It's taken me a while to get this blog on my trip to Melbourne up, I've been busy.
Melbourne...I adore it, it's my favourite place to holiday in Australia. It is my touchstone, if I don't get there at least once a year I feel lost. I love it's cosmopolitan and European ways, it's stunning architecture, it's extreme cultural happenings, the trams, the cafes and restaurants, and it's laid back lifestyle. If I didn't love to travel there so much, I'd probably live there.
Usually I stay in a little private apartment on Collins Street, but this time I couldn't as the owners had sold it, so I turned to air bnb for something new and I found a little gem on Manchester Lane, right in the heart of my favourite part of the city, off Collins Street, and right near Degreaves Street and Flinders Station.
My friend C came with me for the first few days and we were excited to find the apartment exactly as it had been online. Phew!
This trip was to see The David Bowie Is exhibit at the ACMI, something I had waited a whole year to see and it was superb. Additionally there were other Bowie things to do whilst there.
Other highlights were The Lion King, John Safran in conversation with Jon Ronson, Catherine the Great exhibit at the NGV, Backstage Tour at the Melbourne Arts Centre, The Damage and the Needle done at the Butterfly Club, and Madame Brussels.
Also at the ACMI was the fabulous Orry-Kelly exhibit and I saw the documentary film based on his life. Orry-Kelly was a famous costume designer in Hollywood, who came from Kiama but is little known here in Australia. He had a remarkable career with many ups and downs. Three Academy Awards - for An American in Paris, Les Girls, and Some Like it Hot. Some Like it Hot is one of my all time favourite films, so to see the costumes he designed for Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis was a thrill, let alone the Oscars. There was so much to find out about this interesting man, in the exhibit and in the film, but the most confounding was his first relationship in Hollywood was with Cary Grant (when he was still Archie Leach). This part of Cary is not new to me, I am a fan, but I prefer to stick to the fantasy man-about-town suave Cary, lol! Of course hearing how Cary abandoned Orry and only contacted him when he heard Orry was writing his memoirs was a little shattering to my fantasy.
I caught up with my wonderful friend M, and we had a day out in the Yarra Valley, lunching at Healesville, and heading to the Tarrwarra Vineyards via a stunning rainforest. The vineyard had a very sleek and modern Museum of Art and specialises in Modern Art. We checked out the Pierre Huyghe exhibition which featured installations, videos etc and was amazing.
I also 'discovered' the Hellenic Museum on William Street, a museum dedicated to Greek artefacts, on loans form the Benaki Museum in Athens. It's a ten year exhibit, commencing in 2014 and is changed over regularly. It was full of the most beautiful pieces, all of them incredibly old and with amazing stories attached.
I also caught up with other friends, B, L, and S while I was there.
This trip I visited a few Melbourne institutions I had never been to. On our first night C and I had dinner at the Young and Jackson pub, a great meal and we visited the stunning Chloe in the upstairs bar. S and I had morning tea at the amazing Hopetoun Tea Room. And I finally visited The Athenaeum Theatre, not the library, but I will get there some day.
As always the food was to die for. Perk Up Bugers on Degreaves was easily the best burger I have ever eaten, their sweet potato fries perfection too. Ferdyduke, a rooftop bar, served funky sliders, I had a pork one called the Little Lebowski. Directly across from my hotel was Maccaroni Trattoria Italiana, and they made the best, authentic pizzas. Il Pom on Fed Square had great Italian and cocktails, Taxi at the Transport Lounge, also on Fed Square - great snack food and drinks and a place at the window to watch the passing parade. I rediscovered the Thai on Flinders in a little arcade, the best I think I've ever had. And we found an authentic French Creperie, Roule Galette, in Scott Alley. An average looking cafe with an ambivalent French waiter, french radio station playing, and amazing food.
Of course I visited some of my favourite places, 333 Collins Street, The Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens, Hill of Content Bookshop, Minotaur Books, Dr Seuss Gallery, Cathedral Arcade, State Library of Vic, Federation Square, both the Ian Potter Centre and the National Gallery of Victoria, and St Kilda.
The weather was all over the shop while I was there - which is so Melbourne, but mostly overcast and cool, but the day C and I headed to St Kilda was a stunner. We walked and walked, checked out the markets, shopped, and an amazing tapas lunch at Big Mouth...and of course, indulged in cakes!
And some random photography: