Once described by The Age as “arguably Melbourne’s most loved” suburb, there’s a lot of affection for beautiful Balwyn. Famous for its wide open spaces, period homes and private schools, it’s no wonder this highly-sought after area has a long list of families hoping to move in.
Its name comes from the Gaelic word ‘bal’ and Saxon word ‘wyn’, meaning ‘the home of the vine’ and it’s this connection with the natural world that really sets this pretty part of Melbourne apart. Laden with luscious parks and tall trees, it’s also home to the Maronoa Gardens – Australia’s first botanical garden dedicated to indigenous flora. A mere 10 kilometres from central Melbourne, it’s closely connected to the city and to schools, but far enough away to offer an idyllically peaceful life.
If you’re looking for the most authentic pizza outside of Napoli, Birichino Cucina & Pizzeria is an experience not to be missed. With a focus on southern Italian culinary heritage, owners Suzi and Antonello share the traditional recipes of their homeland along with its warm hospitality. Tartufo, their signature pizza, is a must try – and their sorrentina gnocchi is bursting with the flavours of the mediterranean coast.
Across the road from the historic Balwyn theatre is White Mojo, the speciality coffee store with a twist. Boasting an eclectic mix of brunch classics and elegant desserts in the heart of the suburb, this could very well become your regular hangout. Locals and tourists alike flock for their shell crab burger, but it’s their award-winning double cheese chili scrambled eggs that really gets people talking. Combine this culinary paradise with an outing to the theatre for an unforgettable Sunday experience in your backyard.
Showcasing some of the most elegant numbers in female fashion, Bonnie Parker is an absolute hit amongst the locals of Balwyn. It’s extensive collection, ranging from winter dresses to zoda handbags and bauhaus earrings, interweaves contemporary Australian fashion with ancient and traditional techniques from around the globe. With a refined focus on slow fashion, there’s no wonder that this sustainable business is so close to fashionable locals’ hearts.
If you’re shopping for little ones, you can’t beat Mint Kids Clothing. Steeped in a traditional and sleek aesthetic, their timeless garments are in keeping with Balwyn’s historic legacy. Peruse their eclectic collection of vintage ruffle dresses or their floral summer numbers as you and mini revel in this stylish children’s wear hub.
If holistic health is important to you, Light Space Yoga is a studio to quickly get to know. This warm and airy sanctuary weaves a beautiful practice with the little details that matter. Their ethos is community-centric and inclusive, offering a dynamic array of yoga styles, including meditation and prenatal classes for those expecting. Gaze over the treetops towards the Dandenongs as you practice your sun salutations, enjoying a retreat experience close to home.
There’s certainly a shift towards the natural world when arriving in Balwyn, and this is reflected in the property market as much as its spacious surrounds. You’ll find magnificent multi-storey Victorian houses resting on tree-lined blocks and modern builds sprawling alongside large, manicured gardens. Filled with beauty and charm, this suburb is ideal for growing families, professionals and couples looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city living for the great outdoors.