It’s that time of the year again where Melbourne celebrates everything food and drink. Like earlier years the events list is huge! It can actually be quite overwhelming sifting through the list, so I thought I’d highlight the ones that caught my eye.
Port Phillip Mussel Festival
Our opportunity to celebrate the mussel with heaps of food (mussels of course) and entertainment.
I love lunching in North Melbourne, it’s quick and easy to get to, there is always parking and it’s not as packed as it can be in the likes of Fitzroy or Richmond. To date, I’m yet to have a bad experience there, so this week we ventured in to finally cross Fandango off my list of brunch/lunch spots to visit.
Stepping into Fandango is like taking a step back in time, it actually reminds me of going to my Grandparents house. It’s fitted out with mismatched retro furniture and indoor pot plants that give it that welcoming old time feel. Add to that the incredibly friendly staff and you feel right at home.
In my quest to fill my post baby wardrobe I’ve searched high and low for great winter items, but I’m continually drawn towards the amazing dresses that have just been released. So it looks like I’ll be freezing my arse off in the name of fashion (well, I did find a great jacket and blazer, they’ll keep me warm). Here are some of the great pieces I’ve come across.
103-107 Errol Street
North Melbourne Vic 3051
This week we visited the ever reliable and downright brilliant Auction Rooms. As the name states, it’s situated in what was once an action house, but has now been converted into a very industrial style café (right down to the light fittings made from conduit) and small batch roastery. In terms of the Melbourne brunch scene, the Auction Rooms is one of the elder statesmen, but let me assure you just because it’s been around for a while doesn’t mean it’s lost its touch, it’s still right at the top of its game.
Lately I feel like all I’m reading about is how difficult it is for women out in the big wide world we live in. How women are criticised and judged much more harshly than men for their looks, how superficially women are depicted in the media, how they are not treated as equals in the work place, how they are either portrayed as helpless or very masculine, how a woman standing her ground is labelled a bitch as opposed to being assertive ect ect, I could go on all day.
I’m so sick of reading about all of this, not because it’s not true, it’s all absolutely true, but because we’ve been talking about the same shit forever and what has really changed? I’ll tell you what, a whole lot of nothing! We just seem to talk about it a lot.
Here’s an idea of how we can actually start changing things – women have to look after and be so much nicer to one another. The problem is that women are the harshest critics of other women. Women are the first ones to put down other women, to criticise instead of celebrate a successful woman, to pick on another womans wardrobe or life choices, to over analyse and put pressure on other women. Women for example are the main people that buy trash magazine and support an industry that makes its money off criticising and shaming female celebrities – it’s all about who got fat, who has cellulite, who wore something hideous, she could be an incredibly intelligent woman but nothing is ever mentioned about that. By buying/ reading that crap we keep the cycle going.
If women helped to empower other women things would start changing. If we celebrated a successful and talented woman as opposed to focusing on her age, wrinkles or cellulite things would change. If we supported a strong assertive women in a senior corporate role as opposed to calling her a nasty bitch, things would change. If we helped out that working mum who is struggling to manage work and kids as opposed to labelling her a slacker and throwing her under the bus first chance we get, things would change.
So as opposed to constantly writing and reading about how hard we have it as women, let’s start by being a bit kinder to each other and maybe just maybe, the cultural shift we so desperately need, might start to happen.
276 Brunswick Street
Fitzroy Vic 3065
Brought to us by the people behind Proud Mary’s (read more about Proud Mary’s here), Stagger Lee’s is an absolute gem in the middle of crazy Brunswick Street. Situated on a street corner, if you weren’t specifically looking out for it, you’d just about miss the tiny sign on the door, but you can’t miss the other signs of a great café – the smell of coffee and the buzzing patrons, both inside and out. I’ve visited a couple of times and each new visit has been better than the last which keeps me coming back for more.
Once a week, my sister and I meet up for lunch at one of Melbourne’s great lunch spot and this week we stopped in at Stagger Lee’s. On this visit we ordered the French toast (Pretzel, Honeycomb & Salted Choc French Toast with classic vanilla ice cream) and the Mexican (Soft shell corn tortillas, charred corn, lime and tomatillo salsa, avocado, fried eggs, creme fraiche and herbs).
So I’m going back to work this month and that’s about where my good mood turns south.
No, I shouldn’t say that, in many ways I’m looking forward to going back to work, it’ll be nice to resume my career which I worked so bloody hard for and put on hold to have a baby (no regrets of course, best thing I’ve ever done). It’ll also be really nice to make some of my own coin again. I, like so many others had to self fund my maternity leave, I got the government money which is better than nothing, but I didn’t get a penny from my work, not even a congratulations your having a baby, here is a bonus for all of your hard work and enjoy your year away – zip, nada, nothing!
Fortunately the husband and I had planned ahead and saved enough money so that I could take a year off and financially we’d be ok. Even though we did that I still felt a little guilty going out and spending up a storm as he went to work everyday. Having said that he never complained or made me feel guilty, he was all for me enjoying this time with our son and really making the most of my time away from work.
Since the Melbourne Barbeque Festival on Sunday I’ve been questioning whether or not I should write this post. For the most part, I don’t really like being overly negative about things on here. There have been restaurants/cafes/events that I’ve visited and haven’t liked at all, but unless I can find a small positive to come out of that experience and deliver a somewhat balanced post, I choose not to write about it. In this case I must admit I struggled to find a positive, and I’ve been a bit of a coward, waiting to see what others had to say about the event before I had my say, and to my surprise (or maybe I shouldn’t be surprised), the posts about this event have been few and far between, so I’m going to be a big girl and give you my thoughts.
For those of you that aren’t familiar with it, last Sunday ( 1 February 2015) was the inaugural Melbourne Barbeque Festival held at Queen Victoria Market. The idea of a southern American style barbeque festival right in the heart of Melbourne was naturally enough to send most of the foodies in this town into a spin. I mean who doesn’t love slow cooked ribs and beautifully tender brisket (unless you’re a vegetarian, sorry guys!)? The event was due to kick off at 10am, conclude at 10pm and included a BBQ cook off competition over lunch.
The Stables of Como
Cnr Williams Road and Lechlade Avenue
South Yarra 3141 Vic
Set in what I feel is one of the most beautiful inner city locations, the Stables of Como provides you with that really warm and welcoming feeling you usually get from being out in the country. It’s beautifully rustic and provides an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
We visited for lunch on a beautiful Melbourne day and sat at a table inside the restaurant. The staff were lovely and acted very promptly on all of our requests, however it has to be said, this isn’t the place to go to if you’re after a quick lunch as it took some time for our orders to be prepared (not that we were worried, it’s not like we had anywhere to be afterwards and I was pretty content to just spend some time soaking up the atmosphere).