Circa, The Prince

Circa, the Prince has been turned intriguingly inside-out with its new collaborative refurbishment

22 Feb 2010

A popular drinking and dining destination in Melbourne’s (mostly) sunny St Kilda, Circa, the Prince has undergone a major refurbishment which “deconstructs” the dining experience, according to owners John and Lisa van Haandel.

A wealth of natural light, a roof top garden, subtly Scandinavian-esque furniture, and a plethora of local talent have brought this new space together.

“It’s more than just a refurbishment. It’s evolution. The next exciting chapter, if you like,” says John van Haandel.

“[The] new interior has come together through a collaboration of local furniture designers, retailers, artists and stylists including Gloss Creative, Format, Comer & King, Native, Joost Bakker and Dale Frank,” he says.

The result is warm, textured interiors which exude modernity, relaxation and revitalisation in equal parts. “Very much an environment to soothe and stimulate the senses.”

Just past the reception area, a timber table lined with stools forms offers visitors a relaxed communal area for casual wining and dining.

Imbuing the space with a relaxed, convivial feel, this sets the scene for the light-filled courtyard which features a verdant herb garden, designed by Joost.

Most of Circa’s dining takes place here, where a canopy of glass and pressed metal opens the area to natural light, while protecting it from the rain. By night, Tom Dixon hand-beaten brass pendant lights illuminate the space with an intimate golden glow.

The restaurant is a dramatically different space, divided into three dining rooms and defined by classic 1930s triple-feather etched windows, striking Bedouin fabric panels, and Belgian linen upholstery.

And if you think this isn’t quite enough, then it’s worth a wander upstairs, where The Prince’s rooftop deck features a Joost-designed kitchen garden – which we suspect is Head Chef Matt Wilkinson’s favourite area.

“Vertically stacked and tiered plant boxes are sunlit and watered by the large supply of water we collect, creating this amazing compact garden. With everything at our finger tips, things couldn’t be fresher,” says Wilkinson.

Circa, the Prince
circa.com.au