I finished the last post just before we moved hotels to the Alto Hotel on Bourke Street. To be honest, I booked it based on price, location and the fact it has free wifi. However, it turned out to have a lot more going for it. It is 2 minutes walk from the airport shuttle terminal, has 2 tram stops outside as well as easy walking distance from the nearest train station. It has won awards for its green credentials, and they even have a bee hive on the roof which is part of the Melbourne City Rooftop Honey project.
We had a nice room on the third floor, which was just fine for our needs. Breakfast is a mix of a small buffet, including some of their own honey (which I did sample) and hot things cooked to order. The staff are friendly, and accommodated our early start on the morning we left by opening the breakfast area 10 minutes early. It was a real find!
We were both exhausted from our daytime activities, and ended up eating at a place called Max on Hardware Lane, basically a pasta/pizza type of place. It was a lovely evening, so we sat outside. I opted for a pasta dish with chickens and mushrooms (I was wearing my new white top and therefore avoided anything with tomatoes…) and Karl the meatballs and spaghetti. Both were OK, but I was a bit annoyed about how they really rushed us out, bringing us the bill before we had asked for it or finished our wine.
We woke on Friday well rested, and jumped on the tram to St Kilda, situated south east of the city centre, to enjoy some sand and sea. We got off the tram next to Luna Park, the famous fun fair with its grotesque and famous entrance. Next to it sits The Palais Theatre, built in 1927 as a cinema, though now used for concerts.
Not being people for fun fairs, we wandered down to the beach and took a walk along the sand and boardwalk, enjoying the salty tang of the sea and the sun before it got too hot.
It was then time for lunch, so we headed into St Kilda itself and stopped off at The Banff for lunch, a great wee place on Fitzroy Street. Karl had a good pizza and a beer, and I had a salad with apple, blue, cheese and walnut, coleslaw and chicken with a glass of rosé. Excellent food, friendly staff and interesting place.
The Banff, St Kilda
Post lunch, we jumped on a tram and headed back into town, stopping off for a little more shopping before collapsing and resting. In the next post – Friday dinner, what we did on Saturday and our overall impression of the weekend.
Tram at St Kilda