Sunshine, shopping and salad: a weekend in Melbourne part 1

It was with great joy that I left work early on Wednesday to meet Karl and catch a flight to Melbourne.  As soon as I checked in, I felt in holiday mood. The flight over the ditch was, well, a little bumpy at times, but flying around New Zealand, you kind of get used to turbulence!  I watched the movie “Paper Towns” which was surprisingly good, and as usual a couple of episodes of “New Girl”, without which no flight would be complete (why is that always available and why do I always watch it?).

It was quite late by the time we checked into our hotel, so we pretty much did nothing but grab a quick dinner and flop on the bed in front of television. We spent the first night at the Stamford Plaza hotel (Thursday was a working day for Karl). Our room was on the 15th floor, and the view down is not one for those who suffer from vertigo!

IMG_6261View from the window

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The lift

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Photo taken without looking down 15 floors

While Karl went to work, I decided to go shopping.  Melbourne is a great city for that activity, especially when coming over from New Zealand.  Prices aren’t hugely different, but the choice is, and there is a far more international mix.  I headed for Emporium, and after a fortifying cup of tea and grabbing a bottle of water, I headed to the shops.

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Tea!
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Lights to light the cafes

I spent ages in Uniqlo, picking up quite a few things, then headed to Muji for some stocking fillers and a couple of other items.

IMG_6346Some of the haul…

As a break from consumerism, I stopped to take a look at St Francis, the oldest Catholic church in Melbourne.  The foundation stone was laid in 1841, and it remains a busy city centre church, reputedly the busiest church in Australia.

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St Francis
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The bell tower – shows how the church nestles in among the tower blocks

From there I headed over to Trunk on Exhibition Street for lunch, which boasts the largest outdoor beer garden in the city.  It is also where you can find a 150 year old coral tree, from which the restaurant takes its name.  I opted for a salad with roast pumpkin, charred broccoli, pumpkin seeds, nigella seeds, tomato, spinach, alfalfa and hummus topped with a lemon zest dressing and pickles, to which I added an egg.  Since I was on holiday, I had a glass of pinot grigio.  It’s a busy place, so if you want lunch, get there early.  There are several different parts to the restaurant, and it would be good to go back one evening and try a different menu.

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Lunch

From there I wandered about, stopping at Cos for some more shopping, then sitting for a while on Bourke Street, listening to a guy playing guitar.

IMG_6272Guitar player on Bourke Street

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Christmas windows

By then I had had enough, so wandered back to meet Karl, move to our other hotel and have dinner – but more of that in the next post!

 

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