Worn Out Wares: Why this special spot on George St needs to be on your radar

Visiting Worn Out Wares feels like you’ve tumbled down the rabbit hole into a pretty playground of life’s simple pleasures. Winner of the multiple Australian Good Food & Travel Guide’s Regional Readers’ Choice Award and the Hunter Valley and Newcastle Brides Choice Florist Award, WOW is a must-stop in Singleton’s town centre. Meander through a truly unique experience in this part café, florist and homewares boutique.

With a whimsical curation of nostalgia and trend, Worn Out Wares (or WOW) is a favourite meeting place for locals and travellers alike. 

Combining flowers, interiors and beautiful food, Worn Out Wares is a destination café unlike any other in the Hunter. Inside the two-storey heritage terrace awaits rustic interiors, a plethora of thriving hanging plants and foliage adorn exposed brick and rendered walls. 

Not to be overshadowed by the excellent standard of coffee, the menu encompasses a wholesome, home-style selection of dishes, like the reuben sandwich, ploughman’s platter, or the totally Instagram-able french toast with mixed berries and crushed hazelnuts.

Owner Louise Christensen first opened the aged french doors in 2004, filling the shop with her favourite things and injecting beauty and experience into every corner. A former bakery and paint shop, Louise said it wasn’t hard to reveal the building’s character and charm, creating a warm and inviting experience for customers. 

“I think people are attracted to the diversity of WOW— there is always something happening. It’s interactive — you can watch florists working away while you wait for your meal, and it’s our food philosophy which is fresh simple food presented well, and the environment we create for people,” she said. 

“It’s the whole package, and it’s gradually grown and evolved over the years.”

Stepping into Worn Out Wares feels a little bit like visiting a good friend at home — coffee is served with a smile and there are nods to family throughout the federation building.

“My girls have all got involved and are all working with me at the moment — Anna is one of our lead florists, Meg’s our main barista, and Lily works on our social media and website as well as on the floor. They all have a creative eye.

“Dad’s here every day, twice a day doing something. Mum is here every second day looking after the plants. 

“Our family involvement spills out and generates warmth in the shop.”

In today’s busy world, WOW offers something that allows people to truly reconnect with one another. Louise’s vision for WOW has been always about connection — creating soul and energy, and a place to meet and escape — which she said Singleton delivers in spades. 

“There’s a true sense of community here in Singleton — I’m third generation. That’s the big thing about Singleton for me, that connection. 

“[At WOW] we keep changing — in saying that we still maintain certain aspects, and we always have an energy about what we do. I’m really lucky — I work basically 7 days a week but I have no problem getting up and going to work. If you love what you do, it reflects in your work, and that’s what makes it welcoming for people. 

“Now my girls are here too — they are loving it. They inject youth and we talk shop a lot — we bounce off each other.” 

When asked to describe her floristry style, Louise said it was slightly more vintage, hand-picked and organic approach. Drawn to unusual textures, Louise said WOW Flowers love to work with varieties that are a little different and anything that captures their eye, however, they are always open to requests, working on small posies through to large weddings.

“Our style is more natural, we like things to have a hand-picked feel to it and organic, it’s always been my style and so it’s just flowed through not just the flowers, but the entire shop.”

With inviting and warm interiors, WOW is the perfect space to while away a morning and enjoy coffee and cake, or brunch.  

Louise’s must visits in Singleton

  • If architecture is your thing, take a stroll down Dangar Road in Singleton’s town centre for the ultimate heritage home experience  
  • Take a drive out to Lake St Clair
  • Slow down and enjoy some truly beautiful locations in wine country (check out Hermitage Road or Broke Fordwich)
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