It’s the laidback lifestyle that draws people to this picturesque part of Melbourne, filled with parks and golf clubs and bike paths along the Yarra, and the slower pace is particularly attractive to mature families and older couples – although you’ll find the occassional forward-thinking professional here too. After all, the buzz of neighbouring Hawthorn and Camberwell are just minutes away for a lively evening out, providing the excitement of innercity living with the cool, calm oasis of home.
There’s no need to travel into Melbourne to enjoy the very best coffee – Ora Care, on Pakington Street, has you covered. With bare walls and modest design, don’t overlook this culinary powerhouse – this unassuming café serves up flavour combinations that even Heston would be proud of. Enjoy a creative take on brunch fare with your morning coffee, or pop in Thursday to Saturday evenings to see the space transform into a smokehouse. Really. The slow-cooked and smoked meat will melt in your mouth, and it’s all prepared onsite – swap out the coffee to pair it with a locally brewed IPA.
The excitement continues next door, with Willsmere Station blending Melbourne fare with the exotic delights of Turkey. Owner Akin Celik pays homage to his heritage in the flavour- laden menu. While the local favourite is the spiced pilav and lamb stew, it is hard to go past the kanafeh: an audacious fried pastry ball, stuffed with two types of cheese, served with a vibrant scoop of ice cream, fragrant syrup, and scattered rose petals and pistachios. It’s as good as it sounds.
Following your cafe fix, venture a further down the road to High Street for all your floral needs at Native Bloom and Foliage. Owner June Harrison has more than 22 years’ experience in the industry, and her passion and creativity blooms stronger than ever. If you’re after something on a larger scale, Native Bloom also offers staging and styling services – but it’s also perfect for an elegant bouquet for the dining room table.
When it is time to realign, Light Space Yoga has the serene setting to allow your mind and body to unfurl. The bold, blue-tiled entrance makes way for the soft bamboo floors and ethereal white curtains of the studio proper. With classes varied and interspersed throughout the day, you’re sure to find your fit. Sign up for one of the workshops available or dive in deep and join them on their annual week-long yoga retreat, building strength, stamina and like-minded community.
Leafy and tree-lined, Kew East is a prestigious suburb. With its sweeping Hays Paddock park, tree-lined streets and soundtrack of wild birds, it’s easy to see why the suburb offers residents the crème de la crème of Melbourne living. Expect to find perfectly preserved period homes, midcentury architecture and contemporary, architecturally-designed homes. Boasting all the benefits of an outdoor lifestyle, and perfectly positioned within moments of neighbouring eateries and nightlife, this quiet and tranquil suburb has something to offer everyone.