Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Melbourne highlights

I wouldn't want you to get the impression, based upon yesterday's post, that I didn't have a smashing time on my Melbourne trip, because I did - even with tech struggles and unseasonably cold and wet weather and  occasional homesickness. Amongst all that, there were work sessions in cafes fueled by delicious coffee and cake:

A visit to the Yarra Valley, the wine region outside Melbourne, featured a trip to Healesville Sanctuary and an amazing show displaying some impressive Australian birds, including this gorgeous parrot:

And of course, the obligatory sleepy koala, which never gets old, no matter how many I get to admire (hint: not enough):
I also got to eat this indescribably delicious breakfast at another local cafe, which I had heard about from a friend pretty much the day I arrived, and finally procured on Sunday morning - a multigrain bagel topped with smashed avocado, crisp bacon, poached eggs, and chili oil. Totally transcendental:
I was also fortunate enough to be staying a block away from a cooking store I've been wanting to visit for years, after hearing about it from a friend and fellow cook on my way out of Australia back in 2009. (And it turns out there's one in Canberra too, o joy and impending bankruptcy!)
The Melbourne store is conveniently situated on the edge of Prahran Market, Melbourne's oldest food market and bursting with fresh food of all kinds. We had a long stroll around on Sunday morning, and I only wished that I could have come earlier and stayed longer - and had a stocked kitchen handy to do justice to the lovely meats, fish, cheeses, fruit, and veg I could only admire longingly.
To say nothing of the delicious sushi, felafel, homemade pasta, and Thai noodles I sampled at other meals - all within a block or two of my hotel  - and Melbourne hospitality that we experienced at every turn. You should all go and visit immediately, while I get on with Thanksgiving prep. (More on that tomorrow.)


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