Long weekend away from Canberra’s cold
I 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!!)…I 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.My first evening I spent with two friends over dinner at Fatto Bar & Cantina overlooking the Swan River.
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. My 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. As 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!We 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.My friends ordered the Meatball Sub, the Mushrooms & Ricotta and the Classic Italian Basil Pesto & Roasted Vegetable Frittata…each enjoyed enormously by all.And 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!!Another 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.There was also an exhibition by contemporary artist Cai Guo-Qiang who created a 10,000 porcelain bird exhibition within the gallery. Amazing!After 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.So 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!