It’s sooo crazy that we’re already more than halfway through the year with July on the back burner. I’ve made a bit of an effort do be more active so here’s what I did in July.
The main thing that I did during July was try new food restaurants and explore more neighborhoods in Melbourne. I’m currently working on a whole Melbourne city guide so I’m on a mission to really do some intensive research. And by intensive research I mean visiting and experiencing as many different places as possible.
I caught up with one of my friends at Vegie Bar which is a full vegetarian and vegan restaurant in Fitzroy. Their menu does a great job of taking dishes that are usually not vegan/vegetarian friendly and making them vegan/vegetarian friendly. I ordered the Better Than a Big Mac burger that was made with two 100% no beef patties, special sauce, vegan cheese and all the usual goods that come on a classic Big Mac.
As someone who eats meat, I can say that the burger tasted really good and had definitely succeeded at giving you hints of the Big Mac taste. The patty had a meat like taste but the consistency was a lot softer and more chewy. Overall, I’d definitely recommend Vegie Bar even if you’re not vegan or vegetarian.
On the 4th of July, I visited Mason Dixie which is an American sandwich bar because they were offering free chips if you order at the counter and say, “Happy Birthday America.” Known for having an amazing Reuben sandwich, it had been recommended to me before so it was already on my list to try. Unfortunately, if I remember correctly I don’t like Reuben sandwiches so I ordered the Carolina Pulled Pork which I really enjoyed because it was filling, flavorful and you can never go wrong with a brioche bun.
During one of the weekends I ventured off to explore Abbotsford and Collingwood which are both neighborhoods within 10 minutes of the city by car. I started off a few blocks away from the Abbotsford Convent and made my way back towards the city. There were so many cool stores to pop into even if it was just to look around.
The first one I went into was Imports Out which is a women’s European clothing and designer store outlet that sells a bunch of imported brands such as Free People, Joie, American Vintage, Frame and more. There was a sale going on the day I visited so I found myself a few items to try on. Unfortunately, everything I tried on was slightly too big so I didn’t end up getting anything, but I’ll definitely be visiting the store again soon.
A few other stores that I checked out were Fenton & Fenton and the Lost Children. Fenton & Fenton is an eclectic style furniture store with some of the coolest pieces. The owner travels around the world sourcing items for the store and supports a lot of Australian artists as well. Ugh, I fell in love with pretty much everything in that store and browsing around made me really excited for the day that I get to furnish my own place.
Lost Children is a vintage and consignment clothing store with a nice selection depending on what you’re looking for. It’s one of those stores you may be able to find one thing to purchase each time you visit. I tried on these alien print Emma Muholland pants that were definitely my style but I ended up not getting them because they fit like skinny jeans. I know myself and know that I would have worn them way more if they fit more like boyfriend jeans.
It was early afternoon on a Sunday so the streets weren’t flooded with people making it easier for me to take pictures of any of the cool things that I saw. There was a nice amount of color with wall murals and graffiti which are some of my favorite types of art.
After a bit of walking, I wanted to get some food and saw a good amount of people at Kelso’s Sandwich Shoppe so I decided to try it. Upon reading the name, I thought it was going to be a build your own deli sandwich type model but it was actually a menu of burgers, hot, and cold sandwiches. I ordered the Kelso Burger which has all the makings of a classic burger. I’m not sure what it was about the burger but each bite of meat tasted different and there was an odd after taste that might have came from the toppings or condiments. Since there was a steady flow of people, the place must have some good items, so I would give this place another shot.
On one of the last weekends in Melbourne was Open House Melbourne which is an event that hosts exclusive architecture and art tours for tons of different buildings all around Melbourne with some on Saturday, Sunday or both. As part of the Open House, there are also public talks and debates about big city topics. As a photographer, I was so hyped about all these events and tried to go to as many as possible. A few of them I wanted to visit required bookings and even though I was on the website by 8 a.m. I only managed to get 1 out of 8 tours that I was striving for. I wasn’t too mad though because the one booking that I got was for one of my favorite buildings in Melbourne, Esplanade Hotel aka The Espy.
My Saturday started with a tour of The Espy which is a renovated icon dating back to 140 years. It reopened in 2018 and the interior of the hotel is so stunning, I could literally get lost in there for hours. As part of the tour, we got to explore every room that many don’t get to see in the hotel and each room offered a whole different vibe. I seriously love all the rooms that it would be hard for me to choose just one, but I would have to say the green room because it was one of the first rooms I saw in The Espy that made me fall in love with it.
The next place that I visited was Como House which is another building in Melbourne that I love. It’s a historic house located in South Yarra and is a great place to spend the afternoon eating at the cafe and exploring the gardens. As being a part of the Open House, they were offering free open guided tours throughout the house. My favorite part of the house was the kitchen because of how aesthetically pleasing it looked. Although the space was small, it had everything you would need to cook in the kitchen. Even the original oven and this huge iron contraption bolted into the floor that was used to sharpen knives was still there making the whole experience feel really authentic.
Majority of the tours for the day ended at 4 p.m. so the last place that I went to go see was The Capital. It’s a newly renovated theater dating back to 1924 and from what I overheard this was the first time in 5 years that it has been open to the public making it was a pretty popular event. I ended up waiting over 45 minutes for my turn to see the place but it was well worth it. The detail in the theater was absolutely spectacular with the walls and ceiling sprouting a symmetrical geometric pattern making the space feel extremely regal. As part of the renovation, there were a ton of LED panels added so I marveled at this really mesmerizing lights show the entire time. The design of the ceiling also gave me serious Watch the Throne album cover vibes. I seriously want some kind of setup like that in my future home.
On Sunday I started my early afternoon with a free boat tour in the Docklands. The Docklands is another area of Melbourne that used to be an active dock back in the 1880’s. During the tour I learned that anything that can fit it those large crates is shipping in those. They even have temperature controlled ones that were used to transport the penguins that are in the zoo from either Antarctica or Alaska, I can’t remember which one. Overall, the tour was really nice and let me see a great view of the city.
It was close to 3 by the time I got off the boat and decided to go check out Library at the Docks which was right next door. I had been wanting to get my library card and this was the perfect opportunity. The architecture of the library was nice and modern with 3 stories and tons of lounge space to meet with groups or get work done. There is even a nice little art gallery area that is currently featuring these really interesting illustrations and sculptures. After the leaving the library, it was close to 4 p.m. so I called it a day and headed back. I absolutely loved getting to experience my first Open House Melbourne and can’t wait for next year because I’ll know how to really make the most of it.
Although July wasn’t crazy eventful, it was more than I have done in the previous months except for my trip to Tasmania back in June. As the weather (hopefully) starts to get warmer, I’ll have more experience to share with you.
Which set of photos was your favorite, The Espy, Como House or The Capitol? Let me know in the comments.
Thanks for reading and stay hungry to learn, create, and grow!