This oasis of trickling creek water and birdsong is just minutes from Ivanhoe’s main shopping strip in Upper Heidelberg Rd where the 1937 art deco Town Hall, with its iconic clock tower dominates at one end.
The strip forms the backbone of Ivanhoe and impresses with clothing boutiques and shops that range from delicatessens, to florists, booksellers, toy shops and Ivanhoe Cakes, which has been serving treats such as its custard tarts since 1932.
Don’t miss the delights at gourmet store Tutto Italiano. Real-fruit gelato, minestrone and artisan pasta are all made on the premises. You can eat there or take away.
Wood-fired arrabbiata pizza from Pizzami (209 Upper Heidelberg Rd), palak paneer at Cafe Saffron (#238) and beef pho at newcomer Nha Trang (4 Westley Ave) all contribute to the culinary variety.
Try Cafe Tre Fontane (218 Upper Heidelberg Rd) for a truly Italian atmosphere and some homemade Sicilian donuts, or go to North Ivanhoe where the constantly busy Lip Cafe (226 Waterdale Rd) brings a touch of inner-city aesthetic to the suburbs with freshly brewed chai and blackboard specials such as Vietnamese beef salad.
There’s a wine bar in Upper Heidelberg Rd, with live music at times. They don’t serve meals at the Vino Central (#211) and you’re encouraged to bring your own food from any of Ivanhoe’s eateries. With many food options, parks and art, it’s no wonder that Ivanhoe residents tend to stay for decades.