BALACLAVA, MELBOURNE, 3183
I lived in Balaclava back in the late 90's. It was my first taste of Melbourne. And I loved my corner of this great city. I loved that it was urban, bustling, cosmopolitan and a little rough around the edges. I loved the way hipsters, Hasidic Jews, yummy mummy's and a good smattering of local nutters happily rubbed shoulders. Now, over 10 years on, after spending a day eating drinking and wandering Balaclava I am delighted to see that nothing much has changed. There are more cafes, and more boutiques, perhaps a few less Jewish bakeries... perhaps... oh and the second hand record store has gone, now part of cafe Wall Two 80... but that is about the extent of it.
|Ye Olde trams still trundle up Chapel Street. It only takes about 4 and a half hours |
to reach Abbotsford at the other end of the line...
|MONK BOHDI DHARMA: The crustiness of the baguette called for a somewhat (satisfyingly) hands on approach...|
|Love, love, love the interiors here at MONK BOHDI DHARMA - earthy, rustic, cosy...|
|BALACLAVA STREET PHOTOGRAPHY#1|
After a most satisfying breakfast I headed over the road to The House of Balaklava - a beautiful accessories store with an emphasis on locally made quality products and with a distinctly vintage vibe.
|The HOUSE OF BALAKLAVA is a great spot for browsing beautiful hats, scarves, jewellery and more...|
|BALACLAVA STREET PHOTOGRAPHY #2|
After browsing it was definitely time for a coffee. A little further up the road under the overpass is Batch Espresso - I photographed here months ago for Melbourne Cafes Photo Blog but didn't sample the coffee that day... so today I did.
|BATCH ESPRESSO: That was as good as it looks - they make a flat white with a double shot here to help differentiate it from a latte... sure was tasty! Coffee is made on a Slayer - which is impressive, I hear, to the coffee geeks...|
|BATCH ESPRESSO: This buzzing, long standing local is run by Kiwi's and choca with Kiwiana... |
makes me feel right at home...
And so, time for a little cultcha. Over the road to Obscura Gallery. I come here as often as I am in Balaclava (in the afternoons - as they only open at mid-day) and have seen some fantastic fine art photography here. Careful though, this gallery is pretty... um... obscure (ha ha!) it is down an unassuming arcade and up a dodgy dark stairway and around the corner.... look out for the signs!
|LULU stocks beautiful clothing, accessories, home-wares and giftware - well worth a rummage - I bought a purse here a few weeks back. That purse changed my life, man.|
|BALACLAVA STREET PHOTOGRAPHY #4|
It has been quite a day. Time to see if I got a ticket in Coles car park (I had well exceeded my 2 hour limit!) But one more stop before I go - this store was here when I used to live in Balaclava... in fact it has been here over 40 years.
|THE COFFEE COMPANY: A huge range of coffee available here with a steady stream of locals buying|
beans to go. Also an impressive range of unusual imported goodies
(plenty of Easter treats in right now)
I hope you enjoy reading and find this useful if you are not familiar with Balaclava, or indeed new to Melbourne. If you are a local, I hope you are content with my coverage of your hood, feel free to suggest other 'can't miss' or interesting spots!
Oh, and I didn't get a ticket, woo-hoo.
1) MONK BOHDI DHARMA
202 carlisle st (hidden down alley)
2) HOUSE OF BALAKLAVA
167 carlisle st
320 carlisle st
4) OBSCURA GALLERY
285 carlisle st (first floor)
332a carlisle st
6) THE COFFEE COMPANY
260 carlisle st