Itâ€™s a glorious Daylesford winter morning and Iâ€™m tucked up in bed still recovering from recent visit to hospital; all toasty under two feather duvets, one woollen blanket and a possum throw.Â But something’s missing? Serenading French Army around the bed? Good hair? Jumping out of bed to go make a pot of tea, warm feet hit the Titanic chill of naked floor boards. Ahhh… that’s it…socks! With no Marks and Spencer, Sock Shop or even British Home Stores (bhs) just down the road, a whole new plan is needed for this sock crisis.
Adjusting fromÂ European High Street to village shops has been interesting. Previously my shopping basket wove around Selfridges and Marylebone High Street (London), Galleries Lafayette and Rue du Faubourg Saint-HonorĂ© (Paris). Happily, I havenâ€™t exactly landed in a shopping desert, as Daylesford has probably the most picturesque streetscape of boutique shops and florists that one is ever likely to find in Australia. Itâ€™s a delicious mix of artisan (lots of wrought iron, handmade paper, Alpca clothing), art, homewares, antiques, collectibles, wool, and quite surprisingly, great kitchenware. The chicest of all has to be Peonies and Picnics, with its rustic French linen table clothes and napkins, antique French glassware and Gallic pewter plates and platters, piled up on antique European furniture.Â But no knee high socks in sight!
|Boutique shops on Howe St, Daylesford.|
Thatâ€™s right, knee high socks. The Queen commented a few years ago that her favourite outfit is Hunter Wellies, knee socks and tweed trousers and jacket. Sarah Jessica Parker clearly picked up the idea from her and went one step further and then handed the now third-hand idea onto Prada, whoâ€™s gone all knee-to-toe cashmere. But the true heartland of knee high socks is in the country; worn with jeans, oversized jumper, scarf and wellies. The Queen agrees, so it must be right.
|The Queen politely declined using her photo for this blog, But sent her best wishes.|
Took a while to find the perfect Queen-worthy pair on the internet but eventually stumbled upon Kabbaz-Kelly, a not-so-pretty, crammed site, stocked with a magnificent selection of Italian and Swiss cashmere (and silk) everything. Including socks! This jumble of an online store instantly bought back memories of shopping expeditions across the Nice border over to Ventimiglia in Italy. Every Friday, Ventimiglia plays host to the largest open air market in Europe- its cashmere, silk, leather, scarf and shoe heaven, piled high on tables or hanging from the sides of the stand. Absolutely no finesse taken with the merchandising, but beautiful quality products at outrageously low prices. I’ve been buying socks and hosiery there for years. With Ventimiglia no longer on my doorstep, Kabbaz-Kelly is definitely the next best thing.
|Ventimiglia, the spiritual home of cashmere socks|
I finally settled on two pairs, made from a fine mix of cashmere and silk (thick socks make your legs look thicker (aka sausages). Just hope my legs have have become skinny by the time they arrive (5-7 days).