We stayed in a great apartment building called City Tempo, which was only a few blocks from Melbourne's famous outdoor food market, Victoria Market. We loved our little studio apartment because it had a well-equipped kitchen, a washer/dryer, and being on the 27th floor, we had a great view facing west. Also, its proximity to Victoria Market was key since we really enjoyed shopping for fresh food there!
We did a lot of exploring in Melbourne, visiting the following places:
- Victoria Market (outdoor food market)
- South Bank (river walk, cafes, casinos, shopping)
- Crown Entertainment Complex (full of shops & casinos - a lot like Vegas)
- Royal Botanic Gardens
- St. Kilda (low-key beach town with lots of cafes)
- Downtown shops (there are lots!)
- Fitzroy (hipster boutiques, bars & cafes)
- Hardware Lane (a charming alley full of restaurants where every owner harasses you to choose theirs)
Here are some pictures from around Melbourne:
St. Kilda is a little beach town about a 20 minute tram ride from Melbourne central. While we were there, it was too cold to enjoy the beach, but I can see this neighborhood being really fun in the summer time. There is a main street filled with cafes, restaurants and shops. There is one stretch of this road that has about 4-5 cake shops in a row. We definitely indulged!
One evening we went out in the Fitzroy neighborhood to a restaurant called Naked for Satan. Fitzroy seems to be where a lot of the hipsters hang out and this place is a crowd favorite. Its specialty is vodka, and they have an extensive menu of vodkas from around the world, infused vodkas and exotic vodka cocktails. On the ground level, they offer $2 tapas (the price drops to $1 later at night, which fortunately coincided with our arrival). Upstairs, there is a full service restaurant and a rooftop bar that was jammed packed. We opted to for downstairs and really enjoyed our drinks and the interesting tapas they served. Chris tried a sampler of their infused vodka and they all tasted like cough medicine, so make sure you pass on those if you ever visit.
I really liked the back story for the bar name, Naked for Satan: A guy named Satanovich moved to Australia from Russia after his family perished in the early 1900's. He settled in Fitzroy and worked as a sweeper in the building currently occupied by the bar. During the Great Depression, alcohol became very expensive. Satanovich knew how to make vodka because it was his father's profession back in Russia. So in the basement of this building, he started making vodka, allowing anyone with ingredients to use his facilities. As you can imagine, he became very popular! During the summer, the basement was sweltering while the vodka was brewing, so Satanovich would strip off his clothes until he was almost naked to stay cool. Those who joined him did the same. The Aussies, who tend to shorten words, called him Satan instead of Satanovich. So whenever someone wanted vodka they would go and get naked with Satan.
Stay tuned for our next post on our trip along the Great Ocean Road, stretching west along the coast from Melbourne.