Friday, November 19, 2010

VANS - Cottesloe & Polka Dot Vintage Market

On a searing, 36 degree afternoon, the sisters found themselves hurtling towards  Claremont Showgrounds in an attempt  to combine retro shopping with present moment eating. Rather like the method actors of Hollywood, the sisters donned garb of yesteryear, to immerse themselves in their quest.

   Polka Dot Vintage Market, held in conjunction with WA's largest Craft, Antique & Collectors fair was a feast for the eyes. It was huge! There was everything from 50's bombshell dresses to 90's grunge. Over 300 stalls selling quality vintage & retro clothing, retro home wares, collectables, vintage jewellery, kitchenalia, old fabrics & buttons, antiques, craft and much more!

 We left our run quite late to visit the markets, and with only an hour to take in the colour and  atmosphere, the sisters were power shopping, 1950's style.
Flicking  endlessly through racks of swirling, psychedelic polyester maxi dresses, mission brown jumpsuits and voluminous bell bottoms, we began to wonder if we had indeed entered the 'Tardus' from Doctor Who.  We spied  a scattering of friendly stallholders with beehive hairdos, 'Sunday Best' bonnets and kitten heel shoes, only too willing to pose for a photo or offer us some assistance.

A friendly stallholder 

Vintage wares upstairs

Bargains galore... take your pick!
    Sister 30 was the only one to secure a treasure on the day. With so many items to look at and little time, we decided that the next Vintage Market was a must and to be pencilled into our diary.

So many hats and only so many days

Kitchenalia & Collectables

Next  Polka Dot Vintage Market - Friday 15th April to Sunday 17th April 2011, Claremont Showgrounds 


Parched and ravenous  from our shopping spree, we  found ourselves at VANS Sidewalk Cafe,  Cottesloe. On entering the cool sanctuary we headed for a place to sit.  VANS is a bustling cafe with an interesting mix of old and new. A selection of Starburst vintage wall clocks festoon the  walls and a treasure trove of blue glass ornaments give a retro feel to the cafe.  

Continuing with our days theme, we felt like we  should be ordering Devils on Horseback and sipping Long Island Iced Teas,  however the extensive menu that  the affable waiter presented us looked perfect and set to satisfy us hungry sisters. 

the teen:
Toasted Turkish Sandwich $15
Chocolate Milkshake $5.50
Toasted chicken turkish sandwich
 Food: 7/10
Service: Good service with drinks, very friendly wait staff.  I enjoyed the friendly banter of our main waiter  however it took ages for me to get my food.
Atmosphere/Decor: Loved the music, decor and friendly happy vibe.
Highs: The milkshake was good value and delicious.
Lows: Waiting and waiting for food.
Price: Good
Comments: I would definitely go back for a second visit.
the 20 something
Home made Gnocchi $26.00
Chocolate Milkshake $5.50
Gnocchi with beans and creamy sauce
 Food: 9/10
Service: The service was good and we were lucky enough to have the hottest waiter. He made each one of us feel special and genuinely tried to help us with our menu selection even, to the point of taking the time to double check our various questions with the chef.
Decor: Funky clocks and blackboard menu.
Highs:.Creamy, chocolate milkshake and the hot waiter.
Lows:  Lots to choose from so couldn't make up my mind.
Price: Reasonable
Comments: The  gnocchi came with a  delicious and wholesome sauce. A most varied  and delectable menu made my decision for a return visit.

the 30 something:
Sardine Bruschetta $15.00
Salmon Gravlax $24
Salmon Gravlax
Soy Latte $5.50
Food: 7/10
Service: The waiter was French and good looking :) He was eager to please and more than happy to ask the chef for information regarding my menu choices.
Atmosphere/Decor: I really enjoyed the decor, it was fresh, modern, clean and comfortable.
Highs: The menu and being with the girls.
Lows: Coffee was a little cold.
Price: Value for money.
Comments:.I had two small mains, Salmon Salad and the Sardine Bruschetta. It was well presented.  I really enjoyed  all the strong tastes together. Due to this I made sure that I took a  little of everything on my fork to get an even taste of all the beautiful food...yummy

the 40 something:
Zucchini Fritters $12
Zucchini fritters with mint hassard & yogurt sauce
Latte $4
Food: 8/10
Service: Excellent service all wait staff were most attentive.  We had several waiters either refilling our glasses of water or diligently explaining the  menu.  

Atmosphere/Decor: Light, bright interesting decor. Loved the retro clocks and blue glass collection.
Highs: Definitely the 'charm-the-pants-off ' attentive waiter.
 Lows: Not being well enough to enjoy my food
Price: Very reasonable
Comments: Well worth a second visit. I am keen to try VANS for breakfast.

the 50 something:
Lamb Burger $23
Cappuccino $4
Lamb & olive burger with chips
Food:  7.5/10 - 8/10
Service: Service by all staff was excellent.
Atmosphere/Decor: Liked the combination of old and new. It was not too overdone rather simple and classic. The music gave an excellent vibe to the place (although they did tend to forget to change it.)
 Highs: My corner, cushiony seat, it gave me a  180 degree view of the restaurant and was most comfortable. The outside seating from my vantage point looked inviting for our next stopover.
Lows: Cold coffee
Price: Very reasonable
Comments: The lamb burger with Mediterranean vegetables was quite artistic and well presented. It was a delectable combination although the bread could have been a little thinner. I was lucky enough to sample  Sister 30's Sardine  meal and was ecstatic to finally discover a non hydroponic salad. Claps for VANS!

Sardine Bruschetta with quality salad garnish
Overall Rating: 8/10
Open : 7 days, 7.00am - 10.00pm (Fri & Sat till 11.00pm)
Parking: One hour parking out the front. Longer stay parking bays near train station.
Vans Sidewalk Cafe on Urbanspoon


  1. Enjoyed the Vintage Market Shenanigans... I think I will put it into my diary as well!

  2. This is great! This blog is so different to any others I have read
    I can't wait to read the next one!

  3. Having this Wonderful Blog for us all to be apart of, helps to bring the Fun into the Experience of Dining Out!
    Thank You So Much!

  4. Thanks everyone we are glad you enjoy reading our blog as much as we like experiencing it!