Each week we like to keep a little note, almost a diary for ourselves, of what we have been up to. It’s a way to share some great new finds, restaurants we tried or recipes we made, and just a little way for us to record the best things we see.
Normally this is all managed by Jim, but as we’ve had a quiet week working away back in our office, I thought I needed to share some things that I missed out telling you last year.
I made a trip down to Melbourne in December that didn’t even make it on to the blog yet, so I’ve got some great tips to share. Plus an art workshop if you want to feel more creative.
Where to eat in Melbourne
One of the best things about going down to Melbourne is always the food scene there. Last month I made a whirlwind trip down to Melbourne to catch up with some of my business besties and catch up with a friend from Puglia as well.
While I still think Sydney has the best Thai food in Australia, Melbourne pretty much beats it in every other cuisine. So here are the top spots I visited and where I recommend you eat in Melbourne.
Hochi Mama is an inner city Asian fusion restaurant serving up delicious cocktails and a fresh menu. I went here for a long lunch with my business besties. We went with the banquet and everything was delicious. It happened to be one of the hottest days in Melbourne, and their aircon wasn’t quite up to it, but I think in any other weather, this place would be perfect.
The Garden State Hotel is a bit of a surprise pub. From the street you can see the front bar, and you won’t believe the size of the other spaces beyond. After lunch at Hochi Mama, we sought refuge in the great air-conditioning here. Only later did I realise there was a roof terrace and a downstairs garden bar. Whatever your mood, you’ll find a beautiful space here.
Melbourne’s suburbs have an incredible café scene. C.H. James focuses on fresh seasonal produce and elevates the regular breakfast, like my corn fritters, to almost a fine dining level. The beautiful courtyard is still really casual with great coffee, which you always expect in Melbourne. A great surprise in the suburbs and definitely one to check out.
Walking in here, the divine scent of butter is what dreams are made of. These croissants and pastries are expensive, but they’re worth it. And if you really want to try them all, get here early because there’s a queue throughout the day and they sell out. This place has a lot of hype, but it stands up to it.
This Fitzroy spot is the little sister of the larger Tahina Restaurant in Northcote. Don’t be fooled by the small shopfront; out the back you’ll find a bright courtyard. Order inside for some of the freshest Israeli food you’ll ever have. I definitely recommend the Monkey Salad, or the Red and Green Falafel – absolutely delicious! And extra votes for the drinks. Their smoothies are a meal on their own.
I love the relaxed feel of this place and I’m keen to come back and try the Northcote venue as well. Thanks to Sharon Lapkin for taking me here. We met in Puglia and it’s great that our friendship continues as well now we’re both back in Australia.
The best Australian souvenirs you’ll want to keep
On our way to Hochi Mama, I came across a treasure trove of thoughtful Australiana. Melbournalia is full of souvenirs that people would really want to keep. Featuring local makers and creators, there’s a mix of art, homewares and beauty products that are beyond the clip-on koalas and souvenir tea towels. You might even find something you want to keep for yourself. I’m bookmarking their online store for when I need to buy some Australiana gift.
I have to give a big shout out to Kate McKibbin for being the hostess with the mostess and showing me around while I was in Melbourne this trip.
Getting creative with Little Lane Workshops
I’ve been trying to do more offline and so it’s ironic that I found out about this art class on Instagram. Little Lane Workshops is the most wonderful creative space and when they announced new resin homewares workshops, I booked straight away.
My sister came with me and it was so lovely to spend time together doing something purely creative. We’d never done anything like this before and the hardest part was choosing the colours.
Working with resin, you can plan some things but you also just let the material do its thing, and there’s a joy in letting go of the outcome and going with the flow.
The time in class flew by and it’s fun to have these pieces now at home. We’re thinking of trying a macramé or weaving workshop next. You can follow the beautiful team at Little Lane Workshop to see more of their classes.
Offline the Podcast
I’ve been watching as my friend Alison launched her new project, Offline the Podcast, and I jumped at the chance to support her and listen to a live recording.
I met some beautiful women in the audience, and listening to this panel gave me some true moments of insight. if you’re not already listening, you should start right now. You can also follow on Instagram here.
And just to leave you on a final splash, Sydney has had a massive heat wave. Australia was the hottest place on the planet last week with 45+ degree temperatures all across the country and we hope you’ve all stayed cool.
Regular Weekly Editions will go back to Jim next week and hopefully I’ll be able to add in my picks when they’re actually happening.