The Abbotsford Convent is an oasis from the busy city surroundings for many Melburnians on a quiet Sunday morning. Located in Collingwood, it is surprisingly close to the Melbourne CBD (perhaps a 10 minute walk) however you could be easily confused that you were deep in the Victorian countryside (the gardens of the convent and surrounding bushland do very well in convincing you of their countryside persona!)
Start your morning with a lovely fresh walk through the gardens and admire the imposing beauty of the Convent (often housing a few local and travelling artists), and then adjourn to the food hall for the perfect Sunday brunch dining experience.
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Housing Japanese soul food, the Convent Bakery, Jasper Coffee amongst others, there is something for everyone and every taste.
My favourite dining experience is Lentil As Anything –not only is the vegetarian restaurant bursting with fresh, wholesome vegetarian dishes (mostly organic), it is also a soul friendly and humbling experience –promoting community trust and generosity, at the end of your meal pay what you feel it was worth to the anonymous donation box.
The atmosphere here is festive –excited children, troupes of friends and families, romantic couples and some very happy canine companions blend together to create a fete like atmosphere –complete with a big band on Sunday it is a sure-fire way to have a memorable and relaxing brunch.
There is parking available across the road for a measly $4 –and some 2 hour street parking if you're lucky to get a spot.
Abbotsford Convent is open every day from 8am and can be found at 1 St Helier's St, Abbotsford.
Entry is free, except for the fourth Saturday of every month where a $2 entry fee is charged for the Farmer's Market (well worth checking out too)