The School of Life is a global organisation dedicated to developing emotional intelligence. Founded in London in 2008 by Alain de Botton, it applies philosophy, psychology and culture to everyday life. You can find its classes, films, books, games and much more online and in its branches around the world including Melbourne and Sydney.
The School of Life Melbourne began with a pop-up term in January 2013 and it became the first permanent branch outside of London when it opened its doors in Bourke Street in March 2014.
The School of Life Sydney began with a pop-up term in March 2016 and went on to open a permanent branch in July 2016.
Magnum + Queens Wine is an online wine store founded by sommelier Virginia Selleck and photographer Kirsten Dickie. M+Q stocks quality wines at competitive prices, featuring wines from small family-run wineries, young entrepreneurial producers and innovative natural winemakers alongside popular benchmark stalwarts.
Customers can choose from Magnum + Queens Wine's special monthly packs available in three sizes: small (three bottles), medium (six bottles), and large (twelve bottles). Monthly packs are available as a one-off purchase or every month by signing up for a subscription.
One of the site’s most unique offerings is that all of the stock changes on a monthly basis with each month’s collection reflective of a specific theme.
Customers are also encouraged to sign up to the Magnum + Queens Wine mailing list to receive access to its ‘M+Q Cellar’ page which unlocks exclusive offers, rare vintages and other hard-to-find drops.
As well as being a hub for unique wine purchasing, Magnum + Queens also offers food matching suggestions, recipes and wine-tasting notes for the complete wine, food and travel experience.
Considered nature’s slowest fast food, fermented food relies on its environment and the life on and in raw foods to preserve it. The bonus to the time that it takes is that new textures, aromas and deeper flavours develop. And if that’s not enough, fermented foods are full of living bacteria, yeasts and enzymes that enhance the food nutritionally and make other foods more digestible.
Australian-born Sharon Flynn was living in Tokyo, teaching English at a university, more than two decades ago when she first learned about fermenting. An elderly Japanese neighbour and her family introduced Sharon to the joys of miso, tofu and eventually fermented vegetables. After many city moves, Sharon found herself in Melbourne where she learnt to make kefir, made her own ferments and started sharing these with friends. So began her little business, The Fermentary. Her products are sold wholesale to leading Sydney and Melbourne restaurants and retailers, as well as direct to their customers at farmers’ markets. Sharon also conducts regular workshops in Victoria and beyond. In 2017, she released her first book Ferment for Good.
The good ol’ Aussie pie. Is there anything better?
The Pie Shop is a pastry-filled paradise located at 75 Nicholson Street, East Brunswick.
Founded by chef Matt Wilkinson in 2017, the menu features savoury and sweet pies, a little pie for the little ones, plus extras like hot chips, steaming dim sims, and the old faithful Mars Bar or Snickers to shove in your back pocket for the bike ride home.
There are five savoury pies on offer: The Bruce (spag bol); The Allen (chunky beef and veg); The Shazza (caramelised onion, cauliflower & cheese); The Norma (our curried turkey version of ‘butter chicken’); and The Kevin (tomato, artichoke, green beans, feta). There is also a Little Bruce pie (mini-sized spag bol) for the youngsters. The Allen and The Shazza also come in family size to takeaway cold.
There are also two sweet pies on offer: Strawberry Balsamic and Alphington Rooftop Honey and Buttermilk. Sweet pies are sold by the slice and change regularly depending on seasonal produce.
The Pie Shop uses produce and ingredients from a bunch of top local suppliers including: Warialda Belted Galloway Beef; Deutscher’s Turkey Farm; Pacdon Park; The Hidden Souk; Alphington Rooftop Honey and Demeter biodynamic milk.
Australian designer, Sass Cocker is the creative heart behind Sunday Paper and its sister brand Ask Alice.
From her Melbourne hub - Little Gold Studios - Sass runs Sunday Paper, Ask Alice and a custom design service. She has driven her brand with a strong emphasis towards ethical and sustainable concerns - going to great lengths to source local, recycled and Fair Trade materials.
Over the years, Sass has worked on projects for clients including the ABC, Woolmark and Angus & Julia Stone as well as collaborating with a lineup of international artists to produce the renown Ask Alice Charity Calendars, raising over $48,000 for deserving causes.
Sass is an intrepid world traveller with a love of the ocean and surf. Follow her adventures on Instagram @sass_cocker.
Grown & Gathered
Matt and Lentil Purbrick began selling produce from their Central Victorian farm to some of Melbourne’s top restaurants and cafes in 2013, encouraging chefs to adopt principles of local, real produce and sustainable farming and packaging. But they craved more. They wanted to extend the conversation. So, they decided to open their van doors to the people of Melbourne, pulling up in forgotten side lanes to sell and trade their home-grown vegetables, flowers and produce ‘like drug dealers for vegetarian hipsters.’ They soon sold out week after week and their education became something sought after. They are now authors – their first book Grown & Gathered was released in 2016 – educators, bloggers and advocates for sustainability and a bright future.