I’m excited about moving to Ivanhoe as much as you’ll still see me frequenting the shops and parklands in Rosanna. While I’m not a drinker – most of my friends are and gin is a favourite tipple of many of them. I discovered the interesting sounding Wander North with Imbue this week – a local bar in Ivanhoe that serves as the Gin Tasting Room for Imbue Distillery. They also run a Wednesday night book group and are closed today with the Melbourne Gin Festival on.
Ivanhoe itself has the distinction of the longest running book club with the Ivanhoe Reading Circle established in 1920 by Presbyterian Church minister – the Reverend Robert Wilson Rock and I intend to spend some time checking out the Ivanhoe Library and Cultural Hub once we move. The upper end of Heidelberg Road is the arts precinct of Ivanhoe given the Heidelberg Symphony Orchestra also regularly performs at the Ivanhoe Girls Grammar School performing arts centre.
Meanwhile close by is the Eaglemont Artisans Hub pop up shop which is currently running until 30th May and would make for a lovely morning or afternoon out given there are a couple of cafes at Eaglemont Village. I’ve always loved the Art Deco buildings there and hope it also revives in time as a number of businesses closed for good over the pandemic. Interestingly it could be local businesses that bounce back more quickly over CBD with many people continuing to work some or all of their time from home.
I’ve also recently also read about the evolution and innovation of local milk bars come cafes. I visited Matilda in Mont Albert not that long ago and have had brunch at Jerry’s Milk Bar in Elwood pre-COVID (where my girlfriends and I spied swimmer Michael Klim dining at the next table) but Tyler’s Milk Bar in Preston looks great and I wish there was something similar in Banyule. Four Leaves Cafe in Rosanna did pivot to a grocery store during lockdown but has since reverted back to a larger daytime cafe. Still, I feel very lucky to have cafes within walking distance given this is not the case in the western suburbs. I don’t take these amenities for granted and it’s what makes suburbs more attractive to live in.
I was also excited to read about 1960s Hong Kong-inspired Yum Sing House in the city where you can dine (Yum means ‘to eat’ in Cantonese) and then sing (literally!) with karaoke upstairs. I think my family will be paying a visit at some stage soon. I know that 1960s Hong Kong is also the inspiration for Mongkok Tea Room in Camberwell and the movie In the Mood for Love – a classic if you’ve never watched it.
Despite the new Omicron variant now circulating in our community, I’m glad to see so many outdoor events and festivals have still gone on including the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, Melbourne Fashion Festival (apparently green is the new black!), Brunswick Music Festival, Moomba Festival, Melbourne Design Week (including the Kotodama exhibition in Ivanhoe) and the upcoming Melbourne Comedy Festival. Locally, the Warrandyte Festival is on today.
It’s important to remember that life is to be celebrated and lucky you if you’re a Fairfield local who yesterday got to watch artist Patricia Piccinini’s Skywhales take off into the skies. It has been nothing less than a triumph for all of us to have got through the last two years and such a joyous thing to witness.
On a final note, funeral details have been released for another lover of life – Blaise van Hecke – which will be held at Montsalvat in Eltham (as well as livestreamed). Attendees have been asked to wear orange (or other bright colours) or something that is birds and/or wings-inspired as well as a single flower to place on her coffin, which is fitting for those who were lucky enough to know Blaise. I hope she is soaring away in the next plane somewhere looking down on all of us. She will be greatly missed.