The day after New Years Day was the last day of my holidays, so a good excuse to go for lunch with some friends. Where to, though?
Why not Blackheath? It is always nice up there. So that's what we did.
We enjoyed a lovely lunch at a cafe and then browsed some of the shops. Us girls headed straight to the patchwork shop, only to discover they were having a well earned summer break. Darn! How dare they!!
They did have some lovely hydrangeas out the front though. The colours were gorgeous.
After lunch we mosied on back towards Mt Victoria, calling in at an antique shop along the way. We were very strong and didn't bring anything home.....
.......except another photo of hydrangeas....this time in a stunning blue. Obviously, quite acidic soil here. They really do well in the Blue Mountains.
After our exploring, we were in desperate need of afternoon tea. Unfortunately, there was nothing open in Mt Vic, so we headed down the hill to try our luck in the historic village of Hartley.....and our luck was in. We were the last customers for the day in the delightful tea rooms. We'll be back.
Now, for another of my rambles........
Hartley has a bit of a family connection for me.....going way back......
My great, great grandfather on my Dad's side was Henry Baylis, who was the Police Magistrate at Hartley in the mid 1800s. (I found an interesting biography on him here. He was quite a character.) Move forward to the early 1900s and my grandfather on my Mum's side bought an orchard in the area. My mum grew up in the area and my parents were married here, but I didn't get a photo of that church this time.
In 1982 the National Parks took over the whole village and now administer it. The historic buildings are in good hands.
The lovely building which houses the tea rooms was the old post office. The last time I was in there was in 1974. I can pin point the day, as it was the day my Grandma was buried. Us kids weren't allowed to go to the funeral (how times have changed) and we spent the morning with Grandma's neighbour, who was the local rural mail lady, on the postal run.
The court house is the most famous, and photographed building in the village. It was popular in the early 1900s to go to Jenolan Caves for an outing and a photo in front of the court house was a must. When I was in early high school I made a scale model of it for history. Unfortunately, it was closed when we were there this time. This is where Henry Baylis presided.
The Catholic Church and Presbytery are more examples of sandstone buildings.
Don't you love the cobbled drive way up the hill.
This former pub wasn't open when we were there, but it appears to sell ice cream.
"Ivy Cottage" has an interesting history. I learnt that it was built in 1845 and was the home of the Police Magistrate, so would have been home to Henry Baylis. In 1890 it was gutted by fire and left as a shell until the 1930s when it was re-roofed in that style. It has now been returned to its original roof line.
I enjoyed wandering around the old "Shamrock Inn". Apparently this is not going to be restored, but just maintained and stabilised.
They wanted to show the various construction methods used in the building. I was a little wary around the back, being summer time and me only wearing sandals, but I didn't seen any snakes, thank goodness.
By now everyone else was getting a bit toey and wanting to head home, so I made my way back to the car. I wouldn't mind having another wander around here, when the Courthouse is open, and there is a working blacksmith in a shed behind the village that I'd like to visit .....and another piece of cake would go down OK too.