Festival Artisan Bakery & Bar, Queensbridge Square, Southbank

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The Festival Artisan Bakery & Bar was a pop-up set up specially for the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. Over 17 days, famous bakers from both Australia and overseas came in to oversee the production of baked goods for us to devour, and enjoy a selection of salads, rolls and boards with wine and coffee.

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On the first day of the festival I dropped by hoping to grab one of Julian Gellatly’s famous salted caramel cream-filled doughnuts, but sadly they’d already sold out by 8:30am. Justin Gellatly is from London’s Bread Ahead bakery, known for its doughnuts and sourdough Cathedral Loaves. I did, however, buy some bread to try. The Cathedral loaf is a 7kg monster reaching up to 2 metres long, before being sliced into more manageable 1kg portions for people to take away. The bread had a lovely crust, moist crumb and enticing aroma.

Festival Artisan Bakery & Bar (17) Salted Caramel and Vanilla Cream Doughnuts by Justin Gellatly ($5.50)

On Sunday I dropped by, hoping for a quick (and unhealthy) breakfast and managed to nab one. There was a huge amount of filling inside the doughnuts – one bite and I had custard and sugar all over my cheek…and no tissues handy. Classy. I was relieved that it was too early for there to be many witnesses. I particularly liked the shards of honeycomb that had been inserted into the cream.

Salted Caramel Doughnut ($5.50) and Raspberry Tart ($4) Vanilla Cream Doughnut ($5.50)

I also tried one of the vanilla cream doughnuts, which had a fresher, cleaner flavour profile. A raspberry tart was also purchased to take away, but couldn’t help myself and took a bite whilst on the tram. Just as well I did, because at some stage during the day I lost it. I consoled myself with the fact that I managed to consume half of it before misplacing the paper bag.

I love good bread – half my diet while travelling through France consisted of freshly baked, floury goodness – and I’m hoping the Festival Artisan Bakery & Bar will make an appearance again next year.

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Festival Artisan Bakery & Bar
Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, March 2015
Queensbridge Square
Southbank, VIC, 3006

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