Melbourne has a free tourist tram that goes around the perimeter of the Central Business District. Our hotel concierge told me all the yellow parts on the map were shops and places to visit, and crossed out the left side of the map and said "there's nothing on that side" that would interest me.
Melbourne's weather is very unpredictable. The day before, it was freezing so I just spent the whole day inside the mall beside the hotel. Today, it was a warm sunny autumn day so I was glad to get out from indoors.
The free Circle Tram is a good way to go around and get your bearings.
There's a recorded guide playing inside the tram, but I could hardly hear the words over the din the tram was making.
Still, it was nice to sit down and just watch the sights go by.
We got off at Melbourne Central which is a big shopping mall in the city-- nothing though like the mega-mall in Chadstone which I visited the day before.
Inside Melbourne Central...
We just walked through (but I stopped quickly at David Lawrence and bought a dress which I had been thinking about since the other day) because we were headed to Hardware Societe, a breakfast/brunch/lunch place highly recommended by the concierge, which also has stellar reviews online.
Unfortunately, we couldn't find the place! We walked up and down the whole Hardware lane, all the way up to Little Lonsdale where it is supposed to be, but we didn't see it. We saw a small Chinese restaurant with really well-priced meals, but our palates were primed for something other than Asian.
So we just headed south to find another place to eat.
We passed many quaint restaurants and cafes too but were now headed towards Degraves street. The lady in David Lawrence store told us that she much preferred this area for a meal than those around Melbourne Central.
There was a shoot going on in one of the cafe's we passed. This person looks famous.
These are all the people who were working on that shoot inside the cafe!
We walked through The Block Arcade, a beautiful heritage building with shops, and the very famous Hopetaun Tea Room.
Very deadly desserts of Hopetaun
And finally we are at Degraves. Many choices here. Lots of tourists but also locals were patronizing the restaurants.
Look at this signboard...
Do you see "Rellenong Pusit" on it? But it's a sosyal relleno--it has basil, fetta, red pepper...
We ate in the restaurant beside the pusit signboard.
After that long walk, my late lunch was this wise choice of chicken with a turmeric yogurt sauce on a bed of spinach. So good!
It would've been too easy to go next door for coffee, so we walked a couple of blocks to Brunetti's by the cathedral to have it there--with one little cookie each.
Last time I was in Melbourne in 2009, Lita brought me to the bigger Brunetti's because her friend was the pastry chef there. He makes all these delicious sinful cakes. These below are pictures from that old trip.
It was on this 2009 trip that I realized that the coffee in Australia is deliciously exquisite. Lita said the Australians have very high standards for coffee and it's hard to get a bad cup here. This one I had from Brunetti then was particularly memorable.
Back to the present--time to explore some more...
But first to download some email and whatsapp some people back home. I always keep my roaming feature off and make the most of free wi-fi spots whenever I see them. B can probably stay here the whole day connected to the rest of the world with his Samsung.
Heading off to another part of town, but this is enough walking for one post.
I can't find my pictures of the Southgate area below the bridge. Grr. this@$%@ iPhone!