Saturday, 28 July 2012

Cafe Sweethearts Encore & Gasworks Farmers Market.....

263 Coventry St 
South Melbourne, 3205
(03) 9690 6752

Sometimes we just can't resist revisiting our favourite cafes. Whilst there are many fabulous cafes on Coventry St, it is hard to go past Cafe Sweethearts. Today we combine  our visit with a post-brunch stroll to the Gasworks Farmers Market.

We're baaaaaack!

When we wrote our last blog post about Cafe Sweethearts, we were clearly going through our 'porridge phase'. The pugs would've been disappointed, as they are usually so excited to get a subtle slip of bacon or roesti!

please can I have a roesti?! please please please!

pick me! pick me! please & thank you! Whatever it takes!

You may have trouble deciding what to order, not because of lack of variety, but due to the ample, delicious brunch items available. There are pages alone dedicated to eggs. We have also been known to cross town for Sweetheart's herb polenta. Feeling hungry?  

My mouth is watering......

mmmm nom nom nom......

Eggs Mexican with a Roesti

Scrambled Eggs with Rocket & Parmesan & Roesti

Coffee is always superb here, we were originally recommended this cafe for their Genovese coffee way back in 2006. Whilst it has changed owners since then, we are pleased that the standard of coffee is still high and much of the original menu remains. Alongside the coffee, the extensive egg menu is what Cafe Sweethearts is well-known for! 

Our first blog post about Cafe Sweethearts can be viewed via this link:

Gasworks Farmers Market received the Outstanding Farmers Market Award at the 2012 Delicious Produce Awards. The annual award ceremony was held at Stokehouse, Brisbane and was hosted by culinary critic Matt Preston. The awards highlight small and artisan producers and a growing interest in sustainability, with nominations doubling this year to 2000.

The Gasworks Farmers Market is held at Gasworks Arts Park from 8:30-1pm on the third Saturday of each month. The remaining Farmers Market dates for 2012 can be found below:
Saturday 21 July
Saturday 18 August
Saturday 15 September
Saturday 20 October 
Saturday 17 November
Saturday 15 December
The market is plastic bag free and all packaging is as environmental responsible as possible so please bring your own trolleys, baskets or green bags :)

Café Sweethearts on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

The Boathouse & Maribyrnong River Trail

7 The Blvd
Moonee Ponds 3039
ph (03) 9375 2456

Perched on the banks of the Maribyrnong River is The Boathouse; a haven for dog lovers and those who love the great outdoors.  

'The Boathouse is a collaboration between Gary Mehigan judge and co-host of Channel Ten’s hugely successful MasterChef series and partner Steve Bogdani with a vision to share life’s simple pleasures done really well.
The Boathouse is dog-friendly in the sense that it caters for dogs by providing an area to leash them, but they are not permitted in the actual alfresco area. We usually have the dogs right at our feet, so even though we sat on the seats right near the leashed area, I would've felt more comfortable if they were right with us as per our normal cafe experiences. Many people always approach our dogs wanting to meet them and as responsible pet owners, we want to facilitate that meeting so the dogs (or humans in some cases!) socialise appropriately. I found myself continually leaving the table, weaving under the balcony and to the leash area for this. When they weren't meeting and greeting new humans and dogs, the girls were happy rummaging through the sticks and leaves ;)
Gypsy's lead is attached to a long wire which she can move up and down on right in front of our table.
We met one lovely reader of our blog who approached the dogs and she was as excited to meet the dogs as they were to meet her ;) It is always lovely to meet people who appreciate our blog. We love sharing dog-friendly places with families with dogs and importantly, we feel a strong passion for spreading awareness about animal welfare issues also. 
Back to the Boathouse brunch.....
River Run Breakfast
Breakfast Pizza

Brunch at the Boathouse finishes at 11:30am on Sunday, so don't sleep in then venture out for a 'Lazy Sunday' brunch, expecting to be served eggs later in the day here! It is not unlike us to be venturing to brunch closer to 'lunch' on Sundays, so fortunately we made an earlier start on this particular day, and were able to be served eggs in the form of poached on the 'Breakfast Pizza' and scrambled on the 'River Run Breakfast' plate ;)

After brunch, we ventured along the Maribyrnong River Trail near the Boathouse. We walked a lovely circuit along both sides of the river, alongside many other dogs ;) Gypsy loved springing like a rabbit in and out of the river reeds along the bank and Poppet of course, was walking close by us on the pathway ;) 

If you don't like leaving your dogs leashed up, opt for a take away coffee @ The Boathouse and enjoy the river trail with your dog. Alternatively, we did see others leave The Boathouse with fresh muffins to eat on their bench seats overlooking the river ;) 

The Boathouse is pinned. We followed the Maribyrnong River up to Riverside Park where there is a walking bridge to cross to the other side. We then followed the River all the way up to Raleigh Rd.

The Boathouse on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Footscray Milking Station

35 Bunbury St 
Footscray, 3011
03 90299240

Looking for a funky new dog~friendly cafe and deli in the West to try for brunch? Look no further.....

This place is buzzing on the word-of-mouth scene. We have driven past a few times with the pugs, though leaving our run too late for outside tables. On this particular day, we timed our brunch perfectly and seized an outside table with radiant warmth thanks to a well-positioned gas heater;)

Cute as a button on a chilly winter's morning ;)

The cafe is positioned on the junction of two wide, umbrageous streets. It feels local in every sense, yet it appears, crowds are flocking in from neighbouring suburbs (and no doubt foodies from all over town too) to make up their own mind about the newest kid on the Western 'burb block.

Super coffee. Nothing else really to say on the matter. Super. 

Ricotta Crepes

The crepes were insanely delectable. A lovely petite serve ~ savour every mouthful as the flavours are original and had us guessing every fork full;) Mint and maple married with ricotta, pecans and blueberries. Wow!

Baked Eggs

Take note of the begging paw......

Notice the hash brown with the baked eggs? Hash browns induce begging. Cute, sad, 'please just a little bit' eyes and the begging paw. Least they have doggy manners!

After brunch, we all cruised over to the park for a run. Check out the monster shadows!

muddy puddle paw planking. beat that ;)


Footscray Milking Station on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Pet-Friendly Retirement

My 90 year old Grandma is a trooper. She is enjoying her time at her nursing home, still cheeky with a wicked sense of humour. 

As I walked into her dining hall, I saw that dogs were visiting the nursing home as part of their recreational programs. It got me thinking about retirement (oh- to retire!) and what was available in terms of 'pet-friendly' retirement villages and homes. 

The pet policy and rules of a retirement villa will generally have been formulated having regard to the physical characteristics of the village and the appropriateness of having pets in the village. To the extent that pets are permitted at all, the size, temperament and audibility of the particular pet will be relevant.

Realising the importance of pets to prospective residents, some village operators may allow certain current pets to live in the village, but may not allow replacement pets should the current pet pass away or otherwise leave the village.

Villages may therefore fall into one of the following categories regarding pets:
  • no pets allowed under any circumstances
  • some pets allowed depending on their size, temperament and audibility
  • some current pets allowed (as above), but no replacement pets allowed
  • pets allowed generally
So, if your parents or Nan are planning to retire and have a pet, enquiring about the village pet policy and rules is one of the first enquiries they should make if they are planning on retiring with their pet. 

Senior Housing Online finds the perfect retirement property with the right combination of location, facilities and price. Here is the link to pet-friendly retirement housing in Melbourne. 

Kilara House in Diamond Creek considers resident pets. Further information including contact details can be found via this link:

Parkglen Retirement Community in Keysborough welcomes small pets in their retirement villas.

For those who don't have their own pets, but love pets, Eltham Retirement Centre has its own pets in both the low care and high care areas!

This article was written on the 30th of May on DPS News and is a worthwhile read about making aged care 'pet-friendly'. Raise further awareness and show your support by liking the article or leaving a comment.

The Wishbone Foundation is a registered Australian charity founded in 2002 to provide free pet care to elderly and disabled pet owners living at home, and pets as therapy to assisted living facilities and hospitals . Wishbone currently delivers foundation services in metropolitan Melbourne and some areas of country Victoria. Wishbone is based in the beautiful Pyrenees region of country Victoria, producing an Australian owned and made range of cruelty-free botanical pet care products. 100% of profits from every product sold supports the foundation. Wishbone also offers training, walking and holiday care to pet owners in north-east Victoria on a fee-for-service basis, from which 100% of profits also support the foundation.

It is our hope that the elderly never have to part with their beloved pets where possible. If they are in a position where they do need to move into high care, we hope their companion animal can be rehomed with another family member. Dogs are the most loyal and loving companions and will enrich the lives of many elderly.


Sunday, 15 July 2012

Dog Grooming ~ Melbourne

After Gypsy’s eye was removed, I became the over-protective devil Mother I never wanted to be. She wasn’t the only one with one-eye. I slept with one-eye open for months. As it healed, both my eyes opened to the fact she was a total scruff ball and was in need of a groom. Summer was approaching and she needed a ‘short’ do not a ‘scruff’ do.

The scruff do!

I had lost all trust in others after Gypsy’s attack and couldn’t even bring myself to trust a groomer to cut her hair (which is ridiculous because our groomers are wonderful and love taking care of Gypsy). Eventually I took her back after giving her a few terrible 'Mummy' haircuts, which resembled train tracks on her poor, beautiful coat!  Everytime I tried to correct my poor trims, it would result in more 'hacking'......the poor darling! 

What?! You aint ever seen a mullet before? 

Giving in to the fact I was not destined to be a dog groomer (though maybe if I enrolled in a Dog Diversity Grooming Course I could turn that around?!, I took her back to get her first groom post-operation. As she was taken by the groomer, I heard the words 'You can go now'.........Oh gosh I thought....I've become one of those Mums! How could I? I spend much time with parents of the sort as a teacher, gently encouraging them to assist in their child's independence and sensitively dealing with their separation anxieties ( I was one of those children once upon a time) and here now I was, with my furry child, facing my own reality as a parent who needed to let go and trust!

Rock'n'Roll Do! Woo!

We have decided to blog a list of groomers across Melbourne for fast reference though we understand groomers are like hairdressers and most would go off word-of-mouth reputation and/or recommendation. However, you may be new to Melbourne or to a suburb of Melbourne and want to try a new groomer so these leads may point you in the right direction. Please let us know if you have any great recommendations for groomers in the comments below so other readers may also use your great advice when deciding on a groomer.

Hop & Scotch Ph. (03) 9877 0044
Mostly Mutts Ph. (03) 9387 4504 
Whoopys Ph. (03) 9531 6060
Poochie Palace Ph. (03) 9376 7050   
Waggers Dog Grooming Boutique 
Ph. 0417 555 572
The Hair of the Dog Ph. (03) 9571 4451
James Home Services (mobile) Ph. 1800 152637

Jim's Dog Wash (mobile)  Ph.131 546
Count Dogulas Ph. (03) 9370 9019 
Murphy's Paw Ph. (03) 9646 5150
Laundry Mutt  Ph. (03) 9421 4950
Doggy Dooz Ph. (03) 9687 0299
Diggiddy Doggy Day Spa
Ph. (03) 9682 7297
Dog Chic Doggy Day Spa 
Ph. (03) 9826 4130
Hairy Hounds  
Ph. (03) 9397 8521

Alternatively, you may decide your talents are far greater than mine and groom your own dog. Poppet is a rescue dog, and slowly but surely she is more welcoming of human affection. Though usually it is on her terms. She enjoys being brushed, I can quickly clean her ears, though I still rely on the groomers to trim her nails as I don't trust myself. So I half-groom my own dog! 

Our friends @ Paws & Co have the goods to get you going in grooming! They stock the SEXY BEAST range of products which are 100% vegan, 100% safe and 100% sexy! I'm not sure I would ever call my pugs sexy LOL! But they are darn cute and if they smell beautiful after using a wonderful, safe product then even better!  

Hello Gorgeous Shampoo suds up your pup with its ultra rich, 100% plant based, super shine formula. It is Hypo-Allergenic and paraben-free with active organic lime & cherry extracts and chamomile oil. Sounds divine!

Breaking Hearts Conditioner is a rich and creamy treat which seals in moisture and detangles and softens their coat. Again it is Hypo-Allergenic, and imparts an illuminating sheen with active organic extracts. of ginkgo biloba, green tea, chamomile, lavendar, rosemary and aloe vera.

Any readers interested in trying the Sexy Beast Range can receive 10% of their first purchase from Paws & Co. Simply enter the password 'Gypsy' at checkout!

Lastly while we are on the topic of grooming, many Animal Rescue groups are always looking for Volunteers to assist them with such jobs like brushing coats so they don't matt etc. Every little bit counts. Get in touch with your local Animal Rescue Group to see if you can assist in some way. Pets love pampering in some form (some may not like the 'bath' bit but they definitely like the 'brush' bit!)

We thought we would finish with some extra-ordinary grooming examples. Wowsers!


Any advertising funds raised will 100% go to animal welfare charities

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