Guildford Lane and Rustica Canteen, Melbourne CBD

Brick-and-blue-stone

“I could live here,” that was my first thought when I stepped into Guildford Lane. It wasn’t such a silly thought.  People do live among the businesses that operate here.

Guildford Lane is tucked away from the main tourist laneway-attractions. This makes it quiet and gives it a homey vibe. When I saw the combination of blue stone, red bricks, old grey stone and greenery I was charmed.

I found the lane when I went to visit the Cat Cafe which is at 30 Guildford Lane.  Afterwards we stayed in the lane and lunched at Rustica Canteen.

Looking west along the laneway

Looking west along the laneway

 

Guildford Lane is a working laneway

Guildford Lane is a working laneway

Interesting mixture of blue stone and brick in the building materials

Interesting mixture of blue stone and brick in the building materials

Rustica Canteen is a great place for lunch or breakfast.  It’s right opposite the Cat Cafe at No 33 Guildford Lane.  I have eaten there a couple of times, now. I think my favourite dish is ‘Slow roasted lamb shoulder, mint, baby peas, rocket, parsley, witlof, radicchio, pecorino pepato + toasted almonds’ At $16.50 it is a pretty good deal.

Slow roasted lamb

Slow roasted lamb

I love the way it served in an enamel dish of the kind my grandmother used for making her delicious deep pies.  There was plenty lamb and I dug in. It shrieked healthy with all the greenery and there was no fat combined with the lamb that I got.

Sauteed mushrooms

Sauteed mushrooms

Another good deal is ‘sauteed mushrooms, mixed greens, taleggio cheese, poached eggs, white truffle oil + kale and walnut pesto w olive + Basil sourdough.  This is a little more pricey at $19.00.  Delicious if you like mushrooms.

I read recently that Derryn Hinch advocated a diet of eating as much as you like for lunch but just having soup for dinner;  soup and any amount of wine.  That may mean not much wine.  Soup doesn’t have the properties to soak up wine so there is a chance of becoming light headed very quickly.  I thought of the wisdom of having a soup dinner as I chomped away eating every morsel on my plate.

Even with Hinch’s weight losing theory I couldn’t manage one of Rustica Canteen’s wonderful looking pastries with my coffee. They are famous for these.  The coffee was strong and good.

Rustica flat white

Rustica flat white

You may wonder how I know that people live in this laneway.  I took a guess from one of the door-side gardens. It has a few herbs in the mixture and some red chard.  Then when I wandered up and down one day I noted a roof garden with access by a stylish spiral staircase.  If you read this and you live in Guildford Lane do drop me a comment on the great things about living there, beside Rustica Canteen.  From where I stand on the bluestone cobbles looking upwards there is a touch of magic.

Well tended plants and herbs

Well tended plants and herbs

Roof garden with outside spiral staircase leading to it.

Roof garden with outside spiral staircase leading to it.

The website eMelbourne says that the first buildings were built there in 1880 and it confirms there are private residences in the lane.

The Bloodied Wombat another web site on Melbourne’s past says that the lane was developed in 1855 – so take your pick.

Since I last visited there has been an article in The Age on November 3rd 2016 about ‘greening-up’ some of Melbourne’s laneways.  Guildford Lane is included with an artist’s sketch of what it could look like ‘greened-up`

If you get a chance visit the lane and let me know your thoughts.

Guildford Lane – You can enter the lane from Queen Street or Little Lonsdale Street.  The easiest access is probably Queens Street where it runs directly from the street.  There is no dogleg as there is from Little La Trobe Street.

 

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