English: Sophia Mundi Steiner School Campus at...
Abbotsford Convent, looking towards the Melbourne Central Business District (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you haven’t heard, the Greens’ candidate Adam Bandt has recently won a second term in his electorate of Melbourne. He did so by beating the two major parties who ganged up on him by passing preferences to each other. Adam beat them both, proving that the Greens’ spirit of social inclusion and sustainable living is well and alive in Melbourne CBD and its surrounds.

To observe or participate in a microcosm of Adam’s Melbourne, hop on a bike (the Greens’ preferred mode of transportation) and ride about 4km along the Capital City Trail from the CBD. Tucked within a bend in the Yarra River is Abbotsford Convent, an arts and cultural precinct.

At no-Abbots-ford Convent, you can get a meal at Lentils As Anything – the pay-as-you-like organic, vegetarian restaurant. Lentils As Anything is run by volunteers and prides in recruiting and training refugees and young migrants. On the weekends, a Tibetan lady comes to roll and steam dumplings in front of you.

If organic, vegetarian food does not suit your sensibilities, there is Kappaya next door which serves Japanese soul food or the Convent Bakery which serves sandwiches and pastries etc. The bread is baked in the same wood ovens built for the sisters in 1901. And because it’s Melbourne, there are at least six places where you can get a decent flat white.

After lunch, you can visit the modern art gallery or take a meditation or yoga class in the wellbeing centre. You can also take an acting class or dancing, or singing or life drawing… you get the gist. If you can’t be bothered with that, browse through some markets (makers’ market is on the third Sunday of the month; the farmers’ market is on the fourth Saturday of the month; the night market is on every Friday over summer) or take a $15 walking tour where volunteer guides tell stories of how the girls used to live within the convent grounds.

So lace up your brogues and get into your burgundy (jeans) best and head to no-Abbots-ford Convent for a day of history, art, culture and delicious hippie food.

Abbotsford Convent, 1 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford Vic 3067

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