Bibelot (pronounced bib-loh) translates from French as 'a small object of beauty, curiosity or desire', and perfectly explains what you will discover at this dainty dessert boutique. Shiny glass cabinets filled with silky glistening gateaux, plump macaroons, bonbons, chocolates and cakes resembling modern works of art stretch endlessly down the long room; a gelato counter with two taps pouring liquid chocolate (dark and milk) stand ready and waiting for warm summer days.
In short, Bibelot is a dessert-lovers dream. Opened by the Chez Dre team, the dessert bar/patisserie/chocolaterie/retail space is separate from the South Melbourne cafe, but still attached — just enter from the Coventry Street entrance, a stone's throw from the excellent South Melbourne Markets. The interior design is immediately eye catching and very European, reflecting the luxurious, intricate nature of the desserts with strong elements of glass, large mosaic tiled walls, timber and luxe emerald green velvet armchairs.
Asking the staff to pick out their favorite sweets creates some fun banter — even the friendly team working here seems to find it hard to decide between so many delicious options. Some highlights include the hazelnut-praline crunch or the Lychee Dome: a photo-worthy dessert that resembles a beautiful alien egg ($9.50). If you are like us and simply refuse to choose between cakes then try the desert platter ($25). Featuring nine popular desserts in miniature form, this platter is perfect for sharing between two.
Coffee is delicious, as are their carefully selected range of teas. Lavish high teas are available in the High Tea Salon, and a well-curated retail section stocks a neat range of coffee table books sit waiting for your perusal. The retail side of things sells quality dry tea, housemade blocks of chocolate, biscuits and artisanal food.
Make no mistake, this is not somewhere you want to be if you are on a diet. Your only dilemma should be deciding which cake to eat first.