Summer is the perfect time to wander through Melbourne, the most liveable city on earth. Wandering helps us find things we don’t know we are looking for.
Today I found a burger truck in a shed. He moves around a bit, but today he was in this shed by the market. Mr Burger quickly serves up a great meal to grasp and devour.
Around the corner is Market Lane Coffee, a brilliant place that I like to begin the day with a coffee and Dench pastries. They have a simple space that lets them put all their attention on the one thing they do well, the coffee.
If you venture north you may find Twenty and Six. Their breakfast menu will take you across the world with dishes like The Geisha, The Hunter and more. Stunning coffee will light up your synapses and speculation says that they may go subterranean later this year when their bluestone cellar is opened up.
Melbourne is full of great coffee. If you walk south you might stumble across the out of sight legal office that has been transformed by Patricia Coffee Brewers to bring some sunshine into this piece of the city. With standing room only you have the coffee producing team on one side of the bar and all the local suits on the other.
Silo teaches us what processes get the food to our plate for consumption while demonstrating one way to pull it all together in a well thought out fashion. This zero-waste cafe is full of tasty food that may look tiny when it arrives on your plate but will leave you feeling full of goodness when you leave.
Get a side of bicycle with your coffee order at Little Mule. I am often here for the baked eggs in the morning. The Foursquare mayor gets a free coffee each day. There are laneway lessons hosted in the evenings, making use of a space that would usually be closed.
Is it cocktail hour yet? Bar Ampere serve up some great drinks and you can get food into the early hours of the morning. The meals are all designed to be eaten with a splade, the curious utensil that you will find in the drawer tucked under each table.
The next set of drinks are at Ferdydurke – an eccentric place with a classic cocktail menu. You will find yourself gargoyling the eclectic bunch wandering Tattersalls Lane and the patrons below at the famous Section 8 container bar.
When those of your group who don't like scotch have gone home, you know it is time to sneak off to Whisky + Alement on Russell St. At 450 bottles we are going to need to spend a little while here this summer to get through the collection.
Grab a cold pressed juice or some of their sorbet made on site at the Spring Street Grocery. Watch out for these guys later in the year as they open their cheese cave in the basement.
Stroll through the world heritage listed Carlton Gardens and lay in the sunshine before seeing a movie on the world’s third largest cinema screen at IMAX Melbourne. You might stumble upon this pillar left by the late John Woods to signify his indignance that the Victorian parliament was built using New South Wales stone rather than the perfectly fine local Victorian stone. What a great guy.
By the evening you might finally arrive at Epocha, a fantastic new restaurant by the gardens. Begin at Hannah’s Bar upstairs with a cocktail overlooking the illuminated gardens. With a lively atmosphere, have the chef’s selection and settle into some fine red wine. Delicious meals and a welcome reminder of what great service feels like.
Between these checkpoints are so many interesting things – street art, architecture, people, trees, birds, clouds, .. who knows what you can stumble upon!
Keep your eyes open.