Located in an old brick building right in the middle of the Saturday Market hubbub, this was like a retro shopping mall with a number of small stores selling records (I mean CDs), Asian cotton and hand painted batik clothes, blown glass perfume jars and other gifts and books.
The inside hasn't been modernized much. The floors are squeaky wooden planks and the interior walls are old exposed bricks. As well as stairs, there is an elevator for second floor access.
One store sells only clothing, food and other items from Australia and is called, what else? - the Australia Shop. If you're a fan of Marmite, the vegetable paste spread that Aussies are so fond of, you'll find it here. This is also the place to buy trendy Blundstone boots.
The small cafe just inside the entrance of the building does a booming business. It's open for breakfast and lunch and serves scones, muffins, bagels, sandwiches and on weekdays, soup. We tried the crumb cakes which were very moist and delicious. This is also the place for tea, espresso, Italian sodas and my niece's favourite, tangy strawberry lemonade. Prices seemed to be less than outside at the market.
If you leave through the back of the building, you're right into the market chaos but if you're still hungry stop, at Limey's. The owner is from England, hence the name. He sells take away pastries, sausage rolls, Scotch eggs (deep fried, crumb coated, shelled, hard boiled eggs), shortbread cookies and very rich and very large slices of cheesecake with fruit topping.
Most of Skidmore's stores sell clothes, mainly cottons made in Asia and the prices are very reasonable. Herbs, new age books and oriental gifts and ornaments are also available.
If you can tear yourself away from shopping and eating at the Skidmore Building, head outside to the Market for lots more of the same. You'll find stalls selling fish and chips, burgers, falafaels, fudge, Mexican food, etc. as well as what seems like hundreds of stalls where artisans sell everything from handmade jewellery to candles. You can even find artists who'll draw your portrait while you wait.
This is also a great place to watch the entertaining buskers. I was especially impressed with a woman who played the sax (and very well I might add) while expertly keeping her hula hoop in motion. Elvis was here too...taking a break from the Church of Elvis, I guess.
The Skidmore building is open seven days a week but the Market only operates on Saturday and Sunday.