Category Archives: April 2012

La Petite Creperie-Broadsheet, 30th April 2012

cylinderPhotography: Josie Withers

A City News Cylinder gets a French Facelift

La Petite Creperie offers city slickers crepes on the quick.

As far as takeaway joints go, the newly established La Petite Creperie in the CBD is certainly one of the more innovative.

Life and work partners Michael Gatta-Castel and Patrizia Maselli met whilst Maselli was holidaying in Gatta-Castel’s native France. It was there that she was introduced to the humble crepe and as their love story travelled to Melbourne, so did their passion for French cuisine.

In 2008, the pair opened Creperie Le Triskel in Hardware Lane, the restaurant-cum-patisserie where traditional French fare is devoured by the masses.

The couple now present La Petite Creperie, a takeaway crepe stand already delighting swathes of city locals, workers and tourists. Operating all day, seven days a week, the creperie is housed in a cylindrical former newsstand on the corner of Swanston Street and Little Collins, opposite the Town Hall.

Unlike other garden variety takeaway stands, this is the first time a creperie has been created on such a small scale, with health codes and a whole lot of red tape rearing their ugly heads. However, as Maselli attests, the whole endeavour was challenging but worth it.

The crepes themselves are all made French-style, served by French staff in an idyllic space replete with French style ornaments and hand-painted doors.

Currently only serving sweet crepes (with savoury treats on the cards), all toppings – from traditional salted caramel and chocolate to jam and maple syrup – are homemade or sourced from quality manufacturers. Delicieux.

La Petite Creperie-Broadsheet, 30th April 2012

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Tails from the Fishbowl-Four, 18th April 2012

FourMagazineFishBowl03Photography by Rachel Bellinsky

A Room with a View

Photographer, animal lover and one-time singer songwriter Rachel Bellinsky recently released her beautiful photographic book Tails from the Fishbowl, a visual diary of local pets, staring out from behind neighbourhood windows.

On daily walks with her beloved Yorkie x Jack Russell Cooper (who may also possess a little Chihuahua. And gremlin. And even a dash of unicorn.), Bellinsky began to notice and eventually photograph the cats and dogs peering from behind their own ‘fishbowl’-like windows. Curious about our relationships with the pets we share our homes with, and envisioning the animals’ stories or ‘tails’ (tales) if you will, the collection grew, and thus the book was born.

Says Bellinsky “In my neighbourhood, the animals are boss. They’re everywhere, and they make great photographic subjects. This series started with one or two window shots, first an orange tabby, then some kind of terrier mutt, both sitting behind glass. Suddenly I was seeing animals in windows all over the place!”

Taken over two years, the images themselves offer up a romantic, dreamlike quality, with the Southern Californian surroundings casting a dappled sunlight effect upon each photograph. While she admits this is a quality that is already apparent in the charming old neighbourhoods such as her own, Bellinsky also likes to scale back on reality somewhat with tones and editing.

She jokes, ”I used to live in Las Vegas, and I often wonder what kind of images I would have gotten on a daily basis while living there. I’m not sure if I could coax ‘dreamy’ from blocks of desert and concrete.”

If the light was good and the composition appropriate, Bellinsky would photograph each and every adorable subject, and is yet to find a pet who is not photo-worthy.

Indeed you would be hard pressed to hear her say anything less than glowing about all living things, with the staunch animal supporter admitting to worrying about them immensely.  Her love and adoration is palpable in her work and to compliment this a portion of the book’s proceeds will go to the Humane Society. Says Bellinsky, “If my book could save a few animals that way, it would make me very happy.”

To see more of Rachel Bellinsky’s work, visit her site

Tails from the Fishbowl-Four, 18th April 2012

Oli and Levi-Broadsheet, 4th April 2012

oliPhotography: Josie Withers

A Welcome Respite in the CBD

New cafe Oli and Levi brings well-priced, honest fare to city slickers.

Lunch breaks in the city can be fraught with danger. For every awe-inspiring cafe filled with mouth-watering treats, there are 10 more with doughy focaccias, dry sushi or questionable fried fare. It’s a common theme in the CBD and despite all the fabulous restaurants Melbourne foodies have access to in the evenings, laidback venues for sandwiches and salads at a reasonable price are few and far between.

Enter Oli & Levi, a new cafe at the end of Coromandel Place off Little Collins, bright yellow awnings beckoning passersby from its all but hidden spot.

Already causing a stir with $1.50 sweet or savoury tarts, the small yet considered menu is a welcome change from some of the area’s overpriced and unappealing dishes. Head chef Sean Muir, formerly of Elwood’s Dandelion, has even injected a hint of Asian flare, with the hot duck roll a standout come lunchtime.

Says owner Lloyd Smith, “We wanted to create a simple but yummy menu at honest prices – not your run-of-the-mill city café – where people can eat and enjoy themselves.”

The space itself also reflects this theory, with the industrial yet cosy setting providing a relaxed, light-soaked atmosphere and bi-folding doors. They serve Allpress coffee, while food is available to takeaway or eat in (both inside or out). All this makes for welcome new addition to the CBD’s lunchtime landscape.

Oli and Levi-Broadsheet, 4th April 2012

Fin-Broadsheet, 4th April 2012

finPhotography: Josie Withers

Art Meets Fashion at Fin

Swimwear and separates combine with sculpture and surrealism at Fin.

Melbourne girl Roxy Green has fashion in her blood. The offspring of Quiksilver co-founder Alan Green, she grew up in the rag trade, so it is unsurprising she has ventured into the field herself.

Her new store Fin on High Street, Prahran combines her two design loves – fashion and art. In this gallery and boutique, swimwear and separates combine with sculpture and surrealism.

The space is kept sparse to maintain the gallery feel and all racks of clothing are portable, ensuring Fin is constantly evolving. Shoes are artfully displayed on custom-built wire storage units and jewellery is draped across the bellies of imaginative mannequins.

The products themselves are a nod to Green’s beachside childhood in Torquay. Her own swimwear line Finnigan is stocked alongside laidback label Collecting Pretty Boys and up-and-coming shoe line Illex Kinni.

Her most recent exhibition featured sculptures from Australian artist Max Gurrie, who explores beach and bush within his work. Next up sees the work of New York-based Josh Gurrie (son of Max) whose Finnigan swimwear artworks are already adorning the walls.

A new and exciting concept, the store aims to showcase burgeoning new work in a sleek setting, particularly young Australian artists and designers. Says Green, “I wanted to embrace young local talent through different mediums.”

Fin-Broadsheet, 4th April 2012

Le Flaneur-Broadsheet, 1st April 2012

Le FPhotography: Josie Withers

Le Flaneur

Stepping across the threshold of this playful Hawthorn café is rather like stepping onto the set of Wes Anderson’s film Fantastic Mr Fox. The atmosphere is quirky yet cosy; silver birch branches jut out of the wooden communal table and a cluster of frames showcasing besuited and bespectacled animals adorns the wall to the right.

The name comes from famed French poet Charles Baudelaire’s idea on le flâneur, a philosophy examining us as individuals and how we interact and feed off those around us.

But the real draw card at Le Flâneur – co-owned by husband and wife team Tony Lin Katrina Hsiao – is the coffee. Barista Lin has long had a penchant for good caffeine and was trained in the art of coffee making by Kirby Berlin, the 2011 Australian Latte Art Champion.

Featuring four single origin varieties and a house-blend designed and roasted especially by Proud Mary, coffee at Le Flâneur is made with panache. Think siphons or halogen beam heaters or served ice cold via a Japanese cold-dripper, arriving with a side of milk, sugar syrup and a beaming smile.

And with an ex-Huxtable and Vue De Monde chef helming the kitchen, you can be sure the food lives up to the same standard. The breakfast and lunch menu rotates seasonally to utilise fresh ingredients with a distinctly French skew.

Le Flaneur-Broadsheet, 1st April 2012