Isn’t ‘darling’ such a fabulous word? And hearing it directed at me, in an Australian accent (which I have always loved and personally feel that it is best described as a mouthful of sunshine), just warms my heart and is a perfect antidote to the 5 degree 5 am arrival in Melbourne airport. Smelling coffee as I stepped into the arrival area, I immediately decided that I was going to like this city and 3 days after, it’s safe to say that I do (great food, great coffee, great people – what’s there not to like?) First day was spent in an utter daze as we were functioning on 4 hours of sleep (couldn’t check in until after lunch). Tried the famous Market Lane coffee at Queen Victoria Market. I got a latte which only had one shot and so was a tad too milky for my liking. Chanced upon a cute flower shop among other things. Ventured to St. Kilda’s which was perfect for lazy strolling. Had lunch at a cute cafe called Phamish which serves a fusion of Modern Australian food and Middle Eastern. I was spoilt for choices but decided to go with the Chicken Fatoush Salad with radish, cherry tomato, cucumber, mint, onion, mixed toasted seeds & oven baked Lebanese bread topped with sumac yoghurt. Eating it was a beautiful experience – so light yet so filling. The weather was lovely and sunny so I was incredibly snap happy. I had a camera rotation going – DSLR to SLR to polaroid camera to phone (good thing I had my dad as the official unused camera holder). Walked from Luna park, along the Marina boardwalk – saw some joggers, dog walkers and lots of skaters – all the way until Ormond Point. Had a lovely view of the Melbourne cityscape and it was definitely worth the walk. Dinner was seafood at a restaurant called Sharkfin in Chinatown. My favourite dish was the lobster – it tasted really fresh and the meat was sweet and not too chewy. I also really liked the beef slices (though I usually don’t like red meat) except for the fact that it was smothered in sweet sauce. Didn’t take that many pictures because Asian food in general is just not that photogenic (how sad but at least it tastes good) and anyways, my hands were too busy trying to get lobster meat out of the shell (gotta work for yo food). Second day’s weather was even more beautiful than the first. Sleepy start to the day at 10 am. Headed to Queen Victoria Market to pick up fresh fruit for breakfast but ended up having to take a punnet of strawberries with me and eat on the go as I was late to meet a friend (when am I ever on time). Caught up over coffee and brunch at Seven Seeds which was really nice. I had a house-smoked salmon served on crumpets with cream spinach puree, hollandaise and poached eggs. After breakfast, we went up onto the roof of his accommodation where we had a wonderful view. I love how peaceful Melbourne is, especially from above. Stopped off at Collingwood for some street art loving. The afternoon sun was perfect lighting for the beautiful array of colours on the brick wall canvas.
Sunday brunch dragged on for a little too long and cut our Great Ocean Road trip short. The food and atmosphere was amazing though – easily my favourite cafe. Al fresco dining in the Sunday sun. I felt like we were in somebody’s backyard – love the homey feel. Kinda bummed we didn’t get to see the 12 Apostles but the coastal view was stunning all the way.