Sunday, October 7, 2012

Delicious brunch, old theatre, ravens in the cemetery

Luke and I had brunch at a newish place in Richmond on Saturday. I'd been meaning to go there for months, ever since I first noticed Hellas Cakes had been transformed into a café. In all my years hanging out in Richmond, I'd never seen the old Greek cake shop on Lennox Street open; it was always closed, with the blinds drawn. I wasn't sure it was even an operating business. 

Then one day I walked past and the blinds were up and the old shop was a light, airy café, still making and selling Greek pastries and other sweet treats, but also serving Greek-influenced breakfasts and lunches. 

I'm so glad we finally went. I had the most delicious pancakes ever. The most delicious brunch I've had in ages. I almost drooled a bit like Homer Simpson after the first bite. The blueberry pancakes were chunky, a little crisp on the outside and dense and cakey inside. They were generously drizzled with maple syrup, and served with more blueberries, pistachios and two pear quarters perched on top. There was a little jug of orange-spiced Greek yogurt on the side.  Visually appealing and a taste sensation. Yum. 

I like the old mixing machine on display at the front of the café. 

On the way back to the car, I saw another old shop on Lennox Street that I'd never seen open before. It still wasn't open on Saturday, but the blinds were up. I thought it was a dental prosthetist, but I must have imagined that because on the inside it looks like a barber shop and wig seller. A very old-fashioned barber shop and wig seller. Check out the old chair:

Up the back of the shop there was a shelf with men's wigs on faceless man-mannequin heads (like the lady-mannequin heads above). As well as wigs, the male heads also sported moustaches that looked like they were straight out of the early 70s. How peculiar. Lennox Street has a few other peculiar old shops. It's like the street that got left behind.  

After brunch, Luke and I were on mission to buy a new bookcase to house the many books that don't fit in the one we already have. We started off at Swan Street Sales down the Burnley end of Richmond. 

I thought I'd been there before, but I must be mistaken because I'm sure I would have remembered that the sprawling, jam-packed furniture store is housed in an old theatre. The salesman who served us said the building used to be the Burnley Theatre. I didn't even know there was an old theatre in Burnley. 

The stage is now used for displaying mattresses, among other things

To describe is as 'faded' would be quite an understatement. According to Walking Melbourne, it was built in 1928, but closed in 1958 and has been a furniture warehouse since 1959. It's now heritage listed. The salesman said the owner wanted to restore the building, but the restoration would be prohibitively expensive and difficult, if not impossible, to recoup the costs. What a shame. 

We ended up buying a bookshelf out in Nunawading, which was less than half price. Luke's going to pick it up during the week and then we'll have to assemble it. 

On the way back we stopped off at the Booroondara Cemetery in Kew to take photos. (The same cemetery I wrote about in this post back in 2010. Yes, the one about the time I peed behind a bush in a graveyard). 

It was a gloomy day and raining very lightly when we arrived, which I think is the best kind of weather for taking photos in cemeteries. Not only was the weather co-operative, there was a murder of ravens hanging about in the cemetery. Some even perched on headstones and statuary long enough for us to take photos. Awesome. (I've become a little fixated on ravens since we saw the stuffed ravens at Wunderkammer a few months back. I'm not sure why.)

I took some photos of the Cussen mausoleum, which my ancestor, the former Supreme  Court of Victoria judge Leo Cussen, had built as a memorial to his son in 1912-13. 

I didn't realise when I visited the cemetery in 2010 that the little sandstone building had a family connection so I paid more attention to it this time. (Incidentally, on the day Luke and I saw the ravens at Wunderkammer, we also went to the Supreme Court library where Sir Leo's portrait hangs). 

After traipsing around in the cemetery for an hour or so my sneakers and socks were very damp. It was nice to change into dry socks when I got home. 

Today was the first day of daylight savings, but I was too busy doing stuff to notice the extra daylight. I'm sure I'll notice tomorrow though. 

PS For the the taphophiles among you, I'll be posting some of my cemetery photos over at Girl in Melbourne in the next day or so. 


piggywhistles said...

The blueberry pancakes look delicious!

missjane said...

I wanted to write up taphophiles, which is lovely, but it doesn't appear in the OED. Fortunately I found bibliotaph instead.