So anyways, I’m in Melbourne with Miss 17.
We’ve drifted in and out of half plans for the last couple of days, but ended up over in Balaclava yesterday morning. It’s a suburb that sort of runs into St Kilda from one direction and sort of into Windsor from the other. It’s also where I’d decided that the male protagonist in the manuscript I’m currently drafting (no. 3 in my “series”) lives.
He’s a freelance travel journalist and is away a lot, so his apartment is more of a place to pack suitcases than anything else. I’d decided that he was going to live in Brunswick or Balaclava. No idea why. Either of those suburbs just seemed to fit the picture I’m building of him.
This morning was a bit of a reconnaissance mission. We tested out the public transport from a couple of angles (if you’re interested, trams no 16, 3 and 78 and 79 will get you there- as will the Sandringham line on the trains), we walked a decent length of the high street and wandered up a few side streets as well. It’s one of those suburbs that blends $2 discount stores with hipster coffee emporiums, fish and chips with places worth following on instagram. Melbourne does these blended suburbs really well.
I took lots of photos of shop-fronts, landmarks, houses etc. These will get pinned to the “corkboard” in Scrivener under Places. It’s how I keep a sense of place as I’m writing.
After lunch we headed back up Chapel St with the idea of checking out some formal dresses for Miss 17. She tried on a few- many of which look and feel as if they could have a life of their own beyond the hanger, but as yet, we haven’t landed on one.
I, however, bought a cute pair of super-soft ankle boots. I also found the cutest card in Third Drawer Down (as an aside, I love their tea towels) in Greville St, Prahran…yep, research as well. The card says it all- I just have to decide who to give it to…
Where we breakfasted…
Cumulus Inc at the Spring St end of Flinders Lane. I had spring onion waffles with smoked trout and Miss 17 had granola and yoghurt.
This place gets really busy, yet luckily we were able to snag a spot at the bar and didn’t have to queue.
Where we wandered…
We caught the train down Prahran and walked up Greville St (yes, more research), stopping to take photos of street art,
and pausing at Third Drawer Down (as an aside, I love their tea towels) for the cutest card- I just have to decide who to give it to…
Where we stopped for coffee…
Glass Merchants in Balaclava. I’ve been following them on Instagram, and was keen to check it out in real life.
Yes, the coffee was excellent, but it was the sign over the bar that I loved- Cocktails and Dreams…how to warm the cockles of a Piscean heart.
Where we lunched…
Uncle, again in Balaclava- right on the corner of Carlisle St and Chapel St.
The weather was great, so we sat upstairs and outside on the rooftop terrace.
The food is Vietnamese, the vibe is Melbourne, and the baskets on the roof in the bar are extremely photogenic.
We shared a few tasties: rice paper spring rolls,
wagyu beef in betel leaves, and
very more-ish finger licking chicken wings.
Just to make sure that we had something to really walk off after, we also sampled a mini pho. It was one of the best I’ve had in Melbourne- and I’ve had some great ones down here!
Where we dined…
Mamasita– at the Spring St end of Collins St…next to the Sofitel Hotel. The entrance is small, as is the sign, so take care not to miss it…Oh wait- you can’t…the queue usually gives it away.
We were early- 5.30pm- so only queued for about 20mins- again opting for a seat at the bar rather than waiting longer for a table.
The food is modern Mexican, quick to arrive, and worth the wait on the stairs. If you’re thinking nachos and old el paso, don’t bother queuing. This is Mexican as it should be.
We shared a ceviche and a couple of soft tacos each. The food was good, the photos were crap.
Miss 17 had a mocktail and I had tequila. Anyone who’s read Baby It’s You know that tequila often doesn’t end well…but I’m a responsible Mum and it did.
Where we ice-creamed…
At the Nitro Lab in Bourke St…it’s extreme ice cream.