by Jodi Panayotov
In recent years the picturesque tree-lined avenues of century old Hawthorne have become home to a cache of cafes and boutiques that occupy the storybook historical shops dotted along them. And while not in the commercial numbers to rival their neighbour Bulimba's Oxford St, what they lack in quantity, Riding and Hawthorne Rds more than make up for in leafy old world charm.
With its own heritage listed ferry stop at quaint little Hardcastle Park overlooking the Teneriffe woolstores, one of Brisbane's oldest cinemas preserved in its yesteryear glory and a terrific young children's playground and open parkland, Hawthorne makes an interesting chilled destination to explore.
Walking is made easy as its all flat and with the aforementioned trees and the odd river breeze it's made pleasant for those who decide to trawl its length.
Starting at the ferry terminal (park or arrive by Rivercat), head straight ahead to Hawthorne Rd and, after 2 blocks arrive at the old Hawthorne Cinemas where current movies play for half the price of shopping mall multiplexes. Nestled to one side with its own gate entrance is a groovy little courtyard eatery Nook off Hawthorne.
While the majority of boutiques and cafes lie along Riding Rd, don't leave Hawthorne Rd without visiting:
This gorgeous green stand alone café in a converted corner shop is open 7 days for breakfast and lunch and adds a touch of class in whatever it does, from the scrumptious food and service to the décor touches such as 1930's New York wallpaper and outdoor squatters chairs.
This gourmet market within a vintage garage workshop is a one stop for everything from quality fruit & veges restocked fresh daily, meat, deli and pantry goods, with an espresso hole in the wall and deli sandwiches available for those making a pit stop.
To reach Riding Rd, the main artery, cross Hawthorne Park, a kind of village green heart and recreational patch with bike and walking tracks, sports facilities and on the Riding Rd side, a fantastic fully fenced young children's playground Livvi's Place.
Another splendid store, Riding Rd's premier boutique Maxi & Bruce stands solo a block or so back towards town (turn right from Livvi's Place) and well worth a bit of a detour to browse the beautiful unique fashion from labels such as Lisa Ho, Alice Mccall and Mesop.
A blend of vintage and pre-loved fashion, accessories , hats and luggage can be found in this local go-to shop where everything is well-preserved and of decent quality. From race day to opera to walk in the park, there's something for all occasions.
Hawthorne's newest arrival can be found tucked away behind Secondi, up the garden path. Inside the converted shed is a whimsical world of upcycled vintage and handmade wares, clothes, furniture and jewellery.
On the corner across from Secondi and Side Street Vintage, The Hawthorne Pantry is like an upmarket general store and trove of gourmet foods, unique gifts, chic homewares, artisan jewellery and flowers.
Still in the same block as the pantry and sharing the same owners, this little café is a local fave for its coffee, foodie's fare and all round cuteness, with places to secure a bike or a dog.
Another stylish little boutique secreted in the next bunch of shops close to the Bulimba end of Riding Road, this one stocks labels such as House of Harlow, Millie loves Min and One Teaspoon.
Hawthorne's go-to for gallic-influenced cuisine that is a notch above most café fare with a great range of breakfasts light and substantial and lunches that range from Croque Monsieur to escalope of Atlantic salmon.
Café with art or gallery with food, either way L'Arte does both well and, with its comfy couches, is a great place to hang out and enjoy a well-brewed coffee, brunch or some of the delectable in-house made sweet or savoury treats.
For anyone with children or needing to buy a gift for children this shop is an absolute gem, stocking a host of unique mostly educational and quality toys, games and puzzles by the likes of Meccano, Djeco, Nano Blocks, Brio and Bobby Cars.
© Must Do Brisbane