Beckoning the in-crowd, this tiny, almost too-cool laneway is where you’ll find visitors, both local and transient in their natural habitat: decking themselves out in cool threads, getting inked on the spot, sneaking in massages, chowing down at foodie haunts, gossiping over hot coffees, treating themselves to bespoke blooms and having their bangs trimmed at the barber. Chancery Lane is proof that good things come in small packages!
You’ll find surprises here, where the venues for food, fashion, lifestyle and art are modest, quirky and sometimes hidden. Enjoy the artistic expression, watch the world go by or skip the lunchtime crowd and checkout Chancery Lane after dark under a halo of floating fairy lights. The very Melbournesque Dispensary Bar & Diner’s pan-Asian menu is perfect for both a light lunch or a serious degustation dinner. Once a pet store, the DBD is a favourite for intimate after-work drinks and nibbles, and widely regarded as having the best drinks list in regional Victoria. It’s easy to understand why many settle in just a little too long!
And if you do need to redeem yourself, step into the floral wonderland at Libertine, just across the way. With its mesmerising colours and intoxicating scents, this gem proves why the florist has earned its stellar reputation. From one bloom to an entire installation, the creative team at Libertine don’t take each other too seriously, LOVE what they do and welcome both the curious and the committed. It’s clear the laneway is their playground and perfectly at home too, is Royal Jims Barber. From hairy hipsters to a silver fox, just walk in and sit down. It’s a great looking space with a throng of cool cats who sing their praises. No Appointment. No fuss. No shampoo. Specialising in cut-throat, the guys at RJB offer full barbering services and beard maintenance. Grab a beer, read the paper and let someone else take care of your grooming needs. How good is that?
A little ways along the lane you'll find Robe. Men’s and women’s ‘ready to wear’ merged with the romantic and eclectic. Carrying Australian labels Sass & Bide, Jac + Jack, Cable Melbourne, Rollie Nation and 12 more, Robe is intimate, vibrant and unsuspecting. Think couches to lounge on, fitting rooms to autograph and skittles to share. It’s always the experience that lingers. And the cute little army men tied to the packaging of each purchase.
Done shopping? Sneak upstairs and take some time out with Daa at Jindaa Thai Massage. Daa specialises in Thai traditional massage, Swedish massage, Foot Reflexology, Herbal Compress and Remedial massage. Whether you suffer from chronic back, neck or shoulder pain, Office syndrome, sports injuries or just want some stress relief and pampering, climbing those stairs up to Jindaa is a trip to heaven!
Perhaps you’re looking for a place to get some new ink? Wander off the main thoroughfare and into the recently renovated Gallery Tattoo Studio. Established last year, the studio has a fresh contemporary feel that is bright, inviting and squeezed with pure artist talent. Whether you’re planning your first tattoo or trying to find a new artist for your next, the team of four residents provide their clients with quality work, a safe sterile environment and the ability to work on custom pieces.
Before such an inspiring (and brave) posse of locals set up shop, we wouldn’t blame you if you hadn’t heard of Chancery Lane. And if you haven’t, it’s time too, to get acquainted with El Gordo. This is the place to get your regular morning caffeine fix. In fact, this is the hole in the wall where your day should begin. Operated by husband & wife team, Chad & Haley, El Gordo offers a Spanish inspired experience with fabulous light lunches and plenty of homemade wholefood baked treats. But the real drawcard here is Friday and Saturday nights. Swing by later for tapas or a charcuterie board, and share wine, bubbles and craft beer with friends, new and old as the sun sets over Bendigo’s heritage skyline.
Urban alleys aren’t for garbage and graffiti anymore. Businesses and community groups are turning them into places for people and art and as cities grow up, not out, public space is at a premium. Chancery Lane was the first cab off the rank when it came to bringing life back to Bendigo’s laneways, and boy, what a trail it’s blazed! Regularly ringing with the clip-clop sound of dressy heels, lunchtime business meetings and the laughter of its regulars, Chancery Lane has established a laneway culture all of its own.
Tucked between streets, buildings, warehouses and local history, discover a Bendigo you didn’t know. Discover Chancery Lane.