And the idea of just wandering off to a cafe with a notebook and writing and seeing where that takes me for awhile is just bliss. – J.K. Rowling
Melbourne likes to describe itself as the most European of Australian cities, but I’ve never been too sure just what that was supposed to mean. No kangaroos bouncing along the pavement? No use of the phrase flaming gala? No hats with bobbing corks or koalas or boomerangs or any other crass stereotypes anyone can muster up for the land of Down Under? (Incidentally, mind, while all those things are false for city life, the vegemite rumour is most definitely true.)
And then it struck me. The cafes. The coffee. The beautiful boutique shops and bars, narrow streets, arcades of patterned glass and stacks of pastel-pink sugar-dusted French macarons. That’s where the connection was (although perhaps French or Italian might have been a more appropriate word. I didn’t see too much of weak watered tea, currywurst or heart-chiselled shutters about the place.)
Still, some of the cafes and shops in Melbourne are a treat to behold – and I was lucky enough to have Danae from Hidden Secret Tours to help me find them.
Enjoy the photos – and remember to let the flavours of chilli, chocolate and freshly ground coffee beans circulate while you’re looking.
Disclosure – This road trip along the Great Ocean Road forms part of the #MelbourneTouring project with iAmbassador, Visit Victoria and Visit Melbourne.As ever, as always, I’m free to write whatever I like here on Inside the Travel Lab.
Abigail King is a writer and photographer who swapped a career as a doctor for a life on the road. Now published by Lonely Planet, the BBC, CNN, National Geographic Traveler & more, she feels most at home experimenting here: covering unusual journeys, thoughtful travel and luxury on www.insidethetravellab.com