Fashion, fun and food

IMG_1193.JPGThe marvellous city of Melbourne is known for three main things – fashion, fun and food. And it was those three things that I wanted to experience the most on our little weekend away.

FASHION

A holiday to Melbourne provides the perfect excuse to search through your wardrobe for all those fun, frivolous and fancy pieces you just don’t wear enough. I packed my voluptuous Forever New skirt, leopard print Shoes of Prey heels and a bold red Leona Edmiston wrap dress for the long weekend away.

While I opted for comfort for the hours of walking and exploring we did, I made the most of dinner dates to go all out.

Melbourne is also the perfect place to add to your wardrobe with everything from bustling boutiques to major international brands at your fingertips. On my list of places to visit were H&M and the new Kate Spade store. A gorgeous black leather Kate Spade purse did make its way into my life (and luggage).

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FUN

One of the main reasons for our trip besides celebrating our anniversary wasto see family and to meet our brand new nephew. At first sight I knew he was too damn cute for his own good and after one cuddle he had me wrapped around his teeny tiny finger.

We always have the best time with our families and this was no exception. We made the most of the hot summer weather with iced coffees, long walks and barbecues.

Walking was a big part of the trip and together my husband and I spent hours exploring the city centre and just people watching. One of those walks lead us to the Doughboys Doughnut pop up. It is my firm belief that a coffee and doughnut is a perfectly acceptable substation for breakfast when it all tastes that damn good!

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FOOD

Speaking of tasty things, on our very first night in the city we visited the Night Noodle Markets which I had heard so much about in other cities but had never experienced for myself. Turns out there were a lot of hungry people who had the same idea. But despite the crowds it was a fantastic event and we loved every dish we tried (especially the Peking duck pancakes and the chilli dumplings) and the huge goblets of gin and tonics!

Friday night was spent on a bar stool at Movida Next Door stuffing our faces with tapas and copious amounts of sangria. I had been to Movida Next Door once before with family and loved it and this time around was just as fun. The bocadillo de chorizo was an absolute highlight, but the atmosphere was so nice I would have been quite satisfied to be amongst it all with just our big bowl of olives.

We also had a scrummy breakfast at Cumulus Inc in Flinders Lane. Husband got the grilled sausage, smoked hock, braised beans and 65/65 egg, while I loved my shakshouka – baked eggs with roasted peppers and shanklish. We did indulge in a little breakfast dessert: delectable Madeleines filled with lemon curd.

The absolute highlight of our Melbourne dining experiences though has to be Top Paddock in Richmond. This cafe first came onto my radar when I spotted a photo by Le Bon Vivant of the most beautiful dish I had ever seen. The blueberry and ricotta hotcake with berries, organic maple, seeds and double cream was every inch as beautiful as the pictures and tasted divine. But the serve was huge and I was devastated to have to leave some of it behind despite my best efforts (my patient husband may have had to take the knife and fork out of my hand at the end). He had the potato and leek omelette with jamon Serrano – we both had two coffees – and couldn’t stop raving about it, which, trust me, is a very big deal. After years in the hospitality industry and no tolerance for ‘hipster nonsense’ he is all about substance over style, although Top Paddock beautifully combines both.

After our amazing brunch we decided to walk back to the city centre along the river. The sun was out in force, rowers were training back and forth and we had a gorgeous view of the city as we walked. Our mini-holiday was full of moments like this that made for a pretty memorable trip to Melbourne.

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