The Two B’s – Bendigo and Ballarat
Bendigo and Ballarat have much in common- fabulous art exhibitions, great dining and special experiences. So pack your bags and head to these amazing regional cities.
Bendigo – Quantsants and Quantails.
The latest buzz word is “Quantsants’ in celebration of the new Mary Quant exhibition showcasing the work of the dynamic British fashion designer, who revolutionised fashion in the 1960s.
Cocktails have also been christened Quantails after Dame Mary Quant, who popularised miniskirts, colourful tailored trousers, patterned tights and angular hairstyles in swinging London.
Mary Quant Exhibition
Bendigo Art Gallery’s highly anticipated Mary Quant: Fashion Revolutionary comes directly from a sell-out season at London’s revered V&A – Victoria & Albert Museum.
Bendigo Art Gallery curator Emma Busowsky Cox says when she first saw the exhibition in London in 2019, she knew it would resonate with Australian audiences because of Quant’s multi-generational popularity and influence.
Step inside the exhibition and you’ll find more than 110 garments including accessories, cosmetics, sketches, photographs and even Quant’s own line of fashion dolls, known as Daisy dolls, a rival to Barbie.
The exhibition explores the years between 1955 and 1975, when Quant started designing and making mass produced affordable high fashion. It was a time when hemlines went up and the cost of high fashion came down.
Her designs were found in Myer and Georges in Melbourne, Mark Foy’s in Sydney and FitzGerald’s in Hobart or you could whip one up using a sewing machine and Butterick patterns.
Quant encouraged people to dress to please themselves and to enjoy fashion.
Considered the forefront to the women’s right’s movement, she said in 2012: “I didn’t have time to wait for women’s lib.”
But it’s not only in the gallery where Quant stars, Bendigo and surrounding townships are joining in the fun in Mary Quant style in restaurant, cafes, shopping strips and streetscapes.
Mary Quant Mural
An impressive Mary Quant-inspired mural by artist Bjarni Wark at Bendigo’s Piazza in Rosalind Park has become an Instagram hit. The massive vivid circular artwork captures patterns associated with the sixties, paying homage to Mary Quant designs.
There are also Quant-themed daisy flower planter boxes, swinging street art and fashion trails, 60s exhibitions and 60s-inspired dishes at restaurants plus high teas and movies from the sixties era.
Bendigo was recently named a UNESCO City of Gastronomy for leading food and drink experiences with many Quant inspired food and beverage experiences on offer.
Dine – Quant Style
For Mary Quantsants themed croissants head to Blue Bird Patisserie.
Fancy Mary Quantail themed cocktails? Drop in to The Dispensary and the Gallery Cafe.
Masons of Bendigo is a hatted restaurant with a renowned seven course degustation.
Ms Batterhams is set in the basement of the old school hall at Mackenzie Quarters and offers a southern European inspired menu.
Harvest is serving Mod Mess dessert at its award-winning View Street restaurant.
The Woodhouse, an award-winning restaurant has created a 60s inspired dessert.
Nimbus Rooftop Bar serves cocktails and drinks with a view.
Watch – Quant Style
Star Cinema – see sixties movies screened at the historic venue in Eaglehawk.
Make- Quant Style
At Bendigo Pottery, you can paint a Mary Quant daisy-inspired plate.
Neighbouring Inglewood, 45 kms from Bendigo, has Mary Quant-themed window displays for vintage and fashion enthusiasts.
Where to Stay: Mary Quant packages are available at:
Mercure Bendigo Schaller all.accor.com
Hotel Shamrock hotelshamrock.com.au
Quality Lakeside Hotel Bendigo lakesidehotel.com.au
Mark and Kate’s Place mark-and-kates-place.business.site
Quest Bendigo questapartments.com.au
Quest Bendigo Central questapartments.com.au
Barclay on View barclayonview.com
The Low Down
Mary Quant: Fashion Revolutionary is on until July 11 2021. Details bendigoregion.com.au/bendigo-art-gallery
Central Deborah Gold Mine, Bendigo Art Gallery, Golden Dragon Museum, Lake Weeroona, Bendigo Tramway.
Art, food and wine lovers are also in for a treat when the career of world-famous photographer Linda McCartney takes centre stage at the 2021 Ballarat International Foto Biennale.
Book your Ticket
The Linda McCartney: Retrospective curated by Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney, will feature more than 200 extraordinary photographs, including images of the McCartney family and prints from their Australia trips in 1975 and 1993, never displayed before.
Ballarat International Foto Biennale Artistic Director and co-curator, Fiona Sweet says McCartney often captured the subtle and fortuitous rather than the staged moments.
“Linda used the tools at her disposal to create moving and intimate portraits creating a new
perspective in rock and roll photography. She captured the essence of those around her, providing insight into the personal lives of iconic artists and that of her family in later life,” she says.
McCartney’s photographic career spanned from 1965 to 1997, during which she saw the evolution of pop and youth culture.
Voted the US Female Photographer of the Year in 1967, she was known for her portraits of Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles, among many others.
She was the first female photographer whose work was featured as the cover of Rolling Stone magazine in 1968, with a portrait of Eric Clapton.
McCartney was an animal rights activist and a passionate advocate of a vegetarian lifestyle, often using her images to support the campaigns.
She continued to work prolifically as a photographer until her death from breast cancer in 1998.
The exhibition will be staged from August 28 to October 24, 202.
You will see photographs of some of the most iconic artists and moments from the 1960s music scene as McCartney experienced it, representing the people, places and landscape around her.
The Ballarat International Foto Biennale has become the most significant, prestigious photographic arts festival in Australia.
Held every two years, it features two major photographic programs plus an outdoor program, education programs, workshops, artist talks, photo walks and awards and prizes.
For tickets visit ballaratfoto.org
You can also get creative with Beck Davies Ceramics Workshops and Pottery Classes until 19 June 2021. beckdaviesceramics.com.au
Love truffles? The Taste of Truffles festival will be held from 6 June to 29 August 2021.
Talk to the truffle growers, see their truffle dogs in action, harvest truffles and sample a range of delicious truffle-infused treats.blackcattruffles.
Where to Eat
Roy Hammond offers gin, whiskey and wine selections, delicious Asian-inspired food and local art exhibits. Royhammond.com.au
Ragazzone serves Italian with a modern twist. ragazzone.com.au
The 18th Amendment Bar serves a concoction of prohibition elegance interlaced with modern innovation. the18thamendmentbar.com.au/ballarat/
Aunty Jacks is brew pub serving craft beer, delicious food and hands-on experiences including their Craft Academy. auntyjacks.com.au
Eastern Peake Winery, 25 kms from Ballarat has a new cellar door tasting experience. easternpeake.com.au
Where to stay
Ballarat has a range of new accommodation to suit all budgets.
Lyon House is a gothic inner-city home pays homage to its eclectic past while incorporating modern luxurious finishes.
Quest Ballarat Station has 77 modern and spacious studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. It’s a great base to explore shopping, galleries and culinary delights that Ballarat is renowned for.
The Provincial Hotel
Built in 1909, the iconic building is recognised by the National Trust. There are 23 suites, each one uniquely styled in a mix of bespoke antique, modern and custom pieces. Lola restaurant is named after one of Ballarat’s most influential female characters from the Goldfields is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.theprovincialballarat.com.au
Sovereign Hall Pioneer Settlement, Lake Wendouree, Ballarat Wild Life Park, Royal Botanical Gardens, Ballarat Art Gallery and Ballarat Tramway Museum.