Sunday, September 8, 2013

melbourne favourites

in our first year of living in wagga wagga we discovered an unexpected perk, it's a short-ish drive to melbourne. since then, we've been lucky enough to go at least once a year for a weekend visit. usually we go for a reason, to see a specific exhibition or talk but this time round we went just for fun.

I should tell you that the first time we drove to melbourne from wagga back in 2011 we went a little bit nuts with the food. back then there were fewer good cafes in wagga and we'd forgotten what it was like to be in a city. so we went on a food mission, hunting out specific cafes for every meal. that trip stayed with me for at least a year afterwards, I'd managed to put on 3kgs in a single week that I couldn't shift for ages!

these days we're a bit savvier. we share meals at most places, because usually the servings are huge and it means we can stop and snack at different cafes.

after a few visits, we've definitely have a few favourite places:
  • the australian centre for contemporary art. acca is a 10 minute walk from the main ngv gallery and is a really cool exhibition space. its shows are a refreshing break from the blockbuster exhibitions that are often on at the ngv. during our last trip we ran into a scary amount of people buying monet souvenir plates and umbrellas. acca has an excellent selection of books and catalogues and I think my most favourite thing from our last trip was picking up some really interesting short books/essays from previous exhibitions.
  • the hardware societe. we almost always get lost when we look for this cafe, hardware lane is long and the hardware societe is right at the top of one end, though you can't miss it when you spot the crowds. it's not so fun on a rainy day unless you have planned ahead and brought an umbrella and we usually don't wait more than 15 minutes for a table. I love that they always serve their coffees with a miniature donut. here's what we ate last weekend:

^^ aforementioned coffee with tiny donut and the breakfast we shared. this was my first ever croque-monsieur thought we went the untraditional route and chose a smoked salmon version that was made with brioche and served with a scoop of potato salad (I think! we ate it in such a frenzy) and some aioli. it was so good!

  • galleon in st kilda is also awesome for breakfast though we didn't make it to the beach this time. we usually go to st kilda so I can look at the acland street cakes and have some trampoline gelato and tony can go to the book shop but this time we worked out that there was a massive version of his favourite bookstore in carlton so we went there instead.
  • we'd stumbled across readings on earlier trips but this blog alerted us to the main store. so we spent saturday night browsing through books of all varieties in carlton. I bought one thing but had the best time browsing. tony had resisted buying any books up until this point (which is super impressive) but walked away with a huge bag of books. and then I discovered the readings sale shop across the road.

^^ we stumbled across la belle miette enroute to the hardware societe. it's also on hardware lane and the shop girl insisted on filling up the counter with macaroons before I took this photo. I managed to carry around two macaroons in my bag all day without squashing them! the girl who served us did an impressive job of using the plastic bag as an air cushion for our precious cargo.

^^ this trip we visited sophie gannon gallery in richmond for the first time and really enjoyed it, I snapped this photo at the end of the street. I love the white house in the middle.
  • we've recently discovered the incredibly beautiful heide museum of modern art, which is an awesome combination of architecture, modern art, good food and beautiful gardens only this trip we got our dates wrong and planned to go visit on the only day it was closed. sadly we were leaving town that day too!
  • embarrassingly last weekend I totally stalked out the tables at little cupcakes. we go there every visit and despite the cafe being tiny, we normally find a seat. this time we weren't so lucky but we persevered and got cupcakes. hurrrah!
  • and finally for dinner, chin chin is a semi-tradition if we're early enough and can get a seat. last visit we didn't feel like facing a 2.5 hour wait for a table so ended up at a meatball restaurant down the lane, which was a lot of fun until I decided to eat a whole ice cream sandwich after a massive dinner.
here are some random snaps from last weekend:

lots of blue and below, a steve aoki salad, which was partly ordered because of its name. I had to google steve aoki!

hope you've had a lovely weekend.

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