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Posts Tagged ‘Melbourne’

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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It’s not often that leading Australian garden designer Paul Bangay opens his property ‘Stonefields’ to the public so when I read that it would be open last weekend, the date was immediately marked in the diary. This year’s event was to support the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation, an exciting project that Stephanie initiated in schools to encourage children to learn to grow, harvest, prepare and share seasonal produce.

Stonefields is in the Macedon Ranges about a one and a half hour drive from Melbourne and not far from Daylesford. It’s a beautiful drive through open country, forests and small towns.

Walking to the entrance, the horses that I pass remind me that this is rural property.

Horses at Paul Bangay's Garden, Stonefields

From the entrance gate, you are encouraged to follow the path to the front of the house so you can enjoy the symmetry of design that Bangay is famous for.

Paul Bangay's Garden, Stonefields

Straight away your eyes are taken to a circle in the hedge that frames the top story of the house. In the corner stands a collection of Bangay’s signature stone orbs and box balls.

Paul Bangay's Garden, Stonefields

Walking around this hedge, the next area features a water channel running down the the centre which is punctuated every so often with coiled snakes that form the water features.

Paul Bangay's Garden, Stonefields

Paul Bangay's Garden, Stonefields

Garden rooms branch off this central pathway. To the right is the walled garden, featuring a headless statue in the centre with blue obelisks standing tall in each quarter. Espaliered trees run along the wall, whilst Red Pierre roses clamber up the obelisks and beautiful pink and purple flowers intermingle with white Queen Anne’s lace. The last of the plum ‘Queen of the Night’ iris stand tall.

Paul Bangay's Garden, Stonefields

Paul Bangay's Garden, Stonefields

Paul Bangay's Garden, Stonefields

Paul Bangay's Garden, Stonefields

To the other side is the white garden, a beautiful tranquil area with a central lily pond.
Espaliered Hornbeam covers the walls – an experiment, I am told by Tim Fawcett, the head gardener, as it is a very slow growing plant.

Paul Bangay's Garden, Stonefields

 

Paul Bangay's Garden, Stonefields

Paul Bangay's Garden, Stonefields

The gate from here takes you to the designer bee hives that I spotted on the way in.

Beehives at Paul Bangay's Garden, Stonefields

I don’t want to miss a corner, so I head back to the path to see what the next surprises is.
Standing at the top of the stairs, the view over the parterre garden is stunning. It takes a few minutes to absorb this work of art.

The garden is on two levels. A few steps down, there is a path meandering across the top of this area. At both ends, thatched rotundas stand, drawing your eye along the stone path that winds through different sized balled box hedges. All are perfectly clipped – there is not a leaf out of place!

Paul Bangay's Garden, Stonefields

Paul Bangay's Garden, Stonefields

Paul Bangay's Garden, Stonefields

In front of this is a large, beautifully manicured parterre garden of square and round hedges dotted with cyprus trees

Paul Bangay's Garden, Stonefields

Paul Bangay's Garden, Stonefields

I continue walking around the side of the house and find myself in the woodlands, a grassed area enclosed by garden and overlooked by magestic gum trees. A perfect setting for a cocktail party!

Paul Bangay's Garden, Stonefields

From here, another snaking path leads us through trees and hedges and finally reveals the stunning view at the front of the house.

Paul Bangay's Garden, Stonefields

Paul Bangay's Garden, Stonefields

Paul Bangay's Garden, Stonefields

On the other side, a table has been perfectly placed to enjoy the views. Cleverly, two plane trees have been planted in the middle of the table which will one day form an umbrella for this stunning outside eating area.

Paul Bangay's Garden, Stonefields

Looking back to the house, you can imagine sitting inside the house enjoying the view. The pool runs the length of the grassed area with gardens on either side. One of the gardens has used fabulous grasses and bronzed fennel. Horizontal catoneaster spills over the ledges.

Paul Bangay's Garden, Stonefields

Paul Bangay's Garden, Stonefields

Paul Bangay's Garden, Stonefields

The kitchen is at the far end of the house and popping around the corner I spot the potager or kitchen garden, though I am surprised by the bell tower in the centre. It is fabulous and creates it’s own story.

Paul Bangay's Garden, Stonefields

All that is left to see is the vegetable garden and this too has been given the designer treatment. Beautiful woven wood fences surround the vegetables with a slatted arch marking the entrance. The cabbages were the biggest I had ever seen and the raspberries had lots of fruit on them – it was obviously going to be a bumper crop. Stephanie Alexander would be proud!

Paul Bangay's Garden, Stonefields

Vegetable Garden at Paul Bangay's Garden, Stonefields

It was hard leaving such an amazing property. In fact many people had made themselves very comfortable sitting in different areas and enjoying the views each garden held.

It’s easy to see why Paul Bangay’s reputation reaches to all corners of the world.
The beauty, the balance, the simplicity and the classic all work in harmony with the Australian landscape. You may have to wait another two years for the garden to be open again but it will be worth the wait.

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What to do in Melbourne?
For something completely different this trip, I decided to explore the laneways of Melbourne. They have become tourist attractions in their own right as a result of the street art they encourage. Some of the artists have become famous and held their own exhibitions whilst for others, the laneways are their galleries.

Hosier Lane is one of the best shows in town. Running between Little Flinders Street and Flinders Street, it was once the centre of the garment making district but today, all that remains is its’ name.

On these everchanging walls of colour, some of the art works can last years, others months or some, just weeks.
I must remember to pop back in a few weeks and see if there have been any changes.

Hosier Lane Street Art, Melbourne

Hosier Lane Street Art, Melbourne

Hosier Lane Street Art, Melbourne

Hosier Lane Street Art, Melbourne

Hosier Lane Street Art, Melbourne

Love this dude!

About half way down the lane is the corner of Rutledge Lane where the Youth Projects ‘Living Room’ can be found.
The centre offers support to those in need. It may be a coffee and a chat, a place to have a shower, somewhere to wash their clothes, use the computer or have a meal.
The barbecue smells from lunch were certainly inviting!

Youth Projects Building, Hosier Lane, Melbourne

Youth Projects building

Lunch time at Youth Projects

Lunch time at Youth Projects

Hosier Lane, Melbourne

Pets are welcome!

You can follow Rutledge Lane around the corner or enter it from further down the lane.

Rutledge Lane, Melbourne

Rutledge Lane, Melbourne

Even the bins have been painted

Looking from Rutledge Lane into Hosier Lane, Melbourne

Looking from Rutledge Lane into Hosier Lane

Hosier Lane Street Art, Melbourne

Hosier Lane Street Art, Melbourne

Hosier Lane Street Art, Melbourne

Hidden amongst the wall of blue, is the doorway to Movida, a fun Spanish tapas and vino bar. Great for a quick paella, glass of sangria or a churro and hot chocolate.

Movida Tapas & Vino Bar, Melbourne

Entrance to Movida

Movida Next Door, Melbourne

Hosier Lane Street Art, Melbourne

From here it’s off to Union Lane which runs between Bourke Street Mall (opposite David Jones and Myer) and Little Collins Street for more art.

Union Lane Street Art, Melbourne

Union Lane street art

At the entrance to the laneways, look out for the Pacman poster. This is your guide to the back streets of Melbourne. It is very easy to explore on your own but tours are available if you would prefer.

Pacman: The street art guide, Melbourne

Pacman: The Street art guide

Don’t forget to have a look at Cocker Alley, which was once home to work by the internationally acclaimed street artist, Banksy. Centre Place or Degraves Street are also fun lanes filled with cafes, bars, shops and more street art.

Melbourne Street Art Tours
Tel: 03 93285556
Melbourne Street Art Tours

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When I’m in Melbourne, one of my first stops is always ‘Friends of Mine’, a fabulous cafe in Swan St, Richmond. Weekends are always busy so I often pop down during the week for one of their popular all day breakfasts or delicious lunches.

Friends of Mine Cafe in Richmond, Melbourne

As you enter, you a greeted with a fabulous display of cakes and an glimpse of the eclectic interior.
Chandeliers, exposed brick, wooden tables and blackboard signs create a warm welcome.

Friends of Mine Cafe in Richmond, Melbourne

Friends of Mine Cafe in Richmond, Melbourne

Friends of Mine Cafe in Richmond, Melbourne

Friends of Mine Cafe in Richmond, Melbourne

Buy your Phoenix Organic Juices and Noisette Organic Bread here.

Friends of Mine Cafe in Richmond, Melbourne

Friends of Mine Cafe in Richmond, Melbourne

Friends of Mine Cafe in Richmond, Melbourne

Chefs at work

Everywhere the quirkiness shines. The staff’s workbench is a display of collectibles.

Friends of Mine Cafe in Richmond, Melbourne

Friends of Mine Cafe in Richmond, Melbourne

Friends of Mine Cafe in Richmond, Melbourne

Breakfast here is one of the best in town!

Breakfast at Friends of Mine

Herb and Cheesy toast with eggplant kasundi and smashed avocado

Breakfast at Friends of Mine Cafe in Richmond, Melbourne

Smashed avocado with thyme buttered mushrooms, marinated fetta and basil on wholegrain toast with poached egg

Smoked Salmon at Friends of Mine, Richmond

Smoked salmon on a sweet corn pikelet with herb creme fraiche

20111101-225630.jpg

Delicious!

Friends of Mine
506 Swan St
Richmond
Tel: 03 94287516
Friends of Mine

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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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It’s no secret that I love markets. Wherever I am, a visit to the local markets is usually my first stop. I’ve been spending a bit of time in Melbourne lately so it was a good opportunity to check out the farmer’s markets here.

The Collingwood Children’s Farm Market is unique.
This farm, with the Yarra River winding around it, is in one Melbourne’s inner suburbs, only four kilometres from the centre of the city.
During the week it’s a great place to bring the children to see the resident animals.

On the second Saturday of the month, it hosts a fabulous farmer’s market. Started in 2002, this was the first farmer’s market in Melbourne and is still one of the best.

The old farmhouse still stands as a reminder to a bygone era.

Old Homestead at Collingwood Children's Farm in Melbourne

Old Homestead

As you walk down to the market, you pass the farm’s own vegetable gardens and vines.

Vegetable Gardens at Collingwood Children's Farm in Melbourne

Vegetable Gardens

Vineyard at Collingwood Children's Farm in Melbourne

Vineyard

Children love the ‘chook pen’. The feather footed chickens look like fluff balls.

Chickens at Collingwood Children's Farm in Melbourne
Feather Footed Chickens at Collingwood Children's Farm in Melbourne

Feather Footed Chickens

20110909-163400.jpg

Light Sussex Chickens roam free at Collingwood Children's Farm

Light Sussex Chickens roam free

Further on is the milking shed where, twice a day at 10am and 4pm, you can try your hand at milking Heather, the very patient cow.

Milking Heather, the cow at the Collingwood Children's Farm Market in Melbourne

Milking Heather, the cow

Once a month, the farmer’s market takes over the paddock
A great atmosphere is created with stalls side by side on the perimeter and hay bales dotted around to sit on.

Produce Stalls at the Collingwood Children's Farm Market in Melbourne

Produce Stalls

Produce Stalls at the Collingwood Children's Farm Market in Melbourne

Produce Stalls at Collingwood Children's Farm Market in Melbourne

A fabulous selection of fruit and vegetables are available. Organic chocolate, olive oil, fabulous dried fruit, organic chicken and beef, farm fresh eggs and cheeses and yoghurts are available.
As the seasons change, so do the producers.

Avocados, Lettuces and Herbs at the Collingwood Children's Farm Market

Avocados, Lettuces and Herbs

Seasonal Produce at the Collingwood Children's Farm Market in Melbou

More beautiful greens

Fennel and Cauliflowers at the Collingwood Children's Farm Market in Melbourne

Fennel and Cauliflowers

Radishes at the Collingwood Children's Farm Market in Melbourne

Radishes

Potatoe Stall at the Collingwood Children's Farm Market in Melbourne

Different types of potatoes

I was amazed to see a stall just selling walnuts

Walnut stall at Collingwood Children's Farm Market in Melbourne

Walnuts sold in season

Walnuts for sale at Collingwood Children's Farm Market in Melbourne

Walnuts are sold by size

Fresh and roasted chestnuts were also available.

Chestnut Stall at the Collingwood Children's Farm Market in Melbourne

Chestnuts - fresh or roasted

Stay for the Farmer’s Breakfast.

The Farmer's Breakfast at Collingwood Children's Farm market in Melbour

The Farmer's Breakfast stand

Collingwood Children’s Farm Market
St Heliers St
Abbotsford

Eveyday from 10am – 4pm
Market day is the 2nd Saturday in the month from 8am -1pm

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