Auburn Village, Postcards television, Victoria, Australia
Clunes, Postcards television, Victoria, Australia
USA Foods, Postcards television, Victoria, Australia

Episode 26: 11 August

This week on Postcards the team unearth some of the best foodie hotspots and serene holiday destinations in Melbourne and country Victoria. Brodie Harper embarks on a rural Victorian road trip and discovers the quaint town of Clunes in all its 19th century glory. Whilst exploring she stumbles upon the town's oldest bookshop Index on Literature, the gorgeous Providence Cottage', as well as the aptly named Lucky Strike Provincial Kitchen where she tucks into some slow cooked dishes and delectable baked treats. Lauren Phillips takes the urban route through Melbourne and feasts on all sorts of juicy American inspired dishes such as American BBQ meats at Meatmother in Richmond, spicy Mexican delights at Acland St Cantina and hot-off-the-grill Argentinian fare at San Telmo. Finally, Rebecca Judd closes the show with a trip to the gorgeous Auburn Village in Hawthorn where she discovers beautifully decorated stores selling all manner of products such as fragrant perfumes, organic lotions and soaps, French provincial furniture and designer clothing.

Index on Literature, Providence Cottage, Lucky Strike Provincial Kitchen and Wine Lounge
One of the most intact 19th century towns in the Central Goldfields is the delightful Clunes. Located about 40 kilometres north of Ballarat, it's an hour and a half from Melbourne. You'll feel as though you've gone back in time as you stroll the streets, as this historic gold mining town looks much like it did over a century ago. These days however, crowds are coming in droves for the annual Booktown Festival and Index on Literature is just one of the many shops that take part. Index on Literature is the town's oldest bookshop and is housed in the impressive old post office building. You can browse the titles here any Sunday, all year round. The shop stocks a vast collection of both new and pre-loved books from a diverse array of genres.

Once you're content with your literary purchases, you'll need a place to curl up and read them. Why not stay at gorgeous Providence Cottage which is only a short stroll away. The surrounding elm groves and quaint garden set a tranquil backdrop. The cute cottage comprises of two double bedrooms decorated with beautiful furniture and deluxe bedding, and both rooms share a bathroom that comes complete with big fluffy towels. Breakfast provisions are provided so feel free to cook up a storm in the fully equipped open-plan kitchen.

One of Clunes' claims to fame is that it was the site of Victoria's first gold strike, and locals and visitors alike have struck it lucky yet again with the opening of Lucky Strike Provincial Kitchen and Wine Lounge. Set in one of the town's original 1860s buildings, the restaurant combines rustic country charm with a touch of urban funk. The menu features regional French bistro fare including dishes like slow cooked quail, leek and cheese croquettes and slow cooked organic free range chicken breast. Lucky Strike is open for breakfast and lunch from Thursday to Sunday as well as dinner on Fridays and Saturdays.

Index on Literature
102 Bailey Street, Clunes
Ph 03 5345 3705
booktown.clunes.org

Providence Cottage
18A Blackmores Road, Clunes
providencecottageclunes.com

Lucky Strike Provincial Kitchen
33 Fraser Street, Clunes
Ph 03 5345 3308
luckystrikelounge.com.au

Meatmother, Acland Street Cantina and San Telmo
Meatmother, located on Swan Street in Richmond, is the mother lode of American style BBQ. This meat lovers' mecca is spread over two levels. Downstairs is a bar that has bourbon and whisky inclined cocktails whilst upstairs is the main dining area, where mouths are watering over their meat trays. Baked for up to 12 hours with the chefs own concoction of special herbs and spices, this southern style food certainly has soul. Each meat tray comes with a side, for example pulled pork could be paired with chipotle slaw or beef short ribs might go well with mac n cheese. All combos come served on Texas toast – delicious!

If you head south of the river to Acland Street Cantina in St Kilda, you'll be transported south of the border to the land of all things Mexican. Acland Street Cantina is one of the newest joints to jump on the Mexican food wave that has taken the city by storm. At the cantina they cater to all crowds with an all day, all night takeaway spot, a café, Mexi-Mart, liquor store and bar. But it's the dining room where the food fiesta really fires up. Although Acland Street Cantina doesn't strictly stick to traditional Mexican cuisine, all the usual Mexican favourites can be found on the menu alongside some more complex dishes. And be sure to save room for dessert, you don't want to miss out on the salted caramel churros tacos.

Tucked away down Meyers Place, San Telmo proudly flies the flag for South American cuisine in the city. This Argentinian style grill is named after Buenos Aires' oldest neighbourhood, and the romance and history of the area is captured by the antique clad dark interiors. Saddle up by the bar and you'll be able to admire the custom built parrilla on which most of their meats are cooked such as slowly smoked chorizo, and hanger steak served with chimichurri – a parsley, garlic and olive oil base sauce.

Meatmother
167 Swan Street, Richmond
Ph 03 9041 5393
meatmother.com.au

Acland Street Cantina
2 Acland Street, St Kilda
Ph 03 9536 1175
aclandstcantina.com.au

San Telmo
14 Meyers Place, Melbourne
Ph 03 9650 5525
santelmo.com.au

Auburn Village, Hawthorn East
One of Hawthorn's most gorgeous shopping hubs is Auburn Village and not only is it beautiful, but it has plenty to offer. If you are looking for children's wear then it's hard to go past Petite Living which also sells bedroom accessories. For women's wear there's Swoon, which is a boutique that showcases a range of different designer styles, aesthetics and innovation. And don't even think about bypassing Scarlet Jones – it oozes absolute style from its front door through to its classy interior, not to mention the fabulous collection of clothing, accessories and homewares it has in store.

If the words 'handmade' and 'crafty' appeal, then one of the best places around on Auburn Road is Est. Here you'll find beautiful lotions and soaps made from natural, raw and organic materials, as well as homewares and clothing. For exquisite gift buying, there are plenty of places in this pocket you can go to like Plain and Simple which also doubles as a boutique cafe. Or for beautiful perfumes, go no further than Peony.

In terms of food and drink, there are many options along the Auburn Road strip including a number of cafes and a wine bar. There's also a tiny yet gorgeous café called The Counter where you can buy the most delicious home style baked food as well as order breakfast and lunch. Perfect Pieces is another gem that offers a variety of French provincial style furniture and decorator items. It's always an inspiring shop to browse in whether you are looking for a unique piece for your home or a gift idea.

Petite Living
117 Auburn Road, Hawthorn
Ph 03 9813 4245
petiteliving.com.au

Swoon
109 Auburn Road, Hawthorn
Ph 03 9942 3630
swoonlifestyle.com.au

Scarlet Jones
95 Auburn Road, Hawthorn East
Ph 03 9882 4995
scarletjones.com.au

Est
134 Auburn Road, Hawthorn
Ph 03 9819 0726
estaustralia.com

Plain and Simple
Auburn Road, Hawthorn
plainandsimple.com.au

Peony Melbourne
107 Auburn Road, Hawthorn
Ph 03 9882 0662
peonymelbourne.com.au

The Counter
96 Auburn Road, Hawthorn
Ph 03 9815 2787
thecounterespresso.com

Wine@129
129 Auburn Road, Hawthorn
Ph 03 9882 8422
wineat129.com.au

Perfect Pieces
131 Auburn Road, Hawthorn East
Ph 03 9813 1300
perfectpieces.com.au

Postcards Diary

Melbourne Writers Festival
Be sure to head to Federation Square at the end of August for this year's Melbourne Writers Festival, a celebration of writers, readers and thinkers.

Where: Federation Square
When: 22 August – 1 September, 2013
More: mwf.com.au

Hurstbridge Wattle Festival
If you prefer to escape the city lights, head to Hurstbridge on 25th August for the annual Wattle Festival, where you can stroll the main street and enjoy roving entertainment and activities for the whole family.

Where: Hurstbridge
When: Sunday 25 August, 2013
More: 
wattlefestival.org.au

Ian Strange: SUBURBAN
If art is more your thing then be sure to stop by the National Gallery of Victoria before 15th September to see works by New York-based Australian artist Ian Strange.

Where: National Gallery of Victoria
When: Until 15 September, 2013
More: ngv.vic.gov.au


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