At time of writing this, LSW and I are enjoying our last day of our holiday in Hong Kong. It feels remarkable that just three days ago, we were in the midst of a very different culture in Melbourne. We had two periods there either side of our Great Ocean Road trip and (although Hong Kong tops it – more about which another time) we loved Melbourne.
There were a number of highlights including the surprise pleasure of the faded holiday resort area of St Kilda on the bay to the south of the city. It was a little like how I remember Clacton-on-Sea but with an uncluttered pier and penguins (well, we saw one anyway).
The relatively residential areas of Collingwood and Fitzroy where we stayed during our second visit were also charming. Their Victorian terraces with their wrought iron trellises and balconies were particularly alluring, especially when modern, designer extensions to their rears were visible.
But my prime memories of Melbourne are of the outstanding Botanical Gardens, the unexpectedly good craft beers (and numerous rooftop bars to drink them in) and, most of all, the wonderful breakfasts. Cafe Rustica produced my favourites in both the ‘best hot’ and ‘prettiest’ breakfast categories.
We spent much of each day planning breakfast and drinking holes and talking in glowing terms about the resulting pleasures in execution. Some of this will be reproducible, at least in part, when we get home, but these three Bs – botanics, beer and breakfasts – will live long in my memories of Melbourne.