I am certain that when I am older I will be an antiques hound, or at least a crazy collector of some kind. My first visit to Paddington Antiques Centre only confirmed this. If you can imagine the showbag pavilion at the Ekka transformed from stands of useless junk into the beautiful objects of yesteryear - and also remove all the shouting crowds, sticky children and inescapable stench of cattle - then you'll have a pretty good idea of what the Antiques Centre is all about.
Established in 1985, it has thrived as a place for local collectors to display, trade and sell their vintage treasures onto others in quaint little showcases throughout the store (translation: gigantic former theatrehouse). Just navigating through the aisles is a feat in itself, with your eyes drawn to the delicious clutter of ornaments, books, jewellery, collectables, furniture, homewares, dress-ups, artwork, and all-you-can-eat war memorabilia.
Our advice: make a day of it. This place is so enormous you need to tackle it in sections. So once you feel too overwhelmed to continue, sneak out and grab a coffee or some lunch at one of the many great surrounding cafes, and rev up to start all over again...
By Tess Curran