A Melbournian who wonders as I wander. I have spent a lot of life colouring in moments and take great pleasure in creative expression of experience. Interested in Design, Art, Film, Photography, Painting and all things French.
Published June 30th 2018
Most people crave cake. It symbolises so much more than just a sweet taste on your tongue, it is all about experience. I like making cake. I have mastered sponge and my mum's carrot cake and scones are hard to beat, so cake in a shop has a lot to live up to taste wise. So many bought cakes are just too sweet or too production line.
At some point, my interest in cake has morphed into a journey. Now I know exactly where to go in Melbourne for the most delicious slice.
It was here, I first heard of Millstone, Beatrix, Cobb Lane (sadly now closed in Anderson St, Yarraville but try their delicious pastry and bread at Don't Lose Your Temper in Collingwood, Duke's Coffee in the city and other selected spots) and Candied Bakery (Vanilla Slice Donuts of dreams).
Cake needs a long journey to the destination to really make the experience delectable. Suburb hopping on a flavour quest is a great way to fill in a weekend type of day. A well-balanced cake is like a harmonious immersion of colours on a canvas. Anyone can do sweet, it is when a cake is subtle and it forces you to savour the sensation, to put thought into its interaction with your senses. Then you know you have a masterpiece. I have slowly refined sourcing all such masterpieces from Beatrix.
Naturally, as a first assumption, the Hopetoun tearooms might be the most convenient cake source. Indeed their cakes dazzle and satisfy the appetite of the eye but they lack a touch of whimsy. Anyway, can you really settle with a queue of eyes ogling your cake and seat?
If you do go to Malvern then naturally Millhouse's glass cabinet of artistry just looks too immaculate to destroy by consumption. There is a tad too much formality in the air to not reserve this outing for occasion.
It is only Beatrix where I feel you can have your cake and actually relax over it too. This is despite the lack of space as Beatrix is one of those spots you just wish the rest of the world didn't also know about.
I like to go here with my Mum because it is just like going back to Nan's or Grandma's kitchen and finding to eat something that tastes as good and pure as food did then. Food presented on the same gorgeous old china.
The old-fashioned beaters on the wall complete the feeling you have gone back to when real food was beaten up from scratch, enriched with the love and passion of the baker.
The waitresses have that air of Amelie about them and every time I go, I leave smiling as wide as when I was coming out of that movie. My mouth and spirit singing, satisfied I have been somewhere special. It is another land of friendliness and laughter where the food tastes like I always imagine it would in a world a top of the faraway tree.
Beatrix has won prizes for their Raspberry Chocolate Cake but my Mum and I find the Hazelnut Carrot Cake is our favourite. Once in a while, I have happened upon the Lemon Curd Sponge which I think sums up as the only thing I really think is worth eating in life.
They have Hoola Hoop Gingerbreads and Lemon Tart whilst their creativity is constantly presenting a new line up of ideas that all have a sense of Nostalgia attached.
There are American and British influences here. They source their bread and coffee locally and change their flavours to suit the season. Beatrix is special even to the detail of their name which sums up everything that they are and do, it means she who makes happy.
Go for a cake or one of their satisfyingly appetising sandwiches that changes its name and filling by the day. Open Tuesday to Saturday. Beatrix is always busy but always worth the wait.