Friday, 29 May 2015

Café Vita et flores

Prior to Mother’s Day, I drove my grandparents out to Springvale Cemetery to visit their mothers (my great-grandparents) and various other relatives that now reside at the cemetery. After we said hello to the family and laid some flowers near their ashes, we thought we would shelter from the rain and try out their newly refurbished café. Café Vita et flores which is Latin for ‘life’ and ‘flowers’ is a modern café with pale timber finishes, concrete polished floors and comfy seating zones. There is also an adjoining florist that has a beautiful display of freshly cut flowers. An alfresco area, herb garden and children’s playground surround the café. The Mediterranean inspired menu designed by French chef Jean-Philippe Kerstenne has a great variety of dishes and is very well priced. Live Sunday Jazz is also a feature at certain times of year. My grandparents have not stopped raving about the place since...

·        Savoury French Toast with bacon and grilled tomato ($14.00)
·        Beef Slider ($6.50)
·        Open Salmon Sandwich ($5.50)
·        BBQ Chicken Baguette ($9.50)

My grandmother and I picked the ‘Polenta and ricotta slice with roasted vegetables ($5.50)’. The absolutely scrummy slice was bursting with the flavour of citrus. The roasted tomatoes and capsicum created sweetness and was complemented by the herbs that I assume were picked from the café’s herb garden.

Polenta and Ricotta Slice

My grandfather just missed out on the breakfast options by five minutes so had to make a quick decision. He chose the ‘Sausage Roll ($8.00)’ which came with a pot of tomato sauce and a petite salad of cabbage, carrot and capsicum. The golden sausage roll contained a tasty filling of meat, grated vegetables and herbs.

Sausage Roll

A glass of wine ($7.50) or a bottle ($35.00) might be just what you need but they also provide an urn of lemon water to refresh yourself after your cemetery visit. My Latte ($3.70) made with Lavazza Super Gusto blend was pretty good.



Table service is not provided but our food and coffee arrived swiftly. 

Address: Springvale Botanical Cemetery -
600 Princes Hwy, Springvale, VIC

Phone: 03 8558 8238

Trading Hours:
Mon – Fri: 8.30am – 5.00pm
Sat – Sun & Public Holidays: 9.00am – 5.00pm

Cafe Vita et flores on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Adeney Milk Bar

Adeney Milk Bar recently celebrated their second birthday and is a great local hangout to sip a coffee and read the papers on the weekend. An old milk bar that has been converted to a café, Adeney Milk Bar is located opposite a sports oval down a side street in Kew. The café weaves its way around some white rooms where a bottle of foliage can be found on each table. The menu is simple with a focus on sandwich and breakfast items. As well as some homemade cakes, they now stock Doughboys Doughnuts!

·        Autumn Smash – avocado, chilli, coriander and fresh lime on toasted sourdough ($14.00)
·        Salmon Bagel – salmon, cream cheese, parsley, cucumber and rocket on a toasted bagel ($10.00)
·        Thai Chicken Salad – rocket, avocado, chicken, carrot, tomato, corn, coriander, mint and lime mixed with sweet chilli sauce ($15.00)
·        Vic Park Toastie – Ham, cheese, tomato, avocado ($10.00)

I decided to have the ‘Mexican Honeymoon Wrap – sweet chilli chicken, corn, tomato, avocado, cheese and coriander rolled up in a toasted tortilla ($13.00)’. I found the meal to be adequate but nothing very exciting. It was rather wet and I had a pool of liquids residing on my plate by the time I had finished.

Mexican Honeymoon Wrap

My dining companion chose ‘The Argyle Burger – house made beef patty, cheese, tomato, avocado, relish and lettuce on a brioche bun ($15.00)’. The burger was tasty but nothing special. The avocado was a bit scarce but the patty itself was nicely cooked.

Argyle Burger

How about an Affogato? Vanilla ice-cream and honeycomb topped with honey and a double shot of coffee ($6.00)... Perhaps, a ‘Doctor Greenthumb juice - kale, apple, celery, mint ($8.00)’ is more your thing... My Latte ($3.80) was made with the Fitzroy Street blend of coffee by Industry Beans. The latte was delightfully dark and fruity with a hint of chocolate.


The service was a bit hit and miss. It took a long time for our orders to be taken and our meals to arrive despite the café being fairly quiet. Cutlery was also not provided thus we needed to request our silverware...

Address: 70 Adeney Avenue, Kew, VIC

Phone: 03 9817 3993

Trading Hours:
Mon – Fri: 7.00am – 4.00pm
Sat – Sun: 8.00am – 4.00pm
Adeney Milk Bar on Urbanspoon

P.S. Other eateries nearby are Percy’s Aeroplane and Ora...

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Lights In The Attic

It was a rainy day and like a lantern beckoning us in from the gloom, shone Lights in the Attic. The interior was industrial but cosy with a bit of quirkiness provided by a sprinkle of scientific laboratory equipment. The menu is focused squarely on breakfast. Eggs, eggs, and more eggs... It’s not just your average eggs and bacon breakfast though. There are some really creative combinations to start your day... or afternoon. If you are after something less complex, then you can create your own breakfast easily from the menu.

·        Finding Nemo – salmon scrambled eggs with fish bonito and flying fish roe mayo ($17.50)
·        Wild Forrest – chilli scrambled eggs with potato made mushrooms, bacon, pork crackling, and pork floss on the top ($18.00)
·        Attic Pizza – fried eggs, bacon and blue cheese with garlic roti pizza base, served with hand-cut sweet potato chips and homemade maple nut sauce ($18.50)
·        Teriyaki Tofu Salad -  mixed greens, cherry tomato, cucumber and teriyaki tofu ($13.00)

I chose the ‘Chilli Eggs – with bacon, spinach, chilli concasse and hollandaise sauce on top of the toast ($17.00)’. Yum! The chilli concasse, egg yolks and hollandaise swirled together to make a very moreish emulsion atop the crunchy Dench bread and smoky bacon. I also received a big hit of iron from the seriously massive amount of verdant sautéed spinach. Although I love to keep my life spicy, I would have preferred a bigger chilli kick.

Chilli Eggs

My dining companion picked the ‘Bird Nest – Scotch eggs with potato chips nest and kransky chilli beans base, grated parmesan cheese on top ($18.00)’. I watched as my dining companion worked up a sweat whilst eating this meal. It must have been very spicy indeed. The yolks were gooey inside and the potato provided a crunchy element. It was another delicious offering.

Bird Nest

Match your eggs with a healthy Cold Pressed Juice ($6.50) or be a little bit naughty with an organic hot chocolate ($5.00). My latte ($3.80) made with their own signature dark roasted blend by Atomica Coffee and A2 milk was rich in flavour and very gratifying.


The service was fantastic and we were even provided a coffee card with our day’s coffees already checked off by our lovely waiter. 

Address: 38 Camberwell Road, Hawthorn East, VIC 

Phone: 03 9813 5042



Trading Hours:
Mon – Fri: 7.30am – 4.00pm
Sat – Sun: 8.00am – 4.00pm

Lights in the Attic on Urbanspoon

P.S. Other eateries nearby are CoffeeHead and Prospect Espresso...

Friday, 15 May 2015

High Tea Events in May for McAuley Community Services for Women

Hello my lovely readers!

This month you can help raise funds for McAuley Community Services for Women’s family violence program by either attending one of these High Tea events or hosting your very own High Tea.
McAuley Community Services for Women Charity High tea

Therese offers a High Tea experience on a Train
 When Therese Slee heard about our high tea appeal, she knew she had to become involved.
“I was surprised how many women had lost their lives through family violence and it seemed natural to support an organisation aimed at assisting women at such a difficult time,” she said.

Therese was already planning an event in May on the Avoca Dining Car in Newport through her company, Elysian High Tea. Ten dollars from each high tea will be donated to McAuley Community Services for Women.

The High Tea on a Train costs $70 and is on Sunday 24 May from 2pm to 4pm at the Newport Railway Workshops. The champagne corks will pop and tea will brew from 1.45pm. Bookings can be made: or ring Therese on 0478 624 528.

She has always loved baking and under the influence of her mother, she made desserts, cakes and biscuits for her family from a young age.

“My mother was famous for her sponges - they were always snapped up at the cake stalls - I always include her Ginger Fluff Sponge in my high tea menu,” said Therese.

She started her business after years of running a successful bed and breakfast in Newport and a short time in the workforce. She decided to offer high teas for people in their homes.

“There are a lot of high tea venues but not many businesses offering this more personal experience. I had all my lovely crockery which I wanted to use and share,” said Therese.

The idea of using a train as a venue was natural for her.

“Many family members worked for the Commonwealth Railways in South Australia and we have lived in Newport for many years just down the road from the railway workshops.”

“I am not a train fanatic but I do love the romance of trains. The historical societies that house trains at Newport are an absolute untapped treasure trove of history - not just the engines and cars but the buildings and the whole site in general,” she added.

“For me, high tea and trains are a natural fit.

The High Tea on a Train costs $70 and is on Sunday 24 May from 2pm to 4pm at the Newport Railway Workshops. The champagne corks will pop and tea will brew from 1.45pm.

Bookings can be made: or ring Therese on 0478 624 528.

High Tea with Class 

A touch of class is what Stamford Plaza Melbourne is offering supporters of McAuley Community Services for Women on May 30 and 31 as part of the High Tea Appeal. The Stamford Plaza Melbourne will open its doors on Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 May 2015, to host an exclusive high tea fundraiser for our organisation as part of our month-long appeal.

Guests will enjoy a sparkling High Tea with an assortment of meticulously crafted savoury bites, fluffy homemade scones and traditional finger sandwiches served on an elegant three-tiered stand. It will be made all the more luxurious with a tantalising pavlova bar, indulgent chocolate fountain and a raffle where entrants go into the draw to win a high tea for two plus a deluxe hamper of goodies.

Adam Hamilton, General Manager, Stamford Plaza Melbourne, said his organisation supported McAuley Community Services for Women because of its programs and services that protect women and their children from family violence, particularly Victoria’s only accessible safe house open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing crisis accommodation to those in need.

“Reading the astonishing figures that 81 women died last year through family violence and won’t be able to enjoy Mother’s Day celebration with friends and family is heartbreaking. The high tea is the perfect opportunity to come to Stamford Plaza Melbourne, enjoy an outing together and simultaneously raise awareness and contribute much needed funds to the charity so they can continue their incredible work,” Mr Hamilton said.

A percentage of proceeds from the high tea will go to McAuley Community Services for Women along with all sales from the raffle.

The charitable event will be held on Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 May 2015 at Stamford Plaza Melbourne from 1pm - 4pm. Tickets are $59 and include sparkling wine.

Bookings are essential. To make a reservation, call 03 9659 1592, email or go to

Have a High Tea to raise funds to stop family violence 
This May Victorians have the chance to host a high tea and help change a woman’s life by raising funds for McAuley Community Services for Women’s family violence program.

In the past year 81 women died through family violence and this year won’t be able to enjoy a cuppa or Mother’s Day celebration with friends and family.

Jocelyn Bignold, Chief Executive Officer of McAuley Community Services for Women, said: “This year 24 women have already been killed within the first three months because of family violence. People are at a loss to know what to do or how to help.

“We ask them to host a high tea or gathering friends or colleagues together for a morning or afternoon tea because the funds raised will make a difference to our work with women and children escaping family violence.”

McAuley Community Services for Women operates Victoria’s only accessible safe house open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing crisis accommodation to women and their children escaping family violence.

“The impact we make on these lives is enormous. Most of the families coming to us arrive with only the clothes on their backs and a bag in their hands. At the end of the week, they leave refreshed, having had access to medical, legal and financial advice as well as emotional support from our specialist workers,” said Ms Bignold.

Last year the organisation supported 600 women and children through its programs including refuges and accommodation for women who are homeless, often as a consequence of family violence.

The High Tea Appeal is running throughout May. The patron is Rebecca Maddern, Channel Seven newsreader.

To get involved, all you need to do is:
 1. Register as a host at
2. Invite friends, family, colleagues etc to your event
3. Return funds raised to McAuley Community Services for Women

Monday, 11 May 2015

The Pour Kids

Pour Kids... Not poor kids. I don’t think that there is anyone who is poor in Malvern... Pour Kids I assume refers to the liquid kind. Preferably coffee and the coffee here is indeed very enjoyable. The food however is affordable for all with a fantastic sandwich list as well as a menu that focuses heavily on breakfast options. The kids are also catered for. The café is tucked down a side street off Glenferrie Road and is a double fronted cafe with multi-coloured chairs and patchwork walls.

·        Chick-a-peas Appeaser - Ciabatta roll with a spiced chickpea ragout, pickled eggplant and organic yoghurt ($11.00)
·        Duck for Cover - Italian-style pork sausage, with burnt-butter gnocchi, fried egg and Swiss chard ($16.50)
·        Out and a-trout - sautéed exotic mushrooms on toast with braised leek, smoked trout  and fresh tarragon ($17.50) 
·        Yankee Doodle went to Town – macaroni pasta with Pyengana aged cheddar ($6.00) *kids menu

We both decided to have something from the ‘Ode to the Earl (of sandwich)’ section of the menu. I picked the ‘Identity Crisis – a French baguette filled with sautéed Swiss brown mushrooms and Italian Taleggio cheese ($11.00)’. There must have been a shortage of French baguettes as my sandwich had morphed into a ciabbatta roll... Not that I am complaining, my ciabbatta roll was much easier to eat than my baguette probably would have been. The filling was delightful. The copious amount of mushrooms were melded by the molten Taleggio and a great bargain at $11!

Identity Crisis

My dining companion opted for the ‘Appetite Sopressa - Sopressa salami, Pyengana cheddar, balsamic-pickled onion and mizuna lettuce on ciabbatta roll ($11.00)’. This sandwich was also a lovely but filling lunch.

Appetite Sopressa

Tea is by Larsen & Thompson Leaf Teas ($3.80) and you can also get prepaid coffee cards for $35.00 (10 small coffees) and $40 (10 large coffees). My latte ($3.80) made with Axil Coffee was delicious.


The café was quite busy and cramped but we didn’t have any problems with service.

Address: 1E Winter Street, Malvern, VIC

Phone: 03 9077 3847

The Pour Kids on Urbanspoon

P.S. Other eateries nearby are Terminus Lane, Fergus, and Mr Foxx...

Thursday, 7 May 2015

'Tables4aCause' - The Australian Red Cross Nepal Region Earthquake Appeal

No doubt that you would have witnessed the devastation caused by the earthquake in Nepal on the news. Events like these really make you appreciate your life and the wonderful people who are a part of it. We then unite together to support those in need. Here is a way that you can help the victims of the earthquake...

From this Wednesday 13 May, leading restaurateurs across the nation will
band together to raise funds for The Australian Red Cross Nepal Region
Earthquake Appeal as part of ‘Tables4aCause’. More than 50 top restaurants
have donated tables for Wednesday 27 May, with all proceeds from a live
auction (from 9am, Wednesday 13 May), directly supporting those affected.

The list of generous restaurants includes Rockpool, Spice Temple, Matteo's, Pei
Modern (Melbourne), MoVida, MoVida Aqui, Rosa's Canteen, Lee Ho Fook,
Coda and Tonka.

While the immediate impact of the earthquake continues to unfold, there will
be a critical requirement for a long term rebuilding program that can only be
achieved with significant international support. Tables4aCause intends to
contribute to this effort.

The fundraising initiative is coordinated by Melbourne hospitality leaders,
Matteo Pignatelli and David Mackintosh, who commented,
"With so many wonderful, hardworking Nepalese in our industry we felt
compelled and committed to raising funds for victims of the devastating
Nepal earthquake."

As part of the online auction, hosted by auction partner Langton’s, a range of
tables will be available for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Other non-restaurant
items such as wine, events, hampers and providore goodies will also be

The live auction opens 9am on Wednesday 13 May and closes at 9pm on
Wednesday 20 May.

@tables4acause #tables4nepal #rebuildnepal #realaustralIanscare

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

MSS Fashion Edit - May '15 - Johnston & Bell

This month I am featuring Sydney boutique, Johnston & Bell. Owner and former London designer, Jenny Bell, showcases her vibrant label at her boutique in Balmain which epitomises glamour and femininity. Her creations are also made with materials that are designed to endure and for an affordable price. Luckily, us folk down in Melbourne can buy her alluring dresses online from the website as well as some selected boutiques. Plus, there is free shipping to anywhere in Australia for all orders over $50.

Here are my top 5 dresses...

Nellie Fitted Orange Front

Cherry Pleat Front

Crush Dress Fantail Front

Venice Dress Red Front

Paloma Green Front

P.S. Did you miss last month's 'Nautical' fashion edit? Check it out here...  

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