Food – The Spotted Owl

93 O’Shanassy Street
Sunbury Vic 3429

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It’s official, there is finally somewhere to enjoy a great brunch in the outer north western suburbs. This area has long been a foodie wasteland, with dinners desperate to see some of the great food found inner city make its way out to them, after all, it becomes tiresome having to drive 25kms every weekend just to enjoy a great brunch. The team behind the Spotted Owl have capitalised on this gap in the market and brought inner city hip  out to the burbs. Brewing 5 Senses Coffee, Mork hot chocolate (special mention to the brewed bounty hot chocolate – awesome!) and offering a solid menu matching some of the best around town. Continue reading

Food – Mammoth

736 Malvern Road
Armadale Vic 3143

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Mammoth, Mammoth, Mammoth! I feel like that’s all everyone is talking about at the moment. And no, I’m not referring to the huge prehistoric animal, I’m talking about the new café in Armadale that is Mammoth in name and in popularity. Each weekend, eager foodies have been descending on this corner café to see what all the fuss is about and let me tell you, none of them are leaving disappointed.

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In stark contrast to the animal from which it derives its name, this refined space is white and airy, fit out with light timber tables, subtle artwork furnishing the walls and just the right amount of greenery. It’s quite a fresh and on trend space which is perfectly suited to upmarket Armadale. Continue reading

Food – Naughty Boy

499-501 Lygon Street
Princes Hill Vic 3054

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This popular Carlton café is naughty by name and definitely naughty by nature as it shares some of the characteristics you’d find in a cheeky child, it’s lively, somewhat jovial and oozes of fun. The atmosphere is a direct reflection of the amazing staff who were energetic, incredibly welcoming and friendly to this very tired mum and her little son.

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Located in a quieter part of Lygon Street (so it’s really easy to find parking which is always great), Naughty Boy has quickly grown in popularity because of this Freak Shake fad that has taken over Melbourne. Offering three sugar loaded shakes – chocolate and Nutella fudge, salted caramel, and pavlova – I don’t think there was a table in the place that was without one of them. Having tried similar shakes at other cafes,  I was a little bit hesitant to order them as past experiences weren’t the best, however my concerns weren’t warranted. Living up to my expectations, they were insanely sweet, rich and had a massive amount of flavour. Continue reading

Food – Mornington Peninsula Food Trail

Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm
244 Shands Road
Main Ridge Vic 3928

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This place has long been a drawcard for people visiting the area, for its great café, shop and of course public strawberry picking.

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As you’d expect , the shop stocks all manner of strawberry paraphernalia, everything from freeze dried strawberries to strawberry wine to strawberry toys, and the café offers an extensive strawberry inspired menu. Continue reading

Food – Portsea Hotel

3746 Point Nepean Road
Portsea Vic 3944

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This historic pub set on the beautiful Portsea foreshore has long been a drawcard for locals and tourists. With a huge interior dinning room, heaps of outdoor seating and a number of different bar counters inside, it has clearly been designed to cater for the masses. Like many pubs in holiday destinations, its family friendly and offers standard pub fare like fish and chips, burgers and steaks all at marked up prices.

We visited over the Grand Final long weekend and the place was absolutely buzzing. By 6.30pm the dinning room was packed full of holiday goers who had all arrived for the first sitting, which meant that I spent 20mins queued with them to order food (typical bistro set up, where you take a seat, order food at the counter and they bring it out to you when ready), but on the upside the kitchen worked at a decent pace and we received our meals within 25 minutes of ordering. Continue reading

Food – Le Bon Ton

51 Gipps Street
Collingwood Vic

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Set in one of those old corner pubs that litter inner city Melbourne, the interior is packed full of character, with intricate timber detail on the ceiling over the bar, lots of exposed brick, original fireplaces and high ceilings. It has an incredibly warm and welcoming feel to it and I could just imagine this being a great local watering hole in its day. Based on that familiar pub feel, you’d expect an establishment like this to be serving up classics like pot pies and chicken parmas, but that couldn’t be further from what Le Bon Ton offer. Widely recognised as one of the best American BBQ restaurants in town, they treat visitors to a traditional southern American dining experience in this unlikely surrounding. Continue reading

Food – Hopetoun Tearooms

282 Collins Street
Melbourne Vic 3001

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Food is such an integral part of the culture in Melbourne and as such there are some foodie experiences that are engrained in our cultural identity. High tea at the iconic Hopetoun Tea Rooms is very much one of these experiences. Located within the historic Block Arcade, Hopetoun have been serving up great quality food in this traditional setting for over 124 years and it’s still as popular now as it was way back when it first opened. Continue reading