// Hello Melbourne

Latest Posts

HOT: Éclair Affair High Tea, Lobby Lounge, The Westin Melbourne, 250 Collins St, Melbourne

Éclair Affair Lobby Lounge The Westin Melbourne 250 Collins St Melbourne 4 HOT: Éclair Affair High Tea, Lobby Lounge, The Westin Melbourne, 250 Collins St, Melbourne

Melbourne offers a high tea option for just about every sweet desire and The Westin Melbourne has just launched an afternoon tea service which pays homage to buttery, fluffy, choux pastry – it’s an Eclair Affair!

I was invited to sample Éclair Affair and settled myself into a fat leather chair one sunny afternoon while I watched the passing parade of Collins Street in the clubby feel of the Lobby Lounge.

Every season The Westin Melbourne changes its high tea menu and for autumn it’s all about these delicate Parisian treats. What you receive are eclairs as the sweet nibbles most of us are familiar with – but then you also have savoury fillings sandwiched the eclairs.- well, instead of sandwiches.

Éclair Affair Lobby Lounge The Westin Melbourne 250 Collins St Melbourne 1 HOT: Éclair Affair High Tea, Lobby Lounge, The Westin Melbourne, 250 Collins St, Melbourne

No high tea would be complete with scones. Here you receive two – one vanilla bean and one fruit – with cream and strawberry jam. All of it comes out beautifully presented in an Art Deco inspired three tiered stand.

Éclair Affair Lobby Lounge The Westin Melbourne 250 Collins St Melbourne 5 HOT: Éclair Affair High Tea, Lobby Lounge, The Westin Melbourne, 250 Collins St, Melbourne

The high tea comes with a choice of a glass of Domain Chandon, or a Vittoria coffee, hot chocolate or Jing tea. Having cycled to the venue (and had my bike valet parked!) I opted for a tall glass of ice tea sweetened with lychee, a refreshing counterpoint to the treats on offer with its delicate flavours.

Éclair Affair Lobby Lounge The Westin Melbourne 250 Collins St Melbourne 3 HOT: Éclair Affair High Tea, Lobby Lounge, The Westin Melbourne, 250 Collins St, Melbourne

Out of the five savoury eclairs my favourite were the more simple options – goats cheese with basil pesto and Ham, comte cheese, confit tomato and Dijon aioli – as I felt that they paired better with the delicate choux pastry.

Éclair Affair Lobby Lounge The Westin Melbourne 250 Collins St Melbourne 2 HOT: Éclair Affair High Tea, Lobby Lounge, The Westin Melbourne, 250 Collins St, Melbourne

As for the sweet options they ranged from a very sweet strawberry and lime to a delightfully bitter chocolate caramel and the almost savoury pistachio and fig.

The Éclair Affair High Tea at The Westin Melbourne is on until June 30. It’s a charming afternoon tea with a Parisian twist and if you like pastry this is the place to indulge!

Éclair Affair, Lobby Lounge, The Westin Melbourne, 205 Collins Street, Melbourne 03 9635 2222

 $49 per person with Vittoria coffee, hot chocolate or Jing tea

 $59 per person with 1 glass of Domaine Chandon, Vittoria coffee, hot chocolate or Jing tea

Available now until June 30.

minilink HOT: Éclair Affair High Tea, Lobby Lounge, The Westin Melbourne, 250 Collins St, Melbourne

Latest Posts

HOT: StArt Up: Top Arts 2014, Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Federation Square, Melbourne

StArt Up Top Arts 2014 Ian Potter Centre NGV Australia Federation Square Melbourne 4 HOT: StArt Up: Top Arts 2014, Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Federation Square, Melbourne

Top Arts is arguably Victoria’s premier art accolade for young artists completing their VCE in Art or Studio Arts studies. For the last two decades years, a handful of entrants have been selected from across the state to exhibit their work in Victoria’s biggest and most prestigious gallery, the National Gallery of Victoria.

This year, in line with the 20th anniversary of Top Arts, the free exhibition has had a slight makeover and been renamed StArt Up: Top Arts 2014. Because not only is the exhibition about the top art you’ll find in high schools in Victoria, it’s about supporting young talent and giving them a start to pursue a career in the arts. Inside you’ll find photography, drawing, painting, sculpture, installation and video works selected from over 3000 submissions.

I visited the exhibition on its opening night and was really awed by some of the young talent on show. Here are some of my favourite works:

StArt Up Top Arts 2014 Ian Potter Centre NGV Australia Federation Square Melbourne 1 HOT: StArt Up: Top Arts 2014, Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Federation Square, Melbourne

The intricate detail of the felt-tip pen drawings of Beyond the memories (Fushigina taken, futatsu no sekai) by Darcy Whitworth, a reflection of her time in Japan.

StArt Up Top Arts 2014 Ian Potter Centre NGV Australia Federation Square Melbourne 2 HOT: StArt Up: Top Arts 2014, Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Federation Square, Melbourne

 

Hundreds of carved bamboo insects in Swarms by Madeleine McDonough.

StArt Up Top Arts 2014 Ian Potter Centre NGV Australia Federation Square Melbourne 3 HOT: StArt Up: Top Arts 2014, Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Federation Square, Melbourne

Look closely and these blooms are actually made up of body parts of the female figure. Botanical anatomy 1 by Adelle Elksnis.

StArt Up Top Arts 2014 Ian Potter Centre NGV Australia Federation Square Melbourne 5 HOT: StArt Up: Top Arts 2014, Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Federation Square, Melbourne

The beautiful clouds of folded paper in The subjectivity of interpretation by Adrian Del-Re.

StArt Up Top Arts 2014 Ian Potter Centre NGV Australia Federation Square Melbourne 6 HOT: StArt Up: Top Arts 2014, Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Federation Square, Melbourne

The incredible detail in the tiny specks of sugar covering the girl’s face. Sugar by Stephanie Pidcock.

A range of talks and learning programs accompany StArt Up: Top Arts 2014 and you can view workbooks, folios and preparatory material to get an insight into the creative process

StArt Up: Top Arts 2014 is an interesting collection of diverse works and it’s inspiring to see what the next generation of artists are working on now. Who knows, this year’s crop could become the Next Big Thing in the art world soon.

StArt Up: Top Arts 2014, Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Federation Square, Melbourne

Friday 11 Apr – Sunday 20 July

Latest Posts

HOT: Hawthorn Common, 302 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn

Hawthorn Common 302 Burwood Road Hawthorn 2 HOT: Hawthorn Common, 302 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn

Hawthorn Common is a café that’s all about environmental sustainability and a complete wholefoods lifestyle.

If that’s too many buzzwords in one food philosophy for you, check out the work that’s going on Hawthorn Common first. The cafe were recently recognised in The Age’s Good Food Under $30 2014 where they took out the gong for ‘sustainable café champ’.

As you climb the stairs the place opens out into an expansive indoor-outdoor space. When I arrive early Saturday morning there’s a yoga class earnestly asana-ing on one corner of the outdoor deck that’s dotted with planters. (Yoga and coffee on the deck is $20 Saturdays 7:30am).

Hawthorn Common 302 Burwood Road Hawthorn HOT: Hawthorn Common, 302 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn

On a sunny day the deck is where you should be but rather than stare at bums in the air I chose to take a seat inside the banquette-lined dining area, facing the coffee counter while owner Danny Colls (ex Silo by Joost) pumped out coffees.

Hawthorn Common 302 Burwood Road Hawthorn 5 HOT: Hawthorn Common, 302 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn

A row of laughing portraits face line the walls, a happy collection of family, friends, staff and suppliers that gives a clue as to the origin of the café’s ‘common’ moniker. Even Colls’ baby daughter gazes down from the wall, facing a large round communal table adorned by a large Coco Flip pendant lamp turned from Victorian ash.

Hawthorn Common 302 Burwood Road Hawthorn 4 HOT: Hawthorn Common, 302 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn

Hawthorn Common needs to inhabit such an expansive space because they do a lot of things inhouse. They roast their own coffee, grow their own herbs, culture their yoghurt, ferment pickles and bottle preserves, mill the flour fresh every day for their house-baked bread and even hand roll the oats for your porridge fresh to order. Their café’s ethos is to form a closed loop – the menu says that all the produce is ”milled, rolled, fermented, baked, preserved, dried and roasted while organic waste composted and returned to grow again’.

The menu is small but evidently a lot of care has gone into the ingredients and the chef Stefano Rosi hails from Café Vue and Vue du Monde. To start (and to make up for not being at yoga class) I order a kale, apple, grapes, kiwi and almond milk smoothie ($7), a good way to absorb a hit of greenery to start the day.

Hawthorn Common 302 Burwood Road Hawthorn 6 HOT: Hawthorn Common, 302 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn

Then onto a more substantial breakfast of house made baked beans with a spicy lamb sausage, two perfectly poached eggs and an oven roasted tomato ($20). It’s colourful and filling and the sausage provides a good hit of chilli.

Hawthorn Common 302 Burwood Road Hawthorn 3 HOT: Hawthorn Common, 302 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn

The brunch menu starts at 11:30am and includes small snacks, salads, tasting plates (a platter of carrots anyone?) before moving into meals proper, such as the ox pie with pickles which caught my eye.

Hawthorn Common is an impressive undertaking. They espouse the term ‘sustainability’ in a practical way, not just mouthing the words on their menu, and they’ve built a community-minded space for Hawthorn locals. The food is virtuous without being smug and most importantly, it’s delicious.

Hawthorn Common, 302 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn 03 9819 2200

Mon to Thu 7am – 4pm
Fri 7 am – 11pm
Sat to Sun 7am – 4pm

minilink HOT: Hawthorn Common, 302 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn

Looking for more? Check out the MEL: HOT OR NOT archives here

Welcome to MEL: HOT OR NOT

The decisive guide to Melbourne

Reviews of what's HOT and NOT in the city.

Recent Posts

HOT: Hero Subs, 1 Stewart Street, Tenancy 1, back of RMIT SAB Building 80, 445 Swanston St, Melbourne
April 9, 2014
HOT: Good Cycles Mobile Bike Mechanics, corner of Village Street and Fishplate Lane, Docklands
April 7, 2014
HOT: Cobb Lane, 13 Anderson St, Yarraville
April 4, 2014
HOT: Cecconi’s Flinders Lane Restaurant and Cellar Bar, 61 Flinders Ln, Melbourne
April 2, 2014

Click for more in Archives

Get in touch

Want to say hello, ask questions, give feedback, advertise on the site? Email me at joyce@melhotornot.com

LIKE me on Facebook

We’re featured in LonelyPlanet.com

I'm a featured blogger on Lonely Planet
MEL: HOT OR NOT - The decisive guide to Melbourne Melbourne restaurants

Twitter Updates

    Categories

    Editorial policy

    Get Adobe Flash player