Episode 25: French show
Bonjour and welcome to another fabulous Postcards episode. This week the team take to the streets to sample the finest flavours of France and stay in the most divine French provincial accommodation on offer in Victoria.
Bistro D'orsay, The French Brasserie, Bistro Gitan
If you love all things French then Bistro D'Orsay in Collins Street will have you feeling like you've slipped off the streets of Melbourne straight into a Parisian bistro. The menu is described as modern French, with Mediterranean influences and their seafood bouillabaisse is just one dish you have to try.
Not far from the Paris end of Collins Street is Malthouse Lane, where The French Brasserie has become a Melbourne favourite. It's a world class venue and their cassoulet, regarded the best in Melbourne, is a must. But make sure you save room for dessert!
And all Francophiles must visit Bistro Gitan, the new kid on the block, run by the children of the master of French, Jacques Reymond. With so many flavoursome items on the menu, the recommendation here is to let the guys take you on a journey, because whatever you eat, you won't be disappointed.
184 Collins Street, Melbourne
Ph 03 9654 6498
The French Brasserie
2 Malthouse Lane, Melbourne
Ph 03 9662 1632
52 Toorak Road West, South Yarra
Ph 03 9867 5853
Café au Lait, Mon Coeur, Bouchon
Given its elegant past, it's no wonder Bendigo has a few French finds, and the perfect place to start your tour de France is Café au Lait. It's one of the town's most popular cafes and for a French style breakfast there are a few options to choose from, such as a latte and croissant, eggs la mer, and of course French toast. They also serve lunch as well as coffee and cake.
Inspired by all things French, Mon Coeur is a home living store with all the ingredients you'll need to replicate a provincial look in your abode, with furniture wares and gifts sourced straight from France, as well as from local artists.
Continue your French affair for lunch at Bouchon, housed in an old antiques building. It dishes up heart-warming cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere. Since opening in 2010, the rustic restaurant has been serving moderately priced French bistro cooking.
Café au Lait
20 Mitchell Street, Bendigo
Ph 03 5443 5126
164 Mitchell Street, Bendigo
Ph 03 5443 9875
61 High Street, Bendigo
Ph 03 5444 5272
St Agnes Homestead and Du Fermier
There's a new reason to fall in love with Kyneton and it's all because of the accommodation at St Agnes Homestead. Set amongst six acres of woodland gardens and vineyards, with several accommodation options, you could say it's like a mini version of Versailles. Built in the 1870s, the bed and breakfast is a picturesque heritage property that has been restored to its original charm.
Just up the road from Kyneton you'll find the township of Trentham and eatery Du Fermier, which translates literally to 'from the farmhouse'. The menu changes regularly to reflect what's in season. There is also a food store that's stocked with a range of homemade goodies and an array of beautiful home and farm wares.
St Agnes Homestead
30 Burton Avenue, Kyneton
Ph 03 5422 2639
42 High Street, Trentham
Ph 03 5424 1634
Christine, Cote Provence and La Parisienne Pates
The City is full of hidden treasures, especially if you're looking to find all things French. Located in the old rag trade district of Flinders Lane is the beautiful basement store Christine, which houses a treasure trove of imported goods that you can't buy anywhere else.
If you're looking for a place to find authentic small goods, La Parisienne Pates on Lygon Street Carlton is the place to visit. This charcuterie stocks its own pate's, terrines and take-home food along with a selection of French condiments and cheeses.
Another hidden gem around the corner on Rathdowne Street is Cote Provence, set over two levels in a restored terrace, where you will find wares from the late 1700s through to the new.
181 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Ph 03 9654 2011
La Parisienne Pates
290 Lygon Street, Carlton
Ph 03 9349 1852
290 Rathdowne Street, Carlton North
Ph 03 9347 6656
Valentines Antiques, Colliban Foodstore, Gallery Montmartre
With a dozen or so stores specialising in all things old, Bendigo might just be the place to find a piece of French history for your home. Valentines Antiques on Hargreaves Street is just one of the many old ware stores you'll find in town.
Housed just around the corner from Trentham's main street, Colliban Foodstore is one of the Macedon Ranges top providores. Slowly eating breakfast or lunch is equally as enjoyable as perusing the shelves of produce filled with wines and goodies imported directly from France.
Gallery Montmartre has one of Australasia's biggest collections of original vintage advertising posters from France. This 'art for the people' comes in every style, era and size. The world of colourful poster art began in the 1870s in Paris with between 500 to 1000 posters printed for each ad campaign.
369 Hargreaves Street, Bendigo
Ph 03 5443 7279
18 Market Street, Trentham
Ph 03 5424 1774
197B Brunswick Street (entry via Moor St), Fitzroy
Ph 03 9486 8686
The Melbourne Writers Festival
Lovers of literature prepare yourselves for the upcoming Melbourne Writers Festival being held over 10 days at Federation Square.
Where: Melbourne, various
When: 23 August - 4 September
La Luna 1878 night market
To see what is brewing in the night, you will need to head to the Queen Victoria Market and get ready to see, hear and touch the wonders of La Luna 1878.
Where: Queen Victoria Market
When: Until 29 August
And don't forget that Australia's premier long distance cross-country ski race, the Kangaroo Hoppet, is being held on August 25th at Falls Creek.
Where: Falls Creek
When: 25 August