Melbourne – Day 2 (“No naps allowed”)

Today has been sponsored by jet lag.

Just when we were patting ourselves on the back for bearing it – bam! We were both wide awake at 00.15… I looked at the time assuming it was about 4am and could not BELIEVE it when we had in fact been in bed for a grand total of an hour and a half. UGH. I also saw 4.30am, 5.30am and eventually gave up and got up at 6.30am. Is this what parenting is like!?!

I’m sure we got a few hours, but Rob was definitely awake reading in the small hours. However he’s made good progress on Fellowship of the Ring (#NZresearch) – which I’m happy about as it means I’ll get my Kindle back soon! (I wonder if I should do post about books I’ve read on trip – just to have someone other than R to wang on to about how great Lord of the Rings is?).

So when you can’t sleep at 6.30 on a Sunday morning, what’s the obvious thing to do? Go for a run of course! Yep. We’re weird.  My first on this side of the equator (I was a non-runner last time I was down under) – there’s going for be a lot more coming up over the next few months! For the first few steps my knees were a bit like “what are you doing to me?!”, but I quickly got into it. We went down the river to the MCG and back again. I love running by a river (I tend to fit one in when I’m in London for work) as you can’t get lost! And it felt so good to get moving again. We only did 5k as I hadn’t had much dinner, or brekkie, or sleep, but I’m keen for another on the Great North Road if there’s time.

We got back and it was still not even 8.30am (!!)… and quickly got changed, for today we were on a mission: to find the world’s best croissant. Yep, apparently it’s in Melbourne (don’t tell the French). Usually I’m the one who does all the food-related research, but fair play to my husband, this was all his! We were heading for a place called Lune Croissanterie in Fitzroy, a suburb in NE Melbourne. Frankly, I was sold on the name alone (anywhere called “Croissanterie” is a winner by me!).

Annoyingly our mission soon turned into a pastry pilgrimage. We discovered the tram lane we needed was closed for repairs so naively thought, “Let’s walk; it can’t be far!”.

Considering we’d already run a 5k that morning, we had walked nearly 10k by the time we found the bloody place. On no breakfast!! The walk was made even more unpleasant by a pretty crappy cappuccino that exploded chocolate powder all over Rob on the way.

Needless to say, we were I was pretty bloody hangry by the time we found Rose St. Especially because Rose St does not look like street one would find a croissanterie… until you’re right on top of the thing.

Bye bye, hanger – hello paradise. If this was a pilgrimage, we had truly died and gone to heaven. Lune is not just a café, or a bakery – it’s a croissant factory. A CROISSANT. FACTORY. A big industrial space with a glass cube in the middle where the magic (croissant-ing) happens. R had read that the queue can reach down the street, but luckily it wasn’t too busy when we got there (we kept wondering why hardly anyone was around on the streets, then remembered it’s because it was SO BLOODY EARLY). It’s card only and a nice man takes your coffee-to-go order in the queue – they are a pretty slick operation!

The selection of the day is lined up on the counter, a big concrete slab not unlike an altar, and we were indeed thanking the patisserie GODS as we got to the front. They had plain, pain au chocolat, poppyseed and filled varieties, as well as some more… creative?… offerings. Who the f*ck wants a cauliflower croissant!? I kid you not. Bloody hipsters.

We had to get a plain one (quality control, obvs), and also went for an almond (me) and a banana cream (R). Guys…. It was amazing. Words cannot express. Nutty and buttery and fragrant without being sickly. R’s was much sweeter, with a smooth banana cream on top and a filling that was basically banana bread cake mix! We split and savoured the plain one – it’s better just not to know how much butter is in a croissant, but that’s what makes them SO GOOD!

I have to say – I don’t think it was the world’s best croissant (judging the plain one only here – it’s what the French would want). It had a crispy, almost sugar-glazed shell – way too shiny and too crispy for me. It was still nice and flaky when you bit into it, but too crispy for me, and too big an air pocket inside (I’m sure this is probs something to do with lamination; where’s Paul Hollywood when you need him?).

I realise I have now written over 500 words about patisserie but a) have you met me? And b) CROISSANT FACTORY.

In a blissed-out buttery haze we walked into Fitzroy. I’d heard a lot about it; a funky, hipstery neighbourhood – I was picturing Brooklyn-esque… but I have to say, I didn’t love it. I liked all the things there – loads of cafes, restaurants, bars… I just didn’t like the vibe compared to the CBD. Maybe I’m being unfair – we popped into Industry Beans for a coffee, and found a cool makers market next year (Nikki – made me think of you!). I think we were there a bit too early. All the bars suggested it would be an awesome night out (it wasn’t 10am by this point). We might head back on Weds night when we get back from Great Ocean Road.

Attempt number 2 to work out the trams – success (thanks 7/11 lady!). We went down to St Kilda, the more hippy, laid-back neighbourhood right by the beach. It was pretty windy but the beach looked great; I’m excited to stay there on Wednesday night (they have penguins!!). We wandered along the Esplanade Market then went to an obnoxious but delicious veggie café for lunch.

I say we went for lunch, but in my sleep-addled brain it felt like about 4pm. I hit a wall no amount of avo toast could conquer. We hopped back on the tram and I moped my way back to the apartment for numerous cups of tea and some chill out time but NO NAPPING. Naps are jet lag kryptonite. They’re what jet lag wants you to do. Naps are for losers! Rob, being all-round a better human than me when tired, took himself off to the MCG to indulge in all things cricket-y. To be fair, even if I’d been full of beans I would have probably been fairly annoying on a cricket tour, so I think it was for the best.

Once we got back we checked out our route for the next day. We were picking up the hire car then heading to Torquay where the G.O.R starts. There’s also an Anglesea on the way!

I could easily have gone to bed, but nope, naps were still for losers, so we picked ourselves up off the sofa and went out to find Chuckle Park, a gorgeous little bar that is literally sandwiched in the gap between two buildings. It was instagram central (I was very restrained!) with fairy lights and disco balls a plenty. We both loved R’s BEER!

We had walked through Chinatown the night before so headed there again in search of noodles – comfort food! All. I. Want. Is. VEG. I’m used to eating so much veg at home and I’m feeling a bit run down without it, so making an effort to seek it out over the next few days. We’re hoping we might be able to cook for ourselves the next few night – and apparently our place in Marengo tomorrow has a hot tub. YES PLEASE.

Slang of the day – icy poles (ice lollies), light globes (lightbulbs).

 

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