Alice Nivens, Shop 13 Port Phillip Arcade, 228 Flinders Ln, Melbourne (1)

Who doesn’t love Christmas and storybook characters?

Well, next Thursday 25 July, Alice in Wonderland themed CBD cafe Alice Nivens is holding a special ‘Christmas in July’ day of sweets, treats and other festivities.

The bolthole cafe is hidden in a rather ugly flourescent-lit arcade between Flinders Street/Flinders Lane and you’ll recognise it by the ski chalet style take away windows, the Queen of Hearts black and white floor tiling and the large mural interpretation of Alice in Wonderland by Melbourne illustrator Sam Octigan (who was apparently too shy to sign his name to this work before making it big in New York).

There are a lot of rabbit motifs in the cafe – in honour of the the Lewis Carroll white rabbit but also because the owner Janet was born in the Year of the Rabbit!

Alice Nivens, Shop 13 Port Phillip Arcade, 228 Flinders Ln, Melbourne (3)

Having said that, the space is currently decked out in festive decorations and fairy lights for Christmas in July. It’s a very cute experience.

Alice Nivens, Shop 13 Port Phillip Arcade, 228 Flinders Ln, Melbourne (2)

They serve a small breakfast menu, freshly made sandwiches at lunch but their speciality is a daily selection of sweet treats. In fact, they have a ‘cake cage’ spilling with all sorts of gorgeous goodies – and if you follow their Twitter stream prepare to drool. Some of it is Alice themed – a white chocolate and raspberry White Rabbit Cake or a chocolate flourless Queen of Hearts cake decorated with red hearts – and at the moment there’s a whole Christmas theme happening as well.

Alice Nivens, Shop 13 Port Phillip Arcade, 228 Flinders Ln, Melbourne (4)

I tried their ‘Australian Christmas’ fruit pavlova ($6.50), a crispy meringue shell receptacle for fluffy cream and sliced fruit, with a drizzle of passionfruit coulis.

Alice Nivens is a lovely little pitstop if you’re down near the Federation Square/Flinders Street end of the city. Down the rabbit hole you go!

Alice Nivens, Port Phillip Arcade, Shop 13, 228 Flinders Street

Mon to Fri 7:30 am – 4:00 pm