With MBFWA officially kicking off on Sunday night it’s fitting that I post the third and final Part of our Melbourne Weekend! (Be sure to catch up on Part 1 and Part 2). Featuring more fantastical food (but of course), fashions from VAMFF (the reason for the whole weekend!) and forays into a world of silver fox fur, pearl donning ostriches and rooftop oases read on for a wonderful conclusion to a blissful mini girls weekend away.
Day 2 – Sunday
The best kind of breakfast
After an epic night of Ezard indulgence (catch up here if you haven’t read the gastronomic tale) Mama and I were looking for a lighter start to the morning – and of course where better to experience the best in wholesome, sustainable, Eco and waste free goodness than Silo by Joost in hardware lane?
This place is on my mandatory visit list every time I head down to Melbourne (You can read my previous fave review over on Virgin Australia’s travel inspiration website). Their holistic and ethical approach to food is inspiring. As is their service style – just chillaxed creative dudes making good food and great coffee.
By the time we arrived (post a quick treadmill and weights session in the hotel gym) it was already buzzing with space only available outside on their sunken leather steel frame stools. It was a drizzly morning but we embraced the cooler weather in trench coats and scarves and were quickly warmed by a perfectly creamy cup of coffee (the milk pumped straight from the giant golden vats under the coffee machine) served with a sprinkling of unsweetened cacao. To eat? We chose the house made granola – delicious chunks of dried fig and apricots and slivers of almond same smattered throughout lightly toasted whole unhulled grains, served with a creamy but refreshingly light vanilla bean labna and fresh fruit…or half a passionfruit, a cube of watermelon, a slice of banana, 2 strawberries and single wedges of poached quince, fresh peach and Granny Smith apple to be precise. Each bite was simply divine, with crunch and just the right amount of sweetness. Exactly what the doctor ordered to start the day fresh and fuel another few hours of shopping ahead…
A tale of silver fox, vintage finds and technicolour threads
It’s pretty much mandatory that every time Mama and I visit Melbourne we wander through the rabbit warrens and cultural salad bowl that are the laneways. Our usual stomping ground takes us through the Royal Arcade, Block Place and the Block Arcade, Centre Place, Howey Place, Centreway Arcade and Degraves Street. This visit was no different. Taking in the window display at Hopetouns Tea Room, admiring the styling of Royal Arcade boutiques and bustling our way past café nooks and hidey holes as they got stuck into the lunchtime trade we found ourselves (once again) peering into the incredible Aladdin’s cave treasure trove that is Shag.
Filled with every colour, texture, shade and fabric imaginable it is a visual feast of pre-loved, perfectly curated vintage finds. And after a dozen visits of passing by or quickly popping our head in to admire the spectacle I am thrilled to say I finally bought my first Shag piece! (Or to be more accurate Mama bought it…an early Easter present!). Hanging among coats, jackets and shawls was the perfect fur vest, cut in the cape style with slits for armholes toward the front. With panels of silvery and darker hued fur lined with brown sateen it screamed to be tried on. And once I did that was that. I had been lusting after a beautiful fur for a long time as an addition to my wardrobe and this unique and slightly different take on a vest was just the perfect find.
Department store lunches
Another wonderful discovery (of which of course there are always several when we visit Melbourne, which is why we love it so much!) was the Myer Melbourne café. All these years and countless visits to The Basement to pick up sale bargains and not once had we ever dined at Emporia Café on the ground floor! So to quickly refuel before we headed back to our hotel to get ready for our VAMFF event we grabbed a freshly juiced glass of mango, pineapple and orange and shared a delicious toasted brie, seeded mustard, rocket and thinly sliced Kassler (cured pork) on a beautiful mini rustic sourdough baguette. Arriving toasted and oozing Brie out the sides, the bread was crunchy upon impact and wonderfully chewy on the inside with a smack of sweetness from the ham and mustard and a bite of bitterness from the rocket. We certainly felt like ladies lunching!
And of course it wouldn’t have been a complete Sunday afternoon if we didn’t indulge in a little sweet treat. Luckily we stumbled across Frozen by Thousand Blessings in Melbourne Central serving up blissfully creamy all natural bio-dynamic Froyo (sweetened with Stevia not sugar) in flavours like Blood Orange, Mango, Coconut, Pomegranate and of course my fave Natural. After piling on fresh berries and mango, lychee balls and a sneaky Peanut Butter Cup it was Sunday bliss in twirly soft serve form. The cherry on top before we had to return to our hotel to get ready for the evening.
VAMFF, The Future Runway and Rooster Feathers
Arriving at Central Pier, Docklands we were greeted by both fabulously dressed attendees and an impressive See. Feel. React. billboard (cue photo-op).
Heading inside to find where our guests were seated we got some pre-show sneaky peaks of fabulous fashions on the runway and the show itself was equally impressive. The Future Runway sponsored by Spotlight was a showcase opportunity for Victorian secondary school students. A hand selected group of amazing talent and skill, the show revealed diversity in cut (bold to androgynous and box shapes to figure hugging and sleek), fabrics (pink metallic lame to green felt-like tweed to delicate lace) and style (feminine to boyfriend style to fabulously OTT).
Before we knew it the show was over and as we exited Runway 14 my eyes were drawn to the fabulous blazer worn by the girl in front of me. The elegantly cut body of brown crosshatch patterned fabric was stunning enough, but it was the green tinged feathers that glowed when they caught the light that really captured me. And of course being me I simply had to know where she got it! Given the context of were we were it was no small surprise that she in fact designed it – a third year student at Melbourne School of Fashion. Designing under eponymous label Cassandra Louise, her focus is on occasion wear made the stunning piece from Tory Burch off cut fabric of recycled nylon and Emerald green Rooster feathers sourced from House of Adorn. Clearly a lot of love and effort went into creating this bespoke piece. I for one don’t doubt there will be a big, bright future for Cassandra Louise. (All the best for your graduation showcase this year!)
A Velveteen Safari
We arrived at the Carlton Hotel ready for a pre-dinner drink not entirely sure what to expect. Ascending the stairs to the first level we entered the softly lit space and were greeted by wall-to-wall red and silver flocked wallpaper, plant fronds and velvet upholstered wooden panelled booths.An ostrich laden with Pearls greeted us on the right whilst behind us was a towering giraffe leading out to the balcony.
A few cocktails and mocktails later we decided to make the further 3 storey climb to the Palmz rooftop bar to have dinner. It was like leaving a world of 1920’s African Safari opulence and entering a tiki oasis with bamboo fencing, a thatch roof bar, pop-colour chairs and more palm trees.
It was a perfectly mild evening and as we watched the sun set behind the cityscape skyline munching on incredible pub food spread of golden Wedges with sour cream and the hotel’s own Sweet Chilli, buttery soft seared Tuna Crackers with Wasabi Mayo and Radish, textural smoked Duck Breast with tangy Miso & crunchy Puffed Rice grains, succulent Chicken and Pork Gyoza with sweet-sour Ponzu and juicy mini Wagyu Beef Cheese Burgers with crunchy pickles on spongy brioche, we reflected on a wonderful weekend that had been.
Until next time Melbourne! Any recommendations for new discoveries?