Saturday, January 29, 2011

Oz Update - Sips & Nibbles in Melbourne

Hello Birdies! It's been about a week and a half since Hubby and I arrived Down Under and we couldn't be happier with the trip so far. There has been plenty of sunshine, swimming, and exploring and I am very excited to share some of the highlights with you. I haven't had much time to blog, but we are currently in the Whitsunday Islands, and with a cyclone moving down the coast, the weather here isn't too friendly leaving me some time to kill in our room!

Our first stop in Australia was Melbourne, and I couldn't wait to catch up with some of my old friends there and show Hubby my favourite parts of town. One of the best things about Melbourne are the city's lane ways, which house cafes, cocktail bars and shops. So for breakfast we checked out Degraves, one of the most well known alleys in the city and then wound our way through the Central Business District (or as us Canadians would call it, downtown).

On our first night we enjoyed a fantastical Italian dinner at Il Bacaro. The atmosphere was friendly and our pastas were divine - just what we needed to replenish after a day of site-seeing!

Hubby's main - rabbit tortellini with ricotta mousse, and our shared salad of green beans, goat's cheese, roasted tomato and olives.
Finally, no tour of Melbourne would be complete without sipping at one of its many highly stylized, hard to find cocktail bars. Fortunately I have a couple of girlfriends in Melbourne who were happy to provide an insider's view.

The night before Hubby arrived, Georgie took me to the gorgeous Madame Brussels, a permanent garden party. The indoor section of the bar is complete with patio furniture and astroturf, and we sat out on the gorgeous terrace that overlooks the city. A jug of Pimms, Gingerale and Lemon completed the summer afternoon feel:

My girl Alex took us on a whirlwind cocktail tour of the city, and the highlight was definitely Manchuria, a well hidden cocktail lounge in china town. We slipped down a back alley and up a stair case to a set of heavy double doors that convinced me the place was closed. Instead, inside we found an ornately decorated lounge with fun music and an eclectic cocktail list, and sultry Asian decor. 

Hubby peruses the extensive drink menu; the blink-and-you'll miss it sign for the bar.

We actually did do things in Melbourne other than eat and drink...more tomorrow on running, sunshine, and beaches. So long birdies!

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