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Since opening their retail venture in April, Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio in Melbourne have been tempting customers with their fabulous cakes and chocolates. Their little pink and white shop in South Yarra is chocolate heaven. After entering, we are immediately offered a taste of their yummy fudge. This could take a while!

Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio, Melbourne

The interior is simply laid out with a display cabinet on one side showcasing the beautiful cakes and their packaged products lining the shelves on the other side.

Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio, Melbourne

Inside the shop

At the back of the shop, Darren Purchese is busy in the kitchen. Before arriving in Australia, Darren was heady pastry chef in some of London’s most prestigious kitchens. In 2005 he made the move to Melbourne, joining Shannon Bennett at Vue du Monde where he helped the restaurant achieve their 3 star status. Together with partner Ian Burch, they now concentrate on their Sweet Studio.

Darren Purchese of Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio, Melbourne

Darren Purchese

The display of cakes, both large and small, is mouthwatering. Combinations such as raspberry, white chocolate, honey and lychee cake together with smoked white chocolate, coffee, aniseed and lemon and a new wild strawberry, peach and white chocolate cake grace the cabinet

Cakes at Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio, Melbourne

Cakes on display

Chocolate, chocolate and chocolate cake on the left with a passion fruit, ginger, mint and coconut cake in the centre and the smoked white chocolate, coffee, aniseed and lemon cake on the right.

Cakes at Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio, Melbourne

Mango, Chocolate and Ginger Cake at Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio, Melbourne

A favourite!

Chocolate Cakes at Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio, Melbourne

Cherry chocolate and cocoa nib cakes on the left with Chocolate, mandarin and salted caramel cakes

Merinues  at Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio, Melbourne

Passion fruit and raspberry meringues

Burch & Purchese chocolate bars have names such as Persian Delight, A Taste of Paradise, Mandarin Dark Chocolate, Spiced Toasted Almond Milk and Mint White Chocolate. How can you say no!

Inspired to use their products, I choose a jar of salted caramel and another that is a combination of layered chocolate hazelnut spread and half salted caramel. Jams also receive the Burch & Purchese touch. Raspberry and hibiscus jam, strawberry and rose petal jam are only two but it is the chocolate, strawberry and balsamic vinegar jam that I want to try.

There’s also some great crumbles to choose from that can be sprinkled over cakes or whipped in with meringues but I succumb to the raspberry and white chocolate edible clay mixture which I’m told raises a simple icecream to another level. By the way- they also make delicious fruit icecream and the best looking ice creams on a stick that I have seen!

Packaged goodies Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio, Melbourne

Packaged goodies

Chocolates at Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio, Melbourne

Chocolate Bars and Chocolate, Caramel and Hazelnut Spread

In the centre of the store, birthday cake suggestions are on display in front of the ‘inspiration wall’ which is full of jars of different ingredients. ‘Pig out on your Birthday’ is perfectly named!

Birthday cakes at Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio, Melbourne

Birthday cakes

Chocolate flower garden at Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio, Melbourne

Chocolate flower garden

Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio, Melbourne

Perfect for the top of a little girls birthday cake

Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio, Melbourne

Sold by the box!

A decision is required for tonight’s sweet treat!
The winner’s are:

Smoked white chocolate, coffee, aniseed and lemon cake at Burch & Purchese

Delicious smoked white chocolate, coffee, aniseed and lemon cake

The richly titled ‘Chocolate, chocolate and chocolate cake’ is amazing. Layers of caramelised white chocolate cream, crunchy chocolate meringue, chocolate butter cream, drunken chocolate sponge and milk chocolate cream make up this slice of chocolate heaven.

Triple Chocolate cake at Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio, Melbourne

Chocolate, chocolate and chocolate cake!

It’s hard to leave but I’ll be back for their Xmas treats!

Which cake would you like to try?

Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio
647 Chapel St
South Yarra
Tel: 03 9827 7060
Open: Tues – Sat, 10am- 6.30pm
Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio

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You’ve escaped to Broome, checked out the town and had sunset drinks on the beach, so now it’s time to take a camel ride on Cable Beach!

Twice a day, Broome’s camel teams head here to wait for their riders. Everything looks peaceful on the beach as the camels wait but it hasn’t always been like this. Recently the Broome council decided to award one license to the highest bidder but this was overturned when other operators claimed it was unfair. Today, three companies operate camel tours

Decked in their colours, they provide a perfect photo opportunity on the beach.

Camels on Cable Beach

Camels waiting on Cable Beach

When you look closely at the camels, you notice that each camel has their own, distinct appearance. After speaking to their handlers, I found out that they have different personality traits as well. Some are friendly, a few are grumpy, many are cuddly and there’s the odd naughty one but most just love the attention they receive.

Camels on Cable Beach

Camels on Cable Beach, Broome

Bad hair day

Camels on Cable Beach, Broome

Camels on Cable Beach, Broome

Only a mother would love it!

Once everyone’s on board, they are on their way for the walk along Cable Beach

Camels on Cable Beach, Broome

Camels on Cable Beach, Broome

The camels all wear ‘pooper scooper’ bags so there’s now no need for someone to follow behind and clean up after them!

Camels on Cable Beach, Broome

The latest, must have accessory -the pooper scooper bag!

Sunset is is the most popular time to go for a ride. The walk home, as the sun slowly sets is truly beautiful

Camels returning home on Cable Beach, Broome

Returning home

Sunset on Cable Beach

Sunset

 
 

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I’m in heaven! I’m sitting on Cable Beach in Broome, champagne in hand and watching an amazing sunset.

Every evening about 5pm, everyone heads to Cable Beach to watch the sunset.
Take the car and find a spot on the beach, bring a rug and picnic on the grass overlooking the beach, find a seat at the Sunset Bar at Cable Beach Resort or take an evening camel ride.
The options are many! In a week you can do all of these!

Imagine you are here!

Watching the sunset from the Sunset Bar at Cable Beach

Watching the sunset from the Sunset Bar

Watching the sunset from the grass, Cable Beach

Watching from the grassed area looking over the beach

Cable Beach

Walking,swimming or playing on the beach

Cars on Cable Beach

Taking your car onto the beach

Sunset camel ride on Cable Beach

Enjoying a sunset camel ride

The sun starts to set…..

Sunset at Cable Beach, Broome

Sunset at Cable Beach, Broome

Sunset at Cable Beach, Broome

Slowly disappearing

Sunset at Cable Beach, Broome

Going, going...

Sunset at Cable Beach, Broome

Nearly gone...

The camels return home after sunset on Cable Beach, Broome
The camels return home after sunset

Time for one more drink!

 

 

 

 

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The annual winter migration to Broome starts around the end of May. Grey nomads pulling large caravans head north only to return when the weather starts to get too hot. We joined the exodus last month and spent a fabulous week staying with friends in the warmth and sunshine of Broome.

Broome from the air

Broome from the air

Two and a half hours by plane from Perth and you are in a different world even though you are still in Western Australia.
Those that must have the sun’s rays beating down on them, head straight to Cable Beach, Broome’s famous beach where twenty two miles of beautiful white sand and turquoise water goes on forever.

Cable Beach looking south

Cable Beach looking south

 

Looking north on Cable Beach

Looking north on Cable Beach

The tides are dramatic here. By lunch time, half the beach disappears only to return later in the day as the tide recedes. The patterns left on the sand can be very beautiful

Patterns in the sand at Cable Beach

Patterns in the sand!

After a morning on the beach, it’s time to head to town for a coffee and to pick up the morning’s papers. In a converted Broome house overlooking the Roebuck Bay, Matso’s is very popular. Try their ginger beer- it’s excellent

Matso's in Broome

Matso's

The central area of Broome is known as Chinatown, a tribute to the early days of the pearling industry for which Broome is famous. Multicultural influences of this time can still be seen in the main street with old buildings mixing with new.

Carnarvon St, Broome

Carnarvon St

 

Another view of Broome streets

Another view

 

Johny Chi Lane in Carnarvon St, Broome

Johny Chi Lane in Carnarvon St

 

Also in the main street is Sun Pictures, the world’s oldest picture theatre. With beautiful nights here, it’s fun to sit outside under the stars and watch the latest Hollywood blockbuster.

Sun Picture Theatre, Broome

Sun Picture Theatre

 

Broome is the place to buy pearls. It’s very easy to get carried away but there is one pearl that is not for sale. At Cygnet Bay Pearls in Dampier Terrace, you can see the world’s largest round pearl and chat to its finder, Jacko. With a diameter of 22.24mm and circumference of 70mm, it’s a knockout!

World's largest round pearl

World's largest round pearl

 

About 5 pm, you will find most people return to Cable Beach to watch the amazing sunsets

Sunset on Cable Beach, Broome

 

Once a month, at the time of the full moon, the place to be is overlooking the mud flats of Roebuck Bay. At a time when the tide is at its lowest and the moon is at its fullest, the natural phenomenon known as the ‘Staircase to the Moon’ takes place. The reflection of the moon on the exposed mud flats creates the optical illusion of a staircase reaching the moon. Our timing was not perfect- we were a day early!

Not quite the 'Staircase to the Moon' in Broome

Not quite the 'Staircase to the Moon'

 

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It’s wildflower season in Perth.
One of the most popular wildflowers is the red and green kangaroo paw which just happens to be Western Australia’s floral emblem.

You can see them in the natural bushland of Kings Park and the Botantic Garden which overlook the city and the Swan River.

 

 

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Postcard from….Broome
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Two weeks after our visit to the Collingwood Children’s Farm Market in Melbourne, we are off to the Slow Food Market at the Abbotsford Convent, just down the road.
Some of the familiar stall holders are back but there are a few new ones as well as some organic producers. It’s amazing how new varieties of produce can appear and others disappear in a couple of weeks

Stall Holders dot the grounds of the Abbotsford Convent in Melbourne

Stall Holders dot the grounds of the Convent

Slow Food Market at Abbotsford Convent in Melbourne

Busy day at the markets

Slow Food Market at Abbotsford Convent in Melbourne

More stalls

Slow Food Market at Abbotsford Convent in Melbourne

Daffodils for sale

Persimmons were in season. I found them hiding under the camellia tree.

Persimmons under the camellia tree at the Abbotsford Convent Market in

Persimmons and pears

Persimmons at the Abbotsford Convent Market in Melbourne

New seasons persimmons

Did you know there was more than one variety of pistachio?
I hadn’t realized this until I spoke to the gentleman at Hi- Fye Pistachios who explained the difference between them. It’s mainly about sweetness!

Pistachio stall at the Slow Food market at Abbotsford Convent in

Hi-Fye Pistachios

There is always a fabulous selection of vegetables.

Vegetable stall at the Abbotsford Market in Melbourne

Beautiful greens

Organic Vegetable stall at the Abbotsford Market in Melbourne

Organic kale,spinach and spring onions

Vegetable stall at the Abbotsford Market in Melbourne

More greens

Vegetable stall at the Abbotsford Market in Melbourne

Leeks, kohl rabi, celeriac and parsnips

New season’s oranges were arriving at the market

Trays of Oranges at the Abbotsford Market in Melbourne

Trays of Oranges

Potato seller at the Abbotsford Market in Melbourne

The potato man was also here

I had a very exciting find here! Brussel sprouts being sold by the stalk..a new experience for me!

Brussel sprouts on the stalk at the Abbotsford Convent Market in Melbourne

Brussel sprouts on the stalk

Beetroot at the Abbotsford Convent Market in Melbourne

Colourful beetroot

Last stop is the Convent Bakery, for a fabulous selection of different breads and rolls. The beetroot and fennel bread is great and the fruit loaf is a must. All the breads are made in their 1901 wood fired oven. If you can’t live without their bread, the bakery is open every day.

The Convent Bakery at the Abbotsford Convent Market in Melbourne

The Convent Bakery

Fruit loaf from the Convent bakery, Melbourne

Their fabulous fruit loaf

The market is a great way to spend Saturday morning. Apart from buying some of the freshest, tastiest produce available, its also helps to support our local producers. Families come and enjoy the morning and friends meet up for coffee.
Even the dogs love it!

Dog at the Abbotsford Convent Market in Melbourne

Waiting patiently

Dog in a raincoat at the Abbotsford Convent Market in Melbourne

I'm ready if it's going to rain!

 

 

 

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Spring is a beautiful time of the year anywhere in the world, none more so than in Melbourne. Flowers are blooming, birds humming and the city is slowly coming alive. I’ve been staying in Richmond and a walk along the banks of the nearby Yarra River is a great way to start the day.

The Yarra River, Melbourne

The Yarra River

The Yarra River, Melbourne

Banks of the Yarra

Rowers on the Yarra River, Melbourne

Rowers on the Yarra

The wattle is still flowering.

Wattle Tree, Melbourne

Wattle tree

Victorian Home, Melbourne

Old Melbourne home near the Yarra

We usually end up at the great little cafe, “Friends of Mine” in Swan St.
Perfect for breakfast, coffee or lunch.

Friends of Mine, Melbourne

Coffee at Friends of Mine

Wandering back through the streets, the flowers in some of these old Melbourne homes are a sight to behold.
The camellias are a picture……

Camellia Bush, Melbourne

Old camellia bush

Camellias, Melbourne

Beautiful Camellias

Camellia, Melbourne

A great colour

Camellias, Melbourne

Frilly camellia

Camellias, Melbourne

Another beautiful camellia

Garden sculpture in Richmond, Melbourne

You never know who is looking over the fence!

the magnolias are stunning…….

Magnolia FLower

Magnolia Tree, Melbourne

Magnolia Flower, Melbourne

Magnolia Tree, Melbourne

and the blossom beautiful……..

Almond Blossom and Magnolia in Melbourne

Almond Blossom and Magnolia cover the house

Blossom Trees in Melbourne

Blossom trees line the street

 

Even the bees are getting in on the act!

Lavender Bush, Melbourne

Lavender honey in the making?

 

 

 

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