Episode 39: Discover your own backyard
This week on Postcards, the team encourage you to 'Discover your own backyard' as they explore four popular suburban areas within Melbourne, each with their own quirky pockets and drawcards. Glen Moriarty kicks off the show in Hobsons Bay where he journeys along the Coastal Trail through the area. This involves joining the bike riding locals aboard 'The Westgate Punt' as they are ferried across the Yarra from Port Melbourne to Spotswood. He then stops by Candied, an Australian bakery with an American twist, before driving down the road to embark on a Williamstown Heritage Walking Tour which takes him to the Seaworks Maritime Museum and the Old Morgue. Glen also checks out many of the area's landmarks along the Coastal Trail including Gem Pier and Timeball Tower, before wrapping up his day at The Substation – Melbourne's newest contemporary arts centre.
Brodie Harper travels North East to Banyule where she gets into her swim gear and makes a splash at WaterMarc multi-activity centre, before strolling down Were Street in Montmorency to check out its cute cafes and boutique shops. She then stops in at the Ivanhoe Centre and Jaclyn Roma Floral Design on Upper Heidelberg Road, before strolling the manicured walking tracks of the Banyule Flats Reserve and learning about the wetlands' historical significance. Finally, she takes a breather at Miss Marie in Rosanna, a café that serves up some serious zucchini, pea and mint fritters, along with high quality coffee.
Shane Crawford visits multicultural Moreland where he first focuses his attention on the creative heartland of Brunswick. Here he goes on an Art Aficionado Tour and is shown various galleries and public art works in the area, before venturing down to the East Brunswick end of Lygon Street for a sugar fix. He finds exactly what he is looking for at chocolate factory Monsieur Truffe and its adjoining café East Elevation, where he learns the craft of chocolate making and enjoys a gloriously rich hot chocolate. Finally, Shane sits down to a Middle Eastern feast at Rumi, a restaurant that offers delicious Lebanese inspired dishes designed to share.
Rebecca Judd ventures to Stonnington where she stops in at Adriano Zumbo's Patisserie in South Yarra and enjoys all things sweet and scrumptious – including one of Zumbo's signature Zonuts – before checking out some interesting street art along Artists Lane in Windsor. Next she digs into the hash brown stack at Stickybeak Café, before venturing to glamourous High Street in Armadale where she chats to Lisa Barron about her fashion store. Finally, Rebecca checks in at Durance of Armadale which sells handpicked signature pieces including linens, lotions, prints and accessories, before rounding out her day with some quality French cuisine at France-Soir and Da Noi.
If you're looking to escape the city and experience something special, all you need to do is take a short trip over the West Gate to Williamstown in Hobsons Bay, which is only a few kilometres from Melbourne's CBD. One of the most popular ways to visit this area is by hopping aboard the Westgate Punt Ferry Service which operates between the Docklands and Spotswood. The ferry service operates for a couple of hours each morning and afternoon, and all day on weekends. Newport and Spotswood are the first suburbs you'll come across after arriving by car or ferry, and both have roads alongside the water that you can cruise along and take in the natural wonders of the area. One of Newport's gems is The Substation. The Substation was built in 1915 to provide power to the local rail system, but since then it has been converted into a community-based contemporary arts venue. The Substation plays host to an array of different art forms including music, theatre, dance, circus, hybrid and visual arts.
There are plenty of places to grab a bite to eat in Hobsons Bay but if you'd like to treat your tastebuds to something special, you can't go past Candied Bakery. Candied Bakery is an Aussie bakery with an American twist and is a one stop shop for great coffee and a whole range of sweet and savoury delights, including freshly baked organic breads, croissants, fruit buns, lamingtons, custard donuts, pies and red velvet cake.
Once you've had something to eat, why not head into Williamstown and take in the sights on a Heritage Walking Tour. With Williamstown's maritime history in mind, the walks encompass the Seaworks Maritime Museum, the Williamstown Lighthouse and the Time Ball Tower, which is one of only five time ball towers still in operation in the world. You can also take a Lantern Ghost Tour if you're after a more chilling experience, where you'll get a glimpse of the Old Williamstown Morgue amongst other spooky landmarks. Various artworks are scattered along the Hobsons Bay Coastal Trail which stretches for 23 kilometres from under the West Gate Bridge to Altona. In addition to the artworks, two of the must see spots along the trail are the Williamstown Botanic Gardens and the 100 steps to Federation at Truganina Park.
Discover Your Own Backyard
Having recently celebrated its first birthday, WaterMarc is Banyule City Council's 42 million dollar splash-tastic multi-activity centre. Located on Flintoff Street in Greensborough, WaterMarc is the largest aquatic and leisure facility in the northern region of Victoria. Some of its facilities include a Health Club, 50 metre indoor pool, learn to swim pool, toddler play pool and huge zero depth area and water adventure playground. It comes complete with water sprays, fountains and waterfalls that are sure to leave you soaked, but stoked. However the biggest attractions by far are their two mammoth waterslides.
The City of Banyule is a green wedge tucked away in north eastern Melbourne. It is bordered by the Eastern Freeway to the south and the Metropolitan Ring Road to the north. One of its hidden gems is Were Street in Montmorency, which has cute cafes, boutique shops and other specialty stores. Local artists have collaborated in creating Monty's colourful streetscape. Highlights include the iconic windmill sculpture, the magic carpet rug lounge mosaic and the newly installed dog'n'bone hitching post.
Another favourite hub in Banyule is Ivanhoe and the jewel in its crown is The Ivanhoe Centre which has played host to many gala events since it was built in 1937. There are restaurants galore on the Upper-Heidelberg Road strip as well as several fashion boutiques that specialise in clothes, shoes and accessories from local and international designers. For fresh flowers it's hard to go past Jaclyn Roma Floral Design and one of the best parks in the area is Banyule Flats Reserve and Billabong. With kilometres of manicured walking tracks, there's no shortage of spots for a stroll, run or ride.
After working up an appetite, be sure to treat yourself to some tasty bites at Miss Marie in Rosanna. Decked out with recycled timber tables and old schoolroom chairs, this cool café certainly has coffee under control, serving Five Senses Dark Horse blend. When it comes to food, their all-day breakfast menu is the star attraction with the zucchini, pea and mint fritters and the wholemeal pancakes leading the pack in the popular dish stakes.
Montmorency Shopping Village
Ivanhoe Shopping Centre
Discover Your Own Backyard
The City of Moreland has always been a snapshot of multicultural Melbourne, but these days its image has shifted slightly towards 'cool' and 'creative' with all of its hip cafes, restaurants and its lively community spirit. Moreland is one of Melbourne's most heavily populated areas and is bordered by Moonee Ponds Creek to the west, Merri Creek to the east, Park Street to the south and the Western Ring Road to the north. Brunswick in particular has become one of Melbourne's most exciting creative heartlands with its various galleries and public art works, and one of the best ways to admire all of the artistic brilliance in the area is by signing up to an Art Aficionado Tour.
In terms of food, Mediterranean Wholesalers on Sydney Road in Brunswick is where those in the know go for all things Italian. Mediterranean Wholesalers is a family business which has been running since the late 1950s. People come from far and wide for the huge range of dried pastas, olive oils and tomato sauces. The excellent full service deli counter is loaded with all manner of meats and authentic Italian regional cheeses; and there's even a wine shop, a bakery and a cafe.
The Brunswick end of Lygon Street has not lost sight of its industrial past with Monsieur Truffe flying the factory flag. Monsieur Truffe is the best kind of factory as it makes chocolate from scratch! Beans are roasted, and then cacao nibs are ground to make cacao liquor which eventually becomes chocolate as we know it. The chocolatiers then get to work on their magical creations, melting, moulding, tempering and sculpting the chocolate into bon bons and bars alike. For those after something savoury to go with their sweets, the factory shares its space with a café called East Elevation where seasonal, local produce is the order of the day. As you'd expect, they make a mean hot chocolate as it's made from pieces of solid chocolate that are melted into the steaming milk.
For Middle Eastern flavours that are moving with the times, the Brunswick end of Lygon Street is also home to Rumi. Rumi offers a fresh take on Arabic cuisine in a simple yet stylishly decorated restaurant. The team here use the ingredients and flavours of Lebanon and produce clever re-interpretations of traditional dishes which are then plated perfectly.
Art Aficionado Tours
482 Sydney Road, Brunswick
Ph 03 9380 4777
Monsieur Truffe and East Elevation
351 Lygon Street, Brunswick East
Ph 03 9380 4915
116 Lygon Street, Brunswick East
Ph 03 9388 8255
Discover Your Own Backyard
Sydney Patissier Adriano Zumbo recently opened his patisserie in Claremont Street South Yarra and it's fast becoming the hottest foodie spot in town. The patisserie has confectionary pink interiors and rows of delicious cakes, chocolates, pastries, croissants, quiches and Zumbarons that look almost too beautiful to eat! Don't forget to try a 'Zonut' while you're there, which is Adriano's take on the famous New York Cronut – a cross between a croissant and a donut.
Artists Lane in Windsor is a space that celebrates street art and is one of the many creative hubs that make up this quirky suburb. You'll find this tribute to contemporary art in the City of Stonnington which is located east of our CBD and easily accessible by train. It's an area that includes some blue chip suburbs including South Yarra, Toorak, Armadale and Malvern. These locations boast some world class shopping and eating precincts, starting with the Stickybeak Café on the corner of Artists Lane and Green Street. You can order eggs with all of the trimmings as well as signature dishes such as their hash brown stack and a spinach and ricotta slice served with Sriaielli – a vegetable that is only grown in Naples.
After exploring the eclectic streetscape of Windsor, why not move on to the elegant avenues of Armadale, where you'll find one of the most glamorous shopping strips in Melbourne. High Street Armadale has long been the destination for many a fashionista due to its abundance of high fashion boutiques, including the Lisa Barron store which celebrates 30 years in the business this year. High Street is also home to cafes with fabulous food, designer decorator shops, art galleries and homeware emporiums. And if you are looking for that special gift whether it be for a girlfriend or that end of year present for a teacher, a stop off at Durance of Armadale won't disappoint.
Toorak Road in South Yarra is another great spot in Stonnington, especially when it comes to food. There's the fabulous French brasserie France-Soir with its repertoire of modern classics and there's also Da Noi which has been awarded a chef's hat by the Age Good Food Guide 2014. At Da Noi you can choose the set menu that is devised daily or order from a small a la carte selection.
12–14 Claremont Street, South Yarra
Ph 03 9827 8947
1/40 Green Street, Windsor
Ph 03 9533 7380
1031 High Street, Armadale
Ph 03 9804 3355
Durance of Armadale
1022 High Street, Armadale
Ph 03 9500 2227
95 Toorak Road, South Yarra
Ph 03 9866 5975
Discover Your Own Backyard
Budburst Wine and Food Festival
Budburst Wine and Food Festival is on next weekend, so be sure to make the trip to the Macedon Ranges Wine Region to enjoy a picturesque weekend of wine tasting, delicious food and live music.
Where: Macedon Ranges Wine Region
When: 16–17 November, 2013
Queenscliff Music Festival
This year's Queenscliff Music Festival is on again at the end of the month so grab yourself some tickets whilst you still can!
When: 22–24 November, 2013
Santa is now in residence at Myer Melbourne in his very special Christmas village, so why not take the family to visit Santaland and have a photo, and post your Christmas wish list direct to the North Pole.
Where: Myer Melbourne – Bourke Street Mall