• Jill Barry

Food glorious Food! And drink...

Updated: May 13, 2019

Whilst staying in Melbourne this spring (Australia's autumn) I explored the smart shopping malls my daughter-in-law uses and sampled a certain delicious coffee brand available in 'pods'. Although George Clooney wasn’t around at the time, Melbourne is definitely a 'coffee city.'

But for me, exploring all kinds of cafés was a huge pleasure. Almost all of them have daily newspapers available, sometimes a bookshelf so customers can drop off one book and choose another. As well as the coffees we’re used to ordering in the UK, unusual varieties of tea are available and often fruit and vegetables, freshly-juiced to order. The frisky orange and carrot concoction you see above just begged to accompany a delicious cake. I don’t have a problem with flour but was intrigued to sample this flour-free goodie. Verdict - absolutely scrumptious.

Melbourne's most popular hot spots for brunch or dinner attract long queues, something I’ve experienced only in London during the pre-Christmas frenzy. Something I enjoyed is that, even if you're ordering only a tea or coffee, a bottle of water and a glass arrive. And there’s a big trade in takeaway coffees.

My son and daughter-in-law know their own neighbourhood of Fitzroy very well and have favourite eating places. Asian cuisine very much influences much of the food and one Moroccan restaurant in particular made a great sensory impact upon me as we walked inside. Sound. Sight. Smell. Taste. I’m always happy to eat vegetarian food and the three of us didn’t have to wait long before finding a space at one of the communal tables. We sipped delicious mint lemonade from glass cups and when our feast arrived, the use of subtle spices and colours and imaginative ways of combining quinoa, chick peas and lentils was stunning.

Cheese platters are very popular as a pre-dinner snack. People often visit one bar/restaurant for a cheese platter and bottle of wine then move on to another restaurant for their meal. I can’t speak for anywhere else but Melbourne certainly has a liking for cheese in all its forms. Pizzas too are hugely popular but I think that’s a worldwide thing?

The Yarra Valley is renowned for its beautiful wines. Of course we joined in the various tastings. Did I say this was a highlight of my visit?

Arguably the rainbow’s end for me was this selection of cakes seen at the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery. I’ll let the name do the talking!


We visited shortly before Easter but clearly chocolate rules whichever the season. And wherever you’re visiting in the world, no speciality chocolate display can miss out on the ‘droppings’ whether they be reindeer, unicorn, sheep or polar bear so here we go…

And now, just because we can never have too much cake...well, I couldn't leave it at only half the display on offer, could I?

Thanks for calling in and I hope you've enjoyed reading about some of my experiences. My final post with an Australian flavour will feature some of the readers and writers I met during my stay.

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