The kitchen and dining space have now been expanded to serve more customers. There’s a handy wheelchair/pram ramp to the takeaway area and plenty of room to park a pram or your shopping when you’re visiting the monthly Farmer’s Market.
The wooden tables and rickety little stools lend a rustic feel to the cafe, in keeping with its situation in sight of the vegetable patches and chicken coops.
The menu at The Farm Cafe continues to pay homage to its locality and surroundings – a bit of the country for city folk – with a focus on local, seasonal and fresh produce. A list of their producers and suppliers is thanked on their menu.
My Green Eggs were a burst of healthy green silverbeet and herbs, mandolinned radish, chunks of soft caramelised fennel and some fluffy, nutty quinoa sitting atop a swirl of garlic aioli – but I didn’t realise until after I’d taken the photo that they’d forgotten my two poached eggs! Luckily the mistake was quickly rectified and I was given two perfectly poached eggs oozing a bright orange yolk ($15.50).
When you can watch a cow get milked a few steps away from the cafe it only seems right that you should order a milkshake. The milk they use is thick and creamy, lending a indulgent frothiness to the drink. It arrives in a steel cup, keeping the contents properly cold.
You can request any leftovers to be poured into takeaway coffee cup complete with jaunty paper straw while you go about your tour of the farm.The Farm Cafe, Collingwood Childrens’ Farm, 18 St Heliers St, Abbotsford +61 3 9415 6581 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday
It’s 2 degrees and dark. I drag myself out of bed and hop on my bike, hands chapped and breathing frigid air fumes.
What for? To warm up my intellectual muscle at Next Wave’s Breakfast Club.
Next Wave is a biennial arts festival which celebrates independent, local artists and the Breakfast Club is a free event that’s happening over four weeks in June and July at The Wheeler Centre. It’s a forum for exploring how different social and intellectual issues can inform artists and creatives in their work and conversely, how art can interact with our every day lives.
Bright and early at 8am about 100 people gathered for coffee from Small Batch and a healthy breakfast pot by Yoghurt Culture (cost by donation) and a dose of artistic and intellectual discussion before most of us have had our first caffeine hit and checked our inbox. I was attending as a ‘Live Scribe’ and live tweeted the speakers and the group discussions I listened in on during the 60 minute session.
The topic for the morning was ‘Nurture over nature? How does your family shape your relationship with art?‘. During the hour we listened to Phuong Ngo, an artist who is second generation Vietnamese and son of refugees; Steaphan Paton an artist of Aboriginal descent; and Jo Case, an author who has just published a family memoir around her son’s Asperger’s.
Each person discussed their work and ended their presentation with a series of provocations to stimulate conversations amongst strangers sitting at each table.
You can listen to a podcast of the speakers on Soundcloud or iTunes so there’s no need for me to repeat what was said. But the speakers and discussions did get me thinking about certain issues – as a migrant, as an Australian, as a mother and as a blogger:
The speakers and the discussions convinced me to make certain resolutions:
What surprised me about the discussions was that everyone was willing to share personal stories and very often the topic segued away from the topic to anecdotes about social histories, childhood experiences, interactions with indigenous culture, family dynamics and raising children.
There are no right or wrong answers to these big questions. What Next Wave’s Breakfast Club highlights is the intellectual, artistic, curious and sharing natures of Melburnians. I came away from the morning energised and loving the fact that Melbourne has the time and space to support these sort of stimulating discussions and that we live in a city that’s enriched by art and debate.
Book now for the last two Breakfast Club events as they sell out (though you can walk up on the day):
Image by Next Wave
The 2013 edition of The Age Good Cafe Guide is in stores today – are your favourites listed?
While I am not a coffee drinker I have reviewed several of the award-winning establishments. These cafes won top honours:
Each of the 300+ cafes in the guide have been reviewed and the very best have been awarded one to three coffee cups based on their commitment to coffee, the food and the decor/ambience.
The decisive guide to Melbourne
Reviews of what's HOT and NOT in the city.