Thursday, August 29, 2013

Exploring Melbourne's China Town

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Woohoo!!! After rewriting almost every single one of my posts from scratch, My blog is finally back in shape after the disaster with my photo links being broken. Phew! What better way to celebrate with some beautiful (postponed) photographs from my recent trip to Melbourne!
One of the favourite places I visited in Melbourne was China Town. It felt like stepping into another world away from the city! It seemed to emerge in a tiny gap from between the sky scrapers and alleyways revealing another little world. The red, gold, blue and green colours were everywhere from tiny paved surfaces, to lanterns hanging above the street. 
China Town is an absolute mecca for delicious, authentic Chinese food; all it takes is rounding a corner down any tiny alleyway and you will find multiple doors leading into cosy hidden restaurants. In keeping with the Chinese theme, I had one of my favourite foods- vegetarian dumplings! inside a dimly lit, and well packed restaurant
If you are heading to Melbourne, make sure you hunt down this beautiful precinct- Especially if you are a bit of a photographer...you can't help but take photographs of almost everything you stumble across! 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Botched Photo's on my Blog...Issues with Flickr!

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Hello lovelies, I do hope your weeks are all going well! As you may have noticed over the past 24 hours viewing my blog, that there are lots of missing links to photo's...a bloggers worst nightmare!!!!!
All of the links to my photographs have broken- So that means going back and recoding every single blog post with the new URL's for each photograph. (I keep telling myself to just breath!!!) 
After indulging in a light panic attack, I am working furiously at getting it all fixed and am looking at changing my image host provider...any recommendations fellow bloggers?! Thank you all so much for putting up with ikky looking posts until I have this all fixed!...Meanwhile, Here is a pretty photo for you of my leisurely Saturday morning bike ride! 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Mornignton Peninsula: Wine, Cheese and Chocolate Tasting

Untitled One dreary Saturday in Melbourne, Andrew headed to the Sandown Racecourse with his brothers and father where one of them races every other weekend. Us girlfriends of the brothers decided that rain, engine fumes and screeching tires were better left for the boys...so we opted to have a girls day on the Mornignton Peninsula! Despite the weather, we packed our day full of antique shopping and food & wine tasting! These are photo's of some of my favourite food stops from the day.
UntitledUntitled Untitled Untitled Untitled UntitledUntitled Untitled After spending the morning antique shopping and strolling around the streets and shops of Mornington, we worked ourselves up an appetite! We meandered further down the peninsula through hills and roads lined with eucalyptus (So typically Aussie!) until we reached the Montalto vineyard and olive grove. We ate alfresco under patio heaters in their Piazza Cafe looking out over the rolling hills. My favourite part of the meal was sharing a platter of Montalto tapenade, olive oil and dukkah with ciabatta! After eating I went for a quick stroll through their beautiful little vegetable garden. I even spied a little vintage car hidden in an old shed behind the beanstalks and cabbage patches! Untitled UntitledUntitled UntitledUntitled Untitled With our bellies full of food, we walked a couple of meters from the cafe to the Montalto wine tasting room. As I am quite a newbie to wine tasting, I was advised to start "light" and work my way up over the next few years to the more "full bodied" wines. My favourites were 2013 Pennon Hill Moscato and the 2011 Montalto Pinot Noir (Which you can check out here). This was the second vineyard I've ever visited and I am still yet to do a full on winery tour...I can see myself becoming quite the wine connoisseur when I am one day no longer bound by a student budget! It was so interesting learning about how the different wines were made, how to "swish" the glass around and describe the flavours. We also had a great time trying all of the delicious infused olive oils from their olive grove. Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled In heading off from the vineyards, we decided that it really would be wonderful to do some cheese tasting; to our delight, just as we said 'Lets find some cheese!'- we saw a sign saying "Cheese- 50 metres"...how is that for good luck?! We meandered slowly down a long driveway into dense native Australian bush, damp and dewy from the mornings rain, where the Red Hill Cheese shop camouflaged its self between the trees. We ordered a tasting plate with 8 different types of cheeses. The idea was to work our way from the mildest to the strongest cheese, with a bite of water cracker between each cheese to cleanse the pallet. Red Hill Cheese specialise in sheep cheese, which I had never tried before... and it was delicious! Interestingly, sheep cheese has double the protein and fat of cows milk, but contains no saturated fat. I also learnt that people who are lactose intolerant can actually eat sheep cheese and milk. We left with the "Woolamai Mist" sheep cheese, "Granny's Blue" cow blue cheese and "Coolart Soft" cow feta cheese (which you can check out here) My absolute favourite was the Woolamai Mist because it was incredibly creamy and it actually oozed out the sides like melted liquid gold! (which you can see oozing out in the photo!) Untitled Untitled On our way back home with the fullest tummy I think I have ever had in my life, we made one more stop at Mornington Peninsula Chocolates...which I obviously didn't need, but what girl says no to chocolate!? You know the chocolate must be good if the shop is packed! Mornington Peninsula Chocolates specialise in using Belgian, French and Swiss chocolate making techniques. They have so many diverse and exotic flavours of chocolate; some of the more daring include chilli & tequila and strawberry & pink peppercorn. I absolutely loved the chai tea ganache and french earl grey ganache (tea and chocolate in one? yes please!). After getting our chocolate fix we drove home with a car full of antiques, wine, olive oil, cheese, chocolate, and very full tummies!
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