If you’re a regular reader you’d know that Melbourne is my favourite city in Australia. Sorry, Sydney – you’re flashy and all that, but just a little too obvious…if you know what I mean.

Melbourne though…I’ve (so far) set three books in this fabulous city, with another underway. All of that writing needs research – one weekend at a time.

Oh, and a warning…we mostly ate!

Where we stayed…

Up the Paris end of Collins Street at the Sofitel Hotel. It’s a gorgeous hotel in a fabulous location. There are absolutely cheaper places to stay, but the Sofitel is worth it if you feel like spoiling yourself.

Where we shopped…

St Collins Lane, Melbourne

Ok, I’ve talked a bit about Melbourne’s markets in previous posts, but this trip all we came back with was kitchenware and bras…yes, really.

The Chef’s Hat in South Melbourne is the most fabulous kitchenware emporium – there is no other word for it – that I’ve ever had the pleasure to visit. Oh my, did we spend up.  Even a paella pan found it’s way back into our luggage.

one of the floral arrangements on the counter at Debenhams

Melbourne now has a Debenhams – one of my fave British department stores – in St Collins Lane. Aside from having a great range of brands, and an amazing fragrance counter, their own brand bras are seriously the most comfy I’ve ever worn…just saying. Sadly I had a blow-out of the underwire kind on Sunday morning so had to make a mercy dash. There’s no truth to the rumour that I helped it – the wire, that is – on its way.

Street art…

South Melbourne Dimmies…

Ok, these are a Melbourne classic. First a lesson – a dim sim is not actually Chinese. It is instead a Chinese inspired snack and was probably invented in Australia in the late 1920s – the modern version can actually be traced back to Melbourne Chinatown…don’t say that you don’t learn anything from this blog. As an aside, dim sum refers to the dumplings and other small plates served at yum cha. Much like tapas refers to the small plates served, well, tapas style.

Anyways, now that I’ve cleared up that confusion, the dim sim, or dimmie for short, is almost like what would happen if a shumai hooked up with a chiko roll and was shaped like a cricket ball…or, as my friend put it, it’s like a Chinese sausage roll.

And the South Melbourne dimmie is the king of them all. In fact, they’ve been selling dimmies at South Melbourne markets since 1949.

Why am I telling you this? Because if you’re in South Melbourne markets you have to try one. That’s why.

Being Melbourne, though, if you’re after something a tad more substantial and, let’s face it, more tasty than a dimmie, there’s plenty of choices…like this paella…how good does this look?


It’s one thing I absolutely crave since moving to the Sunshine Coast – you just can’t get good dumplings…so we made up for that with these ones as a mid-afternoon snack on Friday

and these ones for lunch at Hutong on Saturday. Pan-fried and steamed soupy fabulousness.

Craving satisfied…for now…

More Street Art…

And if you’re wondering about the Saint Peter reference it’s a song from 1976 by an Aussie Band called Flash and The Pan. One of the band members, George Young died last year – hence the caption.

To start the day…

It was back to a couple of favourites. I go to Cumulus Inc – at the Spring Street end of Flinders Lane – just for their crumpets, house-made ricotta and rooftop honey. Of course, they have other things on the menu, but it’s the crumpets I want.

On Sunday morning we made the trek all the way down the other end of Flinders Lane to Grain Store. I tried their egg sundae – something that really messed with my head but in quite a pretty way.

Something French…

Because we’re going to France in a few weeks – I have mentioned that haven’t I? – we had to go to a French Bistro in Melbourne. And the one we chose is Chez Olivier in Prahran.

It’s everything a neighbourhood bistro should be – style without pretension…and great food.

Something Indian

Saturday night was at Tonka – modern Indian with a really cool ceiling display.

This restaurant is described as being “modern Indian”, but you’d be right in thinking that it doesn’t look like a curry you’d get at your local takeaway. This is Indian with a light and very up to date touch. The curries are still good, but it’s so much more than that.

And finally…some more street art…

It’s Lovin’ Life Linky time…

It’s Thursday, so it’s time to look for our happy and share it about a bit. The Lovin’ Life Linky is brought to you by Team Lovin’ Life: Deep Fried Fruit, DebbishSeize the Day ProjectWrite of the Middle50 Shades of Age,  and, of course, me.