Close to trend-setting Essendon and a hop, step and jump from Regional Victoria, East Keilor has the best of both worlds.
It seems odd to talk about well-developed suburbs as having a period of ‘settlement’, but that’s exactly what happened to the area now known as East Keilor in the mid-1800s. While many of the homes in East Keilor are newer than their neighbours to their south and east, there is a sense of comfortable permanence in the area – both in the streetscapes and the friendly locals who call the suburb home. It’s still growing, too; the Valley Lake development on the former Niddrie Quarry site is set to increase East Keilor’s population in coming years.
One thing that you might not expect to see just a few kilometres from Melbourne’s city centre is an award-winning olive oil producer and winery. But there it is, Rose Creek Estate, located in East Keilor. On site at many of the city’s farmers’ markets – and open by appointment – Rose Creek is owned and managed by the Siciliano family, who have been producing fine wines and winning awards for their olive oil for decades. With traditional Italian production techniques featuring prominently in the oil- and wine-making processes, a visit to the house, winery and 300-plus olive trees is a must.
Image credit: heraldsun.com.au
Looking for a place to combine two of your great passions – coffee and knitting? (Or crocheting? Or scones? Or patchworking?) In East Keilor, the perfect place for a yarn* is Unwind Craft Cafe. The place is always humming (well, at least between Tuesday-Friday from 10am-4.30pm, Saturday ‘til 3pm, when it’s open) with the sound of chit-chat, barista-made coffee and Devonshire tea and a spot of commerce. With walls of coloured fabric for purchase, not to mention ready-made bags, accessories and knick-knacks, Unwind is one of the best spots in the area to do just that – unwind, take it slow and enjoy some of the simpler things in life. What’s more, they offer crocheting and knitting classes in case you want to learn something new while you sip your latte.
Another local fave – just across the way from Unwind – is Little Sister Cafe, serving up delish all-day breakfast and lunch seven days. Their Instagram feed is the stuff of suburban legend, tempting dishes like Bacon and potato cake topped with grilled halloumi, soft poached eggs, tomato relish, candy bacon and smashed peas an example of the specials regularly on offer.
If you’re heading to East Keilor with the kids in tow – when a trip to a winery is probably not on the bucket list – then instead make a beeline to the East Keilor Leisure Centre. Arguably the best spot in Melbourne’s northwest for swimming lessons, group classes and living up to that (old) New Year’s resolution, the Centre's facilities include a fully equipped gym, a dedicated cardio room, functional training area, a group exercise and cycle studio with over 65 classes to choose from, indoor 25m pool with spa and steam facilities and an outdoor 50m pool. The list goes on. Bring your trainers and shape up!
*pun absolutely intended.
Image credit: instagram.com/littlesister_cafe