Melbourne notes

13 December 2018

We had the nicest time in Melbourne, eating lots of great food and checking out a bunch of art galleries - our two favourite things. By the end of the week, I had ditched my watch and make up and was feeling extremely relaxed.

This trip to Melbourne was a tiny bit different because I went with a few pages of recommendations from my new workmates who live there. Just in case you're heading there soon, here's what I loved:

Yum cha + NGV + Carlton

Our first day in Melbourne was pretty perfect. We rolled our bags into Chinatown for yum cha at Dragon Boat, which came highly recommended. It was such a great yum cha spot, and also a good place to fuel up and catch our breath before heading back into the city.

There are two great shows at the National Gallery of Victoria at the moment, and they're both free! My favourite was Julian Opie, which featured bright and colourful video portraits of characters doing very everyday things like walking. The details made the show magical, with the artist capturing everything from the gait of individuals, to the intricate pattern of their lace dress or tattoos. Check out the kids space if you can, even if you don't have any of your own. Trust me, it's super cute (and filled with adults!).

We also both really loved Australian photographer Polly Borland's exhibition at the Fed Square gallery space. It's playful and kind of odd too.

Then it was onto Heart Attack & Vine, which is one of my workmate's all-time favourite bars. It's a really cute space with incredible snacks constantly being made at the counter. We ordered drinks and a selection of mini snacks and had a great time.

For dinner, we went to a new favourite, DOC pizza for the best margherita (they specialise in mozzarella!) and a greens salad which was almost as good. Afterwards we wandered over to Pidapipo for gelato cones with warm nutella, and they were so good we made sure we went again before we went home.

And no visit to Carlton is complete without a stop at Readings, which is my favourite book shop.

Cult places for pastries + chiffon cake + pasta 

Holidaying midweek was especially handy when it came to visiting a hyped up eateries :) We went to Lune Croissanterie one morning and sat at the counter, watching a small army of croissant makers do their thing while nibbling on their handiwork.

The croissants are pretty amazing, somehow sweet and savoury at the same time with just the right amount of flakiness. A little bit of planning went into our visit because my Dad (whose favourite foods include croissants and ice cream) went on a day when the cafe was only doing takeaways. Plus I'd read that sometimes there's an hour-long queue, and assumed it'd be wise to avoid the weekend.

I also made it to Beatrix, a tiny bakery that I've been obsessing over ever since I stumbled across them on Instagram. Especially because they seem to have an insane number of cakes on offer each day. I ordered a giant slice of pillowy orange chiffon cake that came with a tangy icing and some mince pies to take away. Beatrix is in north Melbourne, and a short tram ride from the city (that's if you get off at the right stop!). There's only a handful of seats but they're set up for takeaway, with lovely hard-to-squash cake boxes.

We also had dinner at Tip00, which was the first place I booked after we'd sorted our flights and accommodation. I felt like a nerd, getting in super early but we almost missed out! Apparently Fridays and Saturdays are usually booked out three months in advance, so we went for a late sitting on a Thursday night and had no regrets. Everything from the focaccia bread course to the deconstructed tiramisu was unreal.

Brunswick + Collingwood

Finally, Saturday lunch at Good Days in Brunswick was a shared highlight. Tony ordered the chicken rice and I had the famous noodle salad with lemongrass chicken skewers (you can also get it with spring rolls on top!).

And I also went to Cibi for lunch with my friend Danie, where we both ordered the Japanese breakfast special. The Cibi shop was especially beautiful, stocking everything from ceramics to fancy panko crumbs and different types of seaweed.

So that's it for our 2018 Melbourne trip! I thought my flying days were done for the year but I'll be making a day trip to Sydney on Monday, and then counting down the days til I can pick up my Christmas ham. We're close!

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