Fresh scones and tea are an Australian country classic afternoon tea, and Country Simplicity in Cobar has combined them with a fantastic boutique shop to make for a simply delightful shopping experience.
Stepping into the store is like entering the rabbit hole. Objects of different colours, textures and shapes are neatly laid out on huge cable spools that owner’s Jacquie and Peter Huddlestone rescued from the mines.
“We painted them and dressed them up,” says Jacquie. “Then cut them in half and stacked them on top of each other.”
This reuse of materials reflects a minimalistic ethic that is very rare to find in a shop owner these days, especially one whose shop is just about bursting with treasures.
“I believe you should have less, but pay more,” says Jacquie, although not for selfish reasons. “I really hope that I’m not getting any products that exploit anyone overseas.”
Jacquie and Pete never meant to stay in Cobar, but they came to visit their daughter here and they just haven’t gone.
“When we first came to Cobar the shop wasn’t really on the radar,” Pete says. He works at the mines while Jacquie takes care of the shop, but it is a joint project.
“When you walk in here it's like walking into Peter and I,” Jacquie says. “People ask why we put so much time into it but it's our passion.”
She meticulously researches the stories behind each product she sells, trying her best to find Australian made or designed products, preferably fair trade. She loves sharing these stories with the customers who purchase the products.
“There is an Australian photographer who takes aerial shots,” she says enthusiastically, pointing to the stand of ROBYNties in the corner. “And prints them on to neckties. They are very popular in New York.”
Every afternoon the shop turns into a tea room, selling home made scones, coffee and a massive selection of different teas. The beautiful tempered glass teapots require a bit of instruction from Jacquie or Peter so that you don’t spill it all over the beautiful china saucer, but the tealight candle underneath keeps it warm matter how long you take to drink it.
The coffee is delicious and will be just the thing to perk you up so that you can enjoy a night with the friendly locals at one of Cobar’s lively pubs or club.
The scones are cooked to Jacquie’s own recipe, which she has tweaked a bit after cooking so many, and they are served with freshly whipped cream and jam. After a good shop it is simply perfection.
Country Simplicity is located at 49 Marshall St, Cobar, NSW.