EATS: Miss Marples, Sassassfras

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Over the hill and far away lies a little old cottage with a mysterious way.

It was a beautiful day this Tuesday passed and I thought it would be a great day to attempt the 1000 steps situated at the base of the ever beautiful Mt Dandenong. I invited my friend Mel to take on the challenge with me. I pumped myself up too much that I was overwhelmed (and too unfit) to complete it. We got half way and run into a little difficulties with Mel’s health and my fitness, so we gave up and went back down. It’s hard to admit it, but we were happy with our decision. As we got back to my car we decided on heading up Mt Dandenong to explore it a little and find a place to get a bit to eat.

Mt Dandenong is such a beautiful drive, it is also a bit difficult driving up as it is steep and very windy, but nothing can ruin the smell of old bark and native trees. The road goes through beautiful small towns and have scattered all the way up beautiful cottages. Many times as I looked around I thought I was in the old villages in the UK, even though I haven’t been.

Seven kilometers up from where 1000 steps, the base of Mt Dandenong, is lies a sleepy town called Sassassfra. As you drive into this charming town you pass a small strip of shops that remind me of Daylesford. Shops of gifts and therapeutical goodies along with little cafes. Across the road from the nursery sit Miss Marples Tearooms, a dainty little English style cottage that invites you into the world of ‘tea and biscuits’.

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EATS: Vanilla, Oakleigh

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Every Sunday, well most Sunday’s, me and a group of friends try and catch up and explore different cuisines and places to eat. It started off with my friend Mel and I down Glenhuntly Road in Elsternwick for Korean BBQ, something I had never experienced. From then we vowed to try at least once a week to catch up outside of work to experience cuisines we have never really tried. So far we have done Hungarian, Russian and Turkish and a couple weeks ago we ended up, with a few others, in Oakleigh for a spot of dessert. Oakleigh has a massive Greek community, with Eaton Street filled to the brim with Greek cuisine. As soon as I walked down that street at 8.30pm I felt like I was in Greece. Europeans are know for their late dinners, and judging by the busy-ness of the street, dinner barely just started.

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Cape Woolamai and When Things Go Wrong

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The other week I finally found sometime to head out on a little day trip and found myself struggling to choose a place to go! After a little research I decided on heading towards Phillip Island to a place called Cape Woolamai, and I am so glad that I did. Not only is the destination beautiful, but I was put in a situation where I learnt to remain calm, something that is important when travelling.

After a month long period of hectic work schedules I felt I needed that day away from the city with just me, myself and I. I can’t express this enough, everyone needs to allow themselves the time to travel alone, even if this mean just spending a day in the car driving away from your home for a few hours. I never thought I would like travelling alone, but since experiencing travelling in groups or with one other person I much prefer the solo road. So I packed a backpack of day essentials and drove down the South Gippsland Highway out of the city. There was a little trouble before arriving to Cape Woolamai but is something I am able to use as a learning curb.

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EATS: Meatmaiden, Melbourne, Victoria

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Okay, so when people think of going out for dinner in Melbourne and the close surrounding areas most say ‘lets meet up in Lygon street’ or ‘dumplings in Chinatown with BYO’. This is quite general, of coarse, but as an observer and someone who works within the industry that is what I have found many any times. As good as these places are, it just seems like there is nothing new and exciting. These food hotspots are more traditional, which makes sense as it is Chinatown and Little Italy. The best part of going out for dinner is not knowing where you are going or what you even feel like. The streets and places you pass are your inspiration and the right food will pop out in front of you like a jack-in-a-box. Melbourne is one of the food capitals of Australia and has so many up and coming food spots, even spreading out into the suburbs, making people go the distance. In the CBD it is more exploring the little streets, the lane ways, the upstairs and the downstairs of buildings.

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One Quick Trip to Sydney

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Last week my friend Sam and I, along with our work colleague Kim, decided to take a spontaneous overnight trip to Sydney to surprise our friends Phil and Kayli. As a Melbournian, a part of me has never wanted to explore enemy grounds and I never felt the urge to visit this harbour city, but my lesson has been learnt, I secretly adored Sydney.

I have been to Sydney maybe 3 or 4 times in my life, never seeing anything but the airport and the view from above as I was taking off to America, oh and the one time I cruised around Vanuatu and New Caledonia we had a transfer to the docks to and from the airport, which we didn’t see much as it was early and I had my eyes closed for the bus ride. When I think about Sydney I think about mass crowds at the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, but Sydney isn’t just about that. Walking along the harbour from the Botanical Gardens to Darling Harbour is spectacular, with amazing views of other parts of Sydney and along the way the old buildings and hidden wharfs. Being there for only a night we didn’t get to see much, because Sydney is HUGE! But plans to go back for maybe a few more days are swirling around in my head.

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EATS: Itali.co, Sorrento, Victoria

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Boy it has been a busy couple of weeks since being my little road trip to Portsea! Now that I have found some time I can FINALLY update my blog with all my EATS since the road trip.

My road trip to Portsea was only a day trip so there is only so much eating I can do! But unfortunately, I only ate one meal that day as I was too busy hiking mountains, playing on the beach and enjoying the views the Mornington Peninsular has to offer. I’m glad that at 5pm my stomach took over my mind and I searched for a perfect place to satisfy my needs.

After leaving Fort Nepean I ended up driving back to Sorrento. I drove up the main street where I spotted a pub, a couple of pizza places and a couple Asian cuisine places. Nothing really stood out to me, although I should never judge a book by its cover. So I drove back towards to the highway, but before I left the town I spotted an Italian place close to the port where the Sorrento/Queensliff ferry docks. I parked the car and hoped it was open, thank God!

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The Way to Portsea

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After pushing through the struggle of the weekend at work I treated myself to solo road trip down the Nepean Highway, all the way to Portsea. I’ve never been to Portsea before so I took this chance to spend the day exploring the coast line that leads to Fort Nepean.

From Elwood, Portsea is about an hour and half drive if you drive straight there without stopping, but who wouldn’t take the opportunity to detour and stop off at breath taking spots to admire what Port Phillip Bay has to offer! I was in awe the whole drive and was a bit annoyed that it had taken me so long to make this drive, especially because it is right outside my door!

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