© 2013-2017 Camberwell Petanque Club Inc. - All Rights Reserved
Special Report 2
Many of us like the vibe and return every year. Players are attracted from outside the metropolitan area as well as all the Melbourne suburban clubs. Camberwellians often perform well in the tournament and certainly participate in numbers.
Forgive me, this has been, perhaps, an indulgent small detour, well maybe a quite big detour, down memory lane but I hope it has encouraged pleasant memories to be explored by you of wherever your "St. Kilda" existed; wherever you conducted your rites of passage, maybe it was even in a different country. ⛔
St.Kilda - What does she mean to you?
The earlier incantation of
Tolarno Restaurant and
Gallery was the brainchild
of Georges Mora who bought
Tolarno hotel and then
announced the news to his
wife, Mirka. It was to be
hotel, restaurant, gallery,
residence and studio for Mirka.
Mirka, who was raised in Paris,
as was her husband Georges,
painted murals on the walls.
Tolarno French Bistro, Gallery and hotel opened later in 1965. It was then the trendiest French Bistro in town and the gallery held a remarkable series of art exhibitions.
Leon Massoni took over the running of Café Florentino from his father and did so successfully before moving on and opening “Ristorante Massoni” in St. Kilda with his partner-in-business and Chef, Pietro Grossi and son Guy.
Leon ran his Tolarno French Bistro with flair and professionalism for over fifteen years. This fashionable eatery was filled and refilled every night with hundreds of joyous patrons. Indeed, to have a guaranteed reservation at either Jean Jacques or Ristorante Massoni, you had to book weeks ahead. These restaurants were very much favoured for a big night out.
Each year St. Kilda Petanque Club holds its Tropical Winter Tournament, cast across the Winter months, with eight playing Sundays from late May to late August. A Triples’ Tournament, the formation of each team relies upon a formula which is unique to this tournament. All players who present to play on a given day are ranked. First level is for top
players, next level ladies and middle of the road players and the final level is for those with little experience, even beginners. One player is chosen from each level to form a team, which evens out the competition.
St. Kilda returns all the playing fees paid during the tournament as prizes at the end of the tournament. You must participate on five playing days of the eight playing
day program to be eligible for prizes. First prize is $1,000, with cash prizes down to about 6th place and then wine prizes, of varying numbers of bottles, for all those who have qualified.
a coffee, hot chocolate, a panini or a pastry; fuels you up for a day on the piste, whilst you enjoy gossiping and catching up on friends’ news.
His giddy days of running his restaurant are behind him and he has time now to enjoy a game of Petanque. He's a good bloke, larger than life with his booming voice and jokey ways, also a fine exponent of the game.
Artisan bakers now populate Fitzroy Street. One such, D Chirico, happily situated opposite the St. Kilda piste and simply a must visit, before play begins, for
The Third Time I responded to her allure.
These last years, some thirty years further on, have heard her Siren Song beckon me, yet again, this time in a new guise, one which my 18 year old self never envisioned back in the late 1950’s, Petanque, “the new centre of my universe”.
Those clever people among you will have spotted a speck of connection to petanque already. Yes, it's Jean Jacques, who is a member at St. Kilda Petanque Club.
Quite late one evening after dining at Ristorante Massoni, my husband and I arrived back to our car parked on the kerb in Fitzroy Street, and were unable to start our car’s engine. RACV summoned, only to find some scoundrel had lifted the bonnet and stolen vital parts of the engine while we dined.
There has always been an element of frisson with a visit to St. Kilda, areas you simply do not enter, even, it seems, parts stolen from your car as you dined on fois gras. A peep into the wild, seedy side from a safe perspective.