The Entrance has not been a destination of choice for Family Ickle. I could put this down to the travel time to get there: a 40-minute drive away, it really has to be worth the effort. However, if truth be told, it actually has more to do with my first, and only, visit there a couple of years ago. We went mid-week to catch up with a friend over lunch, and I was not inspired. The streets were empty and the shop fronts shabby; in fact, the whole place had a well-past-its-heyday kind of feel about it. And, to add insult to injury, just as we were leaving, we were waylaid by a rather odd lady in the car park who tried to tickle Ickle’s toes and just would not go away. All-in-all, not a very positive start.However, I don’t give up so easily. The Entrance also happens to host a twice-monthly Farmers Market, which I have wanted to check out for ages. And last weekend, we finally made it. Just a girls’ excursion: the littlies, Nana L and me. Plus some cash and a large shopping basket, aka the storage underneath The Stroller. Saturday dawned, clear and beautiful, and the sun gradually took the morning chill out of the air. Memorial Park was a sea of tents, with stalls selling everything from locally-grown fruit and vegetables to handmade fudge and intricate Vietnamese origami cards.Ickle, of course, was not remotely interested in visiting the market, especially once she caught sight of the playground at the water’s edge. And the ornamental pond with its brightly-coloured sculptures (squint and you could almost be at the Stravinsky Fountain). So, we went on a slight detour from the main purpose of the visit, before persuading her there were lots of yummy things to see ‘over there’. And, although a little overwhelmed by the crowds (and there were a lot of people), she enjoyed her look around the stalls, especially when asked to assist with a few purchases. Meanwhile, Baby Mivvy, firmly ensconced in The Stroller, seemed to take the social scene in her stride.
And the buzz of the market met with my approval, too. This was The Entrance in a different light: vibrant, fresh and fun, set against a stunning backdrop of water glinting in the winter sun.