Melbourne versus Sydney
Melbourne – part 1
“Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen”
– Albert Einstein
I’m a Sydney girl, through and through. Born and bred, does it need to be said? It’s one of the best cities in the world. Well O.K yes, I have been living in Sweden for the past decade but that’s more a reflection on how exceptionally good looking the men are here, rather than a inflection on my hometown. The Opera House. The beaches. Paddington Markets. Dinner at Longrain. The old ferries floating on the harbour. Sunshine that makes your skin tingle. Bring. It. On.
Thus, like many a native of God’s own country, I usually cannot stand the M word. Melbourne. It’s just common sense to me, any city with that much rain just couldn’t be good. Ooohh “cultural” Melbourne with its “restaurants” and “shopping” and great “live music” scene. Melbourne smelbourne, even Kath and Kim couldn’t turn me. I thought Melbourne sucked.
Well that’s until I had actually been there.
After years of heated Sydney v. Melbourne discussions with my friend – Sweden residing but Melbourne born – Tina Sparkles, it actually turns out that I was wrong and she was right. It’s out there now on the internet. I was wrong and she was right. Melbourne rocks! Oh the culture! Oh the restaurants! Oh the shopping! All that eyeball rolling I did, all that shaking of my head would now have to be replaced with high fives and a dance routine.
In May we headed down with a stellar crew; The Swedish Husband, Bubbaganoush, Fabulous Rachel and our very own personal tour guide, Tina Sparkles.
Master Chef George Calombaris has created a masterful restaurant full of life, zest and Greek hospitality. Situated in the charmingly eclectic nook of East Brunswick, Hellenic Republic delivers a menu full of traditional recipes with a contemporary twist that always dances around produce of the highest quality. One of our best nights out in Melbourne. Yamas!
Peninsula Hot Springs, Mornington Peninsula.
One morning we woke up and were faced with rain, rain and rain. Oh Dear Lord, we had planned a day of winery hopping but what should we now? Our call was answered. Enter Peninsula Hot Springs, 20 differing bathing experiences all set amidst stunning bushland, to be enjoyed in any weather. We tried the reflexology walk, Turkish steam room, sauna and cave pool. For a bit of romance try the stunning hill top pool with views that stretch forever. It was so beautiful with a bit of light rain, just sinking down into the warm water was entirely delicious. We never got cold, even with the running and jumping into the 2o different pools. Babies are welcomed, ours loved it, her first day spa experience courtesy of her Godmother. Relax. Rejuvenate. Rejoice.
A petit gem of Brunswick street, Kleins Perfumery is a girlie heaven. A small shop front packed with little treats, it’s a store filled with lotions and potions and sweet smelling delights that are all packaged in way that makes you want to buy everything. I had to be dragged out of this store. Many times. On my wish list: irresistable fragrance by Nasomatto, Narcotic Venus.
Delicious Italian style coffee but more importantly, cakes, gelato and authentic pasticceria (pastries). Set in a lovely art deco building, there is plenty of seating in and out (if you arrive early). Immerse yourself in people watching and in a pastry eating extravaganza.
“Ah…so many pedestrians, so little time…”
So I learnt on this trip that Melbourne rocks, but I also learnt another important life lesson, that Tina Sparkles cannot drive. Seriously, cannot drive. The three other license owning passengers all agreed. Perhaps it was the years of living in Sweden and driving on the right (wrong) side of the road that had done it, but driving in a car with her was like an adventure with Stevie Wonder. Here is a sample of the conversation that could be heard from the backseat when Tina “I’m a good driver” was at the wheel:
“Maybe you can turn the indicator off”
“I think we need to turn left… now… now…now”
“WATCH THAT CAR”
“Which lane are we in?”
Us: “You’re in the fast lane still, maybe we should move over into the left lane, other cars want to pass…”
Tina: “Oh no, there’s another lane to our right…”
Us: “No Tina, that’s the nature strip.”
[Photos courtesy of Kleins Perfumery, Peninsula Hot Springs, http://www.sxc.hu ]