It's been a busy weekend. I have arrived home a little weary, and most certainly all talked out after catching up in Melbourne on the weekend with the bloggers known as Faux Fushia and Romy from Diary of a Hobart Housewife, plus blog commenter Pamela (who knows them both from the Garden Tour they all took earlier in the year in England). It was such a fun weekend - non stop talking, a bit of light shopping, breakfast/ lunches and dinners out and a few cultural highlights.
We all arrived in Melbourne on Friday, and had dinner at Cafe e Cucina in South Yarra. I wore this navy Lela Rose dress with my gold shoes and clutch and fishnets. Cafe e Cucina unfortunately disappointed this time - far too noisy due to large group tables. It got to a point where I turned around and asked the group of young guys sitting behind us to turn the volume down as we literally couldn't hear each other talking. To their credit they were apologetic, but this is not normally something I would do... so that means they were really, ridiculously loud. I really hate not being able to hear in a restaurant. I am turning into a grumpy old person.
Saturday was a gloriously warm and sunny day. We hit the ground running with a tour of the cultural sights of the Paris end of Collins Street (as it is known) in the city.
Here's Romy and Faux Fuchsia admiring the Hermes Halloween themed windows. They had crows made of paper and matching black Hermes accessories showcased, just in case you're in need of some inspiration for your Trick or Treating maybe?
Romy managed to confuse the four Hermes sales staff by asking them to find the hidden monkey on this scarf for her (it's the signature of the artist). At one point they were all gathered around it staring intently.... It would have been the best time to run off with one of the bags on display (most likely my only chance of ever getting my hands on a Hermes bag).
We then popped into Paspaley. The sales staff are so lovely and let us try on lots of necklaces. Here is Faux Fuchsia in an $88,000 strand of baroque south sea pearls. Pamela had a strand worth $230,000 on that looked like large gum balls. They really do make your skin absolutely glow - If I had to choose between that or a facelift, I'd definitely take the pearls any day as an anti ageing trick.
We visited Christine, purveyor of excellent accessories, and right next door to the floral designer Pollon, which I tried once before to take a photo of for the blog but finally managed to do so in a non blurry way.
After visiting Miss Louise, Chanel, Prada, and Dolce e Gabanna we stopped for lunch at Bistro D'Orsay which has beautiful painted ceilings and stuffed ourselves for lunch with with Rillettes and pasta. Somehow the day passed in a blur, and despite covering a geographical area of approximately 200 meters, we spent 7 hours doing so.
Dinner on Saturday night was at Grossi Florentino, so we all frocked up and I wore this bargain drapey black silk Oscar de la Renta dress (70% off with an extra 30% off from the Outnet), matched with my Shoes of Shame on their first outing and a pink patent clutch bag.
My photos from dinner are dreadful. I need to sort out the lazy camera situation. Iphone photos do not do it justice. It was a beautiful setting and the food was outstanding. This was the chocolate souffle I had for dessert.
Pamela had the best vintage Alligator handbag with bamboo handle from the 50's. The bags were given their own mini seats next to ours at the restaurant - very fancy.
Sunday, Melbourne turned on the weather charm by lashing us with rain and a maximum of 14 C. We headed to Albert Park, my old stomping ground, to have breakfast and a browse in the shops, including The Avenue Bookshop, which I think is the best bookshop in Australia. They have a fantastic range of Art and Design books, and the sales staff are often Authors or at the very least absolutely passionate about books. We managed to while away an hour in there.
We then went on a slow stroll around St Vincent's Gardens just around the corner from the Village. It is listed by Heritage Victoria and has beautiful terrace houses arranged around the Heritage garden square in the centre.
We admired everyone's front gardens and the beautiful old houses.
Then strolled through the garden square in the centre - it's modelled on the traditional London Garden Square, and there are only a handful in this format in Melbourne, this being the most Architecturally intact. All the iron railings around the park were taken out during WW2 for the iron, but aside from that the planting schemes and paths are intact. I used to practically live in this park (the playground part) when we lived in the neighbourhood, as do all the mothers in the area, as the houses in the area are generally very small - lots of tiny workers cottages.
And so, I then returned home to an equally exhausted Mr AV who had held the fort while being inundated with work... he wasn't the most cheerful.
But in my absence my first Lady of Shallot rose by David Austin has opened. Isn't it pretty?
And a couple more flag irises. The garden is quite behind this year as it's been much wetter and cooler than usual.
The reno is moving along too - here's the finished exterior render, the first coat is now drying off for the final coat in grey
Inside the plasterboard is going up
And next week the existing old kitchen is going to be demolished... which means I'll be without a kitchen for a few weeks before the new one is completed, but also that I have to pack up the kitchen stuff and put it somewhere (where I don't actually know, we are losing even more space now). So I'm going to be a bit quiet on the blog front for a couple of weeks as I do the pack up and cope with the chaos.
Be back in a couple of weeks..... I hope! Hope you had a great week too xx
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