Melbourne: The 2013 Edition;

A few months ago, I booked a $45 flight from Perth to Melbourne (thank YOU Tiger Air for your awesome deals!), not really knowing if I’d be able to go as it was in the middle of my second week of exams. Turns out, luck was on my side with my last exam being on the Tuesday & flight leaving Perth on Wednesday night. With the amount of friends I’ve made over the years living in Melbourne (& the Perth friends that have moved over), it’s become an annual trip.

Since I had just finished my degree, the plan was to take it easy, see friends & use the time to relax. I’m a creature of habit & I always go back to the same places but on this visit, I promised myself no re-visits because there’s just far too much other stuff to try first (accommodation I know & trust doesn’t count!)

So here’s a list of the places I checked out & would recommend. I went to some others but they didn’t quite make the ‘good’ list.

BRUNCH//

Wide Open Road

Wide Open Road, Brunswick: Amazing service, interior & lots of fresh food options. I got the cauliflower, ricotta & quinoa fritters with shaved brussel sprouts, asparagus, chilli jam, poached eggs & smoked trout (and a green juice). I’d give this place a 10/10.

Little Big Sugar Salt menu & green juice

Her Hot Mess (big + sugar): “big, sexy, sweet smush of pancake bits, blueberries & nectarine, creme anglaise, bacon & peacon candy & girly flowers”

Little Big Sugar Salt, Richmond: This place. If I could eat at one cafe for the rest of my life, it would be this place. It’s situated in ‘Viet Town’ & looks like it’s just got a few window seats looking out onto the street but then you get welcomed to the back where there’s two private rooms, one with a big table & another with smaller tables. Everything about this place was amazing, even their bathroom! (of course I took a photo of it).  This place gets 12/10, if not higher.

Sticky Beak juices

Sticky Beak, Windsor: Situated just off Chapel Street, cute little place with a good selection of food (you know, not too much & not too little). I got the bircher muesli with crisp shredded apple. Major food envy as my friend got the benedict dish though!

The Grain Store menu

Buckwheat & ricotta pancakes with apple, orange nutella, apple puree, spiced mascrapone & pistachio streusel

The Grain Store, CBD: This was a last minute suggestion from a friend & as it was just around the corner from my accommodation, was the perfect breakfast spot one morning. It’s located at the quiet end of Flinders Lane so chances of passing it are quite slim but this place got packed! I was extremely pleased with my breakfast choice & couldn’t believe how full I was. Definitely a place I would recommend to anyone, the food, atmosphere & service was top notch. 10/10 (could even be a 11/10).

Yong Green Food

Yong Green Food, Fitzroy: Going out with a Vegan proved to be very easy this day! We got green juices, buckwheat crepes with mushrooms, raw spicy pad thai  + raw nachos, followed by chocolate and white raspberry cheesecake. I could of possibly eaten more but I behaved myself. 10/10 for Yongs!

Three Bags Full, Abbotsford

Three Bags Full, Abbotsford // Seven Seeds, Carlton: both really cute places. Good food, juices, interior & lovely wait staff.

DINNER//

Dumplings Plus, CBD: Awesome place to go with a group. We got lots of dishes to share, I used chopsticks all night (HUGE accomplishment & it was cheap cheap cheap). Plus, it’s BYO & they have some lovely cheap wine there too (none of this crazy mark up).

Chingón Mexican

Chingón Mexican, Richmond: Before my trip, I was desperate to find out what this amazing place was called so I put it to my instagram with a little help from friends but it was the hashtags on another photo that helped me find this place. We went a little late on a Sunday night so it was slowly closing but they had yummy sangria & tacos and they even made some vegan tacos for my friend. It’s definitely a place I’d go back to.

DRINKS//

Naked for Satan, Fitzroy // The Cullen, South Yarra // The Emerson, South Yarra // 3 Monkeys, Prahran (cheap drinks) // Left Bank, South Bank – all good drinking spots

Sunday night fire time

LaLaLand, Windsor: Situated on Chapel St, this was the last bar we got to on our Sunday night bar crawl. And by last bar I mean, there was no way we were leaving when there was a fire place, $20 jugs of white peach sangria + good 90’s hip hop playing. Currently thinking of when I can go back to this amazing place for nights on end (breaking my ‘no same place’ rule all in one post!)

Other than eat, I did lots of walking, shopping (even more walking) & enjoyed my first bubble bath in what feels like years. I came back to Perth feeling OH so refreshed but also so damn confused.  Melbourne always takes a piece of my heart each visit & I feel like this visit took a massive chunk. With university all done & dusted, is it time to finally move over to Melbourne after years of thinking about it?

Don’t worry Perth, I’ve still got some property qualifications to get here & save for my big US trip in August 2014 but when I get back? Who knows. A lot has changed in the last week, month & year for me.  Time to take each week as it comes!

U p d a t e ;

This past week has been a total mix bag! There were plans, celebrations, exciting news, accidents & last minute adventures. Above all, I cannot believe how much I have shifted mentally. Waking up this morning, I couldn’t believe how well I handled situations that were supposed to ‘stress’ me out & how much one single outing has occupied so much of my brain space (totally unexpected as well).

Photo taken in Bar Lafayette in the Brookfield Place

Friday night, I went out with some work/uni girls to a property function that was organised by the young property professionals for under 35’s in the industry. Drinks & nibbles were organised at The Terrace Hotel where we mingled with others in the industry. It was a great success! And the Terrace Hotel looks INCREDIBLE since the renovation. If you’re a interior nerd like myself, you will love this place. Exposed brick (like the wall I snapped at Bar Lafayette the night before), wide timber floorboards and the most beautiful wallpaper in the dining area. Their dinner menu looks pretty damn delicious too!

Saturday afternoon, when I was only 1 minute away from meeting a friend for a coastal walk, I got swiped by a 4WD. Luckily we were approaching the lights so it wasn’t as bad as it could of been. Yeah, it’s a total inconvenience taking my car into the panel beaters twice in one week to get assessed but my scratches are minor; I can still drive….I just get the biggest looks from passby-ers and majority drive past me FAST, thinking I’m the bad driver, HA!

On Sunday, after an early breakfast date at Bib & Tucker followed by a pump class, I got a message from a friend wondering if I had finished exams yet. He was at work and needed to run a jet ski for a client (he works at one of the marinas in Perth) so within an hour, I’m in my shorts & sandals driving to Fremantle, making the most of the glorious winter weather we’ve been having. We ended up riding the jet ski from Fremantle to the city for a drink at The Lucky Shag. We saw dozens of dolphins along the way (gosh those guys live THE life!) and of course not long after, we get smashed by a wave on the way to the city which left me thinking I was about to freeze to death (I came pretty close with my brain freezing, ouch!). Fun Sunday afternoon though.

Tuesday night, I finally celebrated end of exams with my uni/work girls. We went to The Aviary for some mulled wine followed by dinner at Jamie’s Italian. The wait time is decreasing for those not booking weeks ahead; we only waited an hour to be seated after putting our name down at 5:45pm. I was VERY tempted to order the same main as last time but luckily picked another winning dish (Honeycomb Cannelloni 3 ways). For entree, we shared the pumpkin & smoked mozzarella nachos, crispy squid, stuffed peppers and crispy stuffed risotto balls. For dessert, there was warm brownie, tutti fruitti lemon meringue pie and a chocolate pot to share (can’t say a lot of sharing was involved in the end!) We shared a bottle of ‘Montepulciano D’Abruzzo‘ and I don’t even drink red wine but loved this one!

Last night, I went to the Bliss n Eso concert and although I’ve heard of Yelawolf, I didn’t actually listen to any of his music. Bliss n Eso are my favourite Australia Hip Hop act so I never doubted their choice in support acts but when Yelawolf came on, I was blown away. His style is like nothing I’ve heard recently & his stage presence was too good. His American-ism took me back to my time there & some of the people I was hanging out with. It made me miss them so much but also so excited about my trip back next year. More than anything, watching Yelawolf reminded me of someone that hurt me really bad recently. The voice, the clothing, the face & the tattoos. Maybe I haven’t quite gotten over it or maybe I’m not supposed to just yet but man, feels like an old cut that needs to heal again. Question is, do I leave it covered or wide open?

Total mix bag! 

My other home;

Melbourne stole my heart on this particular visit. I don’t know if it was because I was showing a Perth friend around and I got to slow down and take it all in again, or if it was because I now have so many friends living there. Whatever it was, it was hard to get on that plane back to Perth & it took me a while to get over my visit.

Here’s a few snaps of the highlights of my visit to Melbourne:

Max Brenner, YUM!

Max Brenner, YUM!

I don't think I'll ever stop admiring the view from the Southbank!

I don’t think I’ll ever stop admiring the view from the Southbank!

Brunswick St, Fitzroy

Brunswick St, Fitzroy

Vegie Bar, Fitzroy

Vegie Bar, Fitzroy

The view from The Lui Bar, 55 levels above

The view from The Lui Bar, 55 levels above

I can't help revisiting the same places- Madam Brussel's cocktail jugs never disappoint!

I can’t help revisiting the same places- Madame Brussel’s cocktail jugs never disappoint!

Drinks on the last day with a Perth friend @ Ponyfish Island. Melbourne was showing off on this day!

Drinks on the last day with a Perth friend @ Ponyfish Island. Melbourne was showing off on this day!

I’ve also made a list of my favourite eating & drinking spots if anyone is going there anytime soon:

EAT:

Vegie Bar, Fitzroy (I cannot recommend this place enough! everything is so fresh and affordable!)

The Atlantic, Southbank (good for anything out of the water, I would recommend getting the whole burramundi de-filleted though, that was a rookie mistake on my behalf)

Chocolate Buddha, CBD (awesome Japanese restaurant in Federation Square)

La Citta, CBD (Italian restaurant on Degraves St, one of the main laneways in the CBD)

Don Vincenzo, Fitzroy (cute little breakfast spot on Brunswick St that is gluten free friendly)

Rare Steakhouse, CBD (good steak that doesn’t break the budget!)

Five66, CBD (corner of Flinders & Spencer; their veggie omelette is to die for!)

DRINK:

Lui Bar, CBD (get there before the sun sets!)

Berlin Bar, CBD (it’s divided into two bars to represent east & west which is AWESOME)

New Gold Mountain, CBD (be ready for lots of stairs! so worth it though)

The Carlton, CBD (awesome atmosphere)

Captain Baxter, St Kilda (new place!)

Section 8, CBD (good for live outdoor music, you must try grandma’s peach punch!)

Madame Brussels, CBD (yummy cheese platters, chocolate fondue and the sangria and gin jugs are delish!)

Ponyfish Island, CBD (under the bridge, awesome any time of year)

Eat + Drink: the Sydney edition;

The Bucket List, Bondi Beach

Since it’s been two years since my last Sydney trip, my list of things to do & places to go was HUGE. My last trip was all about the coast; catching the ferry across to Manly and going to the beach where Home & Away is filmed. This time, it was more about the food and the bars. Even though I covered a lot, there’s still so many places I would love to check out. Next time huh?

Here’s a list of the places I visited AND I would highly recommend:

EAT:

– Kelly’s Bar and Grill, Bondi Junction (Tasty ribs with an amazing view)

Bavarian Bier Cafe, Bondi Beach (good priced food that you can eat by yourself or share)

Bondi FM Cafe, Bondi Beach (good breakfast spot)

Bona Fides, Sydney CBD (good breakfast spot)

Cafe Sydney, Sydney CBD (good for lunch, over looking the harbour bridge)

Icebergs Bistro, Bondi Beach (good lunch spot with a view over the beach)

DRINK:

The Bucket List (looking over Bondi beach as pictured above)

Since I Left You, Sydney CBD (small little laneway bar, good for after work drinks)

Hemmesphere, Sydney CBD (sushi & cocktail lounge with a very impressive wine list, the photos on the site don’t do it any justice!)

Blu Bar on 36, Shangri-La Hotel Sydney CBD (go here at 5:30pm to watch the sun go down)

Fat Freddy’s Shack, Bondi FM Cafe

Icebergs Bistro, Bondi Beach

The view from Cafe Sydney

Breakfast at Bona Fides, Sydney CBD

Do you have some places I should add to my list for next time?

The weekend: the mixed edition;

‘A Pleasant Breeze’- Watermelon Cocktail

The weekend consisted of drinks with my big sis (who was back in town for the week), checking out the new bars in town (Bar Lafayette, Print Hall, Bob’s Bar & Helvetica); sleep in’s, shopping trips, sushi & birthday celebrations with too many bottles of wine with old friends (and I lost count the number of times people asked me where the hell I’ve been hiding). There were run in’s with the ex, late nights & big sleep in’s until Sunday afternoon; cheering on friends auditioning for the Perth Female Lingerie Football League team (yeah, such a thing exists) and a whole lot of smiling involved when I received another ‘Future Me‘ letter.

Seriously, if there’s one way to make yourself smile, send a letter to yourself 3 or even 6 months from now & it makes you realise nothing bad lasts forever. I wrote my last letter during a tough time 4 months ago & driving home last night, I couldn’t believe how much things have turned around. I wrote some short term goals & I’m very happy to say I’ve been actively working towards them (even ticking off several).

Will you be writing a letter to yourself? Go on!

This weekend;

– Tried a new Mexican restaurant that was absolutely divine

– Went out with some old friends and had a blast dancing

– Went stand up paddle boarding again

– Lay in the sun & went swimming at a new beach

– Chilled at a new cafe on the beach

– Caught up with an old girlfriend and went out for lunch

– Lay on my parents couch after I ate too much over lunch

– Had a few drinks and pizza with some friends at night

– Ate crepes for the first time in a year (I ate too many last summer/ northern hemispehere’s winter)

– Had drinks in the sun at my old favourite pub, the Rosemount Hotel

❤ summer

Forgotten Feeling

Friday Night

Seems like I’ve forgotten what a ordinary weekend feels like! For the first time in months I spent a whole weekend seeing friends & it felt so good not having to watch lectures, read chapters or study!

Friday night, I went out for dinner to this little italian restaurant (see photo above) for a friends birthday. Saturday morning, I caught up with K for breakfast at one of my favourite cafes and then a few hours later, I caught up with C across the road for our traditional coffee catch up that lasted 2 hours as usual. We always have so much to talk about! I spent the rest of the afternoon running around, trying to find some new black boots- no luck!

I had planned to do weights that afternoon but as soon as I got in the gym, I left 15 minutes later because I was so sick of being inside all day. So I guess it’s good living in Perth sometimes… I went for a walk around my neighbourhood in shorts & a singlet- you would never guess it was winter here!

Saturday night, it was another friends birthday where we enjoyed some drinks in the beer garden at a bar/pub not far from my house. As you can see, nothing too wild. My idea of a good night out these days is a couple of drinks, I was home by 12 both nights! Quite a massive difference from the girl I was before Europe.

How times change!