Girls on Tour: Road trip to Orange for The Huddle

Ever since we went out to Orange 18 months ago for our last Girls on Tour regional shopping trip (you can read about it in this post, this post and this post). I have been a huge fan of Pip and what she does at her shop/s at The Sonic. Her instagram feed is a colourful burst of joy in the retail space and her excellent taste in all that does – her business is something I love to follow and shop from.

Late last year she created an event for all like minded business women to attend in Orange and as soon as I saw it I knew that Lucy and I had to head along and learn what we could from it for our own business. Also, the timing meant that it was a much needed break for a few days after what has been a really shite summer.

So Add to Cart bought the tickets for a little business development and early Saturday morning we hit the road and the rain to drive to Orange. We wanted to visit some other small towns along the 4 hour drive and remind you guys of the importance of visiting regional towns in your state if you can. Whether it’s the drought or the fires that have killed small businesses in small towns, it’s up to us to inject some money into them and have some fun along the way. Instead of heading to your usual holiday spot or overseas, book a road trip with friends do some shopping, stay in some fun places and meet some truly wonderful people.

We started off by heading south towards Yass before turning right inland into the first town of Boorowa. Lucy and I both had girls in our year at Highschool from this area and we loved being able to visit. There are some great businesses there too to check out (and probably a few that we missed out on).

We had a delicious coffee break at Pantry on Pudman (dead set best sandwiches take away I have ever had: curried egg and of course the standard country chicken mix) and a mixture of soft furnishings, gifts, food gifts (we bought some olive oil from Rosnay) and antiques and then we headed over the road to Home Finch a homewares shop in the most glorious old menswear store from the golden era. The streets are wide, the people are friendly, the shopping is good and the sandwiches are the most honest, delicious things you will eat.

We then headed further inland and north through Cowra and onto Canowindra which is the most glorious old country town – like stepping back through time to a place of curved wide streets, old buildings and now some galleries, cafes and shops that you can visit. We were even able to drop off an order for one of our customers who lived there and bought something on Friday night. We had coffee and cake at Finns Store and a wander through town.

It was then about an hour further north to Orange where we bee lined it to The sonic to show Lucy the beauty of Jumbled and then we were off to lunch at the Schoolhouse restaurant at Union Bank. An icy cold local buttery chardonnay and some delicious food was just the thing before ducking in next door to Hawkes General Store and doing some shopping before checking into our hotel (De Russie Boutique hotel) for the night, having a rest in the afternoon before heading back out.

We went and caught up with the girls from Arlington Milne and Elms and King to do all our ordering for the shop for Autumn & Winter. They were staying at a house we had stayed in before (you can check it out here) and then we jumped in a taxi to head to dinner at Mr Lim Orange where thew food is excellent and then at 9.30 it turns into a karaoke bar! I had no idea that this meant the entire restaurant got on board with it – the music goes up full ON and everyone sings. It was so much fun. I haven’t laughed that much in a long time.

We were up bright and early the next day to head to The Huddle for our dy of inspiration and learning. It looked amazing and I was so excited to get such great advice, tips and ideas from smart women (you can check out the full list of mentors here). There was such a buzz as 400 women all packed together, their business ideas and thoughts and inspiration in full flow…it was pretty special I must say.

I was lucky enough to wear some brand spanking new autumn/winter from Elms & King that will be available in about 2 weeks from your fave stockist or online directly from them. THIS PRINT YOU GUYS. Kind of animal but not. I love it so much.

After the conference we ducked into Woolies and Dans for some tasty cheese treats and icy cold beverages before heading back to bed at a reasonable hour. It’s true!

Monday morning we had to head back to the Highlands as kids were off school, power out, septics broken thanks to some ridiculous rainfalls over the weekend. We stopped into Byng Street for a delicious breakfast and hot coffee and then our 4 hour trip back home.

What an amazing 2 days we had – we learnt something, we were inspired, we met some amazing people we were inspired, we were pumped for our business and for me, I got to laugh and feel happy in what felt like the longest time. I was even ok with the fact that I got a broken tooth. That was until we got back home to no power or toilet etc…but still! What a weekend. If there is ever another one of these events (and I suspect that there will be) be sure to head along. If you have a girls weekend planned, think about heading to an area affected by the bush fires or the drought. While the media moves on and we don’t even tend to think about it. these areas still need our help. Please come and visit.


  1. Man I missed you in Canowindra again! Come back soon xo

  2. Sounds perfect Beth, thanks for keeping us updated x

  3. Sounds like an absolute blast. Wish I was there. Wondering if you can shed any light on those fabulous pink and red outfits the gorgeous girls photographed with you are wearing?? I’m obsessed and haven’t been able to find anything similar online. I love the dress but the top is fab too. Love some help tracing them down. Xxx

  4. I’m glad you had such a wonderful time, despite driving in the rain and returning to rain caused havoc at home! It’s great to have some time away and do something out of the usual routine.

    I’m happy to report that my family and I spent a few days in Bowral the week before last specifically because we wanted to give back to a bushfire affected area. We had a great time, three wonderful dinners in a row (Harry’s on Green Lane where I had the best restaurant meal in years, Home No. 9 Thai and Eccetera Trattoria), lovely spots for breakfast and lunch (Dirty Jane’s, The Press Shop and the Surveyor General pub in Berrima), Red Cow Farm and garden (so beautiful), a couple of wineries, a visit to Berrima and to the Bowral Primary School market. It was fun and relaxing and luckily for us, home was not badly affected by the heavy rains on our return. You live in such a wonderful part of the world!

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