A Secret Garden: The Pop Up Patch by Tommy Collins

by | Event Reviews, Venue Wisdom, Wisdom

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ms Fleur De Lys
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The Pop Up Patch is an urban oasis in Melbourne city hosted by The Little Veggie Patch Co. It’s a place to get close to nature even though you may be surrounded by skyscrapers, to dig in the dirt and to learn about how to acquire a green thumb. And now, with the help of Tommy Collins, it is also a place to be wed. The boutique caterers are collaborating with Pop Up Patch to create the Secret Garden.

Beetroot and quinoa hash, goats curd, olive, hazelnut

This surprisingly glamorous venue has emerged from what is essentially a disused car park (having valet parking as an option helps). “The most amazing thing about the space is you’ve got two things: a country vibe and a city location,” says Tommy Collins’ namesake Tommy McIntosh. “The most unique point is the view. At most rooftop spaces in Melbourne you’re looking down on the city. Here you’re on a rooftop looking up and it’s just amazing”. Aside from the impressive cityscape, the panoramic views at Secret Garden include the glittering Arts Centre spire, the MCG and out across Birrarung Marr and the iconic Yarra river.

Inside the rustic venue itself are veggie patches burgeoning with food and flowers, a new container cocktail bar and an airy marquee – complete with Christopher Boots designer lighting – that can be transformed at the bride and groom’s whim. Festoon lighting strung over garden archways adds a necessary dose of twinkle. You might even spot the odd scarecrow.

Tommy Collins chef Quinn Spencer is inspired by the garden. Duck eggs may come from his own farm and honey is sourced from his own apiaries for wedding banquets here. Herbs and garnishes are picked fresh from the Pop Up Patch. “At the moment most food trends are ebbing” explains Tommy. “We’ve come off the back off of trends like Mexican/American and food trucks. Now people planning their wedding are requesting shared plates but with a bit of formality. Maybe an individual entree and then banquet-style eating across long tables. I call it ice-breaking food. It’s a little bit more rustic than refined.”

According to Tommy, the perfect garden wedding needs “live music that builds up to take guests on a journey. Also fun cocktails like spritzes.” He thinks his new venue “lends itself to anyone who wants to have a fun, festive wedding.” We think it’s just right too for marrying the committed gardener or nature lover in your life.

You can explore this Secret Garden by Tommy Collins until at least April 2016.

Salmon sashimi, rice crisp, wasabi kewpie, soy mousse

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Another fabulous pop up venue for Melbourne – a great blend of rustic with a little bit of glam! Very cool!

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