Monday 30 January 2023

Summer holidays - meals and outings

Summer is a time of resting, swimming and catching up with friends.  As I am unlikely to find time to blog about individual cafes, here are a few I have been to recently and a bit of what I got up to in my holidays.  Above is Torquay beach on New Year's Day.  It was really busy on a hot day.

I met Alison for lunch at Tinker, 235 High Street, Northcote.  It was pretty full, as you would expect in one of the few places open between Christmas and New Year in the suburb.  And because it had a touch of hipster.  I could not resist the Golden Gaytime Hotcakes for lunch.  Gaytime is one of those iconic Aussie ice creams that fascinates and delights me.  These hotcakes were not as fancy as some Gaytime creations I have tried but they still felt deliciously indulgent with salted caramel ice cream, strawberries, honeycomb and chocolate sauce.

Indeed when I met Eliza in North Carlton her first choice was slim pickings so instead we went to Shimbashi at 344 Rathdowne Street, a Gluten Free Japanese restaurant.  We both chose the bento.  I had a Teriyaki Tofu Bento.  It was just what I needed with mutigrain rice, fried tofu in teriyaki sauce and vegies, as well as lovely miso soup. 

I visited Jane and family at their Point Lonsdale holiday house where we had simple but very satisfying salad sandwiches for lunch.  It was a nice relaxing visit sitting around being entertained by their cat, walking around the rockpools and swimming in the ocean.

Unlike my usual beach, Torquay, there are very few waves at Point Lonsdale and there was not even dry sand where we swam (though you could walk along a bit to a beach where people were sitting under umbrellas).  We put our towels and shoes on the seawall and walked out to where it suddenly got quite deep.  Lovely!

I met Faye for dinner at the Edinburgh Castle Hotel, Brunswick where I have enjoyed quite a few meals.  Unfortunately the eggplant parma was not cooked through so I had to leave too much of it.  Instead of a photo from that meal, I am sharing a photo of an eggplant parma from The Clyde Hotel in Carlton where I have had many an excellent melting eggplant parma.  We shared some arancini at the Edinburgh Castle which were really nice and crispy.

Then the kids started playing the piano close to us so we went for a walk down Sydney Road.  I noticed a few of the shops had cute paintings on their windows.  It took me a while to notice that they were part of a Sydney road festive window art.

It was actually very peaceful walking along Sydney road chatting and looking for a place to have a cuppa after our meal.

Then we saw a little hole in the wall ice cream shop with the delicious name "A Little Room for Ice Cream", 420 Sydney Road, Brunswick.  We both chose the vegan cherry ripe ice cream.  It was amazing with what seemed like chunks of cherry ripe but apparently were not the actual chocolate bar because it was vegan.  The outside on the tables were very pleasant on the balmy evening while we ate our ice creams.

I had a very happy accident when I booked to go to Rooftop Cinema and ended up in Hawthorn instead of in the city where I had expected to be.  Heather and I had dinner at Fonda (651 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn) beforehand.  I loved the Burrito Bowl: broccoli, cabbage, pickled carrot and onion, roasted sweet potato, brown rice and  quinoa, salsa, lime and garlic dressing, guacamole, crispy paprika chickpeas & tortilla strips.  Heather also enjoyed her burrito.  We sat outside under the rail bridge and got a shock the first time a train thundered past.

Then we walked up to the roof of the Lido cinema and luckily were paying for choc tops because I found that my wallet was missing and went back to Fonda where I found it on a seat on the footpath!  The rooftop cinema had considerably less seats than when I have been at the rooftop cinema at Curtin House in the city.  I assume we had individual headphones to placate the locals.  It was a lovely night to sit up high and look down at the lights of Glenferrie Road.  The Fabelmans was a really enjoyable and beautiful movie that had a touch of magic which is just right for watching cinema on a rooftop.

The Fitzroy Gardens is a great place in inner city Melbourne for energetic kids to run around.  I met Y and her two kids at the gardens and we wandered about, stopped for a picnic, watched the kids play on the play equipment and visited Cook's Cottage.  I think the last time I paid to go in Cook's Cottage, Sylvia was so little she could swing on the rope keeping people out of the recreated rooms.  And cute enough to get away with it.  It was great to catch up with Y and amusing to see the kids playing with an old fashioned skittle set.

I have been going to what we used to call Captain Cook's Cottage since I was little and it still amazes me at how tiny and charming it is.  I am still fascinated that it was brought from Yorkshire with the bricks labelled so they could put them back together.  The history of Captain Cook is far more complex now than it was when we were kids.  Gradually we are being shown by our Indigenous the deep pain of the story of Cook "discovering" Australia and the myth of terra nullus.  I am not sure if it is a redeeming feature of the house that it was never actually lived in by Captain Cook.  Though there is still a Cook statue in the garden, the house seems presented as an example of another era, rather than the home of a national hero!

And back to Torquay where I recently had lunch with my parents at Pond Cafe (39 the Esplanade).  My mum ordered the cauliflower tacos and I tasted some cauli and it was delicious.  I had a salad of halloumi, israeli couscous, pea and green goddess dressing.  I loved our outdoor seats with lots of trees and a view of the front beach.  My parents had a walk while I had a swim at the surf beach.  And then headed home because I had work the next day.


  1. What a relaxing time you've had! I love the laidback vibe of January. And lucky that you found your wallet too! :o

  2. What a wonderfully delicious time you've been having. It seems that the weather, the food and the company were all top notch. I'm still salivating over those pancakes!

  3. Michael and I recently had dinner at Shimbashi on your recommendation and enjoyed it very much! I'll blog about it soon. Thanks again for the tip. :)


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