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Magical Melbourne

All Photos Credits (except where noted) :: Nicole A. Taylor

While people in the Big Apple were sending up hail marys for a smell of Spring, I was relishing in the energy of Melbourne, Australia. The weather was similar to a charred  shishito pepper -- blistering.  Luckily, I was able to ignore the heat because this trip had all the fixings to make dreams come true. Melbourne is all about the gourmand. The fancy and crunchy foodist will delight in the super friendly people of Victoria. Here is my guide to finding magic in Melbourne. 

Crown Metropol

I enjoyed the sunrise every morning from the 28 Sky Bar & Lounge or the super luxe infinity pool. Metropol equals the perfect sleeping quarters for the hotel snob. Check out the hotel lobby artwork, have lunch at Bistro Guillame (stones throw away) and indulge in a late night jet lag cure at Mr Hive Kitchen and Bar.


Photo :: Courtesy of Crown Metropol

Photo :: Courtesy of Crown Metropol

Photo :: Courtesy of Crown Metropol

Lanes and Arcades

I would describe the lanes and arcades in Melbourne's Central Business District as euro-chic meets Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  I'm not sure you'll get the same experience without a local leading you. My guide Fiona Sweetman of Hidden Secrets Tours has the perfect adventure for the creative minded.


Queen Victoria Market

Here at FoodCulturist, we believe in gathering places. Started in 1878, Queen Victoria Market is the spot to understand the story-filled foods of Victoria. I sampled grilled kangaroo and crocodile sausage at The Chicken Pantry -- a must. Finally, lets talk donuts. Behold American Doughnut Kitchen, a truck with piping hot round goodness stays parked along side finger limes and local honey. Get into it!


Yarra Valley

Yarra Valley is the equivalent to California's Napa Valley or New York State's Finger Lakes. Gorgeous views, farmers and an overflow of wineries.  My Go West Gourmet Tour included a tasting at Wild about Fruit's Farm Shop, Yarra Valley Dairy and three vineyards.  Boy, De Bortoli Wines won me over and I'm officially singing the praises of Noble One.  Before you leave Yarra Valley, swing by Healesville's main street and dot into Kitchen & Butcher, Clarence, Kennedy & Wilson Chocolates, Morris Brown and Yarra Valley Pasta.

Indigenous Culture

No visit is complete without learning a bit about the cultural beginning of Melbourne.  Make your first stop the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre. A bit of advice, don't spend all your dinner money in the gift shop (they carry a great selection of artwork and jewelry made by the Koorie people).

Looking for cookbooks focused on the bush? My scavenger hunt involved Hill of Content, Reader's Feast, Paperback, Kay Craddoock before finding paradise at Books for Cooks.  Hands down, Tim and Amanda understand food literature from all around the world.  

On my final day down under, Echidna Walkabout Nature Tour was all about focusing binoculars to witness the wonder of koalas and kangaroos. Speechless, powerful, spiritual, grateful are all words that describe me standing a few feet away from gorgeous animals and stepping foot on indigenous meeting grounds -- magical and memorable Melbourne.


Stay tuned for more on Dining in Melbourne and a chatfest on Hot Grease about the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival (March 25 at 3:30ET). 

Reader Comments (1)

Loved the post. It brought back memories of being down under. I have some of the same photos. The train station, the graffitti, the animals the Aboriginal Centre. I L.O.V.E.D. Melbourne. And am looking forward to hearing more.

Please send an email to remind me about hot grease. I have not heard the show but want to.More than anything I need particulars. I will put an alarm on my phone now.

March 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPatricia

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