Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2015

Dandenong Festival of Lights

I am an absolute sucker for pretty lights. So when I saw the Dandenong Festival of Lights advertised, I was pretty keen to go. Basically it looked like a big bunch of colourful, lit-up sculptures with a Chinese twist, in a park. The website more classily described it as celebrating "Chinese culture through a display of hundreds of beautiful and unique silk light displays".

We chose a night to go - Friday, 2 October 2015 - and rocked up to Greaves Reserve (Dandenong Showgrounds) around 7pm. There was ample parking, and it was needed: there was a queue of people lining up for tickets probably 300 metres long. An usher said it would be the busiest night of the event's duration (why, I'm not sure). The queue moved quickly though - we probably reached the gate within ten minutes - but I did make a mental note for next time, to buy tickets online beforehand.

The entrance was promising: a huge, intricate, colourful archway, lit up against the night sky, framed by extra lant…

Stables Of Como

Just gone two years old, The Stables of Como cafe is happily ensconced in its pretty setting. More like a lavishly decorated country barn, the cafe occupies the former stables building of the historic Como House (corner of Williams Rd and Lechlade Avenue, South Yarra), surrounded by the property's bounteous garden. It is an odd location, somewhere between the guts of South Yarra, Toorak Village and the river, and you walk up a random leaf-lined driveway to get there. But once you find it, this cafe becomes your secret: a venue for brunch that you won't really want to share, so relaxing and pretty it is - almost like an unexpected piece of the country within urban Melbourne.

The theme here is farmhouse green and white (I get lots of Anne of Green Gables references, myself). The building itself is shackled in white corrugated iron, with a clear awning over the side strip of astro turf, lined with giant pot plants: an area where patrons can choose to eat 'outdoors', but …


The shops along Domain Road, South Yarra have a reputation for being a bit posh. It is South Yarra, after all, and the majority are cafes and restaurants that take advantage of their location (opposite Melbourne's Royal Botanic Gardens) by providing some outdoor seating. Apparently The Real Housewives of Melbourne even frequent one or two venues along the strip.

A little further down the road, on the corner of Millswyn Street, EntrecĂ´te(131-133 Domain Road, South Yarra) is having a party of its own - still refined, but with a little more colour and personality. In operation as a Parisian-style steak bistro since January 2015, the restaurant offers breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week in the former site of the infamous Lynch's Restaurant.

Business partners Jason McLaren Jones and Adam North developed the idea when they bumped into each other in Paris in late 2014. They took a meal together at the institutional Le Relais de L'EntrecĂ´te: a no-bookings bistro that ser…