Mod Pod

Nespresso frocks up - in the VM realm this is pure gold!  Via Confettireclaim
Nespresso VM Food

Sweetly streamlined

The Margaret River Chocolate Company has opened a rather stunning new store in Perth. A heritage space on Murray Street has been transformed by architect Paul Burnham to yeild a slick showcase for all good foodie things from the Margaret River region. Pics via PBA.
Design Food Perth

Little Cutie

Little Nuffield is a super cute cafe in Newmarket Auckland and a finalist in NZ's Best 0f 2012 Awards. A shoe box size space (20 m2) and a minimalist makeover budget (around $30K) seems like money very well spent to me. You can read more about it on  Material Creative, an emerging design practice gaining recognition for their interiors. Pics via Material Creative.

The word on the street is…

Simple retail story telling - spotted near the corner of High & Chapel Streets Prahran.

Design Food Melbourne

Pick ‘n Mix

Now in it's third year, Southbank's Regional Flavours was a big hit with Brisbanites this weekend. The v. talented team from Gloss Creative put together the experiential areas including a fabulous fluoro wheelbarrow garden where visitors could pick 'n mix their preferred herb combination to make a hot tea infusion (I am off to buy a lemon verbena plant for my garden after sniffing that stunning aroma). Screen printed burlap bunting transformed 2 big-top tents into eye catching event spaces, and they were obviously the 'place to be'. Specialists in all manner of foodie topics talked to full houses at each session from what my little eye spied. Southbank do a great job with community events and I'd have to say the sheer number of artisan producers who gathered in the gardens was pretty impressive.

VM Food Brisbane

Cupcake ATM

The original Sprinkles store in Beverly Hills now dispenses their cupcakes 24/7.  Select your favourite flavour, pay with your credit card and 'voila' your cupcake is delivered. Via the very joyful blog OhJoy!

Le Nid

Le Nid gets 'le nod' for being 'le too funny'. Spotted on WeHeart's fab blog I am just going to re-post the exact words and pics as they sum it up beautifully.

Dominating the skyline of Nantes, and one of France’s tallest buildings outside Paris, Tour Bretagne is not exactly the prettiest of skyscrapers – but that no longer matters. Not one iota. Because, thanks to London-based French graphic designer Jean Julien it now hosts perhaps one of the greatest sky bars on the whole bloody planet. Le Nid – which towers 144m over the city – centres around a sleepy 40m-long half-stork, half-heron, and its eggs; which form the bar’s stools and tables.

Utterly barmy, utterly brilliant, this is not a space of high-concept – this is Jullien’s bold, playful illustrative style manifested in the real world. The bar is holed up in big bird’s rear, its neck stretching around the entire space, the eyes of his sleepy head open and close, whilst visitors cavort in his strewn eggs – there’s no deep meaning here, there’s no arty pretension; it’s just a ruddy great rubber bird! Commissioned by Le Voyage de Nantes – a major arts initiative for the French city – Le Nid is everything you could wish for in a bar, we egg-spect you won’t want to leave. Via WeHeart


Design VM Food

Join the queue

From what I have observed people queue for Jamie's Italian. Whether it's London or downtown Sydney, come dinner time they are lined up at the door. If you know Sydney this is quite an impressive sight, given that any credible casual evening dining option appears to be located in the suburbs and not the CBD (unlike Melbourne where there are so many fabulous city restaurant options it can be difficult to choose).

A recent trip to the Emerald City saw me "up and at 'em" by 4am to catch an early flight and 'tick a lot of boxes' on a jam packed day ... by 6pm I was ready for the LON (land of Nod) ... but instead I mustered up the energy for a quick dinner with Jamie. A long narrow site on Pitt Street no doubt presented more than a design challenge or two, but the space rises to the occasion and then some. In what can only be described as "distinctly Jamie", a full house by 6.30pm and a queue at the door on a chilly Tuesday evening spoke volumes to me. My food was good, the price fair, the atmosphere 'casual', the diners ranged from singles to groups and 'old' (70+) to young, and my waiter (Spanish Sebastian) was just happy to be of service .. there's lots to like about all that. Jamie's Italian 107 Pitt Street Sydney.

Jamie Oliver Food Sydney

Cool down in Kent

Blacksheep is the design team behind quite a few fabulous looking "Jamie's Italian" restaurants in the UK. I really like their work. Regular readers (and POD presentation attendees) will know I became a fan of Nando's after visiting their One New Change restaurant and, as of today, I am all 'peri peri' with design admiration for the new look they have rolled out for their  store in Ashford (Kent, UK).  Via Blacksheep.

Nandos Food UK

The POD progress report…

Regular readers have noted a distinct lack of blogging in recent months (thanks to those who emailed in to enquire if I was still upright!). POD has been super busy working with the Westfield Carindale design team on the development and delivery of a brand new casual dining precinct that includes Grill'd, Guzman Y Gomez, Wagamama, Ginga, good coffee from Veneziano, a totally new look Toscani's, Yum Cha, a Belgian chocolate shop and more  (the locals are loving it!).  Four days after this new precinct opened, the Wintergarden redevelopment in Brisbane's CBD also opened (lots of VM pics below on that one), and with no more than about 40 winks of sleep I found myself lending a VM hand at Westfield Fountain Gate (Melbourne) over the past few weeks. Given the very long list of 'boxes ticked' over the past few months you won't be surprised to know it took a very strong flat white to get fired up today and file these stories!