Friday, December 9, 2011

POP UPs everywhere!!

  • THIS IS NOT THE MOST BEAUTIFUL post... - but an invaluable list!... to start with at least

Ok, so we know Melbourne loves a pop up, and some of our lovely friends who share our City Studio have been involved in a pretty ambitious one - Melbournalia - they Have 4 locations until Christmas eve!!

BUT THERE ARE SO MANY MORE!!!  ( pics from ones we have visited below)

More will be added soon!! or send us your suggestions!!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

SALE - Shoes! Need we say more. Melbourne Made

So..... in times of hypnosis ( yes we are under the Preston Zly spell) , 
why rewrite things when they are so beautifully done already!!

These are seriously some of the most delicious SHOES - not crazy stilettos, ( ouch!!)  not runners, nor flip flops, but SHOES... and if you are at all inclined to adopt the austerity measures of the current season

Read on!  
( thanks to the Preston Zly Mail out today - direct copy - for you!) 

"I am too poor to buy cheap shoes"

Preston Zly Online Sale

24 Hours Only

From 11am Friday 2nd September - 
Ends 11am Saturday 3rd September 2011
 Winter 2011 Collection

50% OFF
While stock lasts
You will need the Online Discount Code: 24hours 
(to be entered when prompted at the checkout)

Friday, August 26, 2011

BEES - Join us in the crusade!

Do you Subscribe to DUMBO FEATHER?  
We love that they are now MELBOURNE based... oh, and here is a wonderful opportunity to see their amazing - yes amazing new diggs..           This post below - is from their recent update...                                                                                                                                  

Direct import Via - Dumbo Feather... 

Keep your own bees with Vanessa and Mat

Featurette Placeholder
Photo via Dumbo Feather
After profiling urban beekeepers Vanessa Kwiatkowski and Mat Lumalasi for our current issue, we fell in love with all things bees and honey and decided that the logical next step was to get our very own beehive. To share in our excitement, we would like to invite you to take part in a hands-on workshop on bees and beekeeping, run by Vanessa and Mat themselves.
As well as offering a wealth of information the workshop will give you the chance to handle bees inside a real hive and taste the different honeys from Melbourne’s own Urban Beehives. All attendees will receive a gift bag packed with lots of info, sweet goodies and the wonderful Bee Book by Ann Cliff.
When: Sunday 25 September 1pm – 5pm
Where: 11 Princes St, St Kilda
How much: $150 (includes workshop, gift bag and afternoon tea)
Places will be limited to 20 people so book now to secure your spot.

Hidden Secrets Tours is very excited to be a sponsor of one of the newest Hives on a Little Collins Street balcony!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

GETAWAY - Get out of the Big smoke.. and discover ARCHITECTURE

Wow, a special event needs to be celebrated sometimes, whether it is a coming of age, or wonderful achievement.. OR just because... - We love those ones the best ...  so where do you go, what do you do...

THIS time... Melbourne is not our destination.. ( we will miss it though ) but Melton and Bacchus Marsh... WHERE you say... I too agree, so we did a reccy today to one of Melbourne's   Australia's most influential Architect's masterpiece..  The Boyd Baker House.

We are not sure what more to say other than its booked out for weekends until early next year... and we are super excited to know some people who have asked us to share in the place with them!!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Feedback - we love your emails!

Today we received a lovely email from on of our guests... I couldn't help but post it here.. 
  : :  Of course whilst we enjoy a cup of Chilli Hot Chocolate at Koko Black

Q1. The tour was FAR MORE than what we expected because a) it was well organised and we saw many more arcades and laneways than if we were wondering around by ourselves and b) if was really really interesting to take some time to learn about the history of the beautiful buildings and arcades of Melbourne.

Q2. It is hard to pick one thing that we liked about the tour because we really liked EVERYTHING but, not wishing to sound naf but, what I liked the most was that as we went along and saw all the beautiful shop window displays, architecture etc an sense/feeling developed that I was in Australia's Paris (rather than just another Oz city so's to speak)...Melbourne became something for me.

Q3. I have been to Melbourne many many years ago with my husband...can't remember anything about all that except that I bought some stunning boots and I enjoyed the Dandenong area. I also went in 2009 again with my daughter Lee for my 60th birthday and we did your Vintage Tour and had THE BEST time which is of course, why we came back to you guys again.

Thanks Rae, we too enjoyed your enthusiasm... 

Do you have any feedback for us?    send it to :

Friday, July 22, 2011

SALE - Sassy Women do a Pop Up

We love it when there are some exciting happenings in our building - The Nicholas Building.. and we have some new sassy women joining us - even if for just a short time... EARLY AUGUST... dont forget - put it in your diary!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Play Melbourne | Deals

Play Melbourne | Deals - Via Visit Victoria ( pic is not mine! - see
If you haven't seen the new Tourism Victoria Campaign for Melbourne, then join us here... We are so excited to part of the project.. and can only say the BIGGEST thanks to Mr Matt Irwin, for helping us with a fabulous photograph for our New Cafe Cutlture Walk, which is included in the ROLL THE DICE option!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

SURF & ART - Take a trip to start a collection

As we head into the new year ( financially speaking) , its time to look again at how we work hard, and how we reward those around us, or even ourselves... 

Sometimes its just a walk in the park, or a gluttonous Macaron - thats another post!!  - but sometimes it is also something to make your everyday view of the world just a little more... you...

If you have not seen Claire Whitney's Work, then don't forget to join us for the Nicholas Building Open Studio... as Fiona bought one for our office...

BUT next week, perhaps wander out of the city centre, and  head to Geelong.. not just for the freezing cold wetsuit obligatory surf, but a little art and design watching... and perhaps a little gluttony  - this one should be on everyones Southcoast adventure! 

Metropolis Gallery is ready to excite you about the Geelong scene... and now there are FIVE lanes on the Westgate there are NO Excuses..

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

THEATRE : get on down to the Donkey

One of our lovely past team members Zoe is part of the most amazing new program this weekend. 
Its a must see! with such a fabulous ensemble and we are proud to be supporting Zoe on this.. we'll be there... and if you have not been to the Donkey Wheel house.., get down there..  this is a perfect place for the play!

Read here as described by a great little Theatre website: 
CHANTS DES CATACOMBES is a filthy little storyabout a showgirl, a surgeon and a courtesan. The innocence of each  has been stripped. For these three women history has turned its page, and they’re now entombed creatures of the catacombs.
This promenade piece of theatre will inhabit the basement of the gorgeous Donkey Wheel House building. This production will be an entire sensory experience, with a special series of scents created by perfumer Emma Leah.
Chants Des Catacombs is the brainchild of Anna Boulic, a NIDA trained voice teacher, harpist and singer, who developed a ten-minute version alongside theatre maker Bryce Ives. Last year it was the winner of the Short+Sweet Cabaret Festival.
This new cabaret experience mixes the styles of musical theatre, vaudeville, burlesco, indie pop, hip-hop and the macabre.
or at the door
$ 30 Adult
$25 Concession/ Student
Thursday 16th of June at 8.30pm,
Friday 17th of June at 8.30pm & 10.30pm
Saturday 18th of June at 8.30pm &10.30pm
Sunday 19th of June at 6pm
Postcript - go get em ZOE, we are very excited for you!
Fiona and the team at HST

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

EVENT - Dinner in the Studio - Middle Park

This is a little update for a fabulous event our friends are doing.. join us! It will be delicious!

Dinner in the Studio - 4th and 5th July

Nicolas Poelaert from Embrasse Restaurant, Andrew Marks from The Wanderer and Gembrook Hill Vineyards and Potter, Shelley Panton
Shelley as she does a demo during dinner

See our blog about the dinner that was at Shelley's Studio that Fiona took the photos for...

Back in March Shelley Panton hosted two dinners in the studio with chef Matthew Wilkinson and winemaker Mac Forbes.  It was a warming experience to collaborate with foodies alike to celebrate all things artisan for the table from the produce, to the plates, to the wines.  

Shelley is pleased to announce that she will be hosting two more events in July with chef Nicolas Poelaert of Embrasse Restaurant and Andrew Marks of  The Wanderer  and Gembrook Hill vineyards

Set in the century-old butcher’s shop which houses Shelley's home based studio-come-store, guests will savour four courses created by Nic alongside wines by Andrew Marks, presented on stoneware clay plates made by Shelley, especially for this dinner             

Event Details

When:         Monday 4th and Tuesday 5th July 2011

Where:        At Shelley Panton's Studio and Store - 88 Park Road, Middle Park

Time:           7.00pm - 11.00pm
Cost:           $145 per head, inclusive

To Book:     Call the studio on 03 9537 0737 or email:

Places are limited to 24 guests per evening, so we suggest you book ahead if you would like to join this amazing event.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

NEW - Coffee spots and directional dilemas

YES - we have a coffee problem - a good one :) ... a Melbourne one.. 

How to choose the next step once out of the lift - left to see Jo at Switchboard, left then right to head up to Shany and Danny at Liason, or perhaps our newest short cut - sharp Right and then down to the right again, and we find Rob, and Hugh at Hoboken... Thanks to some well experienced and passionate locals.. this is a great addition to our corner of town! -

It is a dilema! ( and so far that is just the first 3 off the top of my head.. we have 15 that we share on our Cafe Culture Walk  but thats another story!)

Great Salads, fresh pastries, and amazing Soups! - oh some other yummy's too
Hoboken with great coffee from Seven Seeds - home is Hosier Lane

SALE: Leather jacket TODAY ONLY

Just for you, our loyal clients, we are looking for all the good MELBOURNE sales we can find.. Austerity measures are all about us, but that's not to say you shouldn't keep your eyes peeled..
This is only in ONE size - they are all size 10!

get dialing!

Friday, May 27, 2011

WORK for us - Internships, part time admin positions avalable soon.

Have you ever thought of working in a small tourism comapany?
Or perhaps even an event company, or a marketing, or even a PR company...
Well thats what you would get to do with us... 
Life is never dull thats for sure.

Award winners in the 2008 Melbourne Awards.
We are looking for someone who loves what we stand for, for where we are, and for what we do.
It may sound simple.. but we have not found such people very easily.
With several awards to our name, and more to come, we're keen for an energetic individual to join us.

Some of our team are moving on to do other things, we'll miss them, but its a great time to make an impression.. shine brightly as help will be needed, and there is room to develop.
Laughter in our group of hosts is always present

Think about what you can bring with you.. Do you know the city, and those who work it? Do you like to write blogs? Do you enjoy making people feel as though they have no cares in the world? Are you good with databases, and relationship building? Do you have a good phone manner that will be both professional and at ease? Are you full of youthful ideas, but also  able to manage clients of wealth and prestige...

 We are a small team, and need someone who wants to grow with us...

Depending on how you fit, and what you are interested in, we can discuss Internships, or hours of employement.

Tight knit team, that has a lot of fun.

Start time we'd like as late June,             so in the mean time email Fiona...   
With researched proposals. More info will come in weeks to come.

Cheers, and thanks. Fiona

Happy BIRTHDAY - its the NGV's 150th.. celebrate!

If you are not sure where to wander in the morning.. then perhaps you can check out this map - dont forget, we have some tour spots for early afternoon - but you may need a break from all the festivities .. see earlier post to know what I am talking about..
Happy Birthday NGV, you inspire us every day!..

May 28th 2011

Sale: This Saturday SPECIAL TOUR....

Fiona in Union Lane in late 2010

Helloooo - we have squashed in an extra special tour TOMORROW... so if you feel like joining us, call 0447868788 to book - we start at 1.30 from Federation Square and the price is $70.00 per person. your tour host will be our Co-Founder Fiona Sweetman, and with all that's on in Melbourne, she will surely fill your diary with plenty of other ideas too!
You cannot book this online, it must be done by phone!

All things GLITZERN are gold and more - SALE

GLITZERN is having a sale!!
ohhhh, its a sad day when a store that really spells out the Creative Culture story that is Melbourne tells us they will soon close their doors !!
But they will not be going without a bang.. so make sure you are ready next week... special finds will become heirlooms we are sure!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Art - its not always $$$ - check it out this weekend

We try to visit this show each year its amazing what locals and others are making, painting, selling and thinking... its great fun. You do need to be ready to buy if you like, so bring your credit card, but enjoy the wander, and chat to the artists... love it or not, the art is the conversation... start one this weekend... ( corny but true! ) and Melbourne's own are well represented!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

MAY 29th this little piggy goes to MARKIT

If you have not been before, , then make a note in your diary for this great little market of local crafts people, who take over the wonderful Atrium at Federation Square in a week or so, and presents, fashion, great home-wares and more, are all available to buy, order or OGGLE:)
See you there!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

LIKE our Vintage Outings page to win!

Hi All, its that time when the creative juices get restless,
and we are very excited to let you know that we are in the final stages of working on a new tour - a new Vintage Outing, so the fabulous Fiats will be back out there, to combat this chilly weather.

We'd Love you to LIKE our facebook page for a chance to win a double pass to our newest tour.

your taste buds will thank you! Be first in!

La Piccola Cucina- An Italian food Outing

This is a three hour chauffeured outing indulging in delicious Italian treats and exploring the history of Italian cusine in the northern suburbs of Melbourne..

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Its cold out, but CELEBRATE with us.... and maybe get a bargain too

I have some room in my closet, do you??... I only do because we have had a huge clean out...
And then I get a gorgeous invitation to Celebrate with our good friends at Nevenka.

This is truly a one off event not to be missed. I will certainly be there!
I have a few Nevenka pieces, and the fabrics are what got me the first time, the amazing prints, Vintage cottons and lace details, make you feel fabulous any old day!
Prices I am told are to be wholesale ( they don't do that much these days for the good stuff!!! ) and will range from $50-250 with sizes 6-14 available. ( something for all)

Sponsored by Yering Station - customers will be treated to champagne and wine to help them shop throughout the weekend. - Now thats what I call a Celebration.

I've had a chat with Rosemary, Emily and the team, and the fabrics I love are to be used again - having spent hours designing a new collection Rosemary is using her very much loved vintage fabric and trims library. - - I'm loving the idea of re-using past fabric and trims into brand new garments in a sustainable matter!! How fabulous.. !!

As a past dress maker, for me the little charms of fabric left are often the saddest part of production, so how wonderful to look at ways to make sure all fabrics are used, even if from last season... its STILL new season!

If you don't know Nevenka you should! ( I dont say that too often!) but if you have been to one of their little sales in store, well this is DIFFERENT - it will be SO MUCH MORE

There will be champagne and wine, beautiful flowers and the chance to meet and be personally styled by the nevenka team.

The "celebration" is not instore, but at the gorgeous Anna Pappas gallery in Melbourne from the 20th -22nd May. The exhibitions will be available for viewing throughout the weekend

So please join me, and our team as we Celebrate with Rosemary and her team in Prahran in May!


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

BRRR Getting ready to hibernate avec le bon goût!

Oh its not often I get to feel like La Normandie is close by... but a short walk around an already Parisienne corner of town I ventured down another laneway to find Melbourne's newest addition to the Patissiere craze! But of course Melbourne Style.. - a little industrial, a few corners, and amazing craftsmanship and detail in the interiors.

Opened just last Friday, Andrea Reiss was busy with her francophone kitchen - OOHH i loved the opportunity to share in the language, and Andrea was so welcoming. This LARGE hole in the wall - well it is once you are inside - is a venture she has undertaken with Stephen of Libertine - and I truly do wish them all well. I know I will be back, the bread is by Noisette ( fabulous too) mainly as they do not have enough room .... so head on down, and say Bonjour! and it will soon become CHEZ TOI!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

MFWF - Pt 2 - A potter, a chef, and winemaker - mm

Following on from my last post - The event at Shelley Pantons Studio was just a delight, a mix of locals and foodies, with Shelley getting on the wheel herself, see just some of the snaps I took on the night!
Well done to all!

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival - PT 1

March Madness is certainly upon us, and Melbourne always manages to cram the best of all tastes into this month... mmmm :) Food, Wine, Fashion, Footy, Comedy and Fast cars to mention but a few!

It was with great pleasure this year that I made time to participate in the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2011

Part 1 Monday 7th March 2011 - was a lovely intimate dinner for 25 or so in the "hidden" ShelleyPanton Studio in Middle Park.
With Matt Wilkinson of Pope Joan and Mac Forbes of the Yarra Valley, Shelley put on a fabulous evening showcasing the local artisans ideology of entertaining...

A feast was prepared, the table ware was made for the event, and the wine had arrived just days before! ( Mac had made some in Austria, and customs had just let it in the country in time!)
The tables were artworks in themselves, and pictures, olives, and table settings were cut fresh the day before!

More photos to come!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

MELBURN - Bikes, coffee, prizes and a laneway - get ready!

You know I have a soft spot for Cafe Liason, the peace and quiet of this leafy laneway -

BUT it will not be so quiet at the end of this month, as a group of enthusiastic (and possibly fanatic) Melbourne Bike riders aim to make the BIKESHARE bikes a little more sexy... and enjoy our favourite coffee... but perhaps more importantly, get as many of the Blue Bikes ( 500) in a small laneway at the top end of the city... Join in, grab a blue Bike, your biggest smile, maybe some lycra?? and definitely a helmet and enjoy a LONG lunch hour... prizes and more to be won...

FOR MARCH 31st 2011 - see info above for this facebook group - or read more here:
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There's nothing like Australia!