Episode 28: City of Melbourne
This week on Postcards, it's a City of Melbourne 'Land of Inbetween' special! The team weave their way through the laneways of Melbourne and discover some of the city's best kept secrets. Rebecca Judd delves into Melbourne's laneway jungle and discovers Pieces of Eight jewellery store and Neapoli wine bar in Russell Place, Mister Hewitt fashion boutique in Crossley St and Krimper cafe in Guildford Lane. Glen Moriarty goes bar hopping through the CBD and checks out Cumulus Up, Mesa Verde, The Butterfly Club and Goldilocks Bar before scoping out where to get a bite to eat before and after the footy at the G. He stops by The Duke of Wellington on Flinders St, as well as Miss Katie's Crab Shack in North Melbourne. Brodie Harper ventures to the city's edge to find the hottest spots to eat beyond the CBD. She is treated to some delicious fare at The Town Mouse in Carlton, Pok Pok in Docklands and La Tortilleria in Kensington, before joining stylists Emily Ward and Andrew Zumbo at each of their favourite fashion and accessory boutiques in the CBD. Finally, Lauren Phillips lifts the lid on some of Melbourne's most unique hang outs, including the charming Alice Nivens Café, the funky bar/outdoor eatery – Chuckle Park, stylish Japanese bar Hihou and 'not for profit' Shebeen Bar. She also uncovers Melbourne's crafty side at the RMIT Pop-up Shop, 2Pocket Fairtrade and Craft Victoria.
City of Melbourne 'Land of Inbetween'
Laneways: Russell Place, Crossley Street, Guildford Lane
Something that makes Melbourne truly different from other cities is its network of hidden laneways. Russell Place, nestled between Bourke and Little Collins Streets, is home to a collection of unique shops. Clemente Talarico focuses on the latest fashion trends with a classic twist, Honor Among Thieves offers casual wear designed by Roy Christou, 124 Shoes sells hand crafted Italian footwear for both men and women, and Pieces of Eight houses contemporary jewellery and artist made objects. If you grow peckish whilst checking out all of the shops, then stop by one of the eateries along Russell Place such as Sarti which is famous for its authentic Italian food, Gin Palace's sister venue – Bar Ampere, where you can also snack under the alcoves, or the casual yet stylish Neapoli which has a mezzanine level and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Another buzzing little strip in Melbourne's CBD is Crossley Street, where laneway food culture is alive and well. Pellegrini's sits on its corner and the modern Italian restaurant Becco takes pride of place in the lane, along with Gingerboy and Von Haus. In terms of fashion, Crossley Street is home to Blonde Venus, a beautiful boutique that sells women's clothing, as well as Mister Hewitt and Madam Virtue and Co which sells garments and accessories from around the world.
Guildford Lane is another one of Melbourne's hidey holes located near the corner of La Trobe and Queen Streets. It's in an area with a fledgling art scene. You'll also find a café called Krimper there, housed in what was once a cabinet making factory. This heritage warehouse setting features a stand-alone cabinet by famous Australian designer Schulim Krimper after whom the café is named. The food is organic and local with influences from Japan, France and America.
22 Russell Place, Melbourne
Ph 03 9663 7780
Honor Among Thieves
20 Russell Place, Melbourne
Ph 03 9650 7349
16–30 Russell Place, Shop 24, Melbourne
Ph 03 9662 2941
Pieces of Eight
28 Russell Place, Melbourne
Ph 03 9663 3641
6 Russell Place, Melbourne
Ph 03 9639 7822
16 Russell Place, Melbourne
Ph 03 9663 7557
30 Russell Place, Melbourne
Ph 03 9650 5020
66 Bourke Street, Melbourne
Ph 03 9662 1885
11–25 Crossley Street, Melbourne
Ph 03 9663 3000
27–29 Crossley Street, Melbourne
Ph 03 9662 4200
1A Crossley Street, Melbourne
Ph 03 9662 2756
3 Crossley Street, Melbourne
Ph 03 9639 6450
5 Crossley Street, Melbourne
Ph 03 9663 8669
Madam Virtue and Co
5 Crossley Street, Melbourne
Ph 03 9663 8669
20 Guildford Lane, Melbourne
Ph 03 9043 8844
Melbourne Bars: Cumulus Up, The Butterfly Club, Mesa Verde and Goldilocks Bar
Andrew McConnell's Cumulus Inc. in Flinders Lane has been a favourite eating-house and bar amongst Melbourne's dining set since opening in 2008. When it comes to all day dining this is your one stop shop for a quality coffee, snack, drink or a meal. And now there is even more reason to visit, with new wine bar Cumulus Up open upstairs offering scrumptious bites and an extensive wine selection.
Another gem bound to get foodie tongues wagging is Mesa Verde, a South American themed bar with a Mexican inspired menu. Boasting a list of 240 tequilas and mouth-watering cocktails, this place just oozes fun and offers a casual dining experience that will have you coming back for more.
Another Melbourne bar tucked away on the fourth floor of a Swanston Street building is Goldilocks. It is the perfect spot for those who love nothing better than kicking back with a classic cocktail in a cosy setting. With a beautiful fit-out designed by Joel McKenzie, Goldilocks Bar has a great atmosphere with a fantastic drinks menu that will have you feeling right at home.
If you enjoy your cocktail with a side of live entertainment then The Butterfly club could be just the venue for you. It is Australia's home of cabaret in the heart of the city and also houses one of the largest second-hand collections of kitsch you'll ever see. This small theatre showcases local talent most nights in a host of different productions such as cabaret, plays, musical theatre, comedy and poetry. So sip on your cocktail in the award-winning foyer bar, take another into the showroom and then enjoy the entertainment that follows!
45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Ph 03 9650 1445
Level 6, 252 Swanston Street, Melbourne
Ph 03 9654 4417
Level 4, 264 Swanston Street, Melbourne
The Butterfly Club
5 Carson Place, Melbourne
Ph 03 9663 8107
City Edge: La Tortillera , The Town Mouse and Pok Pok
Nestled amongst the warehouses of Kensington sits La Tortilleria, a tortilla bakery and Mexican street eatery that pumps out some of the most authentic tortillas in town. The tortillas are made fresh daily using the same method indigenous Aztecs have used for centuries. Stacks of tortillas are sold in the shop and there's a colourful taco stand where you can order tacos, quesadillas, sopes, guacamole and the like. Everything created at this eatery is authentically Mexican, even down to the circumference of the taco tortillas!
So it seems that Melbourne is mad for Mexican, but we're also wild about wine bars with great food. Carlton's The Town Mouse is one such spot with beers, wines, ciders, aperitifs and mixed drinks on offer. The menu features delectable dishes such as goat's cheese profiteroles with caraway, thyme and honey from the rooftop bees, oysters served with chardonnay vinegar sorbet, and crispy, tender pork jowl. If you love to graze and share interesting and delicious food, then head to the Town Mouse – you'll fit right in.
The new hot spot in Docklands that is often bursting at the seams is Pok Pok, a restaurant that specialises in authentic Thai street food. On the menu you'll find Northern Thai favourites like Chiang Mai grilled sausage and Chiang Mai curry noodles with chicken. The roast pork belly with green peppercorns and the massaman lamb curry with crunchy roti bread come straight from Pok Pok's woks and are amongst the most popular dishes on offer. This place is also great value for money, so join the masses and jump on the Pok Pok bandwagon!
72 Stubbs Street, Kensington
Ph 03 9376 5577
The Town Mouse
312 Drummond Street, Carlton
Ph 03 9347 3312
801–803 Bourke Street, Docklands
Ph 03 9620 4580
Unique Places: Alice Nivens, Shebeen, Chuckle Park and Hihou
Alice Nivens is a charming little cafe located in the Port Phillip Arcade off Flinders Street. Take a step inside and you'll find yourself in a wonderland filled with tea cup light fittings, Alice in Wonderland themed artwork and delicious cakes reminiscent of the Mad Hatter's Tea Party. Coffee and tea are taken seriously in this magical corner of Melbourne, and with treats such as the 'White Rabbit' cake and the 'Queen of Hearts' cake on offer, Alice Nivens is sure to please both children and adults alike.
Another hidden gem that can be found down another of Melbourne's laneways is Shebeen Bar. Located in Manchester Lane, it is named after the many hidden bars that populate the shanty towns of South Africa. This place is Australia's first 'not-for-profit' café and bar. Discover it behind a corrugated iron screen and enjoy the popcorn served with every drink!
If you're after another unique spot to drink and be fed, head to Chuckle Park – a bar come eatery that operates out of a caravan in Stall Laneway in Little Collins Street. This cosy outdoor space is decked out with heaters, awnings and a caravan that serves up tasty treats like pulled pork rolls, Spanish meatballs, and corn on the cob lathered with Chuckle sauce, parmesan and coriander. Wash it all down with a can of Somersby Apple Cider or a Raspberry Mojito cocktail jar and enjoy one of Melbourne's best kept secrets.
For all lovers of Japanese cuisine and Japanese themed spaces, you cannot go past Hihou, a bar and dining lounge located on the corner of Spring Street and Flinders Lane. The minimalist décor and dimmed lighting at Hihou creates an atmosphere of mystery and sophistication, making it the perfect spot for a swish first date or a classy after work drink. There is an extensive drinks list and the menu features tasty Japanese bites that are bound to satisfy every palate.
Alice Nivens Cafe
Port Phillip Arcade, Shop 13, 228 Flinders Street, Melbourne
36 Manchester Lane, Melbourne
Ph 03 9650 6931
322 Little Collins Street, Melbourne
Ph 03 9650 4494
First Floor, 1 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Ph 03 9654 5465
Pre and post AFL game tucker at The Duke of Wellington and Miss Katie's Crab Shack
The Duke Of Wellington on Flinders Street is located within walking distance of the iconic MCG, making it the perfect spot to grab a drink or a bite to eat before or after the game. This old favourite has a whole new look that is proving very popular with Melbournians, and there are plans in the works to add a second level in the coming months. With plenty of great tap beers on offer, great wines and a fantastic menu offering breakfast, lunch, dinner and bar meals, it's the place to be this footy season!
For a totally unique food experience head to Miss Katie's Crab Shack, housed in Public Bar on Victoria Street in North Melbourne. With the Queen Victoria Market just across the road, Miss Katie has access to fresh seafood and poultry which the team use to create delicious dishes such as their Frogmore-style Crab Boil, Creole-style shrimp, crispy fried soft shell crab and their legendary southern fried chicken served with warm waffles.
The Duke of Wellington
146 Flinders Street, Melbourne
Ph 03 9810 0066
Miss Katie's Crab Shack
238 Victoria Street, North Melbourne
Ph 03 9329 9888
Christine and Claude Maus
Christine is a subterranean boutique on Flinders Lane. It's a tiny space overflowing with must-have accessories from both local and international designers. It's the perfect place to find the finishing touch for an outfit, and it's the ideal place to style your look for the Spring Racing Carnival.
Claude Maus is hidden away on Manchester Lane and sells men's and women's high end fashion. The edgy fashion label experiments with texture and fabric and the brand's unique style has earned designer and founder Rob Maniscalco a devoted following.
181 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Ph 03 9654 2011
19 Manchester Lane, Melbourne
Ph 03 9654 9844
RMIT Pop-Up Shop, Craft Victoria, 2Pocket Fairtrade
RMIT's pop-up shop showcases some of Melbourne's most talented artisans. Located on level one at 445 Swanston Street, the pop-up shop provides a space for craftspeople to show off their wares – from costume design to knitwear to ceramic jewellery.
Another spot to find something special in our city is at Craft Victoria in Flinders Lane. It's here that you will find one-offs made by some of our country's top designers, as well as craft exhibitions.
Also be sure to check out 2Pocket Fairtrade Espresso Bar and Store in Little Lonsdale Street where you can get great fairtrade coffee, fairtrade chocolate, plus ethical gifts, toys and home wares.
RMIT Pop-Up Shop
Level 1, 445 Swanston Street, Melbourne
Ph 03 9925 2933
31 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Ph 03 9650 7775
277 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
Hotham turns pink for Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA)
Mt Hotham will turn pink next weekend to support Breast Cancer Network Australia with pink activities all weekend. Be sure to join in on the fun.
Where: Hotham Alpine Resort
When: Saturday 31 August and Sunday 1 September, 2013
Words in Winter
The annual Words in Winter Festival in Daylesford and surrounding towns is now on, so make sure you check out all of the concerts and wordy workshops on offer before the end of the month.
Where: Daylesford and surrounding towns
When: Until 31 August, 2013
Yarra Valley Water Grape Run
For those who love to exercise with a view, don't forget to register for the Yarra Valley Water Grape Run for your chance to run amongst the vines this spring!
Where: Yarra Valley
When: Saturday 14 September, 2013