This post, following on from our Alowyn Gardens visit, is a little later than promised, I’m sorry. Christmas market season is upon me once again, and I’m swamped :)
I’m not ashamed to say that, one of my favourite films is Chocolat.
I mean, tantalising images of fine couverture chocolate and a charming French village, a wonderful cast including beautiful Binoche (in those red heels!), delightful Dench, marvellous Molina, cute Caron and generous doses of a pony-tailed, gypsy style Johnny Depp…. what’s not to like?
And if it’s just me, well, let’s just leave it at that.
Chocolate has been my weakness for as long as I can remember ~ and that’s a looong time ;)
So, seeing as we were literally next door at the gardens, we thought, why not drop in to the Yarra Valley Chocolate Factory afterwards?
But then, who really needs an excuse, right? Anytime is chocolate time.
When we turned in the driveway and parked the car, we noticed something quite unusual – a kaleidoscope of giant jumping kangaroos in all colours of the rainbow bounding on the grassy banks, with the magnificent Yarra Valley as a back drop.
What a view for a roo or two!
Investigating further, we found that this outdoor sculptural display was called, hopforhope, a collaborative art exhibition raising funds to keep children safe from violence and bullying. A cause that’s close to my heart.
The Alannah and Madeline Foundation has, to date, supported 1.5 million children and their families impacted by violence. More information can be found here
The incredible, larger than life sized, kangaroos were painted/decorated by Australian artists and identities – one of them, a beautiful young lady aged eight years old, and already, an inspirational artist!
Each roo will be auctioned off to the public and the funds will go to the Foundation.
Winning bidders get to take their chosen roo home.
Imagine having one placed among tall grasses in an Australian native garden.
Quite a statement and conversation piece it would make.
We marvelled at the many multi-coloured marsupials.
Look closely, and you can see a wee joey between the silvered arms of this beauty.
The public can vote for their favourite by dropping a gold coin donation in a box representing each roo.
This one below, painted by Michael Leunig, was very popular.
Leunig is an iconic Aussie cartoonist, writer, painter, philosopher, poet and cultural commentator, whose simple yet clever illustrations have captured many hearts and minds for over forty years.
After some deliberation, I found myself being drawn back time and again to this one.
Named, ‘Steampunkdaroo’, it was created by clever Melbourne artist, Joe Blanck.
This stunning rustic roo comes complete with its own “working” gauges and barometers.
If I won Lotto, it would have been my choice to bid on.
A unique sculpture, supporting a worthy cause, and installed in a natural garden setting. Sigh, one can dream…
All that “serious” contemplation made us hungry, so we headed up to the Chocolaterie.
Therein was a wonderland of temptation to suit all tastes.
The range was impressive – over 250 quality, luscious products!
White chocolate. Dark chocolate. Milk chocolate.
Plain or mixed with fruit or nuts, sourced from their own organic gardens.
Truffles and sauces and pralines, oh my!
Through the large viewing windows, you can watch chocolatiers at work.
Not quite Oompa-Loompas, but experts nevertheless. I think Mr Wonka would be very pleased :)
As it was a hot day, any chocolate would have melted in the car on the way home, so we opted for a scoop of icecream.
There was a delicious array of choices. From rich, velvety, creamy concoctions to gorgeous dairy-free gelatos.
Heaven in a cone...
So ended a wonderful day where all of our senses were treated and sated.
Next post – another trip down memory lane...