Episode 40: Queen Victoria Market
This week on Postcards, the team explore one of Melbourne's most loved landmarks, the Queen Victoria Market. The festive season is nearly upon us, so the team turn to the sheds and stalls of the market for all of their Christmas needs. Glen Moriarty begins his Christmas shopping at the Melbourne Breadboard Company where he finds some great gift ideas including uniquely crafted timber cutting boards, bowls and salad sets. Next he visits 'Re Wine' to replenish his wine supplies and to see what varieties are on offer, before stopping in at Parlour to peruse their selection of perfumes, soaps and candles. Finally, he explores a store called Ambiance, which is converted into a Christmas wonderland during the summer months. Here he finds intricate Christmas decorations, trinkets, handmade masks, jewellery and tapestries.
Brodie Harper explores String Bean Alley which is an area of the market that houses artisan workshops and stalls set up in colourful repurposed shipping containers. She admires decorative jewellery and accessories at Aminalee before shifting her gaze towards the handmade leather journals, notebooks and photo albums at Uscha. Next she stops at Intone Photography to admire some iconic images of Melbourne before grabbing a coffee at Padre and a tasty treat from The Waffle Club. Her final stop is JJ Artesania where she watches on as copper jewellery is made right in front of her eyes.
Shane Crawford waits for the sun to set before visiting the market, and his patience is definitely rewarded! He explores the buzzing Summer Night Market which is open every Wednesday night and enjoys delicious food, live music and a spot of shopping. He tries Filipino BBQ at Hoy Pinoy, Carribean cuisine at Boss Man Jerk Hut and even some Jamaican street food. After filling his belly, he checks out the retro fashion on offer at Vintage Garage, before making his way to Tread and Pedals, a stall that sells amazing accessories and home wares made from old bicycle parts.
Finally, Rebecca Judd is joined by Chef Scott Pickett, and together they focus their attention on cooking for Christmas day. They make a beeline for the fresh produce stalls at the market and their first stop is Hagen's Organic Meats where they find some top quality ham, beef and pork cuts. Next they visit Prossers Seafood for some fresh fish, and they round out their shopping trip at The Chicken Pantry where they buy a duck, which Scott then roasts to perfection with orange and coriander, right in the heart of the market!
Christmas shopping at the market
Situated on the outskirts of Melbourne's CBD, the Queen Victoria Market has been a Melbourne icon for over a century. It has everything from fresh produce, hand crafted gifts, jewellery, clothing and best of all – wine! And the best place to get a quality drop at the market is at 'Re Wine'. Besides having a great range of wines, one of the reasons Re Wine is so popular is because you can buy in bulk and save, plus you can even refill your old bottles as they have large barrels on site. From Re Wine it's off to The Melbourne Breadboard Company, where they sell a range of wood products that make perfect gifts. Their beautiful range of cutting boards are uniquely crafted from camphor laurel timber and also on offer are a variety of hand crafted home wares including bowls, vases, fruit baskets, coasters, trivets, and salad sets.
One of the market's most popular shops is Parlour. It looks good, it smells good and you're guaranteed to find something you'll love. At Parlour you'll find all things aromatic and indulgent from perfumes, powders and creams, to body butters, soaps and exquisite candles. With so many awesome gift ideas, sample products to try and free gift wrapping, they've got your Christmas sorted. And of course it wouldn't be Christmas without a visit to Ambiance, Melbourne's favourite shop when it comes to Christmas decorations. Find yourself immersed in a magical fairyland of trinkets, masks, tapestries, Murano glass and decorative furnishings. During the months leading up to Christmas, Ambiance is transformed into a Christmas fairy tale, with each of the five rooms decorated in a different colour – white, silver, gold, lime green and red. You simply can't exit this shop empty handed, as the treasures and decorations are unique and beautifully made.
String Bean Alley
The Queen Victoria Market's newest and coolest precinct is String Bean Alley where you'll find a number of artisan workshops and stalls set up in colourful repurposed shipping containers. Located at the Peel Street end of the market, you can stroll by String Bean Alley's vibrant stalls on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesday evenings over the night market season. Why not start your shopping spree at Aminalee, which is a decorative jewellery and accessories stall. Amina is a young designer inspired by culture, bold textures, eccentric craft and a vintage style. Natural gemstones and bright crystals feature in her signature jewellery pieces and her range of restored handbags have been given a new lease on life with the addition of cute embellishments.
Another shop that is stocked with a truly unique product is Uscha, which specialises in handmade leather books. Each individual journal, notebook, sketch book and photo album is made in Northern India in conjunction with local communities. One of the stalls where you can meet the maker is Intone Photography, which showcases the work of the talented Tony Pierrakos, who has been capturing iconic images of Melbourne since 1991. His collection not only features vivid shots of the city's laneways, buildings, cafes and cultural precincts but also urban landscapes from around the globe. For a quick snack or drink you can fuel up on coffee from Padre or get a sugar hit from The Waffle Club. When it's time for more shopping swing by JJ Artesania, where you might even see some of their copper jewellery being hand crafted in front of you. This family owned business aims to honour their South American ancestry by creating striking pieces made with a variety of stones, beads and metals.
Summer Night Market
The Queen Victoria Market's Summer Night Market is celebrating its sweet 16th birthday this year and it is bigger and better than ever before. The Summer Night Market has always had a festive, carnival-like atmosphere, with live music and buskers, local artisans and designers, and plenty of enticing hawker style food. This year's night market is serving up over 60 different types of street food from all over the world and you can sink your teeth into everything from Crab burgers to Peking Duck and even Jamaican street food. Hoy Pinoy is a traditional Filipino BBQ cart showcasing a variety of meats that are marinated in banana ketchup and peppery adobo sauce, before being barbecued over charcoal. The Boss Man Jerk Hut is another winner, as it brings the food of the Caribbean islands all the way to Australia.
Once you're full of food, there are many stalls to shop at including the Vintage Garage, which has created a hub full of cool retro fashions. You'll also find unique locally designed and made fashions, artisan wares, crafts, up cycled products and everything else in between at the market. Tread and Pedals use old bicycle parts to make amazing accessories and home wares, such as turning a punctured inner tube into jewellery, and converting an old bike chain into cufflinks.
Christmas food at the market
The Queen Victoria Market has been selling fresh food to the people of Melbourne for over 130 years. When it comes to catering for Christmas, the market has you covered in terms of the finest meat, seafood and fresh produce. Hagen's Organic Meats is the perfect store to buy organic meats such as your Christmas day ham, beef and roast pork. This family run business is one of Victoria's first organic butchers and they provide premium products as well as great customer service. For some, Christmas just isn't complete without seafood so if this is the case, be sure to stop by Prossers Seafood stall for some ideas and inspiration. They sell quality Australian and New Zealand seafood, meats and asian groceries. Last but not least, The Chicken Pantry is a must stop shop for Christmas. They sell free range poultry including turkeys and rolled stuffed Turkey breasts that are ready to go into the oven. Duck is also a popular option, and a great way to cook it is with orange and coriander, garnished with chestnuts, pancetta and mushrooms.
Queen Victoria Market
Corner Elizabeth and Victoria Streets, Melbourne
Ph 03 9320 5822
2013 RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride
The 2013 RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride kicks off next Saturday and is starting for the first time in South Australia. Be sure to support all as they peddle along the iconic Great Ocean Road.
Where: Mount Gambier to Geelong
When: 23 November – 1 December, 2013
Beautiful Accommodation Guide
Be sure to get ahead before the summer holiday rush, and jump online to view an array of Victorian accommodation properties and order a copy of the new guide due out 1 December, 2013.
When: New edition out 1 December, 2013
Myer Spirit of Christmas CD
Myer's annual Spirit of Christmas CD is now available in store. It features iconic artists and all proceeds go towards the Salvation Army's children and youth programs.
Where: Available at all Myer Stores