Episode 09: Summer series
On this final episode of Postcards Summer Series, Rebecca Judd makes her way 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 and designer clothing. She then travels to the picturesque town of Sassafras where she visits Café de Beaumarchais for some tasty treats, before taking a look at the recently opened Blackwood Sassafras, an elegant self-contained villa that is fit out with every luxury imaginable. Lauren Phillips visits the beautiful Lake Daylesford Country House and admires the stunning interiors, before calling in to Captains Creek Organic Wines to sample some of their finest drops. Shane Crawford munches his way through countless Italian delights at three eateries in the city – the revitalised Brunetti café in Carlton, the buzzing Meatball and Wine Bar in Flinders Lane, and the Spring St Grocer at the top end of town.
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 home wares 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.
117 Auburn Road, Hawthorn East
Ph 03 9813 4245
109 Auburn Road, Hawthorn
Ph 03 9942 3630
95 Auburn Road,
Ph 03 9882 4995
134 Auburn Road, Hawthorn
Ph 03 9819 0726
Plain and Simple
121 Auburn Road, Hawthorn
107 Auburn Road, Hawthorn
Ph 03 9882 0662
129 Auburn Road, Hawthorn
Ph 03 9882 8422
Lake Daylesford Country House and Captains Creek Farm
Lake Daylesford Country House is located just a short stroll from the centre of the Daylesford township and is only an hour and a half's drive from Melbourne. The four stunning rooms are each tastefully styled and come with an ensuite bathroom. Other highlights of the property include the luxurious lounge and a separate dining room with French doors that open up to the outdoor dining area. There's also a gorgeous fully equipped country kitchen.
For a true country experience why not visit Captains Creek Organic Wines, which is just one of the region's many wonderful food and wine producers. This small family owned vineyard is part of a larger 100 hectare mixed organic farm growing vegetables, fruits and nuts.
Lake Daylesford Country House
Ph 03 5348 4422
Captains Creek Organic Wines and Produce
160 Mays Road, Blampied
Ph 03 5345 7408
Spring Street Grocer, The Meatball and Wine Bar and Brunetti
Situated at the top end of town, opposite Parliament, Spring Street Grocer is like a boutique delicatessen you might find tucked away in the chic suburbs of Rome. The food store section stocks all sorts of fancy ingredients, but it's the Gelateria Primavera that really gets tongues wagging, due to flavours such as pistachio and salted caramel with chili. Then there's the Rolls Ready sandwich bar which has a selection of breads, gourmet ciabattas and brioche rolls, filled with scrumptious delights such as suckling pig and watercress. And don't forget to check out the cheese cellar downstairs before you leave!
Also taking Melbourne's food scene by storm is the Meatball and Wine Bar on Flinders Lane. This artisan restaurant serves up pork, beef, chicken, fish and vegie balls as well as mini-balls, sliders, fresh mozzarella balls and a medley of prized meats on their charcuterie boards. To experience all the taste sensations on offer, be sure to mix and match different meatballs with the selection of sauces and sides. This gem is open every day, serving breakfast from 7am during the week and opening at noon on weekends.
On the outskirts of the city in Melbourne's little Italy, the famous Brunetti café has returned to its original site on Lygon Street and is bigger and better than ever. At the heart of the newly renovated space is a coffee bar where you can stand and sip just like they do in Italy. From there take a walk around the café and experience an array of Italian favourites, such as biscuits, pastries, freshly baked breads and gelati. There's also a deli and foodstore, not to mention the most exciting new feature – the pizzeria, complete with a specially designed wood fire oven. Brunetti Café in Carlton is open from 6am until late seven days.
Spring Street Grocer
157 Spring Street, Melbourne
Ph 03 9639 0335
The Meatball and Wine Bar
135 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Ph 03 9654 7545
380 Lygon Street, Carlton
Ph 03 9347 2801
Blackwood Sassafras and Cafe de Beaumarchais
One of the must visit places in the Dandenongs is Sassafras and these days there is a new and very stylish place that you can stay at which is located just off its main street. The recently opened Blackwood Sassafras is a stylish abode that has been decorated in the pared back French Country tradition. Understated elegance is the order of the day for this one bedroom, self-contained villa that features every luxury imaginable from heated towel rails and underfloor heating to fluffy bathrobes. A continental breakfast and mini bar is available or a cooked breakfast delivery can also be organised. A kitchenette along with a comfortable lounge and dining space completes the picture. Even though this place is a cosy hideaway there's also free Wi-Fi and Foxtel for those who don't like to venture too far away from their city lifestyle.
There are plenty of coffee pit stop options along the popular Sassafras shopping strip such as the very classic Miss Marple's Tearoom, the Black Kettle Café which make their own crumpets and Ripe – one of the more popular cafes that sells produce as well. But it's Café de Beaumarchais that adds a slice of Paris to the village with its chandelier lighting and delicate desserts.
The Blackwood Sassafras
Woodlands Avenue, Sassafras
Ph 03 9751 2464
Cafe de Beaumarchais
Corner Woodlands Avenue and Mount Dandenong Road, Sassafras
Ph 03 9755 1100
Melbourne Food and Wine Festival
The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival is only a few weeks away, so be sure to check out their website and begin planning all the scrumptious events you'd like to attend!
Where: Various locations in Melbourne and Victoria
When: Friday 28 February – Sunday 16 March, 2014
Wood, Wine and Roses Festival
The Heywood Wood, Wine and Roses Festival will be in full swing on Saturday 22 February, so make the trip to western Victoria for a day full of music, food, market stalls and fun activities!
Where: Heywood, Victoria
When: Saturday 22 February, 2014
Grape Grazing Festival
Don't forget that the fabulous Grape Grazing festival returns to the Yarra Valley next weekend, so get your last minute tickets now to enjoy delicious food, wine and fantastic musical acts!
Where: Various locations in the Yarra Valley
When: 14–16 February, 2014