Friday, May 29, 2015

Dream Home

This is the name of the award winning play presented by Darebin Arts' Speakeasy which is currently showing at the Northcote Town Hall until 3 June.  Like Grand Designs, I think this comedy about life in suburbia highlights the pitfalls of home renovation and the toll it can take on relationships.  While Mr Rosanna and I have never gone down the path of a complete overhaul - most of our friends and family who've renovated have said "never again!" - I do take my hat off to any serial home renovators.
Image via Northcote Town Hall
A couple of things on this weekend - the Fairfield Farmers Market is on as well as the Melbourne International Jazz Festival.  And while venues for the jazz festival are mainly in the city, I think some of the shows would be fantastic to see.  I've not yet been to the Melbourne Recital Centre in Southbank, which looks great from the outside.
Image via The Dharma Door
Speaking of home, I have long loved these jute baskets and bowls that are available from Australian fair trade retailer The Dharma Door.  I've got my eye on a couple of the striped versions for my house.
Finally I am very happy to announce a special homewares offer from Romulus and the Gypsy for readers of my blog!  See below for more details:
If you’re looking for homewares for yourself or gifts for friends and family, then give Romulus and the Gypsy in Ivanhoe a visit.  To celebrate the launch of our online store for the next two weeks, we are offering Miss Rosanna blog readers a 10% discount across our entire range of homewares, candles and jewellery. 
To take advantage of this offer in-store please mention this post or shop online at and enter ‘MISSROSANNA’ at the checkout.   Romulus and the Gypsy is located at 11/149 Upper Heidelberg Rd, Ivanhoe (facing the Livingstone St carpark) and is open Tuesday to Saturday.  Happy shopping!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Journey's End

I spied this beautiful 1920s house for sale in Bridge Street on the way to Heide Museum of Modern Art in Bulleen last week.  I'd never really noticed it before but I think the views from the house over Banksia Park would be pretty spectacular.  I also love the period details inside - all the wooden panelling, the strapped ceilings, the leadlight windows....sigh!  Apparently the cypress trees on the 3/4 acre block are heritage-listed.
Journey's End image via
Speaking of beautiful buildings, the future of art deco building Hatch Contemporary Arts Space at 14 Ivanhoe Parade in Ivanhoe is currently under a cloud with Banyule Council possibly selling the building and land to fund the Ivanhoe Community Hub (to be built in the precinct that includes near where the existing library, Ivanhoe Council Offices and The Centre Ivanhoe are and taking an estimated 3 - 5 years to build).  The new development will include a purpose built arts facility - a museum standard exhibition space to display Council's art collection, host touring exhibitions, store artworks and provide associated work areas.  If Hatch was to be sold, the U3A and Heidelberg Greek Senior Citizens which currently use the back of the building, as well as Hatch, would be moved to an interim location TBC.  Surprisingly, unlike The Centre Ivanhoe, Hatch is not heritage-listed although queries have been made as to whether an application has ever been sought in the past.
Hatch Contemporary Arts Space image via
To this end, council has given public notice of its intention to sell 14 Ivanhoe Parade.  It doesn't mean that council is definitely selling 14 Ivanhoe Parade and council is currently taking written submissions from the community until 3 July 2015, which it will consider at its Ordinary Meeting of Council on Monday 20 July 2015 starting at 7.45pm in Council Chambers, 275 Upper Heidelberg Road, Ivanhoe.  Submissions can be delivered or posted to the Chief Executive Officer, Banyule City Council, PO Box 51, Ivanhoe 3079.  More information can also be found here.

Nb. Miss Rosanna is a member of the Banyule Arts and Culture Advisory Committee

Monday, May 25, 2015

Tonight's so good

How awesome was Guy Sebastian at this year's Eurovision contest in Austria?  I thought his performance was killer - go Australia!  And while I'm still not quite sure how we managed to get ourselves included - it was fantastic that we managed to come fifth overall as a wildcard entry.  The Eurovision stadium holding 11,000 people looked absolutely amazing.  I actually thought that the performances and standard of competition were pretty good this year - it's normally pretty kitsch, camp and a little bit B grade and there were still shades of that, but overall, it was a lot more sophisticated and modern.  At the very least, it always makes for entertaining viewing if you happened to catch any of it over the weekend.
Cutler and Co exterior image via
Mr Rosanna and I celebrated our wedding anniversary over the weekend at Cutler and Co in Gertrude Street, Fitzroy and had a pretty magical night.  I'd only been there previously for drinks while Mr R has never visited.  Despite the cold, Gertrude Street was jumping as usual and it was pretty brisk walking to the restaurant from our car.  We were glad to find that we had a more intimate table up the back in the carpeted area, which I suspect they allocate to those celebrating special occasions given the amount of birthday cupcakes being distributed to surrounding tables while we were there.

Regardless, I was glad to be removed from the action in a space that was warm, comfortable and very slick - a little bit New York inside with the exposed brick, sheer curtains and dark mirrored panels.  We loved the metal table sculptures (we got the artichoke!) and oversized displays given how large the restaurant is.

Our meals and service were superb - we shared some mixed oysters before I tucked into the 'golden broth' (their version of congee) and Asian-style John Dory while Mr R had the quail followed by smoked duck breast.  The sommelier also created a special spiced cranberry mocktail for me as an aperitif, which was a great drink for a cold night and we also had complimentary amuse bouche/digestifs prior to ordering a shared meringue dessert.  It really is a lovely, ambient space which was packed when we left.

I would have loved to have had a drink at one of the neighbouring pubs (The Workers Club, The Gertrude Hotel, Builders Arms Hotel) or bars (The Everleigh above Belle's Hot Chicken, next door Bar Clarine or Radio Bar) but we had babysitters who needed to go home, and so we hot footed it back to Rosanna.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Friday on my mind

It's been a long week for me and I'm sure glad it's Friday.  I had an interesting meeting last night at Hatch Contemporary Arts Space in Ivanhoe with members of the Banyule Arts and Culture team, my fellow advisory committee members and senior people from Council including the Mayor Cr Craig Langdon, Cr Tom Melican and Alison Beckwith, Director of Community Programs.  I will reveal more next week.  A Camera on Gallipoli and Reflections are still showing at Hatch until 30 May and hundreds of people have come to see both these exhibitions, with the venue itself having become a much loved and visited space, run be dedicated volunteers in our community.
Image via
A few things on this weekend including Markit@Fed Square this Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm.  If you're a lover of Australian independent design then this is the one for you and it's worth going even just to stock up on presents for the remainder of the year, as perhaps buying one or two for yourself!

Accredited farmers markets on this weekend include Coburg, Slow Food Melbourne at Abbotsford Convent and Eltham.  Sadly the Monty Farmers Market has closed due to lack of stall holders although the same organisers will now look after the Forest Hill Farmers Market if you find yourself out east.  Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Top hats

The Australian Financial Review announced Australia's top 100 restaurants as voted by chefs on Monday night and it's great to see a few of the top 50 are located in north-eastern Melbourne including Cutler & Co in Fitzroy (no 5), The Town Mouse in Carlton (no 18), Saint Crispin in Collingwood (no 22) and Estelle in Northcote (no 27).  Interestingly, Belle's Hot Chicken in Fitzroy (no 79) also made the top 100 as a favourite late-night stop for industry.  The top Victorian restaurant was Attica in Elsternwick (no 2) followed by Brae in Birregurra (no 4) - neither of them are local but if you get a chance to go to either, I've heard from friends that they are both pretty amazing.
Image via Cutler and Co
I've not been anywhere new for a while but given Mr Rosanna and I have a wedding anniversary coming up, we'll be going somewhere that's on the list!
Image via
I'm meeting with the Banyule Arts and Culture team later this week at Hatch in Ivanhoe - Banyule may soon be looking for a new curator given the lovely Claire Anna Watson has moved on to the Bundoora Homestead.  And indeed, the whole team may be moving at some stage to the larger council offices in Greensborough, as was the original plan when WaterMarc was first built.
Image via WaterMarc Banyule
Wishing you a happy hump day - I'm always glad to move into the second half of the week.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Million dollar views

The weather is gorgeous outside today and I am making the most of the sunshine while it's here.  I managed to get to the auction of the Banyule Homestead in Buckingham Street, Heidelberg on Saturday just as the bell was ringing, sneaking in at the back of the crowd.  I think changing to a prestige real estate agency and extending the reach of advertising also worked in that there were a number of blonde women from south of the Yarra and Chinese people all in attendance at the auction, which took place at the back of the house.
Banyule Homestead auction
Bidding started at a lazy $4 million before reaching $5 million (when the homestead was officially on the market) and crept up to $5.2 million when it sold - the buyers are apparently a Toorak family and all I hope is that they respect the property and surrounding land, along with understanding the historical significance of Banyule Homestead and what it means to local people and beyond.  It would be lovely if they opened up the building, or at least the gardens, to the public at some future stage but we'll see what happens.  The uninterrupted views from behind the house over the river are pretty amazing and I'm glad I took the opportunity to have a peek.
View from behind Banyule Homestead
I also managed to get to the Assisi Centre Garage Sale on Rosanna Road in Rosanna although it was mainly junk by the time I got there.  I also think the former Sisters of Mercy Convent exterior is more impressive than what I saw of the interior, no disrespect to the current management, but it was looking a bit tired inside.
Assisi Centre
Mr Rosanna and I had a party to go to on Saturday night and I love it when it's local.  We had a great time and I've now bought a number of these Boheme Paddywax soy candles in hand painted bowls from Romulus and the Gypsy as gifts.  I hope you are enjoying the sunshine today!
Image via

Friday, May 15, 2015

All the colours

There's nothing like some colour to cheer your day when it's cold and miserable outside.  I was out on the road briefly yesterday afternoon and stopped in at Romulus and the Gypsy in Ivanhoe to buy a birthday present.  It's always a festival of colour inside Gabby's shop (which now also offers online shopping), just like Gabby herself.  I ended up buying a Viva La Soap for myself, which is actually made in Darwin and I love the packaging!
Image via Viva La Body
I also stopped in briefly at Andrew's Books further up the road to buy myself a book and have settled on this one - The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George.  Its front cover is just as appealing as what I think the content is likely to be and just like art galleries, I always find bookshops to be very peaceful places.
Speaking of which, I had my first shift as a Visitor Services Volunteer rotating between all three gallery spaces at Heide Museum of Modern Art in Bulleen last week and it's just such a serene place to be - full of calm and inspiration.  After starting my day with a cup of tea with the staff (one of their morning rituals) - one of the longer term staff members mentioned that most people visit Heide I for the history, Heide II for the architecture and Heide III for the art and I tend to agree.

There is a couple of interesting events on locally this weekend including the Assisi Centre Garage Sale on Rosanna Road in Rosanna from 9 am - 3 pm - I have no idea what will be on sale but it's a chance to see the former Sisters of Mercy Convent building if you are interested like me.  The Banyule Homestead in Buckingham Drive, Heidelberg is also being auctioned at 12.30pm tomorrow and will be an opportunity to see some local history for sale - I am keen to know who will buy it.

The weather's also looking good for the weekend and the Booroondara, Carlton and Fairfield Farmers Markets are all on.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Dreamy days

Well winter's come on with a vengeance and it's not even June!  I've already started eating my way through the cold season.  Speaking of food, I did want to mention that Lulie Street Tavern in Abbotsford is partnering with Cluster Trucks, which will be visiting their undercover carpark Fridays, Saturday and Sundays throughout May (if you're after food to accompany your drinks), while the Coburg Drive In is also holding its Food Truck Festival again next Wednesday and Thursday.  If you're interested in finding out where the various food trucks are in general, check out

I've also been seeking design inspiration online via The Design Files and Houzz and the 10 Ways to Turn a Dreary Day into a Dreamy Day on Houzz might inspire you as well.  I think I've already ticked off most of the things on the list and winter's not yet begun...
Image via
Things on my design wish list for our mid century-style studio downstairs include the Tivoli Audio Model One Radio in walnut.  While digital radio is the way of the future, I've always loved the look of these radios - there is a timelessness about them.
Image via
In keeping with my bird fetish, the small Vedel Bird designed in 1959 is also a favourite and available locally from Great Dane Furniture in Melbourne.
Image via
Speaking of all things Danish, I do love one of the newest ranges of jewellery from Georg Jensen - the Aria range - which is a quite Art Deco/Moderne in its style.  Check out those chandelier earrings!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Designer taste

Aaah...designers - such clever people.  I've become more conscious of design as I've got older in all its facets - fashion design, furniture design, graphic design, interior design, building design, industrial design - the list goes on.  I think design really is art meeting science - and more.  I think good design not only needs to be functional but also beautiful and increasingly, sustainable as well. It is actually Day 2 of Melbourne International Design Week 2015 - a celebration of international design excellence and there are myriad events to choose from if you are a design aficionado - most of which are luckily indoors, given the inclement weather predicted for today and tomorrow in Melbourne.
Image via The Thornbury Theatre
Also on tonight is the Child Wise Benefit Concert at The Thornbury Theatre hosted by Mr Rockwiz himself Brian Nankervis with music by Russell Morris, Tex Perkins and Chris Wilson to name but a few performers singing at the show.  I love an old theatre and it's been fantastic to see the Thornbury Theatre, the Northcote Theatre (now called The Regal Ballroom) and the Westgarth Cinema still going strong in the north east.
Image via

Glenferrie Theatre mage via
Speaking of old theatres, I'm also looking forward to the opening of Lido Cinemas next month in Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn - yet another heritage building (the Glenferrie Theatre which was called the New Glen Picture Theatre in its last incarnation) which has been rescued by an owner developer with a love of old cinemas.

I'll be back later this week to talk about another couple of old buildings in the local area.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mama's Day

I hope all of you out there who are mothers had a lovely Mother's Day yesterday.  I got served pancakes in bed and some lovely handmade presents from my boys, as well as a gift voucher for a shiatsu massage at the aptly named Onsen Ma Japanese Bathhouse in Meyers Place in the city.  Ma in this case actually means 'space' and and 'onsen' is a Japanese bath.  While I've previously been to the Japanese Bath House in Collingwood and also had a treatment at Chuan Spa at Southgate, I've not been to Onsen Ma so I'm looking forward to going especially as Meyers Place has also changed over the years and now hosts a number of different bars and restaurants.  I am a fan of shiatsu massage given you can keep your clothes on (which is good during the colder months!) and I've previously given Mr Rosanna gift vouchers for shiatsu treatments locally with Aliki Zouliou.

All images above via
Mr R and I then went onto yum cha at Golden Dragon Palace in Lower Templestowe, which does three sittings on Mother's Day.  We'd booked last minute and got into the first sitting at 10.30am (meaning we had to be out by 11.45am), which was actually a good thing as parking can be tricky there during changeover time between sittings (there is underground parking if you miss a spot at street level) and we were there when they opened the doors.  It really is a great place to go for good yum cha and yesterday didn't disappoint.  Given we took Nan and Papa for the first time, they also loved the food, the decor and the relative quiet.  Despite the numbers, the acoustics and the fact that it's carpeted mean you can actually hear each other speak without yelling across the table, which they appreciated.

In the afternoon, I managed to go for a long run in the cold so it was great to come home to find a roast dinner being cooked and an open fire on so the boys could toast marshmallows.  It has been a cold Autumn so far and I'll be posting on more indoor activities later this week.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Tea for me

It's Mother's Day this coming weekend and a number of friends and family are participating in the Mother's Day Classic event so I am hoping the sun comes out for them, given it's a bit of a cold and dreary day today.  If you're wanting to warm up this winter, I also wanted to mention that tickets have now been on sale for a while to the Winter Solstice Festival at Montsalvat in Eltham.
Image via
The AAADA Melbourne Antiques Fair starts tomorrow in Melbourne at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton and includes one of my favourite Art Deco retailers Online Antiques (who are now based in Daylesford) as well as the Bus tour Series 2015.
Image via
If you are wanting to shop locally for Mother's Day, I did want to mention the Diamond Village Craft Market which has been operating for a number of years now - the coordinator of the market also works at the DVCS Op Shop Macleod.  While it's more suburban in nature, I always love the handmade things you can buy at these types of markets including beautiful hand knitted baby clothes and handmade soaps.  For something more urban, the Sisters Market is also on this coming Saturday in Brunswick.
Image via The Common
I was out with some friends today at the Eltham Tea House, which was my first visit.  It's got a little inside toddler play area with TV near the front and is a bit French Provincial-inspired with its own gift shop (similar to nearby Lilies on Brougham) - it's a good place to go for coffee and cake.  You need to turn left off Main Road immediately after turning left at the big roundabout to Eltham as it's opposite the Miniature Railway.  I was also out recently for lunch in Eltham and went to The Common sampling the Vietnamese Coleslaw for lunch and it was more than OK - I think the food scene in the suburbs is slowing evolving and I will always give somewhere trying to be more sophisticated a go.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Life is but a dream

Mr Rosanna and I have a winter project in that we have finally turned our attention to the spare room which was a storage room/dumping ground up until last year.  We have dreams of turning it into a mid century-style retreat/studio complete with proper heating and lighting so we found ourselves shopping for track lighting this past weekend.  I've now bought a number of lamps and light fittings from Home of Lights in Fairfield, who are also a franchise like Beacon Lighting, but have a different range to them so are well worth visiting if you're in the market for new lights, light fittings or lamps or you would like to do a comparison.
Given it was the afternoon by the time we made it there, we ended up making an impromptu visit to the Fairfield Boathouse, and I'm happy to say this time I was more appropriately dressed than I was for Granny Annie's birthday at Studley Park Boathouse, because you know when you go to a boat house with kids, guess what they'll want to do?  Mr R and I managed to order and eat some Devonshire Tea (and they do lovely scones at Fairfield) before we headed down to the river.
I'm glad we went for a row as it's very serene being on the water, both Mr R and I had turns rowing up and then back to the boathouse, along with our two boys, who also had great fun feeding the ducks.  A tip if you go, take your own cornflakes to feed to them!  It's $28 for half an hour to row and a lovely way to spend some time, particularly with the weather being so mild at the moment.  Just watch out for the snakes if you ever go at the height of summer!
We also gave the boys a run around on the oval near the carpark which has beautifully manicured lawn and was bathed in golden sunshine by late afternoon.  I hope you had a great weekend.