27 Jul 2013

melbourne inspirations



Last weekend I travelled across the stormy waters (to Melbourne) to visit my gorgeous friend M and her husband J. The weekend was heaven (my idea of heaven, anyway): shopping for hot pink sequined cardigans, geranium-rose scented handwash, and mod apple-print napkins (oh, and M found the last copy of Sumptuous magazine!); eating √©clair de fraise and sipping fortifying earl grey before the afternoon assault on the shops; being equally inspired by the breath-taking, transformative beauty of Monet’s waterlilies and the detailed, quirky interiors of many, many cafes.
 
I hadn’t realised how starved I was of beauty, of new sensations and pleasures: of the sweet conundrum of choosing between a pecan macaron or hazelnut ice cream (I went with the ice cream; M had a salted caramel macaron). Of marveling wide eyed at one caf√©’s spot-on balance of industrial grunge and elegance, mixing uplit yellow bouquets with street-sign stools (no doubt inspired by Rosalie Gascoigne, one of my favourite artists). Of touching soft cashmere sweaters and nubbly linen throws, enjoying champagne and pizza with friends, trying (and buying) glamourous hats, and wafting thru scented department store floors.
 
Probably much to M’s embarrassment, I enjoyed myself so much and was so eager to absorb everything that I talked non-stop to the sales assistants. Are these bowls hand thrown? Where did you get that lipstick from? How exactly did you make those little cakes? I felt a little like the country hick visiting her glamourous big city cousins. So much to see, do and learn; so little time.

My mind is still remembering and processing details and snatched glimpses to somehow replicate at home. Some are easy: the stemless wine glasses used for tea, the Zero teapots that appeared everywhere. I’ve previously resisted their streamlined charms, but now I realise such resistance is futile. I want a crackled one. Or maybe the dark burgundy colour. Or the rose. Or...

Others – I shall make my own toasted granola, but maybe not as fantastically good as the one I had for Sunday brunch. I shall buy flaky croissants to make weekend breakfasts special, and pull out the good china more often, a la M&J. And I shall attempt the little light-as-air passionfruit and orange drizzle cake – no butter, but nine eggs! – the recipe for which I miraculously drew out from the generous, talented chef (as scribbled on the back of the cafe card; above).
 
As my friend S said, it’s good to ‘get off the island’ for some recharging. To step outside your normal life for a moment, to experience and dream of lovely things and moments, and hopefully translate it into your own real world when you return.
 

10 comments:

  1. This sounds like a lovely escape e! I can very much relate to this. Although I love our life in the outback I miss the cafes, markets and general vibrancy of the big city. I like the sound of your pink sequined cardigan!

    I think when a city outing is a rarity we enjoy it more than if we were surrounded by it all of the time. Like you, after I have been 'away' I process the details for months afterwards! Great post.

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    1. Thank you Jane. I come away wishing i lived in melbourne, but as you say, when it's a rare and irregular event, it makes it so much more exciting and impactful.
      and i think if i lived in melbourne, i would be broke very soon!

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  2. Melbourne is so good for an aesthetic recharge. I was there a couple of weeks ago, an escape from my own island, and had a wonderful time in the wool shops, the cafes, markets, arcades. Everywhere I went felt and looked properly cared for. And the shop assistants are so much more friendly there than here. It's good to go off and get reinspired about life at home.

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  3. hi sue. i'm glad you had a similarly wonderful experience! it's such a cosmopolitan city, isn't it? i've been to melbourne before, but this time it felt so much more inspirational.

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  4. Great blog and even greater weekend! Big shout out to Three Bags Full in Abbotsford - what an amazing breakfast! Love your tea pot and David Jones tray. x

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    1. Thank YOU! And yes, Three Bags Full is now my all time fave cafe. You should go back and work your way thru its amazing brunch menu. such hard work that would be...

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  5. Oh...your weekend away sounds sublime. All the little details. How lovely that the chef shared his recipe with you. Thank you for sharing your experience.

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    1. thank you SB. and when i make the cakes i shall share them here, as they were so incredible and light. nine eggs though! woo.

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  6. I love inspiring weekends away, I to feel like a country hick when going to the city. I don't get as glammed up like I use to when I lived in the city. The country life is very forgiving on fashion sense. Please do share the cake recipe, i have plenty of eggs.

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    1. i hope to post it here soon when i have made it - but you have pressing egg matters at hand, lizzie, i shall email it to you!

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