Days Out: Enjoying Melbourne

This was my third ever visit to Melbourne and by the time you reach ‘third visit’ status, you feel slightly less of a tourist and a bit like you know your way around! Rather than do a ‘new arrival’ guide this time, I’m just sharing with you some of the fun food and visits I undertook when I was there about a week ago.

I know those look slightly unusual to some European eyes, but I’m a huge fan of Vietnamese food, particularly rice paper rolls. They are every so slightly chewy in their own right and generally contain very healthy fillings. I chose from Roll’d, which is a chain, but really doesn’t suffer from most chain issues.


I selected a chicken and avo as well as a lemongrass beef, both stuffed with rice noodles and raw veggies, and went for a spicy hoisin dressing. Such a tasty and light lunch.


So for supper the same night, my meal didn’t look quite so healthy! But don’t worry campers, that honey and sesame chicken which looks so delicious was in fact revolting and got scooped into a handy napkin. The underlying shaved beef with carrots and black bean was much better and filled me up perfectly.


It has been super warm in Melbourne recently, though it topped out at 29 while I was there, this week, it’s closer to 39. I would say I’m lucky to have missed it, but I’m sitting in Uluru writing this and it’s 42 degrees in the shade!!

Melbourne has a thriving Chinatown right off the main drag.


I did manage to find the third in my search for Malteaser flavours – this time honeycomb (which sounds a bit more appetising than the raspberry version I tried last week).


As you already know, some of my favourite places are libraries (try Perth Library, Buenos Aires or Santiago!)


The State Library of Victoria in Melbourne is an architectural delight but loses out to those other libraries by having a non-functioning internet service (by contrast, all the South American libraries had moderate speed and Perth and Sydney had fast wifi for everyone – perhaps they were having an off day!).


Still, a great place to get some writing done, just not anything online.


I did find a pretty amazing stationery shop in Melbourne Central – called Milligram.  They had all my favourite brands, Leuchtturm is principal among those – I just love the dotted notebooks.  However, in Australia, the cost of the notebooks is outrageous at between 35 and 45 dollars.  The book I like costs £12 in the UK.


I was wondering where I had put my photo of the raspberry Maltesers, and here it is!


The other store that’s just great for flavours outside of Western Europe is KitKat – there are so many varieties (I found some great ones in Japan) and this store in Melbourne had most of them. I promise I didn’t buy any!


Melbourne is a great city to visit. When I first went there about 10-12 years ago, I really loved it and I do think it has changed (or maybe I’ve changed too!).  Nowadays I do really love Sydney (there’s a vibrant Melbourne-Sydney debate in both traveller forums and among locals).  They’re both great cities but Sydney might win my vote!


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