Julie is the author of a number of guidebooks, including 'Melbourne's Best Bush Bay and City Walks' (Woodslane, 2011) and the forthcoming 'Melbourne for Dogs'. Read more of her adventures at her walks blog: walksmelbourne.com
The Magnolia Square 'Pop Up' Market held just a few times a year at Malvern Town Hall is not to be missed for those with a keen eye for great design. Started in 2005 by a working-from-home mumtreprenuer, the 'Mag Square' phenomenon consistently draws in the crowds for its fine quality and decidedly different and happily hip market offering.
Gorgeous goods from Magnolia Square Market - Malvern Town hall
The aim of the Magnolia Square is to create the feel of a modern market square - and there is no question they have achieved this. Market stalls include beautiful designers of food, body, children's, textile, food, clothing, jewellery, accessories, paper and craft, art and design. Many of the designers are creative women who started their businesses from home. One of my favourite is the bright jewellery of Harper & Hudson, designed by a dietician mum who noticed that teething babies often like to chew on their mum's jewellery - so she has designed a range that is safe, non-toxic and gorgeous for both mother and child!
Markets run just three times a year, but last for 3 days, and there's always something to inspire you to pop in for an early peek: the Mother's Day Market this year is offering a free glass of champagne to the first 150 customers on the opening night (Thursday 2nd May from 5pm), and you can sign up for their email newsletter and go in the running to win two $500 shopping vouchers.
Admission to the Market Square is free - so you can save your dosh to spend on the products themselves. 2013 dates for the Malvern Town Hall Magnolia Square are:
Mother's Day Market: Thursday 2nd May (5pm-9pm) Friday 3rd May 10am - 9pm
Saturday 4th May 10am-4pm
Pre-Spring Market: Thursday 8th August (5pm-9pm) Friday 9th August (10am-5pm) Saturday 10th August (10am-4pm)
Thursday 28th November (5pm-9pm)
Friday 29th November (10am-9pm)
Saturday 30th November (10am-4pm)
Opening nights is usually bustling and great fun, and mornings are often also busy, but with three days to pick your moment, try not to miss out. Gorgeous.