PROFILE BY BEST RESTAURANTS
Taking up residence within the walls of the Convent Annexe or "kitchen wing", where the Sisters of the Good Shepherd made all their food, is the Convent Bakery. Easily one of my favourite spots in Melbourne, the tranquillity of the area, a mere four kilometres from the CBD, evokes my creativity while managing to relax at the same time. Sit indoors at Parisian-bistro-style tables and chairs resting on Welsh slate (brought over by boat in the 1800s) and admire the decor, untouched save for a lick of paint, or choose to sit in the leafy outdoors at large wooden tables under market umbrellas.
Two wood fired masonry ovens, built in 1901, are used by artisan bakers to create a variety of breads, which might include white sourdough, honey and oat or ciabatta, using only the finest organic flour with no additives, enhancers or chemicals. The French and European inspired pastries are a must here too, best enjoyed with a cup of organic coffee which is roasted on the premises. Dine on savoury dishes such as the chicken and avocado ciabatta with chicken breast, tasty cheese, tomato lettuce and guacamole salsa, or the broccoli and cauliflower quiche with bechamel sauce. Sweet tempters include baked ricotta Danish, or ramanini cookies with baked chocolate and hazelnuts.