The best part of being home is catching up with friends, picking up where we left off. The next best bits of being home are the cold weather and the food. I love being able to rug up and feel comfortable, and I also love getting back to cooking my own meals and going to Melbourne’s great cafes. My friends Lotus and Willow from Red Phoenix Emporium told me their Uncle and Aunty have set up a cafe in Melbourne, and I was keen to visit.
Last Sunday Cam and I caught up at Jackson Cafe and Gallery at 412 Rathdowne St Carlton North. She picked me up and the 10 minute drive from my place ended up taking an hour. We got quite lost. And my map app on my phone thought it was still in New York, directing us to The Carlton in Madison Avenue NYC! Hah!
We finally arrived, tummies rumbling, and we were greeted by Lotus and Willow’s Mum and Dad Sandra and JJ, and of course, Peter and Annie Jackson who own the cafe gallery. The cafe gallery was hard to locate last week but Peter told us the signage would arrive the day after we visited. It’s only been open for two weeks now! It has plenty of cushions along the window seat, a communal table in the front service room, and a back room with more tables and some armchairs near a fireplace.
Cam and I had hot drinks by the fireplace – she had coffee and I had one of the best hot chocolates ever. So chocolately! We had lunch too – she had tomato, ham and cheese bruschetta (which she said was yum!) and I had a really hearty eggplant parma with a side salad. It was a great meal for a cold wintery day.
The walls are adorned with artwork – for now they are all by Peter, but the cafe gallery is open to showcasing works by other artists. It also sells jewellery and accessories by Red Phoenix Emporium – I love that they’re now stocked in Melbourne.
We finished our lunch with a decadent brownie (cut in half to share – pictured above). Yum!
Peter and JJ took us upstairs to look at the gallery and a function room. It is a lovely space. Peter told us that he plans to have some Japanese cinema in the courtyard when the weather warms up, have musicians play, as well as provide art supplies to diners and hold a little competition of their finished works. I love the creative concepts.
I said to Cam that it felt very cosy, and like being at home. We were able to talk and talk and talk while our meals were prepared and there was no rush for us to leave. The older style building was nice, and I loved the winter sunlight.
After our lunch, Cam and I drove around looking for fabric shops that were open on a Sunday afternoon, and we finally found Clegs. Cam is sewing me a capelet for the ball. We also stopped by Gleaners Inc in Brunswick where I saw Cam’s work for sale, as well as a magnificent bird themed curation by local artists.
There are so many handmade goodies to choose from at Gleaner’s Inc, as well as some beautiful vintage trinkets – I adored a mini tea set. I bought a brooch made from a piece of recycled ceramic. It was a fun afternoon, and on arriving home, I said to Cam, I can’t believe we were out for five hours! I love Melbourne!