After a bitterly cold week, including the coldest morning in Melbourne in EIGHTEEN YEARS, Melbourne turned on the charm and worked its way back into my good books.
My sister was in town (big yay!), so we met our uncles Matt & Thomas for lunch on South Melbourne Beach. It was still cold, but it was so much more bearable under beautiful blue skies!
South Melbourne Beach is a sandy white stretch lined with palm trees and dotted with the odd dog-walker or tourist. Opposite the beach, the street is lined with a mishmash of beautifully-preserved Victorian terrace houses, flamboyant Italianate mini-palaces and slick, modern mansions. I’ve named it million dollar mile. (This is a misnomer, because you won’t need just one measly million to buy here – you’ll need 3 mil or more!)
We ate at Nyshry, a Japanese-inspired cafe on the beach in South Melbourne. Matt & Thomas have been raving about it, and I’ve officially joined the fan club. The menu is really interesting because the Japanese influences whisper rather than shout – for example, my soft shell crab burger was served with Kewpi mayo & a side of seaweed. It’s the only cafe as far as the eye can see, which means it’s very popular, but the area is never too crowded.
St Kilda has Melbourne’s best-known beach. It’s a stone’s throw from Luna Park, Acland Street and you can spot fairy penguins from the pier – it’s a really cool area and is an iconic Melbourne suburb and tourist hotspot for a reason. Unfortunately, the beachfront cafes lazily cash in on the tourist crowds and serve overpriced, uninspired food. There is fantastic food in St Kilda, but you won’t find it along the beach!
South Melbourne Beach is much quieter than St Kilda, and I don’t mind trading the exciting atmosphere for some uninterrupted beach views and a thinner crowd. Fewer tourists & just one lone cafe makes South Melbourne Beach one of my new favourite places to hang out and enjoy the salty sea air. I felt like I was a million miles away from the hustle and bustle (and dirty air!) of the city.
The best part? It’s about 10 minutes from the city.