Like a school excursion but so, oh so much better, Pybus PR’s extravagant day out for bloggers on vintage chi-chi Maling Road, Canterbury was an absolute delight. Here I am with other Melbourne bloggers chosen to enjoy the retro-charm of Maling Road including Esme and the Laneway, Lady Melbourne, Vanity Press, Business Chic, Estelle La Mode, Seven Autumn Leaves and Style Wilderness. We collectively enjoyed a wonderful day out, plied amply with tasty snacks, expert advice on everything from Kenyan coffee to chocolate and classic wing-tipped eyeliner. Come along with Ruby Assembly on a little journey down a street worthy of a BBC mini-series.The Maling Road committee tell bloggers Lady Melbourne and Esme and the Laneway a little about this best-kept-secret shopping strip.

The bloggers were then split up into groups of two or three to enjoy lunch at a venue along Maling Road. I joined Calvin from Vanity Press and Cheryl from Business Chic at Ruby T’s – a Devonshire/high tea afternoon venue.

Ruby Assembly at Ruby T’s – I can’t resist a good pun.

Ruby T’s is named after proprietor Pam’s grandmother, a Ruby Barclay from Hastings. Ruby was awarded an MBE for 50 years of charity work. In honor of both her Grandmother’s service to the bayside community and to her traditional recipes, Pam has named her comfortable tea room Ruby T’s. Ruby T’s specialises in proper high tea with sweetly rose-patterned china and an array of sandwiches, delicious pies and jaw-droppingly rich cakes (as you can see above).

Pam from Ruby T’s – make sure to go and imagine you’re on Midsomer Murders or in an Agatha Christie novel!

Taking tea with Cheryl from Business Chic – wearing a vintage hat from her substantial collection.

Next stop – quirky giftware shop coco & chloe to visit friendly shop-owner Gloria (above). Gloria brings her ex-corporate smarts to running a boutique store full of NZ designer fashion, kawaii jewellery sweet enough to give you a toothache, and decorations. I saw perfect pieces that will serve me well come Christmas stocking-filler time such as the porcelain bunny necklace (below)! Full of things for creative kids and expressive adults – plus a nifty range of stationary for those of you who love sending real letters to postboxes.

I’m not sure what the folks on Maling Road thought of the deluge of bloggers, heavy with their SLR cameras!

As the balmy afternoon wore on, a pick-me-up of caffeine was sorely needed. On to Bambaleros – a roasting house I’m surprised I hadn’t discovered before. Family-run by Colombian-born Alfonso Castaneda (above), Bambaleros roasts and hand-blends their coffee beans on site. Alfonso’s favourite? Kenyan. How does he enjoy coffee best? Just like me – espresso style to let the full roasty flavour shine. Thanks to Alfonso for a generous bag of coffee beans – can’t wait to grind them!

Calvin of Vanity Press had his birthday on the Saturday of our Maling Road adventure, and I had mine the day following. Bambaleros (with a nudge from Kyra Pybus) organised this fresh-as-a-daisy sponge cake so we could celebrate as a group. Om nom nom.

A busking group called The Mob were even rung in to sing us Happy Birthday!

Vanessa from Perfect Pieces Jewellery runs a business full of interesting accessories from local labels you might not have discovered yet. A great place to buy something special for a fussy loved-one. Vanessa runs two Perfect Pieces Jewellery businesses (the other is in Tamworth), as well as an online store. She’s all over social media, and running a successful Facebook and Instagram pages for her brand, bringing Maling Road to new audiences.

Thankyou to Vanessa for my personalised bracelet from Ness + Co. – I can see myself getting lots of easy wear out of this over Summer.

What is a day out without a little pampering? And pampered I was, by none other than Candice de Ville of Super Kawaii Mama! A popular blogger in her own right, Candice is also a talented retro vintage hair and makeup artist who works on appointment from Eileen Harper’s beauty salon just off Maling Rd. Candice used hot-rollers on my hair to create volume and body, in addition to a girly braid. She expertly created a flawless base highlighted with a custom-mix lip color in bright berry. I certainly felt like a movie start after Candice had finished my makeover. For weddings, special parties or editorial work, find out more about Candice’s services by clicking here.

We enjoyed our special outing to Maling Road – a great place to catch up with girlfriends for brunch and a little shopping with a unique spirit and dedicated community to boot. Just past Camberwell with its very own train station – a day out on Maling Rd is just the lo-fi activity to enjoy on your next free day. We were kindly gifted with treats by various businesses on Maling Rd – many of which you’ll see coming up as accessories and delicacies in future Ruby Assembly blogs.