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 July 2nd 2018
Hardware Lane, European Heritage preserved in a modern Taste
My Grandma worked in Hardware Lane at the Oriental Handicraft Company. It does not exist any more, and neither does the ambiance she would have felt at home in. Any trace has vanished from physical, literary and digital reality like a magical shop in a fairy story.
Heritage listing has preserved the brick and mortar in which there is sense of ingrained layers of life stories. There are still steep staircases reaching up from the street to window-lined work rooms but now the occupants are cafe's maintaining the European sense of the architecture in their menu description, not their beat.
You can follow the city gridline which is just up from Elizabeth St towards William St , all the way fromBurke St to Lonsdale St. It is a bustling lunch quarter where European and Asian influences mingle in French, Italian, Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine.
If you squeeze your way through cafe tables that overflow onto the street and avoid the eyes of waiters hungry for custom then risk life and limb crossing Lonsdale traffic into the farthest outpost of Hardware Lane, Hardware St. You will happen upon iconic representations of re-purposed heritage, which has become the shell of modern fit outs, and the theatre of culinary competition.
Your eye may be drawn to the queue emanating from the cafe to the left and right nearest to Little Lonsdale. Reviews have been devoted dexcribing The Hardware Sociéte's popularity, as weekday or weekend you must first get your name on a waitlist.
If you crave France this café, whose name also adorns a shop in Montmartre Paris, is a tempting haven of style and taste, but this street is full of options to unsettle prompt decision.
There is White Mojo known for deconstructed delights and smoking entertainment. Next door Hardware St Cafe's display window brimming with Belgian waffles makes tastebuds water. Skin chilled by stone and brick ambiance any time of year prickles for the concept of such 'Saturday brunch' cosiness.
If your craving is croissants I suggest you don't leave it too late as they are so tasty here they are in high demand. This laneway is rather croissant enriched so if you miss out you can always try White Mojo, The Hardware Société or Brick Lane, which is nearby in Guildford Lane.
This is one of many areas of the city where the modern reflects traces of the traditional with plants sprouting upwards in an environmentalist inspiration of green and you need to return several times to get a fully rounded taste. For an immersive experience share a takeaway donut with a sparrow out the front of Short Stop Donuts. You will be satisfied your trip was a perfect weekend note.
It is not necessary, or correct, to use an apostrophe for a plural, as in cafe's - cafes will do. The apostrophe suggests the cafe owns what follows.
Sorry I can't do acute accents.
Nice article though.