A weekend in Melbourne – day 2

If you read my post from last week then you’ll know I’m completely in love with Melbourne. And that happened on day 1. Day 2 only strengthened my opinion of this fabulous city.

Considering the backbone of any holiday for me is the food it will come as no surprise that day 2 was kicked off with breakfast. We decided to go with a recommendation – thank you Karen! – and walked down to the river to have breakfast at The Arbory.

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This riverside eatery is open 365 days a year from 7.30am until late. The breakfast was excellent, not least because my eggs were perfect. Laugh if you will but few culinary treats can stand up to a perfectly cooked egg yolk oozing across a freshly buttered slice of toasted sourdough. So I was happy.

The Arbory is situated between Flinders Street Station and the Yarra River. Easy to find and a great location. We had breakfast al fresco with a grand view of the river. There was a slight autumn chill in the morning air but I cleverly positioned myself beside an outdoor heater. What a way to start the day.

After fuelling up with a good breakfast we headed off to our next planned stop of the day, which was another recommendation. The Immigration Museum. In last week’s post I mentioned the advantages of speaking to someone with local knowledge. It can make a big difference. I’m not sure we would have ended up at this particular museum of our own accord. But it was possibly the most worthwhile visit of the weekend.

The museum tracks the history of immigration to Australia and is incredibly well done. The stories told will both delight and move you. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Highly recommended.

The museum is open daily from 10.00am until 5.00pm and can be found on Flinders Street in the Old Customs House.

You may remember I also mentioned in my post last week the middle ground between two approaches to a holiday (the first being plan, plan, plan and the second being fly by the seat of your pants). The middle ground is how we approached Melbourne, which is to say we had planned the weekend but left room to be spontaneous.

When we left the museum we had a bit of time open to us and decided to hit the shops. I’m not going to say too much about the shopping at this point (although it was one of the main reasons I was in Melbourne – that and the food) because the main shopping event came on day three. Stay tuned for next week’s post.

It wasn’t until leaving the shops that we realised we’d skipped lunch. That big breakfast certainly did the trick. Rather than embark on lunch late in the afternoon we opted for coffee and cake. The café we chose was the third recommendation of the day. Kettle Black in Albert Street. This is a bit of a walk from the city centre. We chose to jump in a taxi because time was getting away from us. But it’s easy enough to get to by tram.

This café has a great setting and vibe. We only stopped for coffee and cake, which was delicious but they also have a menu. Breakfast looked particularly good – just saying. Next time perhaps?

Eventually it got to that time in the day when you feel like a small breather from the frenetic activity. A chance to sit down, reflect on the events of the day and, most importantly, prepare for the evening.

I was excited by our plans. We headed for The Crown, which is a large entertainment complex situated on the south bank of the Yarra River. It wasn’t too far from where we were staying and as it was a pleasant evening we decided to walk.

The Crown boasts everything from luxury accommodation and Australia’s largest casino to award-winning restaurants and first-class shopping. It is quite an incredible place.

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But my husband and I were there to eat and chose Italian because we were in the mood for pizza – a good one. We chose well with Gradi, an Italian restaurant set in the heart of The Crown’s restaurant sector.

In Lygon Street, home to many of Melbourne’s Italian restaurants, you will find 400 Gradi, which has long been famous for its authentic Napolitano wood-fired pizzas. Now they have opened at The Crown and I couldn’t wait to get a taste of their pizzas.

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It’s a busy, bustling place and you may have to wait for a bit if you haven’t booked a table. But no matter. Take a seat at the bar as we did. It’s a fun place to while away half an hour or so while you wait for your table to be ready. The bar staff were fun and very professional. When my husband asked if he could order a drink not on the menu the answer was: “of course, what would you like?” My husband asked for a Long Island Iced Tea. Once again, no problem. The proof is in the tasting though but I figured the smile on his face was a sign that all was well.

They came to the bar for us as soon as our table was ready – and we hadn’t waited any longer than they’d estimated. The pizzas were fantastic – authentic Neapolitan-style pizzas with the most delicious wood-fired crusts. But then everything was delicious. I had the Caserta – San Marzano tomato, fresh buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto di Parma and rocket. I won’t say any more. You really need to taste it to know how delicious. I had pizza when I was in Naples last year and this was bang on.

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The restaurant goes through to the river side and it would be lovely to eat al fresco on a warm summer’s evening.

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We took a wander after dinner, which is an absolute must because you have incredible views of the city across the river.

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And so day two came to an end. As the day before we finished it on a high. Easy to do when you pick the right restaurant and order just the right thing.

Stay tuned for day three.

 

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11 Comments

  1. annika says:

    This is so much fun.. I feel like I am vacationing with you. The Immigration Museum seems like something I would enjoy very much. You’ve also got me very curious about your shopping adventure! Will you have some selfies for us in the next post? (And of course I ask this with such shame… I am very aware that I have yet to post a photo of me… soon!)

    Liked by 1 person

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