Side bar: Actual Frank Ocean Concert rant here. Below is a memoir of the whole Melbourne trip ;)
You may have read in my last blog (oh-so long ago, now) that my friends and I missed out on nabbing tickets to Frank Ocean's first Melbourne sideshow for the Friday 26th of July.
I. Was. Devastated.
I spent several days walking around, slightly lost, reconsidering the meaning of life - It was bad.
So, when a random whim beckoned me to check an email account, that I never usually check; only to find an email giving the heads-up of a SECOND show, going on sale 5 minutes from reading the notice - Shit got cray. Such was the first incident of "Can you believe it?"
I immediately contacted my girlfriends to confirm whether they were still keen and free to hit up the Ocean gig. I was met with the most efficient and unanimous "HELL YES" and a 45 minute sea of digital squeals and groupie half-jokes. Not even exaggerating.
I swiftly jumped onto the Ticketmaster website and secured the first 5 seats I could get. Fcuk they sold fast. They weren't primo seats, but who cared?! Soon enough, these babies were in my supremely elated hands.
The 5 of us decided to make a weekend of it, flying down to Melbourne from Brisbane on the Thursday morning and returning on the Saturday evening. We flew Tiger airways, scoring tickets for $85 per person, each way. Though there were fears of Tiger living up to their notorious reputation and us subsequently missing the reason we were flying down in the first place; the flight proceeded without a hitch. If anything, there was just a 10 minute delay in taking off, which was made up for while we were in the air - The second incident of "Can you believe it?" (CYBI)
When we landed in Melbourne, we braced ourselves for the unforgiving, cold and windy wait in the taxi rank for a maxi taxi to take us to our apartment. To our disbelief, we were met by a maxi as soon as we left the airport and headed onwards as if it were pre-planned - Incident #3 of CYBI.
We stayed in the Nolan suites of the Grand Mercure Serviced apartments in Docklands.
Despite the construction and somewhat ghost town-esque atmosphere going down in the area during the day, I would absolutely recommend hitting up these apartments if you are also in town for a Festival Hall gig or for Cavalia. Here are some of the reasons why:
- 2 min walk to Harbourtown Outlet Shopping (if you're into that sort of thing. Me, not so much);
- Free tram into the CBD or just a $10 cab fare, for those travelling to/fro in the 4am-ish hours of the day;
- Random fireworks on a Friday evening, no joke - Incident #4 of CYBI
And most importantly, a 10 minute walk to Festival Hall.
So, a few too many bottles of some wine (that we could pronounce), several random and super posey getting ready photos and only 45 minutes of getting-ready time; these bitches and I were on our way to Monsieur Frank Ocean!
Refer here for actual Frank Ocean Concert ramble, while I continue on my Bitches Weekend talk.
The following day, still reeling in awe from being in the same room as one of my dearest musical idols, my girls and I hit the streets of Melbourne. Following our noses and eyes far bigger than our stomachs, we wandered down laneways upon laneways, searching for our next meals.
One of our breakfasts (yes, one of them), was had at The Grain Store. This quaint, almost missable cafe, tucked away in Flinders Lane amongst a few construction sites; evokes a a somewhat French provincial/German family home.
At first glance, the menu may seem to be overly elaborate and descriptive; But the pomposity is soon overlooked, once you start finding all the things you crave combined in one dish. Take for example the following meal.
Pictured below is a Portobello mushroom and raclette potato rosti, on a bed of baby spinach, topped with poached eggs and a hazelnut hollandaise. I know right, what genius conceived the marriage of such deliciousness?
And my gosh, that hazelnut hollandaise was possibly the most delicious hollandaise I have ever consumed. Thumbs up to this one.
One of the other dishes with somewhat shared amongst us included a plate of orange cured salmon and a fried poached egg (a level of breakfast craziness far too eggsellent to bother making at home... yeah, I went there), on a bed of mixed leaves with a dash of truffle creme fraiche, smoked eggplant and homemade crostini. To be honest, I would have been happy to have just had a plate of several fried poached eggs and that hazelnut hollandaise sauce. The rest of that meal was pretty forgettable.
The third dish our group ordered was the gluten free organic amaranth porridge with a myriad of random hippy things, none of which contributed to making thing particular item at all tasty. Once again, I refer back to my preference of the poached eggs and sauce dish. I'd clearly make an awesome chef.
Now, I'm not going to go into so much detail about the rest of our food adventures because, for 1) That blog could go on for days; and 2) I'm not that kind of blogger. Instead I shall simply leave a bunch of random pics, for you to salivate over/scroll past =)
Macarons are to Melbourne as Cupcakes are to New York. Fact.
Hopetoun Teahouse. Standard.
Pulled pork tacos. Decent.
Mexican Corn. Sub par.
Fruit tart. Not mine.
Possible THE most amazing macaron I have EVER experienced. Being a cupcake person myself, I don't quite understand the macaron obsession. I've rarely even had one that has made me take a second glance. However this one. My gosh. I think I raved about this one macaron for at least 30 minutes after it was gone. I all but grieved for it's loss, when we left the borough at which it was found.
Other things I love about the beautiful city of Melbourne is the awesome street art splashed across laneway walls
and finally one of the last incidents of "Can you believe it?!"... This random lady who sat next to me on the tram...
All in all, Melbourne was as Melbourne always is to me - a whimsical and refreshing break from reality. Every time I visit, I wish it could be for just that little bit longer.
Until next time, Melbs...