Other news from Abbotsford Convent

“In the last few months, things have really started to move. Lentil as Anything has moved onto site, creating delicious food and culture in their wake. It is great to be able access coffee, and to see more people walking around the site. 3MBS is establishing a brand spanking new (in a heritage sort of way) studio and with the advent of gas on site, Studio Glass is well on its way to being operational. The Sophia Mundi Steiner School begins the new term in its new location in St Mary’s as of 17 July. The Convent Bakery wood fired scotch ovens were fired up last week and they work! It takes a month for the ovens to heat up, brick by brick, and everyone working towards the Bakery being up and running by September. Meanwhile, the Foundation is busy preparing to launch a new website, aiming to reflect the project as it is today.” [Words from Abbotsford Convent Muse issue 6, photo from Helen Morgan over at Flickr who for some reason neglected to put this one into the Abbotsford Convent Flickr Group.]

Lentil as Anything at the Abbotsford Convent

Now it’s possible that this is a photo of Argentinian pataphysicist Hernan Palacio, of whom more anon. After Sunday’s breakfast, I walked to the Convent and rambled around and dreamt of something which does not feature prominently in the plans I have seen published by the Abbotsford Convent Foundation, namely the filling up of the empty swimming pool and its conversion into a magnificently beautiful public pool with sunlounges made of that beautiful striped French canvas which has recently reached our shores, with little taps in their arms which would pour beers into glasses made by the glassworks inside in return for a dollar coin which would activate a valve in a pipe direct from the brewery running beneath the majestic River Yarra with its source in a vat of a special brew created and reserved only for the Convent, and tapas in banana leaf packages in a new kind of vending machine made of bamboo, and very early afternoon hula dancing classes fueled by Tequila. But I digress. I popped my head into Lentil as Anything once I had peered through the window of the wood fired bakery-to-be and realised that the once-advertised and much-anticipated-by-me July opening was about as accurate as a Connex Epping line timetable. Dear readers, it comes after all that, to this: I liked what I saw. Continue reading “Lentil as Anything at the Abbotsford Convent”

Busy Oven Cafe, Johnston and Nicholson corner

On Sunday, I had breakfast at Busy Oven on the corner of Johnston St and Nicholson St (9415 7418), not exactly an auspicious location. Once you’re inside, though, it’s lovely. They have new opening hours, and are now open from 9ish on Sundays.  It’s a good place to go for a quiet, quick breakfast on a weekend, with a good chance of getting the paper to yourself, only locals, not too crowded, honest food.  Its decor is just a bit too living room, too utilitarian, too local lunchspot, to be really stylish which keeps out the too-beautiful people but at the same time it is a nice place to be, and if the mufffins aren’t yet ready, it’s not because the delivery is late but because they haven’t got them into the oven yet. I suspect its prices are pitched just a little high ($3 coffees, $5 toast), but if that doesn’t bother you, and you don’t plan on stealing my paper, get along there. I spotted the Scottish Karl Roche who runs Element, a cafe which kicks arse in every way, in there for his morning coffee, and that is probably the best advertisement a place can get in my book. He’s so cool he’s got a girlfriend (named Bonnie?) from the Cook Islands, or at least he did, and his cafe doesn’t have a phone, or at least it didn’t, and as far as I know, still does, and still doesn’t.

Abbotsford Convent and the Slow Food Festival

John Lethlean from The Age‘s “Epicure” reports on the imminent benefits to Abbotrigines of the slow food movement’s taking up of residence in the Abbotsford Convent. (Here’s another Age article suggesting what interesting things are already going on there.) I am innately attracted to the slow food movement — I like the small shop, I wish I were slower, and I like the way the popularity of the baker in Altamura, in southern Italy forced McDonald’s out of business in the small town of 65,000 souls (20 of whom lost their jobs). The Movement itself was founded by an Italian incensed by McDonald’s opening up in a historic building near Rome’s Spanish Steps (always a foreigners’ hangout in the Caput Mundi anyway — he doesn’t seem to have been so upset about Babbington’s Tea House). Continue reading “Abbotsford Convent and the Slow Food Festival”

Yarra River Photography Exhibition at Abbotsford Convent

A bloke named David Roberts canoed down the entire river, and took lots of photographs, and now there’s an exhibition. Now it’s at Monstalvat, soon at the Convent (August 3 to 31), then at Scienceworks. The genesis of the exhibition is an interesting story, recounted in this Age article, from which this A.J. Campbell photograph is reproduced. The show pairs Cambell’s and Roberts’s photographs.  Of Campbell, The Age says:

Continue reading “Yarra River Photography Exhibition at Abbotsford Convent”