Henry Shires @ Bay – La Dolce Vita

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After a bad relapse of my heart disease – or at least dis-ease – I currently have the surgeon’s scalpel of Damocles hanging over my somewhat bowed head – With no certainty whatsoever of my own mortality at this point.

So, and I never thought I would find myself having to resort to this hoary cliché, I have been trying to practice, if not “seizing the day”, or at least trying to get a little fresh blood from the sometimes rather dry stone of each 24 hours.

For if the Devil is in the Detail, then so is God. And by God I mean god, the universe or even St Kilda Saints, whatever you believe in.

Or as the late but still very great Ian Dury (of British band The Blockheads fame) so poignantly put it in his seminal ditty “Reasons To Be Cheerful Part 3” (one for fill-in student teacher YouTube m’thinks?); we should always be grateful for the little things in life.

“The juice of the carrot, the smile of the parrot, a little drop of claret – anything that rocks”


Vespa Museum and Café of Melbourne

12-16 Bedford St, St Kilda


Only a few swift gear shifting, super-stylish-sixties, scootering metres from the increasingly Maddening Crowd and Ol’ Main Drag (and not infrequent drag artiste) of St K’s Acland Street lies our very own suburb’s currently best kept secret – St Kilda’s own Vespa Museum and Café of Melbourne.

If you like scooters, all things 50’s and/or 60’s, an excellent and highly authentic cappuccino in a quiet and tranquil sunny back garden surrounding, or if you prefer to have a greater presence on one of the two select street tables, then of all the cafes in all of St Kilda this is the one you should walk into the next time you need a genuinely quiet caffeine fix.

My only quibble with the VMM’s potential perfection – sausage rolls and miniscule mince pies (I promise you mine had quite literally one lonely raisin in it!) do not a La Dolce Vita diet make. However, the Peroni beer and the Gelati selections looked very inviting.


And finally, talk about something for everyone!

Ok, I know it’s out of our area and you will need to take you passport and paddle up that terrible s**t creak that is Punt Road but I promise you it will be worth the hassle.


Mamor Chocolates and High Tea Salon


If you’re a choc head, Mamor Chocolates and High Tea Salon have (among many others): real ginger ones, chilli ones, lemon myrtle ones, kangaroo salami ones (I seriously kid you not, in the least, in this instance), green tea wasabi ones, and even “Dracula” garlic ones. Though I have to point out to them with my ex Dracula aficionado (large black) hat on that a garlicchocolate is actually, quite literally, the last thing Drac himself could ever eat. Perhaps, more correctly, but less catchily, it should instead be called the Van Helsing?

And, if you are into your turn of your 1800s/1900s Eastern Europe chic, or just a great traditional European High Tea, then you can definitely get your freak on here.

And, if those weren’t reason enough to brave the traffic hell of Hoddle Street, god, in his or her infinite wisdom, also created women… and in this case, though I say so myself also a rather hot topless man… to perfume an irregular happening called Mamor Chocolates Sirens of Burlesque by Bottoms Up – “Australia’s Most Fierce (not sure if this means that they occasionally swing around the pole like one of the female martial artists in Tarantino’s Kill Bill series and kick passing punters full in the face) School of Burlesque and Pole Dancing”.

With names as fabulous as their costumes, like Lux Noire and Betty Boom Boom, they even managed to upstage the free chocolates – and this with an audience who were predominantly female.

And what Bella De Jac cannot do with three glorious scarlet feather fans in not worth knowing.

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