We love an excuse to visit Patonga. It’s worth it for the drive alone.
Spotting waratahs as we cruise through Brisbane Water National Park, we descend on the sandy streets of the usually sleepy fishing village.
Today it’s alive and kicking thanks to the unseasonably warm weather, the long weekend and one of the Coast’s newest markets – Mercie Market.
Patonga’s picturesque Progress Hall is fringed with bunting and we’re met with the delicious aroma of coffee thanks to East Coast Coffee Traders.
Inside the white picket fence there’s a busker and a bunch of stalls including vintage homewares, kids clothes, French soap and a bright and colourful display of kaftans from Cinta Collections.
Talented young Coastie Madeleine Jones (we still can’t believe she’s only 13-years-old) is spruiking her cool framed zentangle and mandala designs alongside dad Tim Jones, who has some beautiful pieces of ocean photography for sale.
Also braving the 30C heat is Chi Chis French-style churros and Leslie-Ann, who has brought her delicate Lotus handmade jewelry all the way from Sydney.
Inside the hall, architecture student Jessi has recycled some old videos, shells and a coffee cup to grow succulents and is mixing up design drawings with shells for her business From Salt and Stone.
Patongan Tru is also proving resourceful with her sand art and framed treasures from the sea.
Inspired by a trip to Paris, the market is the brainchild of Coastie gal pals Suzanne from Avoca and Angela from Terrigal.
Although still in its infancy and with plenty of room to grow, Mercie Market already brings together a chic combination of boutique stalls.
The girls even have their own patch, selling pre-loved designer threads.
With the likes of Sass & Bide and Country Road on the racks, they’re among the best bargains of the day.
As well as the Mercie Market at Patonga Progress Hall, the girls also run a market at Terrigal Scout Hall.
Coastal Chic Tip: Have some cash handy as there aren’t any ATMs nearby and a lot of the stalls take cash