We’re interstate in this week’s IG Edition: we’ve spent the last few days in Melbourne!
Home of the Australian café scene, trams and Aussie Rules Football, Melbourne also plays host to a new creative business workshop our friends Emma Kate and Sonia are running called Brand Confetti.
Sandwiched between learning some great new skills to employ on our blog, Mrs Romance and I ate our way through some of the best food we’ve had in Melbourne – and we’ve got the photos (and fat cells) to prove it!
We hope you enjoy this IG Edition. Now, onward to Mexico!
Jim & Christina xx
Melbourne, here we come! We get things cracking with coffee at the Virgin Lounge at Sydney Airport. Thanks to our recent trip back to Europe, we’ve managed to get our frequent flyer status back up to gold, which means access to one of our favourite parts of the airport!
Nothing like a free snack and a coffee to get a trip off to the right start!
I’ve always loved getting the window seat on a plane. Mrs Romance was an aisle seat person until she discovered how good seat A is. Now we have to take it in turns.
On the way down to Melbourne, I’ve got the window and the views out over the Snowy Mountains are beautiful. Still plenty of powder on the peaks.
Are you an aisle or window seat person? Maybe our discussion post will help you decide!
It’s great to be back in Melbourne – even if it is freezing at the moment… blimey, Sydney has made me soft, hasn’t it?
We’re in town for a few reasons, but this weekend is all about our friends Sonia and Emma Kate. They’re running their second Brand Confetti workshop – a face-to-face guide on how to turn up the volume on the creative elements to your business.
A little bit about Emma Kate and Sonia: both ladies run their own businesses, which are heavily involved in the creative space.
Emma Kate of Emma Kate Co fame has cleverly combined her love of storytelling, travel, lifestyle and stationery to create the most beautiful and identifiable lettering you’ve probably seen already. Check out her stunning work here.
These lovely ladies have fiercely loyal followings and have created a fascinating culture of creativity, knowledge sharing and business nous. It’s a remarkable recipe for success.
Mrs Romance heads straight from the plane to the Brand Confetti workshop, which is in The Studio in Elsternwick, south west of the city.
It’s a beautiful art space perfect for igniting that creative spark that lives within us all. Emma Kate and Sonia have chosen so well – and the confetti leading the way to the masterclass is so very on brand!
Meanwhile, I’ve headed into the city to check into our hotel – and grab some lunch. And talk about multitasking, I’ve managed both!
We’re staying in what I think is about the best place you can stay in Melbourne if you enjoy feeling like you’re at home while you’re away.
The Adina Apartments Hotel Melbourne is lovely and amazingly located right in the CBD. Having stayed in serviced apartments before in around the world, we had an idea of what to expect and this Adina hotel certainly hits the mark -.
You get so much space for what you pay here, plus there’s the luxury of having a full kitchen, laundry facilities and separate bedroom, just like having your own apartment.
The difference is you don’t have to cook if you don’t want to. I don’t want to, so I’ve ordered a spot of room service from the connected bar Queen Street Rescue downstairs. This spicy chicken burger is going to really sort me out!
Watch this space for a full review of Adina Apartments Hotel Melbourne in the coming weeks.
It’s not my chicken burger, but lunch at Brand Confetti’s workshop still looks pretty good, doesn’t it? Platters are really our thing – I mean just check out Mrs Romance’s latest creation here! And the Loving Earth coconut mylk chocolates you can see there are really very tasty.
After my lunch, a bit of a nap, a spot of work and an Uber ride, I’ve caught up with the guys at Brand Confetti’s workshop just in time for happy hour and dinner. What luck!
We’ve ducked into The Meatball and Wine Bar in Richmond for dinner. This cool, warehouse conversion styling is so very Melbourne. I’m looking forward to some meatball action too!
I’m not disappointed. The meatballs at the Meatball and Wine Bar are excellent. Mrs Romance has gone for the somewhat healthier combination of meatballs and vegetables, while I have decided creamy polenta is a much better option.
But it’s not about who’s right, it’s about what suits you, isn’t it. By the way, creamy polenta is definitely better.
This morning, we’re back at The Studio in Elsterwick for Day 2 of the Brand Confetti workshop.
Today, we’re learning how to hand letter from Emma Kate, which is fascinating. She makes it look so easy when it’s really not. However, we explore our own style and get some tips from her that help us create lettering that expresses more than just our handwriting.
After that, we get some styling and photography tips from Both Sonia and Emma Kate, which is going to be so valuable to help with our product photography. I’m sure you’ll see a difference in our future posts.
Mrs Romance is also using the props around the studio at Brand Confetti to make this cool gif. I’ve got a feeling she’ll be finding those bits of confetti in her hair and clothes for a while after this!
The Brand Confetti workshop has finished and it’s time for brunch. Emma Kate has directed us (ourselves and Sonia) to a place she loves in Prahran (which is pronounced like ‘pram’ with an ‘n’ they tell me) called Middletown.
This beautiful café has a very regal feel, which is appropriate, as it’s styled as an ode to Kate Middleton, hence the name.
Décor aside, the food here is supreme. Sonia has been lusting after a chicken burger for days (unknowingly, my room service order almost sent her over the edge), so she’s getting her fix now. It looks amazing.
Mrs Romance has gone for the black waffles, which I’ll tell you more about in a minute and I’ve got the succulent beef brisket and 64-degree egg, which is delicious.
However! The most incredible part of the meal is at the top of this photo. What you can see there is a bowl of halloumi chips. That’s right, folks. Halloumi chips.
There must be almost a kilo of halloumi there, coated in a crispy pomegranate molasses and drizzled with mint yoghurt. Un. Believe. Able. And only $9.
So Mrs Romance’s black waffles. They look amazing, don’t they? To tell it from the menu, you get “charcoal waffles with mascarpone ice cream, maple syrup, hazelnut brittle, compressed rockmelon and textures of strawberries.”
She says they’re delicious and we’ll have to take her word for it; there’s no chance she’s sharing!
We’re out on the town with them getting ready to guzzle down margaritas and mind-alteringly good burgers in Melbourne CBD’s Brooklyn Depot.
I’m not really paying any attention to anyone else’s burgers (I’m sure they’re great) because I’m about to face-smash my Fuggeddaboudit! burger – it’s the one with the syringe of chilli sauce sticking out of it.
There’s also a range of spiciness to the chilli sauce whose spectrum goes Mild, Medium, Hot and Fuhgeddaboudit!. Of course I’ve got the hottest one!
By the way, if you want to know a bit more about Carly and Ben, which you should because they’re awesome, check out what they’ve got to say in our What Does Romance Mean? Series here.
This morning we’re heading across town to visit our friends Julia and James, and their beautiful baby boy Mo in Brunswick.
We love getting the tram when we’re in Melbourne. Perhaps it is just the novelty and perhaps we wouldn’t find it as much fun if we had to do it all the time, or maybe it’s a bit like catching the ferry when you’re in Sydney. It doesn’t seem to matter how often you have to do it, it’s still a lovely way to get around.
Julia and James have taken us to one of their favourite cafés here called East Elevation, where they grow a lot of the produce they serve in the garden out the back.
East Elevation also make their own chocolates on site too, so the hot choc here is to die for.
Jules and James have worked their way through most of the menu here at East Elevation, so we’ve taken guidance from them. I’m pretty happy with the state of affairs on my plate, as is Mrs Romance.
We’ve both ordered from the specials menu – me with the eggs benedict on one of the most delicious bacon and potato rostis I’ve ever had and Mrs R with the cauliflower, quinoa and ricotta fritters poached eggs and carrot, cabbage and kohlrabi slaw! Yum.
It’s almost time to say farewell to Melbourne this trip, but before we go, we make the most of the café scene here. Just up the road from our hotel is a hidden treasure indeed.
Michelangelo is a very Italian café that a fellow guest of the Adina showed me. It feels like we’re back in Puglia as we sip our coffees and discuss the perfect little rolls they have on offer: prosciutto or mortadella… which one to get?
It’s not long before we’re back up in the air and almost home again. We love visiting Melbourne, but Sydney always looks so good as you fly back towards her.
The beach you can see there by the way is Coogee – that’s Wedding Cake Island just off the shore.
I think Mrs Romance is glad to be back in Sydney. As I said, we love being in Melbourne, but trying to get a Sydneysider away from the harbour for too long is like separating egg whites; it’s no yolk. #DadJokeOfTheYear.
I must admit the way the water’s sparkling this morning, I can see why Mrs Romance always loves coming home.