Discover White Rabbit Restaurant in Church Street, Brighton
A flavour-packed culinary journey, from Ireland to Lebanon, can be had behind the mellow yellow walls of a beautiful old building on Church Street, Brighton.
White Rabbit Restaurant has been making a name for itself in the beachside suburb for the past five years.
Tourists and locals love it, from the punchy Irish breakfast, with its white pudding, to ocean trout breakfast through to those generous share plates and strong, flavourful mains.
And across it all is a Mediterranean and Middle Eastern (mainly Lebanese) influence that is proudly inserted into the menu.
Jason Daou runs the restaurant with his sister and dad and infuses the place with a passion for food and for people.
“Our food is a mix of Mediterranean, influenced by Lebanese recipes and flavours,” he said.
“We have put our spin – a modern twist – on traditional dishes, many of which have come from mum.
“It is food we grew up with, it’s authentic and people have embraced it. There isn’t much else around here offering this traditional style of Lebanese food.
“Diners love it when we put a very traditional dish on the menu.”
Mr Daou, whose background is sport and personal training, loves the restaurant business.
“We pride ourselves in offering casual dining but with impeccable customer service,” he said.
“I love to interact with people and even those just coming in for their morning coffee know I’ll be up for a joke and a chat.”
The family own and run a few restaurants across Melbourne, including Pocis on Hampton Street which they “jazzed up and modernised” a year ago.
But Mr Daou believes you can’t beat Church Street, Brighton as a location.
“This is the best spot. It has a great vibe that other areas don’t have. It’s not too spread out, has a great mix of cafes and bars and restaurants and so has a busy village feel about it.
“We also have many tourists coming through. I love it.”
Visit the store
116-118 Church Street, Brighton
Phone: (03) 9553 8344
Discover Eco D. in Church Street, Brighton
A woman can’t have too much luxury to choose from. So, Church Street, Brighton has added a little more to its high-end shopping strip.
Luxe women’s fashion store ECO D. has at last opened in the precinct with the new store, adding to its existing 13 boutiques across Australia.
Located at 23 Church Street, the store is right in the heart of the bustling precinct and in fine company alongside Mecca Cosmetica and newly opened Hellenic Republic.
As the newest addition to the ECO D. pack, the Church Street store has a sleek, fresh interior flooded with natural light.
The pale timber floors and the lush surfaces offer a chic, contemporary and very stylish display home for the garments and accessories.
The Australian and international labels carried at the store are a great fit for Brighton, with Assembly Label, Elka Collective, Faithful The Brand, Hunkydory, KitX, Life with Bird, Scotch & Soda, Steele, Superga, and Viktoria and Woods among those on offer.
Founder and owner Felicity Holding grew up in Brighton and, with strong connections to the area, knows what the Bayside women wants when it comes to top-end fashion.
Ms Holding said she was excited by the expansion of the chain to her old stomping ground.
ECO D. was established in 1995 and says it “expresses the modern Australian lifestyle” with a focus on casual wear, timeless separates and classic staples.
Each season brings a new collection of “read to wear capsules” and for the past 17 years, the store brings women back again and again for the luxury essentials.
Drop into the Brighton store to see new arrivals, the stylists’ edit and a full selection of the designers, and treat yourself to something new.
Visit the store
23 Church Street, Brighton
Phone: (03) 9591 0751
Discover Kicking Curves in Church Street, Brighton
A beautiful, new boutique in Church Street, Brighton is making lingerie shopping as important and enjoyable as searching for that perfect dress.
With a collection from around the world and a passion for old-fashioned service, Kicking Curves has brought underwear centre stage and created a buying experience that ensures lingerie shines as a wardrobe essential.
Store co-owner Mila Bushell says the idea was to have a store that treated lingerie like anything else you would go shopping for.
“You can come in, wander around. We have a great collection and something for everyone regardless of age and what they want from their underwear,” she said.
“And on top of that, we are very passionate about providing excellent service – professional trained fitters who offer informed advice.
“If a bra you like doesn’t fit or suit, we will give you honest feedback and find something that does.”
And Ms Bushell is a firm believer that a good bra makes the best of whatever is on top.
“It’s essential. That beautiful or dress or even just a t-shirt will look wonderful with the correct bra underneath. About 80 per cent of women are wearing the wrong size bra. That is why we have trained fitters in store,” Ms Bushell said.
Kicking Curves offers a global collection of lingerie in beautiful fabrics, styles, and shapes (and to suit different budgets), in an elegant but welcoming store where the shopper feels comfortable browsing.
Ms Bushell and Myra Cooke created Kicking Curves with all of that in mind. They wanted women to have somewhere to shop for lingerie like they do everything else and with the backup of expert advice.
“Often in the big department stores it’s difficult to get that,” Ms Bushell said.
“And women tend to buy underwear as an afterthought but we want to make it an important purchase, an essential part of the outfit and the best way to do that is have a specialist store.”
Visit the store
26 Church Street, Brighton
Phone: 1300 262 798
Guide to medical services in Church Street, Brighton
From routine check-ups to specialist services, a healthier, better you is easier to maintain when services are local and accessible.
Church Street, Brighton offers a wide range of medical services that cater to the whole community, from infancy to old age, and with traditional and complimentary services, everyone is covered.
Here’s where you can find medical services in Church Street, Brighton:
General medical services
A team of specialists at A2Z Health Group provides physiotherapy and rehabilitation for a wide range of issues. The clinic also offers hydrotherapy to treat many things from post-operative conditions to stress and sleep disorders.
Brighton Medical Clinic is a one-stop shop for many medical needs including immunisation, check-ups for the 45 plus age group, travel vaccinations and treatment for diabetes. Cosmetic medicine and skin checks are also offered, and the clinic shares obstetric care with Sandringham, Monash and Royal Women’s hospitals.
With a number of optometrists on Church Street, Brighton, there is no excuse not to keep on top of your eye health.
If you need to choose beautiful glasses that look good or you need advice on contact lenses, be sure to chat to an in-store optometrist.
Dental and orthodontic practices
Smile – while you still have teeth. And keep those pearly whites in pristine condition with regular visits to the dentist. The Brighton community is well serviced with these Church Street dentists: Teeth, Mouth, Smile; Lifestyle Smile Dentist; and Dr Sarah Orme – Periodontics.
For orthodontic services including teeth straightening, visit Brighton Orthodontics.
Established more than 18 years ago by Dr Philippa McCaffery, Clearskincare Clinics specialises in acne treatments, laser hair removal and anti-ageing skin treatments.
Brighton Acupuncture offers acupuncture, cupping, sports medicine acupuncture and a drug-free approach to allergies and sensitivities in children.
Dorevitch Pathology is a leading provider of pathology and medical diagnostics to doctors, specialists and hospitals. The Brighton clinic offers on-site specialist paediatric collections, an ECG/cardiology service, holter monitor, ambulatory blood pressure monitoring and spirometry testing.
Melbourne Heart Care manages and treats a range of cardiac conditions including heart murmurs, hypertension and palpitations. The clinic also offers a range of state-of-the-art diagnostic services.
New section of Bay Trail opens in Brighton
A new section of Bayside’s Bay Trail, which is now split for cyclists and pedestrians, has opened in Brighton.
The improvement works are part of a Bayside Council project to make the shared path safe and enjoyable for users, and prevent hazards.
Thirteen sites along the 17km Bay Trail, including four hot spots in the Brighton section of the track, have been identified as high-risk.
The Seacombe Grove, Sandown St and Bay St section of the path, which is a popular spot but was prone to congestion, was the first to undergo improvements.
Brighton Bayside Life Activities Club walking group co-convenor Jenni Loutit said the new trail was “fantastic”.
“It’s so much safer now people can enjoy it. It will make a huge difference,” she said.
Bayside mayor Alex del Porto said Bayside welcomed more than 290,000 cyclists each year and, as such, improving safety for all cyclists and pedestrians was a high propriety for the council.
“Giving people a convenient alternative to dealing with traffic congestion is very important for the health of our city,” he said.
“Our wellbeing as individuals and as a community is enhanced by getting outside, putting on a helmet and enjoying the wonderful Bayside outdoors.”
The next Brighton site along the trail to be addressed will be adjacent to Middle Brighton Baths.
The trail at Dendy Street, north of Gould Street, and Kinane Street will also undergo upgrades as part of the project.
Cr del Porto said the council had spent $1.2 million over the past six years to improve sections of the shared foreshore trail.
More than $2.2 million has been allocated in the council’s 2017-18 budget for footpath and bike path improvements.
Discover Brighton Flower Shop in Church Street, Brighton
In The Book of Tea, Kakuzo Okakura wrote, “In joy or sadness flowers are our constant friends”.
Located in Church Street, Brighton, Ken Whelan (pictured, above) has been observing that for 30 years as owner of Brighton Flower Shop.
The store is an institution and Mr Whelan knows that freshness is the key to keeping customers happy and returning.
“We buy our flowers directly from growers daily to ensure the best quality and freshness,” Mr Whelan said.
“People ask why our flowers last so long and that is why. They haven’t been flown half way round the world and sprayed with chemicals.
“Our lilies, roses, orchids and gerberas are available year-round and blooms such as freesia, lisianthus and tulips are sourced seasonally or to order.”
Roses are the most popular flower and not just because they are the traditional gift.
“Roses offer instant, strong colour and people want colour,” Mr Whelan said.
Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Mothers’ Day are the biggest flower buying times but outside of those celebrations, the store’s customers are a flower loving lot, snapping up blooms for all things happy and sad.
Mr Whelan has a team of skilled florists who can create an array of bouquets and arrangements with giftwrap, boxes, vases and ribbons for the everyday, including design bridal bouquets, arrangements for funeral services or sympathy sprays to give to a grieving friend.
Mr Whelan has been in the floristry business for 50 years and hasn’t tired of it yet.
“I can’t say exactly what it is about it but I’m still selling flowers, so I must like it,” he said.
When you next walk along bustling Church Street pause at the Brighton Flower Shop and smell the roses (or the lilies and orchids or the other beautiful blooms) and feel the joy of flowers. Treat someone special or why not treat yourself.
All pictures by Samantha Haines.
Visit the store
5d Church Street, Brighton
Phone: (03) 9592 6869.
Discover Cafe Florentine in Church Street, Brighton
A Church Street favourite, Cafe Florentine has been serving up great food and warm Italian charm since 1989. But it never gets old.
The Brighton institution is as lively, hospitable and loved by locals and visitors as it ever was.
Owner Chris Favaloro is in no doubt about what keeps the customers coming through the doors.
“We offer great service and tasty Italian food in a warm, inviting place,” he said.
Mr Favaloro, who also owns the 100-seat fine dining Vivace Restaurant on Bay St, said Florentine was a cafe by day and restaurant by night.
“We are open all day every day. Come first thing for that early coffee or later for a great meal. You can grab breakfast or lunch. We offer it all,” Mr Florentine said.
Choose from menu items like poached eggs on English muffins with sautéed spinach and house made Dukkah for brekkie, a Florentine-style club sandwich or maybe cured salmon with beetroot, goats curd and walnuts, finished off with orange glaze for lunch.
Fresh and seasonal are the Florentine buzzwords and there are a few popular dishes but Mr Favaloro said the lamb shanks were a signature dish.
The large, bustling eatery is, a “fun, family” one but is just as welcoming a restaurant to the movie-goer who wants a pre-or post-film glass of wine or meal.
Cafe Florentine is located right next to the Dendy Brighton cinema on what Mr Favaloro has declared “the best location on Church Street”.
As with any real estate, location is everything and Mr Favaloro loves Church Street, Brighton.
“It is a beautiful leafy street, full of people – some local, many visiting. Church Street has become a tourist attraction,” he said.
“We also have a lovely al fresco area – perfect for watching the world go by while enjoying your wine or coffee.”
Images thanks to Cafe Florentine.
Brighton set for strong spring property sales
Spring not only heralds winter’s end and offers a tantalising glimpse of summer but sprouts a plethora of sale boards on residential properties.
And Brighton is no different.
Ben Vieth of Marshall White real estate said they had a strong auction list already and predicted a lively home buying season.
There are no signs of the beautiful Bayside suburb waning in popularity with buyers coming from all over Melbourne and even interstate.
“People priced out of Port Melbourne, for example, look at Brighton as a great place to buy a home,” Mr Vieth said.
“For the price of a terraced property in Port Melbourne, they could buy a bigger house on a plot of land with a yard in Brighton.”
And the attractions of Brighton haven’t changed much – lots of good schools and the strong community factor, Mr Vieth said.
“The schools are some of the best in Melbourne and Brighton is very community based – it’s that Brighton bubble you hear people talking about,” he said.
Median house prices in the suburb have soared to $2.8 – $3 million, improving on average by about 10-12 per cent per year.
“But it is still an undervalued suburb compared with Toorak or Middle Park, for example,” Mr Vieth said.
“People are slowly beginning to see its value and as other suburbs become too expensive they realise what Brighton has to offer.”
Mr Vieth said there were no Brighton buyer “hot spots”, as such, with the suburb offering different appeal to different home buyers.
“For example, people moving from the Port Phillip area tend to love the north Brighton pocket on the other side of North Rd,” he said.
“Other buyers will be attracted to other areas.”
A slice of Brighton’s stunning Golden Mile may be coveted but is not so easy to come by.
“Home owners there tend to stay put so the market doesn’t move so much. People often decide to renovate rather than sell up,” he said.
Discover Lee Mathews in Church Street, Brighton
Age doesn’t define this modern, well-travelled and stylish woman – the typical buyer of the beautiful pieces at Lee Mathews in Church Street, Brighton.
The chic new store opened recently on the busy retail strip and shoppers are loving it.
Designer Lee Mathews has been receiving great feedback on her clothing range, which has a global following, and even the new shop fit out.
“They love it. The previous store had been there for over 30 years, so the frequent shoppers on Church Street were happy to see it carefully and beautifully fitted out with an Australian fashion brand,” Mathews said.
Being an Aussie brand has been a great selling point, with the home grown stamp an important one for the Brighton fashion buyers.
“Everyone has been very excited. Lee Mathews maintains the village atmosphere and sense of community that Brighton loves,” Mathews said.
“And there are not a lot of Australian designed and owned labels left.
“Furthermore, Australia constantly influences my designs, from the colour palettes to silhouettes and prints of native flora.”
Everyday luxury is the watchword at Lee Mathews, with luxurious but easy-to-wear fabrics like silk and 100 per cent linen on offer.
Mathews said the globally-sourced fabrics aren’t just easy to wear but simple to maintain, too, with many machine and hand washable.
The distinctive, signature Lee Mathews style sits well in the Church Street, Brighton precinct with its mix of fashion stores that have made the strip a destination for high-end fashion connoisseurs.
The stunning prints are designed and developed in-house by Mathews. Statement dresses are a focus, and each season are sellouts for their covetable, one-off nature.
“The silks are complemented by a range of lifestyle essentials from the basic slip and cami, classic white shirt to weekend attire and work-wear, designed to accommodate the Australian lifestyle,” Mathews said.
The vision for the Lee Mathews woman – who lives all over the world – is one who celebrates the finer things of life; one rich in colour, texture and design.
Visit the store
40C Church Street, Brighton
Phone: (03) 8525 1670.
Images thanks to Lee Mathews.
Brighton Theatre Company presents the Garden of Granddaughters
Season three of Brighton Theatre Company kicks off tonight with the Garden of Granddaughters, written by Stephen Sewell and directed by Andrew Ferguson.
The latest play from the local theatre company explores themes of family and creativity, childhood dreams and adult emotions, through the lens of three generations unexpectedly brought together.
When famous conductor Max and his wife pay an unexpected visit on their wayward daughters (with their own daughters) in Melbourne, three generations come together to learn a few lessons about life and art – not least of all, Max himself.
This contemporary play is an insightful and amusing exploration of what poses creative value.
Support local theatre in Brighton and get along to this excellent production of an iconic Australian play.
Dates: August 17 – September 2
Performance times: Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 2.15pm and 8pm, Sundays at 2.15pm
Location: Brighton Arts and Cultural Centre, corner of Wilson and Carpenter streets, Brighton
Cost: $23 adults; $21 concession; $19 per person for group bookings of 20 or more
Buy tickets online here or phone 1300 752 126.
Meet Church Street regular and MP Tim Wilson
If you pop into Cafe Florentine on Church Street in Brighton one evening you might just recognise human rights advocate and Federal Member for Goldstein, Tim Wilson MP.
He will likely be sipping a gin and tonic while having a conversation about assisting children in immigration detention or preserving civil liberties. Or it is just as likely the hot topic would be the gin.
“One of Ryan’s (Tim’s partner) and my bizarre obsessions is we collect gin from around the world,” Mr Wilson said.
“Gin used to be constrained to Gordon’s, Beefeater and Tanqueray. Now there are hundreds, including many Australian gins – many are available at Vintage Cellars on Church Street.”
And a further peek behind the political suit reveals a pug owning (two in fact – Louis and Ella) passionate lover of art, a Simpsons fan, a die-hard Melbourne Demons supporter and a regular visitor to the Mornington Peninsula.
But, of course, politics is his big focus and Mr Wilson said social infrastructure challenges, particularly arts and sport, were big local projects currently.
“These need to be fixed, particularly with the growth of women’s footy,” he said.
“And with an ageing population, having access to local arts infrastructure is going to become increasingly important to maintain our community’s liveability.”
Protecting Port Phillip Bay and tackling erosion along the Brighton to Beaumaris cliffs are also on his agenda.
Mr Wilson firmly believes tackling national issues also helps his local constituents.
“The Federal issues we face affect everyone – tax, the budget, health and education. My interest is how to address these to make sure we can balance the budget, reduce debt and fund the health and aged care services.”
“My parents met at the Half Moon – then called Central Hotel – so it always offers a good excuse for a post-work beer,” he said.
Concept cafe The Brighton Buoy opens in Church Street, Brighton
A unique shopping experience that combines a cafe within a lifestyle store has launched in Church Street, Brighton’s leading retail precinct.
Country Road has extended its lifestyle store concept with a full shop refurbishment and the opening of in-store eatery The Brighton Buoy, in collaboration with The Almond Milk Co.
The Brighton Buoy offers visitors the chance to sit in and enjoy the edible delights of a cafe before enjoying a spot of retail therapy in Country Road.
The Brighton Buoy is a collaboration with The Almond Milk Co and will be supplied daily with fresh pastries, sandwiches and salads by Tommy Collins bakery ‘The Hamptons’.
The cafe offers locals a healthy menu of almond milk smoothies, and lovers of the non-dairy drink can fill up reusable glass bottles with flavoured almond milk including prana chai, chocolate, Matcha Maiden and golden grind (turmeric milk).
Also on offer are bagels, salads, sandwiches and sweet treats, as well as tea, coffee and pressed juice.
Country Road managing director Darren Todd said the refurbishment of the Country Road Brighton store would offer shoppers a space to access the brand’s full lifestyle offering while having the option of a cafe to relax and unwind.