Friday, June 19, 2015

Girl's weekend away in Melbourne - just what the doctor ordered!

One Friday afternoon, not that long ago, I found myself rendezvousing with a couple of my BFFs by the luggage carosel at Melbourne airport.  With a shimmy here, and a shake there, we had managed to organise ourselves into a weekend away - just the girls, no kids, no hubs, no Saturday sport - wow, um, so, yes, just a little bit awesome really.

We booked a room at The Olsen - part of the Art Series Hotels in Melbourne, and situated on Chapel Street, South Yarra. The hotel was great - no other word for it. Very reasonably priced and the three of us shared a small suite with ease - there were 3 beds and 2 bathrooms - very handy!

Being so close, we booked an early Friday night dinner at one of my all time favourites Cafe e Cucina. A brisk, Melbourne Autumn evening greeted us, and after a couple of quick sun downers at the Hotel, we braved the chilly winds for a quick walk to the restaurant.

It did not disappoint - a glass of wine and the perfect crumbled veal cutlet - heaven!

We had a recommendation to visit The Kettle Black Cafe for breakfast, so this was where we headed on Saturday morning. With it's so on-trend-it's-almost-beyond fit-out (I am no-where near ever renovating anything....but if I, these marble hexagonal tiles just might make the list!), faultless coffee and delicious breakfast offerings it got the day off to a great start.

We then spent Saturday noodling about, heading from shopping strip, to shopping strip - picking up a coffee here and there and a late lunch snack in Greville Street.

After heading back to the hotel late in the afternoon for a quick "feet-up", we booked an Uber (my first one! booked by one of the besties, it worked like a dream) and headed into town. Another recommendation sent us in the direction of Ginger Boy - a mod aus/asia "hawker style" menu, it has a great buzz and is located in a very "melbourne" lane way. Ginger Boy was totally rammed, but we managed to talk our way onto a "sofa seat" in the upstairs.....but not for another two hours.

The night was clear and crisp, so we decided to go for a wander until we got the call from Ginger Boy. Just around the corner, we stumbled upon Ombra, and wow....dead set, hands down it took the award of Find of the Trip!

Aperol Spritzers and Cocktails, the most (m.o.s.t) amazing pate and cheese, olives, salami and bread, and all backed by an awesome sound track.

This (new to us) bar had our hearts and had them hard!

The following morning, we hopped up, packed our bags and checked out of the hotel, stopping for a quick (and yummy!) in the hotel's restaurant. Sunday saw us going our separate ways for a few hours, with one girl attending a workshop, another hitting the shops in town and I took the opportunity to have some time with my Aunt who lives in Melbourne.

One of my Aunts favourite cafes is Hawthorn Common - another fabulous "very Melbourne" eatery, with great organic produce, clean & stylish fit out and the friendliest staff you ever did meet. Being late morning - I couldn't help it, I just had to give the Banana Donut with salted caramel and popcorn crunch top a could I not!

By late afternoon, the three of us came back together and finished our Melbourne sojourn with a wander through the laneways, a plate of pasta and a glass of red - such a perfect way to round out a great weekend - already planning the next one! xE

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