Once Around the Block on Upper Lancaster Road in Ascot

On the corner of Upper Lancaster Road and Abbott Street in Brisbane’s Ascot, you’ll find a precinct that’s beloved by locals and visitors alike.

In fact, some commuters travel all the way from Redcliffe to get their daily coffee fix at S.W.A.L.K.– a hole-in-the-wall café that takes its name from the military term, Sealed With a Loving Kiss.

The café’s owner, Chloe Stephen, explains the name’s origin.

“It was inspired by my grandad, who told me the story of its meaning just months before opening the café in 2015. He said during World War II, soldiers used to write the acronym on the back of love letters sent to girlfriends back home.

“The café is on the site of the old post office – hence it seemed the perfect name.

“The site was an empty shell of dust with no walls, that had simply been boarded up when we took it over.

“The entire fit-out was DIY – thanks to the crafty talents of my husband Iain, who is a carpenter by trade.”

S.W.A.L.K. offers a healthy approach to meals and snacks – with a tasty menu featuring house-made cold-pressed juices.

Next door to the current Post Office, you’ll find Milo & Macy – a shoe store featuring bespoke European designs. Owner, Samantha Emanuel, sits down with suppliers and chooses swatches, heel heights and fabrics to create one-of-a-kind shoes.

“You can’t really get these shoes anywhere else in Brisbane,” said Samantha, who admits to owning upwards of 200 pairs of shoes herself!

For younger fashion, go no further than Duck Duck Goose – a delightful children’s clothes and toy store in the same precinct. The boutique caters for ages ranging from newborn to 16 years old – both girls and boys. It’s a favourite of local grandmothers looking to purchase something special for birthdays and Christmas.

Right next door to Duck Duck Goose, you’ll find Lancaster & Co Beauty Salon – a relative newcomer to the precinct. The petite and graciously decorated salon offers the full spectrum of therapies and services for those who want to be pampered in style.

If you’re in the market for gifts, Victor Scot Gifts and Homewares is a veritable bazaar of beautiful and unique items – everything from fashion to lamps to toiletries to children’s gifts.

The store has a long history with the area – having occupied the same site for more than 50 years.  Customers who came in when they were children are now bringing their own young people into the store.

Victor Scot’s eclectic stock comes from around Australia and internationally – and is ethically sourced where possible.

Your shopping expedition should end with a cupcake from The Pod Café – known as an after-school must-stop for mums, dads and kids. The Pod specializes in coffee, breakfast, lunch, catering and gourmet food – plus a range of delicious sweets and cakes.