 and a bracelet as well, valued at $69

How would you describe your shop in three words?
“A Sensory Haven”
Highlight of 2012? What are you looking forward to in 2013?
Highlight of 2012? Being asked to be part of the Oh Hello Geelong-The Geelong City Guide it really created a buzz for local retail businesses.
In 2013 we look forward to creating more wedding flowers and also offering a flower workshop
(stay tuned for more details!)
What is the best thing about living in our region?
That we’re lucky enough to have the surf coast on our doorstep and still be less than an hour away to Melbourne. Our region offers a great variety of activities & services for young and old.


Living Etc

High Street + Mount Pleasant Road, Belmont

Giveaway – MRD small Ginger Table Lamp (rrp. $299)

How would you describe your store in three words?
unique, eclectic and inspiring
Highlight of 2012? What are you looking forward to in 2013?
2012 : Opening our sister store Lighting etc!
2013 : We’re looking forward, as always, to our trips to Milan and Hong Kong to source new designs for fabulous quality furniture and lighting.
What is the best thing about living in our region?

The best thing about living in our region? Our lovely clients!!!


Laura Blythman  .  Studio

Giveaway – A3+ ‘It’s called love’and A4+ ‘dream catching’ Art Prints  (rrp $55 and $35)


Kiitos – Living By Design

Giveaway – A Marimekko fabric Sumam,  designed to be stretched onto a 120cm x 120cm canvas (rrp. $169.00)

Shop 2 5-7 Bridge Road, Barwon Heads

How would you describe your store in three words?

Bright , contemporary , uplifting

Highlight of 2012? What are you looking forward to in 2013?

Growing as a business, introducing amazing new brands. Having products featured in national design magazines including products on the front of Inside Out magazine

What is the best thing about living in our region? 

The relaxed yet vibrant feel in Barwon Heads. It is equally has pleasant in the dead of Winter and in the middle of  the Summer when the town is full of happy holiday makers


Rock Rose Handmade

Giveaway – A pair of rose shaped “Vintage Button” earrings 

How would you describe your store in three words?
“Curated, beautiful and ethical”.
Highlight of 2012? What are you looking forward to in 2013?
2012 : The highlight of 2012 for me was opening my store- and I am looking forward to growing it in 2013.
2013 : This year I hope to exhibit my store at some of Australia’s very lovely design and boutique markets and I’m also reaching out for some lovely new makers.
What is the best thing about living in our region?
I’d have to say that the best thing about our region is a balmy ocean breeze on a hot summer’s day.



148 Pakington Street, Geelong West

Giveaway – $100 gift voucher

How would you describe your store in three words?
eclectic + homely + layered
Highlight of 2012? What are you looking forward to in 2013?
Having great staff I can rely on which has given me more creative time to hand make individual items for the shop and recharge my creative batteries! Priceless! In 2013 I am looking forward to the online store finally being up and running!



c/41 Hitchcock Ave, Barwon Heads

Giveaway – Kids Madpax bag (rrp $64.95)

How would you describe your store in three words?
playful, quirky, interesting
Highlight of 2012?
It’s really hard to define one thing as a highlight…what has made me smile a lot in the past year has been the dedication and enthusiasm of our lovely staff who are sharing this journey with us. For bambolotta 2013 will see the introduction of some beautiful new children’s clothing brands and other products which are functional, fun and parent friendly.
What is the best thing about living in our region?
Our region has great accessibility to a diverse range of things to see and do; the beach, the bush and the city are only a hop, skip and a jump from where ever you are. There is something for everyone!

Flower Bowl
8 Ormond Street, East Geelong
Giveaway – One of their famous Tea cup floral arrangements and a Prissy Nail Polish
How would you describe your shop in three words?
Quirky creative florals
Highlight of 2012?
Some amazing weddings that kept us super busy!
Cartel Tea Room
6/21 Leather Street, Breakwater
Giveaway – $50 worth of tea or organic herbal tisanes
How would you describe your tea house in three words?
unique + everything TEA
What are you forward to in 2013?
Letting the people of Geelong know that they have the largest range of teas available in Australia right under their nose!
What is the best thing about living in our region?
The ability to improve and grow and know your customers


91 Garden Street, East Geelong Vic 3219

Giveaway – a Curio + Curio Orange Spot Screen Printed Cushion (rrp. $110)

How would you describe your store in three words?

Dynamic, Evolving + Tempting

Highlight of 2012? What are you looking forward to in 2013?

2012 : Highlight : always to see our GOOSE signature wrapped gifts heading out the door.

2013 : On the hunt once again + the thrill of new discoveries.

What is the best thing about living in our region?

Geelong is large enough to get a little lost, yet small enough to know everyone (or at least somebody who knows somebody). It’s also a wonderful gateway to the surrounding areas which we enjoy exploring when we get the chance.


Joco Cup

Giveaway – 1 x Joco Cup (rrp. $24.95)

How would you describe your product in three words?

creative, caring & reusable

Highlight of 2012? What are you looking forward to in 2013?

2012: Launching Joco Cups to the world.

2013: The excitement of adding new products and accessories to the Joco Cup range.

What is the best thing about living in our region?

The wonderful surprises in the most unlikely places.

Thanks and Good luck everyone! xx
Penny + Laura