Another beautiful day and we started off by taking our totally adorable granddaughter, Little E, for a walk, to give her mum a break! While we were out she lay in her pram, bright eyed and interested in everything for quite a long time before succumbing to a 30 minute power nap. Just re-charging her batteries you understand!
Later in the day Mr Gaucho and I headed off to the centre of the city to have a walk along the Yarra River. We got the train to Flinders Street Station which still has many of its original features - rather nice in this day and age of neon and plastic signage.
We started our walk along the north side of the river which gave a good view of Southbank with all its high rise office buildings. Mr Gaucho is an architect so he found plenty to photograph as we looked across the river. We walked passed some interesting bits and pieces and I rather liked a small collection of totem poles decorated with Aboriginal art. They were a bit scruffy but I found them all the more appealing for that. I couldn't work out if they were there to tell a story, commemorate anything in particular and I can't find anything in the guide book or pamphlets, but here are a few of the photos I took. They are enjoyable just for whatever they are!
We walked along as far as Seafarer Bridge which took us over the river to the Polly Woodside, a small barque-rigged sailing ship which was built in 1885 and has been described as 'the prettiest vessel ever launched in Belfast'. Her working life was spent plying between Europe and South America, carrying coal and nitrate. She now sits with a backdrop of high rise office buildings. It's not the prettiest of settings for a trim little vessel but I think she probably still looks as good as she did back in the year of her launch 127 years ago.
We walked back along Southbank. It was the end of the working day by then and the wide promenade with all its bars and restaurants was busy with office workers making their way home, some via a beer or two! There were also cyclists skilfully weaving their way between pedestrians, whizzing along at the most alarming rate. I was quite surprised they were allowed to do that and didn't have a designated lane of their own. One young chap obviously had a circuit going - he shot past us four times!
Thursday, 10 May 2012
The drinking of coffee is BIG in Melbourne. The city and its suburbs are just heaving with cafes and bars where producing a cup of coffee has become an art form - quite literally! The coffee you order is served warm, the milk is heated to exactly 65 degrees because any hotter will make the coffee bitter. At such a tepid temperature your drink doesn't last long, it's so easy to knock back but at least you don't burn your tongue! Some of the best of these cafes open in the most unlikely places! The one above is the Coin Laundry, keeping the name of its original business - a laundry! They have done little to alter the interior, it's all a bit scruffy but as with the most successful of Melbourne's cafes it is open for breakfast and busy all day long until about 5.30 pm when it shuts up shop. It would take me a month of Sundays to tell you about all the amazing food served for breakfast and lunch in these cafes. It's wonderfully yummy and imaginative stuff.
We all drove across to South Melbourne for lunch. It's a nice part of the city and reminded us a bit of the Ladbroke Grove/Westbourne Park area of London where Mr Gaucho and I lived many moons ago. Coventry Street has some nice shops, a wonderful bookshop and another beautiful but expensive stationery shop. There is also an amazing place called The Chef's Hat, which has every conceivable piece of equipment a chef or cook could possibly need. We love food and cooking so spent a good amount of time in there!
We had lunch in Chez Dre which is in an old warehouse. It's famous for its patisserie, which did look rather good if a little plastic, but it's all made on the premises.
I haven't quite got the hang of the blogger's tradition of recording a plate of food but here's my first offering! It was delicious too - a tiny cheese and sweetcorn soufflé served with smoked salmon and an avocado salsa and a sweetish crispy toast.
Friday, 11 May 2012
The South Melbourne Market wasn't open when we visited yesterday so we hopped on a train and a tram and made our way back there today. The market was in full swing. It didn't disappoint, in fact I think out of the three markets we have visited this one was my favourite. Lots of lovely food, of course, but also some other stalls which I rather liked - particularly the bookshop. Here's a selection of what we saw in the market.
Note the two Elizabeth David books, old paperback editions, both of which I have at home in dilapidated condition. I had to really resist hard not to buy them! There was also Claudia Roden's 'Book of Middle Eastern Food' - I've got that too. I didn't buy anything but my fingers did linger a bit!
Our next port of call was the Immigration Museum, a comprehensive and poignant collection of stories, images and paraphernalia charting the history of immigration into Australia.
Migrants to Australia come for all sorts of reasons and the museum explores the stories of real people from all over the world, with particular emphasis on those who have settled in the state of Victoria.
Outside there is the the Tribute Garden which is a public artwork that pays tribute to 7000 people who have made the journey to Victoria alone. It features the names of immigrants who came from over 90 countries, from the 1800s to the present day.
So that was the week that was! Time to put our feet up over the weekend methinks!