With beachfront, sea baths and a bohemian society, there’s nowhere quite like St Kilda.
From its affluent beginning in the 1800s as a seaside resort destination to its colourful post-WWII “red light” reputation, St Kilda is a mixing pot of cuisines, culture and class.
Spend 24 hours and St Kilda will quickly become a place you love….
For a taste of the Mediterranean, visit Pelican Restaurant & Bar (16 Fitzroy Street)
Easily identified on the corner of Park and Fitzroy Streets by its quirky “round window” slat exterior, the Pelican has been feeding St Kilda residents and visitors for 17 years.
Quality local ingredients are the menu’s centrepiece for traditional and contemporary flavours.
When your breakfast menu includes Bloody Maries and Espresso Martinis alongside Chilli Scrambled Eggs and Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict, you know you’re in the right place.
The main menu tapas selection is perfect for a lunch date. “Saganaki Cheese”, a generous slice of pan-fried halloumi with lemon, black pepper and spiced honey, is not to be missed.
Chicken liver paté with dates, figs, apple chutney and grilled sourdough may well be the most moreish we’ve experienced to date and the roasted mushrooms with goats cheese and toasted seeds, is worthy of daily consumption.
For something more substantial there’s Jamaican Jerk Chicken, Lamb Backstrap and Scotch Fillet, all served with tantalising sauces and sides.
Market fresh fish is beer battered and served with a simple salad and chips and there are 3 options for the risotto inclined.
A tight, but well-versed wine list highlights Victorian wine regions, France’s Loire Valley and has a smattering from South Australia, New Zealand and Italy.
Pelican staff are knowledgeable, efficient and relaxed. They’re engaging when invited and invisible when privacy is required.
The Pelican’s floor plan suits intimate dining, group bookings, a beer at the bar, or in my case, a cheeky glass of wine while logging in to meet a deadline.
Misery Guts (19 Grey Street) “caters to locals, the discerning public and other humans”. Don’t let the bar’s title deter you, after all, misery loves company and you’ll find plenty at Misery Guts.
An eclectic crowd make themselves comfortable from 4 pm Tuesday to Thursday and an hour earlier Friday to Sunday, but if you ask if they’re open Mondays you’ll get a definite “nup”!
Aside from the local tap beers, there’s a fridge full of beer and cider with varying clout, a wine list with outstanding pedigree and cocktails to give you a quick buzz.
You may have heard of the 3 x cheese toastie that’s bigger than Texas, well, the cheese board is a satisfying size too. Add grown-up flavoured chips and nuts and your eats are covered while you settle in for a session.
It would be remiss not to mention Pontoon, the beach level bar at Stokehouse Precinct (30 Jacka Boulevard). Join the rest of Melbourne for sundowners on Friday. The 18-metre bar was built for the foreseen crowd.
If the location sounds attractive but the crowd – not so much, then head in from noon daily to take in the views with a little less company.
Keep your eyes peeled for the hidden gem, Laneway Art Space (148A Barkly Street). At the end of the red brick lane between St Kilda Cycles and Petbarn discover a warehouse-style gallery showcasing local, international and emerging artists.
Founder and curator, Geoffrey Williams, has an eye for rarities in both talent and mediums. A recent exhibition – The Grace of Stain – saw dynamic work by Kim Simon take centre stage.
Kim had an early start in textiles, knitting at the age of 4. She furthered those skills while adding dying processes to produce sought-after pieces under the Fibre Red banner.
Today Kim works with Kinwashi paper, metals, wax and oxidisation. An experimental process creating impressions from oxidised metals.
“Fundamental to my thinking is wherever we go and in whatever we do, impressions are stained in our memory, on our skin and in the very core of our being. We are the givers and receivers of impressions, some unbeknownst to us, others of which we are fully aware.” – Kim Simon
Laneway Artspace’s strong community focus highlights local talent and creates awareness of neighbourhood developments. Case in point is Alan Cotton’s Gatwick Collection.
A photographic record of the old Gatwick’s period features before it becomes the new doer-upper for the renovation TV series “The Block”. A preview can be viewed on the Laneway Artspace website or in person via appointment.
If you’re an artist or know artists who may be interested in having their work exhibited as part of Laneway Artspace’s Summer/ Autumn season, review the details below and connect. Please note the deadline. Laneway Artspace’s new season commences January 17th.
For news, views and exhibition announcements, follow Laneway Artspace on Facebook.
Relax those aching muscles at St Kilda Sea Baths (10-18 Jacka Boulevard). With a 25-metre indoor seawater pool and a hydrotherapy seawater spa pool, both your exercise and relaxation needs are covered.
Back in 1970 Cr. Manning, recognising the expense of curated art exhibitions invited local artists to exhibit at the new Art Bank on the Esplanade. Art Bank’s popularity grew with potters, sculptors, leather workers and jewellers joining.
The Art Bank’s evolution eventually required a name change and became the St Kilda Esplanade Market (The Esplanade).
Now with up to 250 stall holders, some remain from the market’s inception, there is far more than art and craft. Gift-ware, home-wares, accessories, body products and plenty of food options join the original artists and artisans.
This weekly Sunday market is a shopaholics dream on the St Kilda foreshore.
The cake shops of Acland Street can’t be overlooked when spending 24 hours in St Kilda.
Make a bee-line for Europa Cake Shop (81 Acland Street) for their baked cheesecake. Unadorned, this soft cottage cheese centre on a shortbread biscuit base isn’t quite as eye-catching as the cakes in the window, but look around and see how popular it is.
Monarch Cakes (103 Acland Street) have been baking delectable delights on Acland Street since the 1930’s.
Still using recipes brought from Poland by the original owners, at Monarch Cakes you can indulge in light flaky pastry vanilla slices, lemon tarts and Chocolate Kooglhoupf. Yum!
The iconic Tolarno Hotel (42 Fitzroy Street) is an institution in St Kilda. In a perfect location to explore St Kilda’s beach, bars, restaurants and shopping make The Tolarno a sought-after hotel, but it’s really its colourful past and heritage listed walls that elevate the experience and instigate many a conversation.
Surrounded by original Mirka Mora murals and galleries of art prize winners, the Tolarno has our vote. Follow this link for more on the Tolarno.
Spending 24 hours in St Kilda: it’s a thing we love….
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