I’ll be totally honest – most of last week was tough. Fortunately, life’s lows are often followed by highs, and this week has been a thousand times better.
Because I work from home and my boyfriend’s new job has really long hours, I spent most of my first week in Melbourne alone. Even for someone who thrives on alone time, it was tough.
I was planning to attend my first MeetUp, but was getting sick so I had to cancel. Luckily, I had dinner at my uncles’ house one night and my boyfriend had the weekend off, so I had a really nice weekend going to the South Melbourne Markets, trying a new café and going to a free concert
This week, I went to my first MeetUp, a new café opened in my neighbourhood, Dad visited and we went to the Asian markets celebrating Chinese New Year, I flew to the Gold Coast for my boyfriend’s graduation ceremony and then went back to Brisbane to spend a few days with family before I head back to Melbourne.
Cork & Chroma
The hottest ticket in town is turning amateurs into artists. My dad bought Cork & Chroma tickets for Mum, my sister and I for Christmas and this weekend we finally had a chance to cash them in.
The idea is simple – learn how to do a painting while sipping wine & listening to music. Each class is a step-by-step tutorial of a certain type of painting, but you’re free to tweak the idea ( as I did) or paint something entirely different.
I took art classes up until halfway through high school but haven’t picked up a paintbrush in years. Funnily enough, last week after doing some yoga I had an urge to paint! Unfortunately, I don’t have any paint supplies in my new apartment as I usually stick to drawing anyway. It was such a great opportunity to try my hand at painting again, not to mention really relaxing!
Our class was painting a bicycle leaning against an old stone house covered in vines. I decided to make mine blue, like the beautiful blue buildings I’ve seen photos of in Marrakech recently. I also added a red flower pot, the cat and flowers on the vines.
Chinese New Year Markets
Dad was in town, so we met up with my uncles & their friend, Cindy, at the markets celebrating Chinese New Year. The food wasn’t strictly Chinese, but it was delicious – I had Japanese gyoza, Korean pork buns, Vietnamese beef in betel leaves and Malaysian Iced Chendoll for dessert – a super sweet dessert with palm sugar and sweet, green beans (?). We took home some fish-shaped pancakes, filled with custard, chocolate or red bean paste.
It started to pour rain, so we escaped into Nobu for drinks before my uncles & Cindy left for their concert. Dad and I went for a few drinks at Rockpool, before braving the rain to get some photos. We hopped from umbrella to umbrella taking photos, making the most of the thinned-out crowd.
After David finished work, we went back to my new favourite cafe, Rumour, so the boys could get some dinner – I was full from the markets!
A day in the life of Louis XIV
King Louix XIV lived in the lap of luxury, which included live music for every part of his day.
This is the first in a series of five free concerts from Orchestra Victoria, held at their Albert Park home near the Melbourne Sports & Aquatic Centre. It ran for an hour, which I thought was perfect for making orchestral music more accessible to the general population.
David McAllister AO was decked out in full royal garb and danced during the first piece. Apart from that, we watched the musicians – a rarity, as most concerts or performances I’ve been to have been the ballet, plays or musicals. It was nice to just sit and listen for a change, and somewhat of a challenge. We’re so used to having something to watch – when was the last time you just sat and listened?
Eating in Melbourne
I’m so excited to have a new café in my neighbourhood! I’ve already visited for breakfast, lunch and dinner (oops). Love the Mediterranean meets South Asian menu and their fresh take on Smashed Avocado. I don’t cook with seafood very often, so their delicious seafood salad was the perfect excuse for getting some minerals and nutrients from seafood (and it’s far better than any seafood salad I’ll ever make!). The pesto and rosemary was a great addition to the smashed avocado (I always add an egg), the coffee is lovely and I hear they do croissants – I know what I’ll be snacking on next week!
When Dad came to visit, we indulged in my other French favourite – crepes! Tucked away in Scott Alley off Flinders Lane, eating at Roule Galette is like stepping back into France.
Last Sunday we stumbled upon this really cute café on Clarendon Street in South Melbourne last weekend and was delighted to find that they serve both Croque Monsieur’s and the more elusive Croque Madame.
Croque Madames are one of my favourite French comfort foods. Essentially, it’s a ham & cheese toasted sandwich using Gruyere cheese, on top of the sandwich, topped off with an egg. Yum.
Making friends in a new city
I am so grateful for organisations like Meet Up. Basically, you log in, choose your location & check out the thousands of diverse groups meeting up all over your city.
As I’m new to Melbourne, I’ve primarily joined groups for young people getting drinks, dinner or who are new to town. I went to my first MeetUp this week, and it was so much fun! It was so nice to get a few drinks with a new group of people, many of whom had never met before. I’m already looking forward to next week’s drinks!
Check out what’s on in your city!
Love this mural in West End referencing the 2012 floods, which washed away much of the city.
30 Day Yoga Challenge
My little sister told me about this one, and I finally got a chance to check it out this week!
I’ve been practicing yoga for a few years now, but have been very undisciplined lately and have been feeling totally inflexible. The first class was just 10 minutes & a great introduction to yoga.
I’ve also signed up for Do You Yoga’s 14 Day Yoga Shred Challenge, starting March 2 and the 30 Day Meditation Challenge, but am yet to start.
All for free!
Nikon-Walkley Press Photo Exhibition
A lack of WIFI led me to the State Library of Victoria on Tuesday to get some work done. The Nikon-Walkley Press Photo Exhibition was showing, so I popped in – for years, I’ve been meaning to go in Brisbane, but never quite make it.
Australia’s best press photography was displayed, and surprisingly my favourite series was the winner of the Sports Category. The winner’s theme was water, and this was reflected in a rugby team doing the Hakka in the rain, droplets of snow sprayed in the air by a ski champion, sweaty athletes and an incredible surfing shot.
How to Master the Art of French Eating by Ann Mah. Ann Mah thinks her dreams have come true when her diplomat husband is finally posted in Paris. Her happiness is short-lived, as he was soon stationed in Baghdad, instead. She stays in Paris for the year, alone, and uses it to study French cuisine – by mouth. She visits different regions and towns, investigating local dishes and providing recipes along the way. Her chapter investigating crepes in Brittany led me to try my hand at my favourite French dish, with mixed results.
Life doesn’t happen to you, life happens for you.