When Imogen (of Chester The Blog) suggested we make the trip down to Bendigo to see the Toni Maticevski exhibition at the Bendigo Art Gallery, I was stoked. I love road trips, Bendigo and anything as beautiful as the pieces that Toni creates, so it was a match made in heaven.
The exhibition’s ticketed in timed sessions, so we bought the 2pm Sunday tickets and planned to get lunch beforehand somewhere in Bendigo. The trip is a fairly cruisey 2 hour drive from Melbourne, and my Holden Calais was a dream to drive there; I so love having cruise control now! But being the amazingly organised bitties we are we were running a bit late and had to have a liquid snack instead of our planned lunch, so we settled down at the Bendigo Gallery Cafe for a sneaky bevvie.
We unfortunately didn’t have time to view the rest of the gallery, but I’ll definitely be coming back soon to do so ASAP, as walking to the Maticevski gallery I was really impressed by the calibre of works displayed in the general area. This included ‘Meet Graham. The Only Person Designed To Survive On Our Roads‘, the Victorian Transport Accident Commission (TAC) initiative to cut road deaths and injuries. It was visually intriguing and disturbing, and definitely had the desired effect of provoking thought towards just how vulnerable our bodies are in relation to road trauma. I highly recommend you read up on it over at their website.
It made me uncomfortable, and therefore accomplished its goal. Kudos TAC for going about this in such a creative way.
Upon entering the space that’s housing the Maticevski Exhibition, a really lovely attended took our tickets and advised that there was a booklet available full of fabric swatches if we wanted to feel the pieces, as you of course can’t touch the display dresses. Very forwarding think idea!
I won’t blither on too much any more, so enjoy the photos!
It was at this point that we realised that the tall and, dare I say it, absolutely bloody stunning man next to us was Toni Maticevski himself. He seemed to be visiting with family, so we though it best to not bother him, but what are the chances! *cue heavy breathing and internal fan-girling, whilst trying to not nervous fart*
After this we wandered out through the gift shop, but not before I decided as empty exhibition hall needed a bit of a spruce up…
On Imogens’ recommendation I bought Kate Spades gorgeous book, ‘All In Good Taste‘, which is “filled with how-tos, personal essays, anecdotes, recipes, and a liberal dash of style, all in good taste will transform you into the hostess everyone wants an invitation from”. I haven’t had a chance to get stuck into it yet, but plan on doing so ASAP. Shall report back stat.
Being the country town it is, after 3/4pm on a Sunday you’re pretty stuffed when it comes to dining choices, but we were starving and determined, and fueled by our need for a pinot noir. After finding that the gorgeous Wine Bank (yes, a wine bar in an old bank!) had already stopped serving food, we went across the street to The Rocks which is in yet another old bank. I forgot how many bloody banks there were here, but glad to see they’re being put to use protecting the precious vinos. They could only offer items from the entrée menu, but we were ravenous, and so long as we got a pinot in there somewhere we were happy.
And oh my word, were we happy. I went for the Pork belly & crackle with master stock poached, pork crackle & shiitake mushrooms, pair with a smaller side of Mushrooms with truffle, goats chevre, fresh bread. Imogen opted for the lighter Confit ocean trout with carrot mousse, goats curd, apple & raisin rémoulade, with a side of the truffle mushrooms.
I tell you what – I’ll be coming here again next time I’m in Bendigo, and you can bet it’ll be at the top of my to do list.
Once we’d eaten I had a quick wander around the building, and was so intrigued to find that they’d turned the old bank vault into a private dining room & cellar. The guests had just left, hence the plates, but it was such an impressive and well used little space. This would be absolutely gorgeous for a small celebration dinner, or for impressing your favourite client when in town.
Bendigo is one of those places that you tend to forget exists, but every time you visit are blown away by its history, stories, culture & passion. I will be heading back there again ASAP to tour the Cathedral and dine at The Rocks again, and to dedicate some time to learning more about its mining history. With a lot of our current clients having their roots stem from Bendigo during the gold rush era, it’s a subject that interests me to no end. And yes, I was to ride on the dorky gold tour tram-car.
Toni Maticevski: A Dark Wonderland runs from 13 August – 20 November 2016 at the Bendigo Art Gallery. Tickets can be purchased on their website.
A Snapchat Snapshot: