New café, bar, restaurant and retail openings in the Blue Mountains town of Lawson have made bypassing this village a thing of the past.
When driving to or from Sydney through the Blue Mountains you’d be forgiven for not really noticing Lawson. But for a pub and a row of shops-for-lease lining the Great Western Highway, there doesn’t look to be a lot going on here, unlike neighbouring towns of Leura and Katoomba. But behind the scenes, locals are quietly celebrating the new life being breathed into their community with the openings of numerous new ventures: restaurants, cafes, produce store, boutique, one of the Blue Mountains’ most sought-after sourdough bakeries and a sustainable living store and family-friendly café.
Each place has made social responsibility a priority, which says as much about the people behind the businesses as it does about the people living in the Blue Mountains: it’s a close-knit, supportive tribe up here, and shops like these help feed that community feel.
If the lovely Lawson café Cortado hasn’t already made you visit this cute township, then make the trip soon for one or all of the following…
Eco Mountain and Sustain Café
Locals are celebrating the arrival of this combined sustainable-living store and café – not least because of its beautiful range of eco-friendly products to browse – from zero-waste packaging and refillable natural cleaning supplies, to toxin-free toys, skincare and other necessities for babies and kids.
The other incredible drawcard are the many rooms, nooks and crannies to have a coffee, brekky lunch or a treat while you take advantage of the free wi-fi and while the kids play in their own designated play room! (Add this place to the top of the list for kid-friendly cafés in the Blue Mountains). Owner Juliette Meany is dedicated to making this place a haven for eco-warriors and families who enjoy quality time, quality company and quality food.
Coffee is by Wilderness Coffee Project, and with a full-time chef starting in February 2019 there are endless reasons to check this place out. Full write-up coming soon!
What: Eco Mountain and Sustain Café
When: Mon-Fri 7.30am-4pm, Sat 8.30am-4pm, Sun 9am-3pm
Where: 3 Badgery Crescent, Lawson NSW 2783
More info: www.ecomountain.com.au
This Lawson bar and restaurant breathes so much cool that, if dining here and hailing from somewhere like Potts Point in Sydney, you’d be forgiven for thinking you hadn’t left the city at all.
Spanish for ‘neighbourhood table’, Mesa Barrio is all about sharing good food and wine with good friends. The menu is a series of small and larger plates with a Mediterranean bent, featuring get-in-my-belly tapas such as fried haloumi with oregano and lemon, raw hiramasa kingfish with fennel, sour cream and horseradish, or cured meats with manchengo cheese and pickles. Read the full review here.
What: Mesa Barrio
When: Thu–Sat drinks from 5pm, dinner from 5.30pm, Fri–Sun lunch midday–2.30pm
Where: Shop 3, 9 Staples Crescent, Lawson NSW 2783
Phone: (02) 4759 1616
More info: www.mesabarrio.com.au
Rust and Timber Chocolate Bar
Run by mid-Mountains couple Megan and Joe Elbourne, this chocolate-themed café plays to the locals’ lust for chocolate (especially of the hot kind in winter) and love of freshly roasted coffee. The coffee is roasted on site daily and along with the gorgeous aroma there’s the nice feeling that 10c from every coffee goes to support one of three local not-for-profit organisations.
Timber benches, frames and crates give the space its namesake rustic feel, and fridges full of colourful, handcrafted truffles and sweets make the decision of what to have pleasantly difficult.
As well as chocolates there’s also muffins, fudge, nougat and a range of take-home goodies. Parents will love the kids’ area with a mini table and stools, blackboards and books, plus an outdoor terrace with a tree-lined view of Lawson.
Big ups to Megan and Joe for creating a family-friendly café that serves quality treats!
What: Rust and Timber Chocolate Bar
When: Mon-Fri 7am-4pm, Sat-Sun 8am-1pm
Where: Shop 2, 297 Great Western Highway, Lawson NSW 2783
Phone: (02) 4759 2470
More info: www.rustandtimberchocolatebar.com.au
More community love has hit Lawson in the form of Lyttleton Stores – a trio of retail stores and a workshop space in the old Badgery’s Attic on the north side of the railway.
The vision of Lawson-raised foodie and furniture designer Jacinta Carmichael-Parissi and her jewellery artist sister Adelina, Lyttleton Stores is a coming-together of the siblings’ passions for organic produce, beautiful and environmentally responsible handmade wares and the desire to share these loves with the people around them. The three stores comprise:
PanTree Produce: an organic grocery store selling seasonally available fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers, organic dairy and meat, as well as kitchen essentials such as organic bread, eggs and dry goods (herbs, spices, oils, vinegars). Much of the produce will derive from the on-site garden.
Atelier: a store full of artisan-made wares, including furniture, jewellery, glassware, leather goods and fabric work.
Preserve: a learning space hosting art, craft, cooking and gardening workshops.
There are also plans for a commercial kitchen, which will be used to turn any excess produce from the garden into pickles and jams, cordials, ice cream, dried fruit and other goods to sell at PanTree Produce. Minimising waste is part of the stores’ long-term environmental goals, which will eventually see it becoming a zero-waste facility.
With so much good happening and on the horizon for Lawson, it’s high time Blue Mountains residents and out-of-towners paid it a visit. Add to your trip a walk around the South Lawson Waterfall Circuit (4km, starting on Honour Avenue) and you’ve got a unique and fun-filled day out exploring somewhere new.
What: Lyttleton Stores
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 8:30am-6:30pm, Sun 10am-5:30pm
Where: 1 Badgery Crescent, Lawson NSW 2783
Phone: (02) 4759 3478
More info: www.lyttletonstores.com.au
Are you excited about what’s happening in Lawson? Share your thoughts below…