I've just got back from two nights in Melbourne. Mr AV and I escaped, child free, with the excuse of a good friend's 40th Birthday party for a little sojourn in our old stomping ground.

We stayed at the Lyall Hotel in South Yarra this time. I got a good deal through Mr & Mrs Smith that included a bottle of champagne... how could we refuse?! I've stayed a few times at the Lyall, and I love it - it's a boutique hotel well located just off Toorak Rd in South Yarra. It's quiet, a little bit lux, has spacious rooms with separate sitting areas and absolutely lovely staff. It's much nicer than staying in the big city hotels, and certainly it's well located to a lot of good cafes, restaurants and some of my favourite shops.


dark parquetry and an open fire in the lobby


Our room overlooked the plane trees that line the streets in this part of South Yarra.



For the party, I wore this Burberry dress that I've had a couple of years and that was sourced at 70% off with an extra 30% off special on The Outnet. I remember it felt like I was almost stealing from them, it was so cheap. It's a good one for travel as it doesn't crease. It's got these bracelet length sleeves with black bobble beads on it. They look fab, but tend to make an irritating clacking noise. I wore them with opaques and black patent heels.




My friend C and I met in our Albert Park mother's group around 7.5 years ago, and became good friends over the shared experiences of sleepless nights, tantruming toddlers and other associated joys of motherhood. Her party was huge fun, and I caught up with quite a few people I haven't seen since moving home to Adelaide.

Saturday day, Mr AV and I went for an enormous walk, down Chapel Street in South Yarra (avoid, it is not a good place to shop - it's just a big High street with chain stores), turning into Malvern Road, to Prahran East and the Hawskburn Village shops. There are lovely cafes and restaurants, a good bookstore, home wares stores like Plane Tree Farm and Manon, and excellent fashion stores from Trelise Cooper and Belinda, to Husk and children's stores such as Jacadi.

Hawksburn Village

I kept irritating Mr AV on my walk by stopping to take photos of the typical grey rendered houses of Melbourne. We are going to do the same finish on our extension as it will help the new extension to recede into the background from the original part of the house.


I also snapped this beauty around the corner from the hotel in South Yarra - it's part of a row that reminds me of a London townhouse... with a veranda added. It's in Avoca Street, which is right next to another favourite shop of mine - Home and Abroad (good place for really lovely Portugese table and bed linen).


Not London

After a whilrwind of catching up with Melbourne based family, lots of friends and work colleagues of Mr AVs for dinner on another night, we've landed back home with a thump to retrieve the children from their Grandparents where they had a thoroughly enjoyable time. They have given us a lengthy list of the delicious things they've eaten... ice creams, macarons, chips and other foods forbidden when they are at home. No wonder they get excited when we go away.

As for the house, we have an almost finished frame, and they've started putting on the roof steels. This week we'll be getting the windows and the roof trusses as well.






And this is the current state of the garden.... mud pit. It's going to need a lot of work once the extension is finished.



Hope you had a good week. xx

26 comments:

  1. I love your frock esp the sleeves xx

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    1. thanks - the sleeves make the dress. Still can't believe no one else wanted it for the price! xx

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  2. Beautiful dress, Heidi - love those sleeves.
    Glad to hear you had a good weekend sans enfants! I've always wondered if the Lyall is a good place to stay, so glad to hear from you that it is. We might try to go there for our 20th wedding anniversary in November, finances permitting!
    Just finished watching Kevin on TV here - new series of Grand Designs.
    Xx

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    1. The Lyall is great - much better than staying in the city. Mr and Mrs Smith is free to join, and they had a special at 20% off the already low rate, it was much cheaper than staying in the city, much bigger room with a huge bathroom with spa and comparable in price to other cheaper hotels that aren't 5 star. They've got a very nice day spa too, it would be perfect for a 20th anniversary! Can't believe you've been married so long. You must've been a child bride Ruth! xx

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    2. I think that sounds perfect! We've stayed at the Tolarno in St Kilda before, and a very dark serviced apartment on Litttle Collins with kids and parents in tow. It would be nice to stay somewhere posh!
      I was a child bride! ..... Not really. We're both closer to 50 than 40!
      Thanks for the info Heidi. Will save some $ and book it, I think!

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    3. You also get a free bottle of Chandon through Mr and Mrs smith, which is a nice extra too... plus it has a little kitchenette if you want to cook or prepare food (although I can't image you'd want to when on a wedding anniversary!). x

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  3. Love the dress with the in-built accessory! 70% and then 30% reminds me of a old maths question - but sounds like a lot! I do miss Melbourne a lot lately as it has been about 2 years since I was last there- Love looking at the photos of it. I adore townhouses in the inner city. Always nice to have a lovely getaway somewhere familiar. So envious of the progress you are making! xx

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    1. I know what you mean about the maths - sounds like it should be $0!! But it worked out to something pretty cheap, maybe $220 Australian when the english pound was still quite strong. Progress on the house is good, but I've come home and started torturing myself thinking I've made mistakes.... did this on the last house (all worked out fine, but I just have a fairly unpleasant time in the process). Total angst! xx

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  4. I so agree about Chapel Street. Nothing special or fashionable about it at all.I think it's tacky and I grimace when I see it touted as a tourist "must do". thank you for the tip re Avoca Street.

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    1. It drives me nuts when they tell tourists to go there, or even worse, Bridge Rd Richmond. Both are dreadful! I've had friends unfamiliar with Melbourne tell me they think the shopping isn't great at all. Home and Abroad have lovely things, haven't seen the stock repeated in other homewares shops either as they import. xx

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  5. Love the dress. Particularly the sleeves with the bobbly things - gorgeous. Did you used to wear bobbles in your hair when you were young? I can vividly remember having some green and red ones made out of some kind of see-through plastic (?perspex?)

    So glad you had a wonderful break. Must have been nice to walk out on the mud pit for a while! We did something similar and did a quick overnight trip to Perth while the kids had a sleepover at Grannie and Grandpas. Met a group of really old friends who we hadn't seen for ages and went for a degustation dinner. The friends were fabulous - unfortunately the degustation not so good.... Was a great night regardless.

    The house looks like it is progressing - how exciting. Try not to second guess yourself too much... (Says she who used to regularly wake up at 3 am and worry about things like tiles, paint, doorways etc)

    Take care Heidi

    xx

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    1. I did used to wear bobbles back when I was little! They are a little like that, but heavier, they tend to make the sleeves swing around a bit when you walk or move your arm. Your weekend sounds fab too, although disappointing about the degustation. It always annoys me when you have expectations that aren't met food wise...
      Second guessing is the worst! I'm usually not too bad, but have suddenly had a panic about a couple of things and am now Obsessed!! xx

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  6. Looking for something to movitate me at this point in my life I am glad I decided to find out what happens in the world of blogs. I've just recently found your blog and wanted to say how much I am enjoying your posts. The posts about family and home are warm and loving and you have a great eye for detail with regard to design and fashion photos. Looking forward to future updates on your renovation. Wishing you well. K

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comment K, all too often with blogging you tend to just hear the negative from readers, its always nice to hear from someone enjoying what you post. Hope you had a lovely long weekend xx

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  7. Lovely to read about your Melbourne weekend Heidi!! I also love your dress - and that you wore it with opaque tights and heels - I have long been wanting a recommendation for a Melbourne hotel and will definitely book here if we should go again. I love the roof lines and structures that are up... our house is in about the same place - I am driving to Bowral tomorrow to have a look ... am also scared about making mistakes - That big puddle means you have had lots of rain - a good thing? Will you commence on your garden once the build is completed? xx

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    1. Definitely try the Lyall, it's in such a nice location - you'll love just wandering the streets around it looking at the lovely houses. Glad to hear your place is progressing well, and looking forward to seeing the progress on the blog. We've had a bit of rain, but the giant puddle is caused more by the heavy clay soil that has been compacted under the truck's wheels, essentially it's holding water like a dam now! We're aiming to start the garden straight away, otherwise the children won't have anywhere to play xx

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  8. The shopping in Melbourne is fantastic. Glad to hear you had a nice 2 nights away, kid free as well. I love a bargain and love seeing renovation progress. I hope you calm yourself and everything works out as planned. I am sure it will. Oh and garden progress! This also makes me happy. Can't wait. I have buxus plants and 3 magnolias still in their pots. When I bored, move them really close together so that it looks like I have advance and lush plants and I squint with one eye and crop out the plastic pots. . . one day they will go in the ground.

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    1. It passed in a flash! I've only managed to calm myself by making changes....! I tell people never to do this (second guess yourself), but better now than later as I really do think it was a bit of a bungle. It won't cost a lot to change now, and better I'm happy long term than always looking at it thinking.. whoops! I've got a bunch of plants in pots on the side veranda at the moment too, and I'm longing to move them to the back. All in good time xx

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  9. How fun, lucky you.....my child free sojourn seems like such a dim memory now, especially as my husband escaped to the UK for the weekend and I ran the show single handed all over again! Must say, he has come good regarding the washing since we've been here yet all other domestic chores seem more difficult in a foreign country....cleaning is cheaper though....about AUD$18 per hour. That dress looked gorgeous and I can't believe how quickly your house is coming on! Rx

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    1. The child free sojourns always seem like a distant memory within just a few short hours of your return I find!! Can't believe how cheap the cleaning is!! I really can't justify more than 1 hour (two people) a week with my small and somewhat crowded house, and it costs a bomb! I'm really excited to be getting the windows... you can really see it as it will be, which is great after all the waiting leading up to this point in the house's historyxx

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  10. weekends away without children...utter, utter luxury!! Quite smitten with that interesting curved wrought iron balustrade...very lovely detail.

    House is coming along fabulously quickly...love the dress but laughed about the annoying bobbles! At least everybody would know when you are arriving...no sneaking up on people!!

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    1. I was thinking about luxury this week actually, and to me it's a sleep in! So a child free weekend was just lovely - two sleep-ins!!
      That white terrace house is so lovely, it's the end of a row of terraces that are all three storeys high. Very unusual design for Australia. True indeed about the bobbles, they're an early warning system of my approach! xx

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  11. I'm a bit late to catch up with your blog this week Heidi as I've been getting ready for holiday. What a lovely weekend you had... I love the photos of the London-esque homes and the dress is fab. I have not had a weekend sans children since having them, but have a children free wedding in the Cotswolds next month so will be doing a countryside weekend away. Needless to say, I'm very excited about it (possibly more than the bride?!)
    The roof is looking great! x

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    1. What a lovely weekend you have ahead... a child free weekend is a must in my opinion (but difficult to manage when they're little with all the logistical challenges). And a wedding is always a good excuse too - too funny your comment re the bride! xx

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  12. Your dress is so fab!! Love the baubles on them, such a fun details. The hotel you stayed in looks great too, I do love South Yarra and will bookmark this place for my next visit to Melbourne.

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    1. thanks trishie! Its a very easy dress to wear - no accessories needed! It's a great hotel, I'm sure you'll love it (and dangerously located for shopping!) xx

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Architect & Interior Designer. Mother of three. A sometimes Cook, Baker, Reader, Gardener, Fashion Lover, Renovator, Writer of random things in South Australia email me on anadelaidevilla@bigpond.com
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