It’s called Bibelot (pronounced “bib-loh”) and it will be a patisserie, gelateria, espresso bar, chocolate shop, high-tea salon and a book shop all in one.

Chez Dré is splitting the cafe and patisserie into adjoining but defined counterparts. The idea is that this new set up will honour both ventures in their own right.

“We found that the cake and the sweets were getting lost among the breakfast and the coffee,” says Kirsten Andrell, general manager of Chez Dré. “And the cakes are such an integral part of the business.

“We really wanted to highlight the artisanal bakery again,” adds head pastry chef and founder, Andrea Reiss.

The only change, really, is that all of the popular treats – such as petits gâteaux, bonbons, macarons – will shift to the new space next door. Everything will continue to be made from scratch and baked daily on the premises. You can even watch the chocolatiers whipping up fresh chocolate in a viewing room. There’ll also be ice cream churning on site.

The new hub will have an espresso bar with standing room and a small retail space selling gourmet gifts including nougat and chocolate bars, local honey and specialty coffee. The in-store library is also the place to pick up hard-to-find chocolate and patisserie cookbooks.

There is also a 26-seat high-tea salon, kitted-out with banquette seating and armchairs.

“We are not trying to re-invent high tea, but it’ll definitely have a Chez-Dré twist,” says Reiss. The salon won’t be taking reservations until late June, but there will be a special Mother’s Day event (contact Chez Dré for bookings).

The space will again be designed by Melbourne’s Breathe Architecture, which will implement Art-Deco influences, recycled timber flooring and custom mosaics.

Bibelot is slated to open Saturday May 9. Enter at the Coventry Street entrance to Chez Dré.

285–287 Coventry Street, South Melbourne
(03) 9690 2688