The marvellous slow food market is on at the Convent today — get a rhubarb tartlett from the rhubarb lady, a strong coffee from Lentil as Anything, a loaf of bread from the bakery, and stock up on unbelievably good home made panforte for Christmas presents. But take your own plastic bags, or baskets. And there’s an open day at the Convent besides, where you can go inside the buildings, check out the artists’ studios, the ‘wellbeing studios’, and probably even the most beautiful ‘cello shop in the world. Market finishes at 1 p.m., open day goes till 4 p.m. 3MBS is running tours.
The Age has reviewed a bar that I like, the Abbotsford Convent’s Handsome Steve’s House of Refreshment. I never seem to get there though. This could be the prompter.
There are some wonderful homeware places for the well-heeled in Abbotsford proper in addition to all the lifestyle supermarkets in Bridge Road. There’s Orient Express, where you can buy Asian people’s cultural heritage. There’s Mondo Trasho, cool in every way, and then there’s one of my favourite shops, Zelij. It’s a Moroccan importer (alas, Maison de Tunisie, a lovely little place on Smith St towards Victoria St a few years ago is no more). It has beautiful Moroccan lights, bowls, Moorish tiles, tableware and cookware, and some distinctive rugs and armchairs and sofas. Also, lots of Moroccan cookbooks and books with titles like ‘Moorish Style’.
Usually, Zelij’s unbelievably expensive. Today though, is the last day of their warehouse clearance: there are few prices marked on anything, but presumably it’s walking out the door at never to be repeated, crazy, crazy prices. The warehouse is at 25 Russell St, Abbotsford, 3067. The contrast between the wonderfully Moorish interior and the industrial brick warehouse exterior is kind of worth popping your head into, just for a gander. Basically, it’s right at the southern end of Collingwood Station, near the Town Hall and the library. Russell St runs between Gipps St and Langridge St, beside the railway line, one street towards Hoddle St from the street with the Carringbush Hotel on the corner.