“To travel is to live.” – Hans Christian Andersen
The best way to experience a new place is to immerse yourself in it…its lifestyle…its speed…to breathe, smell, and taste the city for everything that it is. It is never enough to just see a place and say that you’ve already experienced it. Do what the locals do. Eat where they eat. Move as they do. That is the only way to be changed by it.
One of the things I love the most about Melbourne is their cafe culture. A coffee lover at heart, the possibility of running into a small, charming, and impeccable coffee shop is endless in Melbourne.
My search for the perfect cup of Flat White started at Twenty & Six Espresso. (http://www.twentyandsix.com.au)
(Tote by Joan & Klaire @https://www.facebook.com/joanandklaire)
Their flat white was comforting. It had the right amount of creaminess and the coffee wasn’t overpowered. Their Fried polenta with braised mushrooms, asparagus, ricotta, salsa verde, and slow poached egg was refreshing and hearty.
Next stop – Manchester Press and I must say it didn’t disappoint. This was by far the best coffee I have ever tried. The atmosphere was perfect. It’s an old warehouse converted to a coffee shop. It was my ideal place – a casual, no-frills coffee shop. I loved their artistry and how organic it was.
The best Flat White ever! Perfect ratio of creaminess, bitterness, and sweetness. I took my first sip, closed my eyes and said to myself, “Oh this is a beautiful life!”
For a rather indulgent snack, we tried their Fruit bagel with mixed berries in mascarpone and pistachio.
|Blue Chiffon top: Forever 21| Floral Pencil Skirt: Stradivarius| Tote: Joan & Klaire| Stardust Silver Flat: Suelas|
Sunday mornings will not be complete without a trip to the famous Queen Victoria Market where fresh flowers…
and charming souvenirs are readily available. It was also great for food tripping because of the overwhelming choices of artisanal cheese, sandwiches, pastries, and wine.
When I travel I love to look for one of a kind items and stores and the iconic The Block Arcade was the perfect place to visit.
Its mosaic-tile flooring, carved stones, paintings, and boutique shops took me back to the 19th century.
One of the busiest streets in Melbourne is Swanson St. Aside from holding most of the major landmarks, it showcased how Melbourne expresses freedom and beauty through art. This is also one of the reasons why the city spoke so much to me.
One of the best ways to see the area is to start your route at the Degraves area. Grab lunch or coffee here and make your way to the National Gallery of Victoria. It may be a long walk but it’s well worth it.
As we strolled along, we saw the Australian Centre of Moving Image, a popular venue for local artists to feature their work – from paintings, songs, and even unique food concessionaires.
Even the cement flooring expressed so much creativity.
Right across it is the iconic Flinders Station which is also parallel to…
St. Paul’s Cathedral.
After an afternoon of shopping (or window shopping) and sightseeing, it was great to relax by the Yarra River. Its serene path definitely felt like small piece of heaven in the middle of the city.
And to better appreciate the view, we had a couple of drinks at the famous Riverland Bar & Cafe. It truly was the perfect afternoon!
One golden rule of mine is to watch the sunrise or sunset of every new place I visit and the perfect spot in Melbourne was the The Docklands.
My favorite area in the city is Lygon, otherwise known as Little Italy. Its energy is just so vibrant and stirring that it could very well be my second home. The quaint shops, cafes, and restaurants never failed to awaken my senses. A must try in this area is the D.O.C. Espresso. (http://www.docgroup.net) Their pistachio muffin was perfect with coffee.
Thirty minutes away from the city is St. Kilda. It is the perfect getaway from the hustle & bustle of the city.
It is a very picturesque area and I felt like a child being surrounded by swans, birds, and fairy penguins.
One valuable lesson I learned from my partner is to be more adventurous and eat where your nose takes you. Il Fornaio was definitely a gem we were so happy to find.
Their “From San Sebastian to St. Kilda” dish which has house made corn bread, vine tomatoes, pineapple glazed otway bacon, paprika crunch, and fried scallion was just AMAZING!
Pair it with their local brew and you just got the perfect meal after an hour of strolling around the city!
|Jeans: American Eagle| Nude Ballet Flats: DexFlex Payless| Accessories: personal gifts|
Walking around different parks in Melbourne, I loved how there’s so much space and greenery to indulge oneself in….how anyone can just pick a tree and read a book under the shade…how couples can just lie on the grass and soak the sun and the moment in….how children can just play carefully…
We truly fell in love with Melbourne and we will definitely be back.