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Long weekend away from Canberra’s cold

fullsizeoutput_873I had made plans a few months ago to visit friends in Melbourne; really to get out of Canberra’s cold but also to just enjoy some time away whilst my friend looked after my dogs. This meant I could take my daily walks without two excited (but truly gorgeous) dogs pulling on their leads (maybe that means they (I) need additional training!!)…fullsizeoutput_87cI booked a boutique hotel near the city through Luxury Escapes and really got a great deal.  I had a suite at the Royce Hotel that included free mini bar snacks, breakfast every morning and a voucher for a drink in the bar..very happy with all that.fullsizeoutput_874My first evening I spent with two friends over dinner at Fatto Bar & Cantina overlooking the Swan River.  fullsizeoutput_87a.jpeg

Quite a casual evening but food was pretty good and great that the chef made the risotto vegan for me. I definitely could not eat it all but enjoyed half with a salad and a few glasses of wine.

The next day I took a walk through one of the local parks.  I think all parks in Melbourne’s CBD are fabulous so I enjoyed seeing firstly walking through a vacant park then seeing lots of people out and about exercising and walking their dogs.

On my second day I booked a vegan restaurant called Smith & Daughters in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy.  I heard about this restaurant from a friend so being a little excited, I arrived a early mistaking our reservation for 1230 when it was actually for 1pm.  Staff were very lovely and I was able to sit at our table early thus allowing me time to enjoy a glass of wine and pore over the fabulous brunch menu.  fullsizeoutput_87f.jpegfullsizeoutput_87dMy friends arrived and I thought I already knew what I wanted to order, having had half an hour to decide; firstly it was the Parmesan Scramble on sourdough but finally I decided on the Breakfast Pizza.  fullsizeoutput_883As I was looking at the menu I had to confirm with the waitress that everything was actually vegan as it all sounded very non-vegan.  But luckily it was!fullsizeoutput_880We all shared a garlic bread and the warm potato salad.  Bread was gone even before I had the opportunity to take out my phone to take a photograph…truly delicious as was the warm potato salad.fullsizeoutput_885My friends ordered the Meatball Sub, the Mushrooms & Ricotta and the Classic Italian Basil Pesto & Roasted Vegetable Frittata…each enjoyed enormously by all.fullsizeoutput_881fullsizeoutput_886fullsizeoutput_882And it’s not often I get to order dessert unless it’s sorbet so this time I definitley wanted something even thought I was a little full.  Three of us ordered the baby donuts filled with a vanilla bean masala custard. And when I say we ordered them..we all ordered our own bowl of six donuts…I couldn’t eat all but tried my hardest and we all loved them!!fullsizeoutput_887Another friend and I had booked tickets to see the Chinese ancient terracotta warriors at the National Gallery of Victoria the following day.  Having lived in China for three years, I had seen them several times in their hometown of Xi’an, but my friend wanted to see them so I was very happy to go along; they really are impressive along with other amazing items discovered in the tomb.IMG_6627fullsizeoutput_889There was also an exhibition by contemporary artist Cai Guo-Qiang who created a 10,000 porcelain bird exhibition within the gallery.  Amazing!fullsizeoutput_888IMG_6631fullsizeoutput_88afullsizeoutput_88bAfter observing the exhibition, it was time for lunch so we ate within the gallery and I ordered a delicious meal of a cauliflower steak and my friend and I shared a bowl of french fries (staple diet of mine I think).  The cauliflower was cooked to perfection and the accompanying lentils and sauce was delicious.fullsizeoutput_88fSo after another great weekend away it was time to return to Canberra to arrive home to two dogs that were incredibly happy to see me.  Love Melbourne!