Wednesday, January 20, 2010

dont spit :) on the Sommelier's Walk - Melbourne City

Tonight was just one of those lovely Melbourne nights... the sun was out, people are about for the Australian Tennis Open, and I had a small possy of folks join our Sommelier's City walk..
2 from Woolongong, 1 from Dubbo, and 2 guys of East Melbourne... ( they bought voucher at a Charity Aucton for The Warwick Foundation in Oct 2009
First stop was La Vita Buona - a little wine store
right in the city square - and Jeanette served a few little delicacies.. includng the not so buttery ( thankfully) Chestnut Hill Chardonay.. and the Greenstone Heathcote Rose..

The Pop corn school prawns were fabulous with the Rose' and the pear and goats fetta salad worked well too.

Next stop was the always fabulous Verge, where Simon was on board for the night, after having a busy festive / opening season down at his new place Izakaya Den .. but at Verge, Chef Dallas Cuddy surely must entertain himself.. with mouth watering Veal tartare with Olive crumbs, or pickled vegetables in yuzu.. oh and the white almond Gazpacho was something to behold!! We loved all!

OH.. and wines were a sparking trio.. Prosecco italian style first up!, followed by Gembrook Hill Blanc De Blanc, then Gossett champagne.. hmmmm!

Last stop for the night... Seamstress - after walking Crossley Street, Ridgeway Place, and a few more side streets..
Here we had the dollar scallops stuffed with water chestnuts,, the Zuchini flowers, and Pigs ears.. despite what you think... wow.. all amazing.
To accompany we had a Wild Duck Creek estate Heathcote Shiraz, a Crittendens Los Hamernos - Savignin and a lovely Fratelli Sauv Blanc..
( sorry pic was not todays lot.. but is at Seamstress! - scallops are at front!)

Thanks Narelle, Peg, Greg, and local lads James and John for a great evening.. and I am sure to see you again out and about..

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A little Vintage Outing...

We had a group of Melbourne girls head out on the Vintage Outing today.... Danielle was well prepared for the likely hot day - that didn't really evenutuate! check out Florence the car!
Join us on one of these cute little Shopping Tours.... one of our tours.. but around the city..  book here...

Melbourne Burning... no... its a visual of our weather..

It is amazing how much we discuss our weather in Melbourne... and not just because we have nothing else to say...
      Here.. is a clever time waster.. thanks to Lime Drop clothings FB for the alert.. Love the visuals..  Graphs of humidity, temp, and forcasts.. just 72 hours... so concise and easy.. :)

Scrummy Coffee @ Dr Jekyll and courtyard too

We spend so much of our time in the city, that sometimes I forget to check out my own backyard.. just before Christmas I found a fabulous little haunt.. and I dropped in to grab a takeaway coffee as I was running late for a big Saturday of tours...

Yes we have lots of great coffee places in and around this city... but when you get such a welcome as I did on this particular day.. how can you not go back...!
I walked in, no doubt looking a little tired - mornings are not my thing really, and was greeted with an enthusiastic Hi! - subsequently introduced by Roy, and Matt.. - and a little more banter.. that made me laugh out loud... I wonder how often that spontaneous laugh really does remind you of whats simple and precious!... coffee made, and a giggle about what bread should be served or some amazing muesli... and I was off to work with a smile and a need to tell more people of this lovely cafe!

Its called Dr Jekyll... and its on 107 Grey Street - just near the Hotel Barkly.. not much from the front.. not even a sign on the wall.... but the welcome aura is all you need.. follow your nose.

Back to my first days... I went back the next day and just had to tell them the impact they made on my day... and ended up in the lovely courtyard out the back.. with Scrambled eggs Viennoise.. no wonder the gym is calling!.. and since I have visited a few more times.. including today!
Fruit salad with amazing yoghurt (with real Vanilla seed, nectarines, plump blackberries, half a passionfruit.. and more...) and coffee -organic I am pretty sure.. (see scancal -labels are not the issue for me.. the quality and treatment of the bean is the high note! )Tom in the kitchen works wonders in a small space - right in front of you!
Well done Boys.. I have already told too many people.. the quiet little corner will soon not be... but am sure I am not the only one to spread the word! LOVE it..

Friday, January 15, 2010

Geoffrey Rush in MTC theatre - grab tickets fast

New Tickets for The MTC's Drowsy Chaperone will go on Sale tomorrow - after a great start to the season has instigated an extension - they go on Sale at 9am Sat 16th.

It will be the Australian Premier.. and starts on Monday.. there are still a few tickets forpreview shows.. and I would be jealous to say the least.. might just try for Monday night...
Check the MTC ( Melbourne Theatre Company) Website for more shows.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wireless - free or otherwise - this is not New York!

Its Wednesday morning and a lovely friend of Fiona's, Romy - amazing local paste up adventurer.. called for a catch up, and her limitations were that she needs to access the internet...  I wont get into the broadband debate.. but suffice to say there really is a lot to be learned from the practice of FREE wireless that abounds in NEW YORK.... to be able to leave the office for even just an hour and sit in a park, and do some catch up on the all important Vitamin D.. as well as little social networking, or general emails...
    WHY doesn't Melbourne have more of it!  So today is my starting effort to share those little gems of Wireless Hotspots.. where business owners are keen to keep your loyalty by sharing the love and their Wireless access.

As with all things of Hidden Secrets Tours... we are not out to exploit such generosity.. I will scout out those that actually tell you of their services!..
  1. first of the rank FED SQUARE... the WHOLE place is free!!! - Swanston Street, Melbourne
  2. The New Middle Park Hotel  - Canterbury Road, Middle Park
  3. Presse Cafe Wine Bar - Brighton Road, Elwood
Please stay intouch and tell us any that you know of! - PS.. this is one of Romy's Paste ups... at Wall280 cafe Balaclava...
x Fiona

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Artisan in Middle Park.....

Just been to visit my lovely friend Shelley - when looking for local designers.. yes the city of Melbourne is a great places to start.. but just a short tram ride or two, and you can find such gorgeous things as Shelley Pantons local store - and old shop front in a back street of Middle Park - 88 Park Road - head and say hi!

oh and they are on SALE.... :)
get there - catch the 112 tram (Fraser Street stop), or the 96 tram ( Fraser st stop)

love your work Shell!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Its HOT!

Yes , we know its a little warm out there! but remember the little things.. perhaps an iced coffee at Koko Black may help... or a drink at the Martini Bar at the Westin hotel - its going to be the way of it for the next few months... but of course we will soldier on... the laneways are cooler than the mains streets - so join us!

OH, and perhaps play at some of the markets.... got a few to share... next blog!
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There's nothing like Australia!