I am not much of a city girl – but I told myself I would explore as much of Australia as I could whilst living in this beautiful country. My best friend bought me tickets to Melbourne for a long weekend of city fun. Alas I was in the middle of my 12 week health and fitness challenge so ‘tried’ to be good on the food front. It proved very difficult when Melbourne is all about the wining and dining; what better way to start the weekend than with a Chai latte and Krispy Kreme donut.
We stayed in a cute little apartment right in the city centre and spent the first morning enjoying the incredible facilities it had to offer; gym, lap pool, and sauna. The sun doesn’t rise until 7.30am which saw us sleeping well past our usual rise time. It was nearly midday before we knew it so headed to our first port of call for breakfast; a café called Combi in Elwood. After a quick train ride and 30 minute walk we stumbled across the cutest place I’ve ever seen that prides itself on all organic and local produce. I opted for the antioxidant loaded acai blended with bananas, blueberries, medjool dates, house made nut mylk and topped with crispy coconut flakes, activated caramelised buckinis, banana, apple, strawberries and cranberries. It was decorated with cute flower petals; wasn’t sure if I was meant to eat them, but I did anyway. Sarah had the delicious avocado, lemon, mint and feta smash on fermented seeded toast with pumpkin seeds. Hands down the best meal ever. The cabinet of raw treats was so irresistible we walked out with raw caramel slice and coconut bounty bliss balls for the journey home.
For the rest of the day we wandered the city shops and laneways, jumping on and off the free tram to cover as much distance as we could. I’m pretty sure we walked off our breakfast and soon decided it was time to get ready for dinner. With some advice from local friends we headed to a secret rooftop bar for cocktails and tapas. With hardly any signage we had to walk to the back of a restaurant and up about 8 flights of stairs before we finally made it out to the cute venue with fairy lights, astro turf, and outdoor heaters (Hallelujah). With delicious red wine warming up my insides we ventured to a bar called Section 8 and then on to Cookie Rooftop. A fun night was had but cold got the better of us and cups of tea and our cute apartment called our name #nanas.
Sunday morning and the city was exceptionally quiet. Up with the birds we wandered to Flinders Lane in hope something would be open for breakfast. Well it certainly was; Degraves st was loud and full of hungry early risers. We settled for a café that had a spare seat and I had my long awaited avocado and eggs on toast (no eggs during my challenge had me pretty excited for this meal). Lo and behold, we soon realized we were sitting next to a cupcake shop…..Oreo, honeycomb and chocolate cupcakes appeared in our bags for a treat on the way to St Kilda.
I didn’t have high expectations for a Melbourne beach, but St. Kilda pleasantly surprised me. The tall palms dotted along the foreshore reminded me of something out of California while the Luna Park clown smiled scarily from above. Although the wind was icily cold and so strong it made it hard to walk, we braved it down the pier hoping to see some Fairy Penguins. The next day we made our way to Las Chicas for breakfast and it was Las Delicioso! That arvo we headed to the Brighton Bathing Houses which were the cutest things ever and provided some much needed colour into our retinas. There are 82 of them, all retaining classic Victorian architectural features, with timber framing, weatherboards and corrugated iron roofs. They remain as they did over 100 years ago as licensed bathing boxes but licensees differentiate them with different colours and artistic variations. So cute I could live in one, right on the seaside – albeit it would prove to be very difficult with no electricity or water.
All in all it was such a fun weekend; Melbourne is a city of history, culture, shopping, amazing sunsets, great food and wine with a very relaxed and chilled out vibe to the place.
A lovely long weekend