Archive | April, 2013

Prost!

30 Apr

That’s the German equivalent of ‘cheers’. You’ll need to know that when you head to Hofbrauhaus.

Oddly hidden in China Town, Hofbrauhaus is a German restaurant in Melbourne CBD.  Inside, it has been decorated to give an Alpine atmosphere. I’m no expert in what constitutes as alpine, but it is definitely cabin-esq. It’s beautiful.

While the beer hall is somewhat smaller than it’s original counterpart in Munich, the beers are still a huge challenge.

Tackling the stein.

Tackling the stein.

However you’ll need to pace yourself so that you can actually eat some of your food. The dishes are enormous too. They are also delicious. If you see the menu and get bamboozled by the dish names, look for anything with pork, a Bavarian specialty.

A mouthful of a menu.

A mouthful of a menu.

My humble advice on your visit to Hofbrauhaus is to follow these steps:

Eat first.

Drink next.

Those steins of beer are quite tempting. If you’re small like me, they’re also filling and disabling.

Lastly – eat a pretzel.

Why? Because I said so. They’re delicious.

This isn’t really the kind of place that one can drive home from so I heartily recommend that when you make your dinner reservation, you book a cab too!

The details: http://www.hofbrauhaus.com.au

Walking in a winter wonderland

25 Apr

The Christmas carol ‘winter wonderland’ has misled me on my first ever winter. While it does not snow in Melbourne, it certainly does get cold. Sure, there may be colder places around the world, but I am from Darwin and anything below 25 degrees is icy.

I have a theory that if humans were supposed to live in such cold climates, they would have fur. Similar to the coat of a polar bear. However, I am not a scientist and I do live in Melbourne. So that’s my own theory shot!

So should you find yourself in a winter wonderland, here’s three things you’ll need to make it through.

Base coat

I have gone from zero to five jackets since I moved to Melbourne. It's been 3 months :S

I have gone from zero to five jackets since I moved to Melbourne. It’s been 3 months :S

The trick, so I am told, with cold weather is layering. Wear a few shirts and a jumper or two. However, unless you have a decent coat, none of that is going to help you much.

Melbourne loves to have four seasons in one day so you need to be prepared for each of them. You may notice that this list does not have an umbrella on it. If you buy a coat that can shelter you from the rain then you won’t need one. A hood is a must.

Should you pick something less sturdy, you’re going to have to invest in a pretty big handbag (or for men, a satchel) to carry four seasons of protection. Being a bag-lady on a full train does you no favours – prepare to get shoved around.

Get a grip with boots

A bit like the coat, when selecting boots, you need to purchase the ones that are going help you out. Luckily for those fashionistas out there, boots are, like, totally in right now.

You need warm feet to be warm. Fact! So your boots need to keep your feet warm and dry.

There is one thing I must stress. Get boots with grip on the bottom. They’re a little bit harder to find, but falling on your butt in public is even harder. Both mentally and physically. I’ve been there, done that.

An ounce of determination

Legitimate conversation with my mother. I was still in bed, she was in the lounge room.

Legitimate conversation with my mother. I was still in bed, she was in the lounge room.

In Melbourne’s winter, the sun comes up late and goes down early. More often than not, you find yourself in the dark and cold at the train station before and after work.

It’s really hard to get out of bed.

It’s really hard to get out of your pajamas and then dressed again.

It’s really hard to sit on a porcelain toilet seat.

Turns out, life in general just takes a whole lot more effort in winter. So switch your snooze button off and your determination on. You’re going to need it.

Got any survival tips? I’d love to hear them. I’m usually freezing and love winter knowledge-gems!

Trash and treasure

25 Apr

In Darwin there is no better time of the year than the two weeks before the wet season starts called Cyclone Cleanup. It’s the time of year when people are supposed to clean out their ‘backyard’ and dispose their potential cyclone debris onto the street curb for the city council to collect.

What really happens is, people clean out their entire house. This creates a convoy of people driving the streets looking for that prized freebie on the side of the road.

In Melbourne, they’re turning a profit on their trash in the form of second hand markets. My personal favourite, Camberwell Markets.

Camberwell Market

Camberwell Market

This market’s philosophy, that only second hand and home craft can be sold, has created a bargain bin of goodness. Particularly loved by those looking to pick up some cheap clothing finds, with items starting from 50 cents!

Second hand furniture treasures are there for those enthusiasts who can manage to roll out of bed early enough on a Sunday.

Beware of the man who has his store set up in one of the market corners each week. He seems to think he’s the Donald Trump of the market and will try to charge you $30 for a Star Wars watch. It was plastic, missing the back and had a cracked band. So while there are some fantastic vintage pieces to be found, you need to be on your game and ready to haggle yourself a deal.

The details: https://www.sundaymarket.com.au

Have you got a favourite place to thrift?

Work it, work it real good

25 Apr

When growing up there was just some things I thought I would never do. Then one day I found myself listening to Beyoncé, standing next to a vertical pole and being told to straddle it.

Pole dancing is a thing in Melbourne… and it’s actually really fun.

You can attend a class or even book out a session with a group of girlfriends. After a quick warm up you’ll get straight into it. And by get into it, you’ll probably bruise yourself up quite a lot and laugh hysterically while doing it.

Then again, that’s probably just me.

In one particular activity I had to envision dancing for Ryan Gosling. The sexier I did it, the better chance I had of taking him home. I don’t think my chances of snagging Gosling increased by the end of the class, only my resolve to set some kind of trap and lure him in.

Alas, I wont be quitting my day job and strutting myself like Demi around a red-lit stage but I do know this, I had an absolute blast.

Despite being covered in bruises the next day, I’d do it again.

photo 2

My leg the next day. Not a bad effort.

But if you’re looking a unique way to get fit then you should definitely give pole dancing a try. You’ll be swinging around and pulling yourself up poles. Unlike me, you could pick up some new sexy skills.

Have you worked the pole? Let me know your bruise count!

The details: www.poledivas.com.au

Touché Hombre

25 Apr

Image

Melbourne finds itself below the old Brisbane Line. If you were below that border in America, you’d be in Mexico! Okay, so maybe not, but do you love a taco or two, ese?

Well then you can’t go past Touché Hombre. Packed with Mexican goodness, the menu boasts a range of tacos to order singularly – which if you suffer from food envy like me, is genius! You can order one each of the 11 available if you’re up for the challenge. But if you decide to go with a more modest order, ensure you check out the crumbed and fried haloumi. Yum!

Dessert needs to be on your list here. Particularly the chocolate and chilli peanut cookie. It may be small but it’s rich in taste, with two delicious chocolate cookies sandwiching a chilli peanut soft centre. Perfect for those with a mega sweet tooth or the ones who gain from sugary satisfaction while sharing.

chocolate and chilli peanut cookie

Chocolate and chilli peanut cookie – Yummo!

The restaurant itself will keep you entertained, with the walls plastered in bright magazine pictures and Mexican paraphernalia. Not to mention their very own DJ set up to play you those forgotten 90’s party tunes that become even more enjoyable if you order the full carafe of Sangria. Amusingly it comes in a large porcelain chicken jug!

full carafe of Sangria

Full carafe of Sangria in a chicken!

The details: www.touchehombre.com.au

Have you been to Touché Hombre or just had some delicious Mexican tucker? Let us know!

(p.s. What’s the Brisbane line? find out here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brisbane_Line )

Luna Park. Round bruises

16 Apr
Luna Park

Luna Park

Having spent most of my life in the top end of Australia looking at pictures of the toothy moon grin of Luna Park, I was pretty darn excited when I finally got to go.

Perhaps I didn’t particularly enjoy standing in line for 45 minutes at each ride. Maybe it was the fact that the staff acted as though they not only had the hardest job in the world, but the most important. Either way, I felt severely underwhelmed by my Luna adventure.

The theme park is celebrating its centenary and I couldn’t help but think, after 100 years surely they could have upgraded the suspension on their main roller coaster, The Scenic Railway? I found it hard to enjoy being slammed into the side of the cart on my left shoulder, and having the steering stick dug into my right. But hey, maybe that’s just me.

Highlight of the day? Getting on the carousel with my mum. There is nothing like when you’re feeling down, bruised and beaten up than to ride on an ornate horse to slow magical music. I’m not kidding.

Mum and I riding a carousel at Luna Park.  Thankfully we met the height restrictions!

Mum and I riding a carousel at Luna Park. Thankfully we met the height restrictions!

There is definitely fun to be had at Luna Park, but be aware, you will have to wait for it.

The Details: http://www.lunapark.com.au

If you had a more agreeable time, please let me know!

A slightly astro-Aussie dream!

16 Apr

Coming from a place where the outdoors and grass are plentiful, it’s not easy to suddenly find yourself in a concrete jungle.

However, being in a big city doesn’t mean you have to give up the Aussie dream of your own patch of grass. Melbourne has it’s very own alternative for the city slickers – AstroTurf!

Here’s three places you can get grass burn and carpet burn all at once:

The Rooftop Bar

Roof Top Bar

Roof Top Bar

Not only is it a little bit of AstroTurf-y outdoors, it’s seven floors up and has an amazing view of Melbourne’s CBD.

Especially at night!

You can grab a drink here, and even dinner. From December through March, The Rooftop Cinema takes over, screening classics for a lazy night out. If you’re lucky, they may even screen Crocodile Dundee. That’s a classic in my book!

The details: https://www.facebook.com/rooftopbarmelbourne?fref=ts

 Chuckle Park

Chuckle Park

Chuckle Park

Blink and you’ll miss it!

Chuckle Park is hidden away on Little Collins Street. I felt a little bit like Alice in Wonderland when I found it – I was lost and suddenly I happened upon a hidden gem!

Wall to wall AstroTurf, a caravan, hanging lanterns made of jars and shrines of flowers entice you to enter the secret lair.  The food is pretty good too! Add in an electric atmosphere and it’s definitely worth the adventure!

The details: www.chucklepark.com.au

Rooftop Cider Bar at Young and Jacksons

Young and Jacksons' Rooftop Cider Bar

Young and Jacksons’ Rooftop Cider Bar

So you’ve been stuck on a bloody train all afternoon and not only do you crave a drink to wash your troubles away, but perhaps want an escape from the hustle and bustle of the Flinders Street Station as well.

Then all you need to do is cross the road to Young and Jacksons. Head up to the third floor you will find the Rooftop Cider Bar. Here you’ll be transported back to summer with a fresh helping of AstroTurf, deckchairs and gas heaters. Serving up a range of Australian and NZ craft ciders and a handful of international ciders, you’ll soon be on your way to forgetting your public transport woes.

The details:  www.youngandjacksons.com.au

Where’s your favourite AstroTurf haunt?