I love visiting sights and attractions on weekdays. It’s so much quieter, and if you’re at a museum or gallery, you can take your time and not be distracted or pushed around by other people. Even better – you can get amazing photos without crowds!
On a cold, grey Thursday morning in Melbourne, I decided to visit a place that I have always wanted to go… Montsalvat Arts & Events! As written on their official website, Montsalvat is “where the life of art is lived and a fabled past meets a vibrant present” – how beautifully said!
I started the day with brunch at The Boulervard @ Montsalvat, a cute and rustic restuarant situated right at the entrance. The indoor dining area is small but comfortable, with low/ambient lighting, while the outdoor area is bright and gorgeous. As always, I was by myself, so I requested a table for 1 and the waiter kindly separated a table for me. Breakfast is served until 12pm. I arrived at 11:30am and ordered scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on sourdough, with a soy chai latte. The service was quick and polite, and the food was delicous and generous (portion wise). The cost came to roughly AUD$21.00, which is pretty good, considering the same meal might be an extra AUS$5-10.00 in the inner city or CBD.
Wandering around the grounds of Montsalvat is like stepping back in time. The architecture is classic, and the gardens resemble those in storybooks. The numerous galleries showcase a variety of local/community art. It’s tucked away from busy roads, hidden among tall trees, so you will not hear the sound of cars, but instead, birds of all kinds chirping away. I even ran into a bold-coloured peacock!
The centrepiece is the Great Hall. As you explore your way around this grand building, you’ll come across little pockets of charm, from rose trees to hidden archways. By accident, I entred from the back of the Great Hall, which meant when I finally saw the front of the building, I was in awe. My favourite room appeared to be a small concert hall, with stained windows and a magnificent piano on display. The position of the room meant natural light shown through brilliantly.
Montsalvat is located in Eltham, which is in the outer north-east suburbs of Melbourne. I don’t own a car so I caught public transport. If you choose this mode of transportation, it’ll only cost you roughly AUD$9.00. If you are in the Melbourne CBD, the best way to get there is to catch the Hurstbridge Line (from Flinders Street or Southern Cross station) to Eltham Station, and then the 582 bus to Rockliffe/Mt Pleasant. From there, it is a 5min walk up Hillcrest Ave. More information on how to get there can be found on their website.
If you live in Melbourne and you’re looking for a new experience, try Montsalvat (if you haven’t already). I’m glad I ticked this off my list. It’s a great way to support community art, and it will also ignite your imagination!