My flatmate (who is never in town) was in town this weekend, and as per usual we brunched. Who am I kidding, I don’t think anyone in the city of Melbourne eats breakfast at home on a Sunday.
We made the effort to haul ourselves to the Abbotsford Convent. This place not only has 11 historic buildings, six cafes, 100 studios, two galleries, and a school (just to name a few) on 16 acres of land, this place has a pretty interesting history.
We dined at the Convent Bakery, Bar & Pizzeria and it was super tasty. They have a small fixed menu and a butt load of cabinet food.
It was pretty packed, but that was due to a cute little market being held. I have a secret love of markets. I like to see, what that stall has to offer and why. What was it that inspired the stall owner to create their piece. I think that it can say a lot about a person.
There is also a vegan place that you pay as you feel. Thought it was only worth $20, then that’s what you pay. My conscious would way in to heavily on this and I think I would be very broke, very quickly if I went there to often. There is a little blurb here.
Any who, the history!!!
The original site belonged to the Wurundjeri people for a couple of centuries. It looks like it would have been a pretty sweet set up. It’s right on the river and had all the resources surrounding them. They are still connected to the land with their office on site today.
In 1838, the land was subdivided and sold to ol’ mate John Orr, who established Abbotsford House. He later died in 1850 and his widow sold the land to the Sisters of the Good Shepherd.
It wasn’t until 1863 that four nuns arrived in Melbourne and things kicked off. By 1900 the convent was in full swing and at one point had over 1,000 women and children living there.
Fast track to today and we are pretty lucky to have such an incredible piece of history on our back door step. The Convent is now home to cafes and galleries and has a huge focus on arts, culture and learning. Just over 60% of the buildings have now been restored and they have just gained more funding for baby steps of the rest.
If you love to quietly get lost in the history of your surroundings, I would recommend you head here. If you aren’t so sure, but you’re a big fan on animals, there is a petting zoo next door. Yes, a petting zoo. Hit it up.