It took me a long time to love Melbourne. Decades in fact. It's not that I didn't enjoy visiting Melbourne, it's just that I didn't understand it. As a proud Sydney-sider, Melbourne, seemed cold, the people seriously well-dressed and the Yarra made a poor replacement for Sydney's vast emerald harbour. I didn't know how to order a beer, they had funny rules for playing pool and you had to get in the left lane to turn right. Scary stuff.
But since moving to Tasmania, Melbourne is so close, that I get to visit often. And I've changed. I don't care for beer or play pool anymore, I catch trams to avoid hook turns, and actually admire seriously well dressed people. I'm getting to know Melbourne better, and well, we are getting on famously now. In fact, you could say, I love Melbourne.
Last weekend I went for a quick one night visit to run a workshop with The School. Which was an amazing experience. Although I only stayed overnight, I packed in as many meals, shops and friend catch ups as I could during my brief stay. Here's a little run down....
Stayed :: The White Room. I have loved Lyn Gardener's work for so long, in fact I first read a magazine article about her house, probably back in 1998. I fell in love with the look of her white painted warehouse filled with vintage industrial pieces, long before anyone else was doing it. I remember looking around my sunny Sydney harbourside rental with its crazy red velvet sofa, fluorescent pink 50's dining chairs and turquoise carpets, with a feeling of disdain. Nothing could have been further from Lyn's gorgeous space. Seventeen odd years later it was a real treat to finally step inside one of her beautifully styled spaces, The White Room. And it was as beautiful, clever and warm and homey as I ever imagined.
Caked :: After taking loads of photos as seen here, I jumped on the tram to Gertrude Street to Cottage Industry to visit Pen Pen in her beautiful shop. I bought enamelware and a black linen smock that I should like to wear everyday. Pen, a woman after my own heart, kindly insisted on driving across town to Beatrix for cake. Not just any cake mind you. This was amazing CAKE. But first we ordered lunch, a chicken sandwich that smelled amazing when the waiter delivered it. How can a chicken sandwich smell amazing? I know, right?! But this one smelled super lemony and creamy and delicious, and tasted as good as it looked. Then there was angel cake, wagon wheels and a cheesecake all washed down with a big pot of tea. It was TOTAL cake heaven. We also dropped in to Baker Di Chirco to pick up a baguette or two.
Dined :: After a late lunch it was back to the White Room to work on my preso and just be in the beautiful space really. Then I strolled down the street to meet Gourmet Girlfriend for dinner at The Commoner to eat their dee-licoius "feed me" menu. Highlights included fried pigs ears, mushroom croquettes and a refreshing Tom Collins. It was a night filled with laughter and good things to eat. My favourite things.
Shopped and Propped :: Very early the next morning, I headed to Prahran Market, to get supplies for the class. My giddy aunt, that market is amazing, incredible cheeses, middle Eastern delis filled with spices and pomegranate halva, and stalls selling dozens of types of lovely brassicas. I would have moved across the road right there and then. Those two love birds Kate and Ro gave me a hand and with baskets groaning, we headed down a nearby street to set up for my workshop at the DREAMY Establishment Studios. I would love to move in the there too. A tiny little swag in the corner would do. We propped and photographed loads of lovely things including this mascarpone filled Victoria Sponge.
Chipped :: After the workshop, Kate and Ro dropped me off to visit my pal Pip at Meet Me at Mikes. We had a date to eat some chips at Belles Hot Chicken. Those chips are crinkle cut and the best. Crunchy, salty and potato-y. After filling up with chips and talking about blogging and children growing up and stuff we headed across the road to Archie's All Day for a refreshing pot of tea.
Then my kind friends took me to the airport in their car that drives itself practically!
Short, sweet and perfect. Thanks Melbourne. You're the best.