by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Lifestyle : Ulitmate Shopping Guide
1HERSA1 W004 Furnishing Fabric Clearance Thousands of rolls, Upholstery Fabrics, Furnishing Fabrics, Curtain Fabrics and Outdoor Fabrics Further 30-50% off marked prices on many fabrics We can order current fabrics at good discounts from most wholesalers Phone Enquiries Welcome 9948 2996 (after hours 9984 1076) Also ready made curtains, NOW 30-80% off normal retail BARGAIN UPH FABRICS. BURNT ST SEAFORTH Open 5 days TUE-SAT 10-5pm Closed SUN & MON AG3852725AA-170411 SPECIALISING IN ANTIQUES Blackheath Jewellery IRENE BYRNE 17-19 Govetts Leap Road Blackheath NSW 2785 02 4787 6126 within The Victory Theatre Ultimate shopping guide SPECIAL REPORT 4 SUNDAY, APRIL 17, 2011 THE SUN-HERALD Tours open up a world of hot spots Whether it's haute couture you're after or a warehouse bargain, guides offer an efficient way to home in on your prey, writes Keeli Cambourne. They are a good girls' day out. Kate Rolfe, RedBalloon Inthebag... tours put a new perspective on shopping options. Photo: Marco Del Grande FOR those who love to shop, there's now more to spending your cash than just trawling the malls. Shopping tours can take you from discount warehouses to the ultimate fashion experience in some of the city's most upmarket retail outlets, where you get to try on haute couture and speak to the designers as well. Victoria Moxey started Urban Walkabout Tours in 2006 and says shopping tours are growing in popularity. ''We get a lot of mother-daughter, best friends and hens' parties -- lots of women doing something together,'' Moxey says. ''We also get corporate groups coming to Sydney and women usually want to do something different to what is offered to the men.'' Urban Walkabout Tours specialises in taking groups of up to 12 people through Paddington , visiting emerging and established designers, concept stores and vintage and recycled fashion retailers. ''There are different kinds of tours for different people,'' Moxey says. ''We do the fashion secrets tour and uncover local talent around Paddington, taking people to discover where the artisans of fashion are -- from dress designers to chocolatiers, milliners [and] shoe designers. ''Our clients are across all age groups but mainly it is the professional woman over 25 years. We take a lot of people who have been to Sydney before but even if you know the city, there are places you may miss or wouldn't know about.'' Kate Rolfe -- communication specialist for RedBalloon, which also runs upmarket, niche shopping outings in Sydney -- says tours have a couple of advantages over trying to find that special something on your own. ''They are a good girls' day out and with RedBalloon, we can also provide you with a stylist or personal shopper, so you can get more confidence in making fashion choices as you go along,'' Rolfe says. ''Having someone show you where to go can also help save time rather than walking around the city looking.'' Shopping tours, like those who take part in them, come in all shapes and sizes and as well as niche tours such as RedBalloon's, there are those that specialise in warehouse tours, direct factory outlets and even food. Choosing the tour that is right for you depends on what you're looking for, Moxey says. ''At Urban Walkabout Tours, we don't operate on commission, which gives us some freedom,'' she says. ''It means we can change our tours if we want to and add new stores to keep it fresh and exciting. ''Some tour operators do work on commission, so there can be that pressure to spend.'' Rolfe says looking for recommendations about different operators can also help point customers in the right direction. ''You don't have to reinvent the wheel,'' she says. ''At RedBalloon, we have reviews underneath all our products, so customers can see what others have thought of the experience. ''It's also nice to have some idea of the kind of person who may be taking you on a tour and whether the operator has a good relationship with their suppliers. ''You don't want to be rushed through a store by someone who is only watching the clock rather than letting the customers take the time to enjoy the experience.'' As well as being a good way to shop, tours provide a different way for people to see another side of a city. ''We try to incorporate into our tours a bit of the history of Australian fashion and designers and the architecture of the area,'' Moxey says. ''Shopping tours are great for people who want to get a different perspective on a city they may have visited before and to find some hidden treasures.''
Blue Mountains Guide
Dining With A View