Spring has sprung

Spring has sprung
Roses at the Cottage

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Richmond's Greek Restaurants

Καλωσορίσατε (Welcome)
Melbourne is reputed to be the third largest Greek city in the world (after Athens and Thesalonika). Although the population of 'after the war' Greek immigrants is diminishing, Richmond still has a large percentage who have introduced us to growing vegetables in their front gardens (now fashionable) and the nonnas and pappas sitting on their front verandahs 'watching the world go by'. (I'll expand on this in a future blog).

From this influx of immigrants has arisen a group of restaurants that line the 'Greek strip' of Swan Street. The strip has expanded and contracted over the years but the hard core have remained and flourished.

The courtyard at Dimitri's Feast
Simply grilled garfish
Olive oil can stools
One of my favourite cafes introduces the new generation of Aussie-born Greeks to the area. Still bringing the essence of Greece but with a modern twist. Perhaps my favourite is Dimitri's Feast. Here you can sit inside on stools made out of Greek olive oil tins (challenging for larger bottoms!) or in the garden under the vines and think of the Aegean! Their Baclava French Toast with walnut praline, sweet yoghurt (Greek of course!) and orange blossom syrup is to die for (you probably will have a cholesterol-overload heart attack - and increased bottom size but...!). And I'm thrilled to hear on the grapevine (!) that they are now open for dinner as well on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.
Jim - the Aussie-born Greek owner of Dimitri's

Agaphi just up the road in the 'strip' is another where you'll find good honest Greek cuisine - the dips, the lamb cutlets, the fish platters are all just as you would expect. It's such a relief in this day and age of creative chef overload to find food that never changes. John is the current owner/chef was taught by his mother - who can sometimes still be seen in the kitchen doing what she knows best! Cooking from the heart.

However plate smashing is not in order before, during or after the meal. I'm reminded of this as I have clients journeying from interstate to attend a Greek wedding. I've advised them that the smashing of plates at the Cottage is a no no!

Αντίο (farewell)

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

A bride, a marriage and now a baby

It is always a joy to welcome clients who return again and again to the Cottage - often with happy memories. One of my favourite client stories is from Ramona the 'mother-of-the-bride' preparing her daughter Francesca for her wedding at the Cottage. She certainly enhances the Victorian hallway - although it looks as though I need to straighten the pictures! But then whose looking at the pictures when the bride is the shining light!

Doesn't she look gorgeous. Etherial comes to mind! Husband Paul - what a lucky man!

And now - look at the result - though I can't claim any responsibility for baby Eva!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Who says a book has to be a book!

Strolling past my favourite Richmond nursery en route to change my books at the local library I was thrilled to discover a whole new way of reading - and it wasn't the Kindle! Glasshaus Nursery is located at 52 Stanley Street and is well worth a visit. Every time I pass there is always something that catches my eye.

 I can see that I will need to create a new outside library in the garden at Bowen Cottage  to complement the collection of travel books inside so that my clients can sit and relax in the pretty courtyard or catching the sun on the front verandah.