Food – Axil Coffee Roasters

322 Burwood Road
Hawthorn Vic 3122

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I have been meaning to make my way out to Axil for months, so this week when I finally had a free morning, I made a bee line for Hawthorn and man was it worth the trip! Set in a large ‘Melbourne’ style warehouse space – high ceilings, exposed beams, hanging pendant lights, vertical garden, exposed brick walls ect ect, on busy Burwood Road, Axil is incredibly popular with people from all walks of life. Although the city is littered with cafes styled in a similar fashion, there is something different about this place, it has so much life and soul in it and made me feel completely at ease as soon as I walked in. Continue reading

Food – Mallalieu Boutique & Artisan Deli

113 Auburn Road
Hawthorn East Vic 3123

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A hidden sanctuary on busy Auburn Road, Mallalieu Boutique & Artisan Deli has been the long time dream of mother and daughter pairing Kathy and Hannah. Situated behind their beautiful clothing store, the French provincial space has been impeccably styled and represents a natural extension to the shop. Hannah who comes from a styling background has done an amazing job to create an incredibly calm and welcoming space for people to escape the chaos outside. In what was an absolute labour of love, she personally sanded back the floors, removed the plaster to expose a brick wall and hand picked every fitting. Given the deli is situated at the back of the shop, the space is quite small, however it extends out to a beautiful courtyard that is surprisingly quiet and serene given its proximity to Auburn Road. Continue reading

Food – Grigons & Orr

445 Queensberry street
North Melbourne Vic 3051

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Of all my brunch travels, I’d have to say this is definitely one of the quirkiest places I’ve come across. Set up like a retro corner store selling mixed lollies by the bag and a few random household goods (even a bottle of vanish stain removal), as soon as I walked into this eclectic café I literally felt like I had gone back to a time well before my own birth. It could be the chairs and tables that looked like they walked straight out of my grandmothers 1970s dining room, or the vintage crockery, or the souvenir teaspoon, or even the astro turf lining the floor, but all of these elements together help to create the illusion that you have well and truly left North Melbourne of  2015. Continue reading

Food – Serotonin Eatery

52 Madden Grove
Burnley Vic 3121

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Set in the most beautiful pocket of Burnley (as we drove up I decided that I need to move here!) the space itself is like nothing I’ve seen before. Sure it’s bright and airy like so many others, but there’s something different, there’s a calmness to this space that hasn’t been matched elsewhere. It could be the native flowers or the stunning gold cutlery, the comfy booths or swing chairs, they’ve managed to create a fresh space that encourages you to relax and engage in a healthier lifestyle.

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The calmness of this space feeds directly from their ethos of clean eating, exercise and relaxation, and apparently most of Melbourne is jumping on the bandwagon. The team at Serotonin have capitalised on the growing clean eating movement by filling a notable gap in the market and offering Melbournians guilt free, but delicious meal options. Its popularity is most evident on the weekends, where its quite common to have to wait up to 40mins for a table (happened to me twice, and given I refuse to wait that long anywhere, we left and tried again a different time), but they make your wait as comfortable as possible, lining the sidewalk outside with heaps of little stools, and providing a number of footballs to kick around to pass the time. Continue reading

Fashion – Espadrilles

Although it may not feel like it, spring is finally here! Now we just need the sun to come out and grace us with its presence. So in preparation for the warmer times ahead, its time to pack away your boots and replace them with the perfect spring shoe, the espadrille.

I love espadrilles and pretty much live in them all spring and summer. They freshen up any outfit and are so damn comfortable I never want to take them off. So if you’re like me and looking to add a new pair (or two, or three) to your wardrobe, I’ve got you covered with a stack of great options below.

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Soludos

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Food – The Reverend Cafe

155-157 Union Road
Ascot Vale Vic 3032

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Given it’s close proximity to the city, Ascot Vale has the potential to be a real foodie haven, however to date it hasn’t quite hit the mark. There are a number of good cafes that line Union Road, however none of them are at the same level as others located in neighbouring Moonee Ponds and Essendon, that was until I came across The Reverend Café.

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Occupying an incredibly large and spacious double shop front on busy Union Road, it’s hard to walk past and not be drawn into this cafe. It may be the very ‘Melbourne’ fit out (old shop front, worn timber floor boards, retro furniture, hanging pendant lights ect ect)  or the alluring smell of coffee, but this place seems to be a real hit with the locals. Continue reading

Food – Friends of Mine

506 Swan Street
Richmond Vic 3121

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Each weekend, Richmond is abuzz with hungry Melbournians looking for somewhere to brunch with friends. As one of main café hubs in town, people descend on the area in their droves, so its not uncommon to have to wait and queue for a table at some of the more popular eateries. That is pretty much the point at which they lost me. I love brunching, but I absolutely despise having to wait around and queue for a table, especially when there are so many great cafes in town. I’d rather move on to another place where I can get the same quality food and a table right away. For this very reason I usually steer clear of Richmond as it has become somewhat renowned for the brunch wait and that’s time I just don’t have to waste.

So this past week when I was invited to brunch at Friends of Mine I was immediately apprehensive, but as it turns out my concerns were completely unfounded. Set in a charming old corner shop in a quieter part of Swan Street, Friends of Mine occupies quite a substantial space with loads of character and lots of seating both in and outdoors. Continue reading