Lorne is a picture-perfect coastal town along the famous Great Ocean Road, just two hours from Melbourne. Serving as the halfway mark of our scenic drive to Port Campbell, my husband and I enjoyed a stopover at Lorne’s Bottle of Milk – a beach cafe icon, famous for phenomenal burgers and blissfully tasty chips.
A perfect day for the perfect chips
By doing the simple things exceptioinally well, the Bottle of Milk is on to a winner. Though they may only do burgers, chips and coffee, they’ve got all three down pat. Their burger menu is extensive – beef, chicken, pork, vegetarian and mini versions to keep the kiddies happy. Their chips come with an array of yummy home-made sauces. And last but not least, their coffee by Seven Seeds is exceptionally good, goes down strong and smooth and is a great complement to their milk bar style fare.
Just an hour’s drive from Melbourne, Geelong was the first stop on our adventure to the Twelve Apostles. At the time, the only thing I knew about Geelong was that it had an AFL team. However, as we pulled into Pakington Street for some groceries and a quick bite to eat, we were about to discover a whole lot more than we anticipated about this thriving port city.
Welcome to Geelong!
We cruised into the mainstreet in our rental car on a sunny Saturday morning, to find it bustling with people doing their shopping, catching up over lazy brunch, or simply just kicking back and taking it easy. As busy at it was, we found the pace to be nowhere near as frantic as the Sydney suburban hubs we’re used to. In fact, everywhere we ventured, we noticed a distinctively relaxed vibe about the whole place. So much so that we suspected all these people were really tourists on holiday, just like we were. But on closer inspection we found the vast majority to be local Geelongites just going about their weekend, as per usual, with a laid-back and carefree attitude that was positively refreshing. I could really get use to this!
My favourite cafe at the moment is in Parramatta. It’s nowhere near my work, it’s a forty minute drive from home, yet I’m hooked on Circa Espresso. Why? Reminiscent of the hip café vibe in Melbourne, this cool place has set the standard for cafe culture in western Sydney.
Circa Espresso, Parramatta
Eat: Silk’s Brasserie, Leura
We recently went on a short getaway to the Blue Mountains as part of our 6 month wedding monthaversary. We had only two things on our agenda – to relax, and to eat (of course, duh). Sadly, our first two choices for dinner were closed Sundays (we’re not in Newtown anymore Toto). So after a quick and desperate scan of Urbanspoon, we made a snap decision and booked a table at Silk’s Brasserie, Leura.
Driving in to Leura on a Sunday night, the streets were so quiet that it felt like we were the only ones still awake. However, as we drove down the deserted main street, from a distance we spotted the front window of Silk’s glowing like a beacon. The lack of humans meant we quickly found parking, and we quickly skipped towards the welcoming warmth of the restaurant. We were greeted with a smile and ushered into a charming room that belonged to a by-gone era, complete with black-and-white checkerboard flooring and an old-time bar.
The menu was French inspired, with Asian influences – we couldn’t wait to get started.
Six-month Wedding Monthaversary Getaway
happy monthaversary... eating time!
My husband and I have a tradition of celebrating monthaversaries that began when we started dating all those years ago. I was in the middle of first-year uni final exams when he first asked me out. Being the conscientious student that I was, I made him wait until all my exams were over before we went out on a proper date. It turned out that our first date also coincided with our first monthaversary. And so it began… after patiently waiting for me, Patrick took me out on our very first date. So thereafter, once a month for the next nine years, we’d take turns planning monthaversary date nights. It never had to be fancy – the most important thing was that together we’d take time to stop, relax, and simply enjoy each other’s company.
After nine years of dating we got married last year, and our monthaversary celebrations have joyfully continued. So for our 6-month wedding monthaversary, my lovely husband went all out and planned a trip for us to the Blue Mountains (in return, I made him Red Velvet – a fair exchange, would you agree?!)
About a month ago I sat my final exam for the CA (if you don’t know what that means, consider yourself lucky) - a post-grad accounting course that’s taken me a grueling 6 years to complete. However, I’ve learnt loads and it’s essential for my day job, which pays the bills and supports my food habit. In all honesty, I really enjoy my job in finance, so I’m glad I did it.
To say that it was a massive relief to finish is a bit of an understatement. I feel so free! So free, I finally got to start this blog! And we had an excuse to celebrate with a bang by finally visiting Oscillate Wildly, Newtown. Ok so we ate there just before I got my results back, but thankfully, I passed the exam and officially became a CA. Phew!
That smile says it all - eagerly anticipating the night ahead...
Oscillate Wildly is one creative place. Ok, so they’ve been around for years… and for good reason. These days, they offer a nine course degustation - everyone at every table gets served nine courses of food – so the only decision you get to make is what to drink and whether to have the bonus course (dingdingding!).
The Grounds of Alexandria
The other day I realised that I could count, on one hand, how many times my husband and I had gone out for breakfast in our local area. And we’ve been living in Sydney’s inner-west for almost six months. Tragic. So when my workmate Linh sent me a link to a café that was opening in Alexandria, I made a point to visit them for breakfast with Patrick (hubby) and Lisa (sis-in-law) on Easter Saturday.