Episode 23: Best of British
With the London Olympics only two weeks away, it's the perfect time for the Postcards team to explore the best of British right here in Victoria.
British dining and hotels
Start your British experience with three authentic British dining houses. The Commoner in Fitzroy is a popular choice with its traditional British recipes with modern innovations from owner Jo Corrigan and head chef Brook Petrie.
The Middle Park Hotel offers great accommodation and wholesome British cuisine like Scotch eggs, treacle tart or bread and butter pudding. Wash it down with a beer and enjoy their London Calling Celebrations during the Olympic Games.
For more feasting, head to Papa Goose in Flinders Lane where their motto "the best food, the best service, each time, every time" ensures that you'll be back for more.
122 Johnston Street, Fitzroy
Ph 03 9415 6876
Middle Park Hotel
102 Canterbury Road, Middle Park
Ph 9690 1958
91–93 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Ph 03 9663 2800
Candlelight Cottages and Miss Marple's
Miss Marple's Tea Room is in Sassafras in the Dandenong Ranges. This beautiful English-as-anything tea room is in a Tudor-style cottage that looks like something straight out of an Agatha Christie novel. On the food front, you don't have to have Miss Marple's observational skills to figure out that Devonshire teas here are hard to beat with piping hot scones with delicious homemade raspberry jam and lashings of whipped cream.
To turn a day trip into a cosy cottage getaway, there's Candlelight Cottages in Olinda with self-contained accommodation in an historic 1880s miner's cottage. Renovated in 2011, the cottage has three bedrooms and one bathroom and accommodation includes a bountiful breakfast hamper, which is assembled with love and packed with the area's best provisions. Or couples can stay in then luxurious Twilight Cottage next door.
Miss Marple's Tea Room
382 Mt Dandenong Tourist Road, Sassafrass
Ph 03 9755 1610
7–9 Monash Ave, Olinda
Ph 03 9751 2464
The Windsor and Captain Cook's cottage
The Hotel Windsor on Spring Street has been serving their signature silver service afternoon tea since the very first day they opened. You can indulge with savoury selections, sandwiches, scones and sweets and for a truly British experience stay in one of the 180 elegantly appointed rooms fitted out with opulent Victorian décor.
The hotel is very close attractions like the Fitzroy Gardens and Cooks' cottage. Originally built in 1755 in the village of Great Ayton, in North Yorkshire, the cottage was home to Captain James Cook's family. Take a tour with staff in period costume to feel like you are back 1700s in England.
The Hotel Windsor
111 Spring Street, Melbourne
Ph 03 9633 6000
Fitzroy Gardens, Wellington Parade, East Melbourne
Ph 03 9419 5766
Hopetoun tea rooms, The European and Madame Brussels
The story goes that The Block arcade was purchased in 1891 for 18 pounds. From there, a small tea room was set up for the Victorian Ladies Work Association. Named for its founder, Lady Hopetoun, the tea room is still there. The original tea ladies with their trolleys have gone, but the English influence lives on.
Over in Spring Street, one of its most famous inhabitants is British-born celebrity chef Ian Curley, who has been serving up English-inspired food for six years at The European.
Then head around the corner to Madame Brussels in Bourke Street for an afternoon Garden Party. You can be indoors or outside on the terrace and can enjoy delicious sandwiches made with poached chicken, cucumber and curried egg, and cupcakes and scones with jam and cream.
Hopetoun Tea Rooms
The Block Arcade, 282 Collins Street, Melbourne
Ph 03 9650 2777
161 Spring Street, Melbourne
Ph 03 9654 0811
Level 3, 59–63 Bourke Street, Melbourne
Pp 03 9662 2775
Treats, curry and beer
Treats From Home is at 234 Collins Street and specialises splendid British delights including confectionary, chocolates and crisps. There's also all sorts of Union Jack paraphernalia and merchandise from Premier League teams.
With dark wooden panels and cosy booths, the Elephant and Wheelbarrow could be mistaken for a local in Kensington, Clapham, Kings Cross or Camden in the UK. The finest English ales are available at the bar, and there's traditional pub grub in the dining room, including a Sunday carvery.
These days they say the national dish of the UK is a good hearty curry and one of Melbourne's most authentic Indian experiences is Richmond's Curry Club. The eatery on Bridge Road resembles one on the many curry houses that line London's famous Brick Lane.
Treats from Home
Level 1, 234 Collins Street, Melbourne
Ph 03 9639 2344
Elephant and Wheelbarrow
94-96 Bourke Street, Melbourne
Ph 03 9639 8444
The Curry Club
396 Bridge Road, Richmond
Ph 03 9428 6455
Winter Jazz Series
Head to the Vines Restaurant in the Yarra Valley for smooth jazz and delicious produce.
Where: Coldstream, Yarra Valley
When: July 20
The whiteOUT festival offers a huge week of exhilarating skiing with loads of entertainment and activities.
Where: Mt Buller
When: 26–29 July
Moama Winter Blues Festival
Relax and enjoy the music and the ambiance at historic Echuca.
When: 27–29 July