Australia’s most underrated city also happens to be my new favourite. A victim of its nickname, perhaps, the City of Churches is often dismissed by Aussies as boring. But after a weekend getaway with my significant other to celebrate our three year anniversary, I beg to differ.
It’s no secret to both tourists and locals alike — the best parts of Melbourne are tucked away in the city’s many laneways. They can be picturesque and Instagram-worthy or downright dodgy looking, those in the know will venture down any alley to see what new hotspot might be hidden there.
It’s no surprise then that my significant other and I made our way to several laneway destinations while out celebrating a friend’s birthday last weekend. Our night began at The Whisky Den on Russell Street. Not located on a laneway, but worth mentioning because of their extensive selection of whiskies. (Note: I’ve never been sure if it’s ‘whisky’ or ‘whiskey’. After reading this guide from The Kitchn I’ll use ‘whisky’ going forward since neither Canada nor Australia have an ‘e’ in their name). Our friend, a whisky enthusiast, was thrilled to find 17 year old Springbank on the menu. An elusive Scotch whisky, he apparently hasn’t been able to find it since a trip to the United Kingdom ten years ago.
A lovely friend from school used to call me ‘Luscious Locks Liz’ because of my curly mane. To be honest, I didn’t mind the nickname. My curly hair was my pride and joy. I used to put considerable time and effort into maintaining it’s luscious-ness.
Since then, my hair care efforts have fallen off considerably. After graduating school and starting a 9-5, I said goodbye to my curls and hello to my straightening iron in an effort to decrease the time it took to get ready each morning. Despite popular opinion, most of us girls with curls don’t just wash our hair and go. It takes the right combination of tools and products, along with a great deal of time and patience to cultivate each curl. I’ve never been able to maintain my curls after sleeping on them either, so I would go through this routine every single morning. With straight hair, however, I could wash and dry it in the evening and then just quickly go over it with a brush in the morning. Best of all, it doesn’t even need to be washed every day!
I recently learned an interesting fact: across the globe, the average person consumes 75 pounds of meat per year. Australians, however, consume a whopping 198.8 lbs per person per year, making them the highest consumers of meat worldwide.
Though Melbourne prides itself on being a world class food city, I would argue it still has some work to do when it comes to catering to vegetarians. Sure, there are some reputable restaurants that serve up vegetarian-only fare — Vegie Bar and Smith and Daughters, for instance — but it can be a struggle to find places that satisfy both my taste buds, as well as my meat-eating significant other’s.
With this in mind, I made sure to have a good list of restaurants prepared when my mom and sister came to visit as we all have dietary restrictions — my sister is also vegetarian and my mom requires gluten free.
Below outlines some of the culinary experiences we had during their stay: