There has been a lot of random events this week worthy of talking about so this posting is going to reflect that. There was a lot of delicious food, some incredible thunder and lightening storms, beach trips and a cultural all nighter in the heart of Melbourne. Where does one begin with all of that? … I will begin with food as that is always a good place to start I think.
Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day and last week was Pancake Tuesday which means you get breakfast twice! Unfortunately I didn’t get pancakes on Pancake Tuesday so last Friday I decided that pancakes needed to happen. The Trunktown Diner and Restaurant is on the corner of Exhibition and Little Lonsdale and is surrounded by a cute black picket fence. Large courtyard, bright open wooden cafe and a beer garden called the Honey Garden. How could you not want to go there with a name like that? I had wandered by it about a week ago, taken one look and wanted to try it. I didn’t know they did pancakes when I sat down but pancakes they do and they do them well! They have a few different options and I went with their buttermilk blueberry pancakes. So fluffy and light they melt in your mouth. They are covered in warm blueberry coulis with a scoop of whipped blueberry mascarpone cheese and flaked almonds. Then you have the perfect amount of maple syrup to drown your pancakes in. They happily made up for missing Pancake Tuesday with one mouthful.
Living in Melbourne you are not too far away from the sea and with the changeable weather if there is full sunshine and 38 degree weather you go to the beach! For Christmas I was given a t-shirt which states “Happy as Can be when I am by the sea” This probably sums me up in a nutshell. If I am having a bad day, don’t feel well or want to relax and chill the first place I want to be is by water preferably salt water and go swimming. One of Melbourne’s popular neighbourhoods is St.Kilda. It lies on the ocean with a long stretch of sandy beach, Luna Park in the background and lots of bars and cafes in behind that. It’s an easy stop on the tram, a great place for a festival which I learned the week before and while always busy just as nice to sit and enjoy the surf as any other beach especially if you don’t want to go to far out of the way. The other we explored is Brighton Beach; made famous for its Brighton Boxes. It feels a bit more like you have escaped the city and if you go see the boxes you have a great view of the city landscape. For swimming though at least at low tide, I recommend you turn right from the train station when you reach the beaches. There are no pretty boxes but it appears less crowded and the water is deeper therefore more swimmable. I also couldn’t help but feel a bit less like a tourist. This was also where I viewed my first Melbourne Thunderstorm. Sitting on the beach watching the clouds gather it looked like the rhinoceros which swoops down eating James’s parents in James and the Giant Peach. It was incredibly impressive watching it as it rolled towards us, fork lightening striking the water followed by a deep rumble of thunder and watching the sea change colour and the wind pick up. I didn’t quite make it to the station before the torrents of rain but almost! I love a good thunderstorm and Melbourne seems to be quite good at them.
Did you know that Melbourne holds the title owner of the the best pizza in the world!? That is quite the claim considering the birth place of Pizza is Italy and I know a lot of Italians who are very particular when it comes to pizza. However, the best Margarita pizza in the world can be found at 99 Lygon Street in the Italian District of Melbourne at a restaurant called 400 Gradi. It was Hector’s two Italian friend’s last night and they said they knew where to get the best pizza so me being a foodie and everyone loving pizza we jumped on board especially as two Italians say it’s good . We were running behind schedule a bit and by the time we made it to 400 Gradi our stomach’s were audibly growling. Ordering five pizza’s between six they did get unfortunately inhaled and not sat over like they deserved. The pizza’s were scrumptious and while I am not sure if I have tasted enough to say these were the best in the world; there is absolutely no way that they are not some of the best pizza I have ever tasted. The crust was thin, light and next to melted in your mouth. The right amount of sauce and all fresh ingredients. A good margarita while simple in ingredients, if it is made correctly can easily be the best pizza you can eat! This one proved that theory and was a perfect Margarita filled with flavours.
And finally down the Rabbit Hole! On Saturday night Melbourne city became pedestrianised for WhiteNight. A cultural night which runs till the wee hours of the morning and is packed with music, light shows and art instillations. Cultural Night in Dublin is one of the best nights of the year and I got to experience VIVID in Sydney in June of last year so my expectations were high and I was so excited. Looking online there was so much to offer and according to most it was more spread out this year which they believed would help the crowd control issues that seemed to crop up last year. I had a lot of groundi wanted to cover. I was working in the early evening and then went for a drink with work so didn’t hit the streets till around 2 am and by that time the streets had the perfect number of people and were easy to navigate around. I started my evening at the Exhibition Hall in Carlton Park which was lit up as if on fire and then under water with images of dancers from the national ballet moving across the facade of the building. I then moved to the State Library which started the Wonderland theme and was lit up both inside and out. On a side note I had an amazing brownie from Mr Tulk’s to keep me going which is at the State Library. Then it was onto Flinders Street. There were music and shows hidden down laneways along the way but I originally was meeting people and by the time I had seen everything around the river I was too knackered to head back up into the CBD. The Cathedral, Federation Square, Flinders Street, The Yarra, Alexandria Gardens, NGV and the Arts Centre were all lit up in magical ways which captured your imagination and while my pictures don’t give it complete justice they do a better job than me explaining. By the end of the evening my body was exhausted! I saw another person massaging their feet and felt their pain but my brain and eyes were alive and stimulated from everything I had seen. It did truly feel like you had wandered into a Wonderland in the middle of Melbourne.