A Macquarie country town with an extended commercial street, Windsor Street, that passes by the beautiful cricket oval, two c1880 buildings - the early post office and on the opposite corner, the old National Australia Bank building.

In a straight line, the street in the 1820s became the race course for the very popular Saturday races. From the George IV Inn down Windsor Street to the finish line at the Black Horse Inn - was about 750 metres. The races were Richmond's weekly entertainment and Hawkesbury locals embellished the tales of drinking, gambling and brawls each race day.

In 2016, Richmond continues its upmarket trend - new boutique shops and petite newborn-cafés are on the scene today. Exotic, upcycled items from local or foreign forages make for a perfect day of browsing and shopping. Don't think of those listed here merely as 'shops' or 'cafes'. Richmond has reinvented itself.

Crazy Beautiful Life Homewares

Address: 332 Windsor Street
Phone: 02 4578 8008
Hours: Closed Sunday and public holidays
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In 2015, we wrote of hiding our credit cards when entering this fantastic shop. However, we discovered that our emotional whims are more of a problem than our credit cards when browsing through the delightful and intriguing items of Crazy Beautiful Life.

We are still amazed at the buyer skill of proprietor Kylie Merchant - how does she sense our every mood? How does she display so artfully? How does she invoke our emotions?

Wares from both local and international artisans keep us coming back. Charming and tiny decorative glass pieces found their perfect space hanging from mirrors or from the ceiling. Rusted steel, twisted wire and sizeable lichen-etched concrete pots catch our eye. Charming pottery vases filled with faux flowers, baskets of all shapes and artwork are showstoppers! Pillows, linens, candles and baskets in earthy tones - every item is exceptional. From floor to ceiling, this petite shop delights.


Crazies Cafe

Address: 334 Windsor Street, Richmond
Phone: 02 4578 3660
Hours: Open daily, 7:30am to 7pm
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Crazies has been around since 1985 and in 2016, a new owner stepped in to play. These young entrepreneurs exhibit such enthusiasm - they are smart, full of ideas and they work, work, work!

New proprietor, Belle is filling a niche - substantial and quality home-made takeaways when the challenge of preparing dinner is quite confronting. Quiche, a house salad with nuts and sultanas, freshly made pies - tender beef simmered in red wine and, to take care of our sweet tooth, freshly baked slices - fresh and warm, just out of the oven. Someone will be devoted to you today!

Inspired by easy access to locally sourced produce and meats, healthy food without preservatives is now the theme for Crazies. Beautifully displayed salads - vegetable or fruit - are served up. Gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and vegetarian choices - all are available. However, if you crave a hardy standby: egg and bacon rolls are served all day. Try an early morning omelette - you won't regret this choice. First-rate food, friendly staff and convenient hours - the 'new' Crazies.

Sydney Polo Club

Address: 100 Ridges Lane, Richmond
Phone: 02 4588 5000
The Sydney Polo grounds are open to the public only on competition days.

Every Thursday, the Sydney Polo Club opens its gates to the community for a free walking group - an hour-long walk escorted by staff. Walkers meet at Sunnybrook Barn at 8:30am for an 8:45am start.

The terrain is primarily level, so the walk is easy, but be forewarned, these walkers do not dawdle. One would say, a spirited pace is de rigueur.

What better way to kick off than through a grove of stately trees, past newly cut paddocks, a lovely lagoon, all with a view of the Blue Mountains? Your companions along the way - probably looking for a bit of exercise - are fine polo ponies. The ponies (horses, really) move in groups to the fences surrounding their paddock. Beautiful woeful eyes and long sleek noses, these are magnificent animals.

A highlight of the walk is the finish through the stables. Immaculate and pristine - well, only one touch of poo disturbed the otherwise spotless floor. These stables are fit for the kings and queens of the equestrian world.

My companion-walkers volunteered that in each season, the landscape is stunning - autumn brings an array of beauty when the leaves change colour. In winter, a frosty morning makes for a magical fairyland in the paddocks. Spring and summer, the skies are brilliant blue and the walkers keep coming.

You are also invited - Thursday mornings, meet at the office gate for an 8:45am start! A great way to begin your day in such stunning environment!