Laneways and Learning… a delicious combination

I love learning. My inner nerd jumps at any chance to “get some knowledge”. The tortoiseshell glasses go on, pens are thoughtfully chewed on, and my brain soaks up all that knowledgey-goodness (I think the fact that I just used the word “knowledgey” indicates that, perhaps, I have a bit more learning to do…). 

Is learning cool? Probably not. Has that ever stopped me before? Never!  

I have, however, discovered a way to let out my nerdy tendencies while still remaining relatively “cool” (that’s assuming I was ever cool to begin with…). And who/what achieves this miracle combination? Laneway Learning!  (

On weekday evenings at various laneway locations around Melbourne’s CBD, people can attend cheap and informal classes on just about anything. Hair braiding, typography, sustainability – you name it, these kids have got it. And you get to sip on a Campari or nibble at a bruschetta while you’re at it.  

So what did the Lost Girl learn about this week? Chocolate making! (ok, so more gastronomically-inclined than intellectually stimulating. My inner gourmand won out over the nerd this time). 

chocolate 1

My first Laneway Learning experience was at The Little Mule, tucked away down Somerset Place. A very cute Melbourne cafe which also doubles as a bike accessory shop (giving it street cred with pedal-pushing hipsters, I assume). 

chocolate 2

chocolate 3

chocolate 4

After a cup of Earl Grey at the bar, we got down to business. The class was taught by chocolate makers Tina and her father, Christos, who run a chocolaterie in Kew East called Xocolatl.

5 minutes into the class, I realised that the world of chocolate making is a lot more complex than I thought. After about 10 minutes, I couldn’t even understand the notes I had been furiously scribbling as Tina talked.  I then reconciled myself to the fact that I was a chocolate eater, not a maker. And so, I sat back and enjoyed the banter between Tina and her father, and learned to appreciate why those teeny, fancy little chocolates are so dang expensive. 

chocolate 5

chocolate 6

I went home with my very own little box of Xocolatl chocolates, which I promised to ration but of course I caved and ate them all the next day (procrastination during work hours is a killer!).
So will I be making chocolates at home? Um, no. I don’t have the patience to let my nail polish dry, let alone “temper” chocolate until it is the correct temperature and consistency. But! I am itching to have a go at the raspberry chocolate ganache. I could possibly incorporate it into one of my chocolate cake recipes (brain ticking, stomach growling). 
So, Kids. Embrace your inner nerd, put your learning cap on and get some knowledge! Its fun (and occasionally delicious). 

2 thoughts on “Laneways and Learning… a delicious combination

  1. Oh my, what fun! I love learning, too. And chocolate 🙂 reason #3957504 why I need to get my butt over to Australia. Melbourne’s at the top of my list.

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