LezGoMelbourne

A lesbian couple loving free, learning anew, and living in Melbourne


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Melbourne Coffee Culture: 10 Cafés I Want to Visit

You probably know by now that one of the things that I love doing is making lists. But what you may not know is that I have a great, big appetite for good food too. (So be forewarned, there will be food posts in the future.) And in Melbourne, it isn’t hard to find.

But it being winter, I can’t help but think of a warm cup of coffee. Coffee culture is alive and vibrant here. Everywhere you turn, there’s a café or a hole in the wall just churning one perfect cup after another. For me, that’s a good excuse to just sit down and enjoy a good brew.

Melbourne Marketlane Coffee Queen Victoria Market Lezgomelbourne Coffee Culture

So, what’s brewing?

I’m not going to pretend that I know a lot about coffee. What I do know, however, is that these cafes have caught my interest for quite a while now and I am more than keen to try each and every one of their special roasts and blends. The list can extend to 20, even 50, but for now, let’s make it short and sweet.

1. Seven Seeds
114 Berkeley St, Carlton
Mon- Sat: 7am-5pm
Sun: 8am-5pm

or

Brother Baba Budan (Also operated by Seven Seeds)
359 Little Bourke st, Melbourne
Mon – Sat: 7am-5pm
Sun: 9am-5pm

2. Silo by Joost
123 Hardware Street, Melbourne 3000
Mon- Sat: 6:30am – 3:30pm

3. St. Ali
815 Nicholson St,
Carlton North VIC 3054
Mon – Sun: 6am – 6pm

12-18 Yarra Pl,
South Melbourne VIC 3205
Mon – Fri: 7am – 6pm
Weekends:  7am – 6pm

4. Manchester Press
8 Rankins Lane, Melbourne
Mon – Fri: 7:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sat – Sun: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

5. Marketlane Coffee
Queen Victoria Market
109-111 Therry Street
Melbourne 3000

Mon & Wed: 7am – 2pm
Tues & Thurs: 7am – 3pm
Fri & Sat: 7am – 4pm
Sunday 8am – 3.30pm

Prahran
Shop 13 Prahran Market
163 Commercial Road

Tues & Thurs: 7am – 5pm
Wednesday 7am – 4pm
Fri & Sat: 7am – 5pm
Sunday 8am – 5pm

6. Axil Coffee Roasters
322 Burwood Rd
Hawthorn, VIC
Mon – Sun: 7:00 am – 4:00 pm

7. Three Bags Full
Corner of Nicholson St and Mollison St, Abbotsford
Mon-Fri: 7am to 3pm
Weekends & Public Holidays 8am – 5pm

8. The League of Honest Coffee
8 Exploration Lane, Melbourne CBD
Mon – Fri: 7am – 5pm

Or

The Brunswick East Project
438 Lygon Street
Brunswick East 3057
Mon-Sat: 7am-5pm
Sun: 8am-4pm

9. Sensory Lab
297 Little Collins St., Melbourne
Mon – Wed: 7:30am -7pm
Thurs – Fri: 7:30am – 9pm
Sat: 8:30am – 7pm
Sun: 9:30am – 7pm

10. Di Bella Coffee Roasting Warehouse
19 – 21 Leveson St., North Melbourne
Mon – Fri: 7am -4pm
Sat – Sun: 7:30am – 4pm

Disclaimer: LezGoMelbourne is not paid by nor affiliated with any of the companies, shops, or brands mentioned above (if any). These are LezGoMelbourne’s personal opinions with no intention to cause or do any harm. These tips/guides are not to be taken as fact or absolute. Please consult with a professional for your own counsel.

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Planning Your Melbourne Vacation: A 5-Day Itinerary Part 1

If, for any reason, your visit to Melbourne is only limited to a certain number of days, then this itinerary just might be for you. It is also suitable to a modest budget where you can experience a little bit of this and a bit of that, so you don’t miss out on anything. The itinerary only involves one or two excursions out of the city, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go out more and explore what’s out there. Again, you choose your own adventure.

You don’t have to worry much about getting here to there as Melbourne has a great and extensive network of buses, trams, and trains. But you do have to be aware of the schedules of these modes of transport so you can get where you need to be on time.

Hopefully with this, planning your Melbourne vacation or your visit to Australia becomes a less daunting task. You can easily amend this itinerary to make it more fun and interesting for the family, especially for the kids. You can even add more things and places to visit on this list if you have a faster pace than others. And if you like to eat out a lot, then, I may just have a few suggestions for you to try.

Also, there are certain activities here that you might want to change since there are festivals or events that happen in Melbourne on certain seasons such as the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, the Melbourne Comedy Festival, the Australian Open, and so on.

DAY 1
City Tour
Assuming that you have just arrived in the city and dropped your bags at the hotel, one of the first places you need to familiarise with is Flinders St. Station. It is one of the city’s most famous and familiar landmarks. From here, you can easily navigate the city streets and weave in and out of Melbourne CBD through the network of trams that runs right through it.

The trip begins here at Flinders St. Station where it is flanked by Young and Jackson’s Hotel on the left, St. Paul’s Cathedral up ahead, and right across is Federation Square where there is a Tourist or Visitor Centre, if you have exited to St. Kilda Road/Swanston St that is.

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Flinders St. Station really is a charming structure.

MORNING
Flinders St. Station
Federation Square
Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) and the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia are both found here. The former celebrates the arts through films and digital media while the latter holds a collection of Australian art.
St. Paul’s Cathedral

Catch the free City Circle Tram or the Tourist Bus Shuttle and you can go to your next destination in the city. Or you can simply board the train or tram and you can be on your way.

The Parliament of Victoria
9:30am/10:30am/11:30am/1:30pm/2:30pm/3:45pm
There are public tours offered at the Parliament on non-sitting days. Kindly check out the calendar at their website to know if and when this is available.

Coffee Break?
Pellegrinni’s
66 Bourke St.
Near Parliament Station
Mon-Sat 8am-11.30pm
Sun 11am-8pm

Lunch?
Parallel to Bourke St. is Flinders Lane where a number of restaurants such as Chin Chin, Cumulus Inc., Coda Bar & Grill, Papa Goose, and Cecconis, among so many others, can be found. You can get a sneak peek at Melbourne Street Art/ Graffiti Art at Hosier Lane too.

Or you can go right ahead to Chinatown at Little Bourke St. where there’s also a lot of good eats.

Bourke St.
Walk it off and give yourself some retail therapy by visiting Bourke St. Aside from malls or department stores, here, you can visit Union Lane for another a look at Melbourne Street Art/ Graffiti Art and the Royal Arcade where you can meet Gog and Magog.

AFTERNOON
If you want to continue shopping, you can head out to Docklands where Harbour Town Shopping Centre is. But if you want to entertain the kids, then maybe a short stop to Wonderland, a small amusement park, would do the trick.

Royal Botanic Gardens
But if you want a change of scenery, head on out to the gardens by catching a tram and getting off at stop 20. If you go to their website, there is a free Autumn Discovery Walk available, except for certain dates.
Open 7:30am until sunset
Free Admission

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An inside look at the Shrine of Remembrance

Shrine of Remembrance
Nearby, you can also visit the Shrine of Remembrance that commemorates the courage, dedication, and the lives of all the brave men and women who served the country.
Open 10:00am – 5pm
Free Admission

EVENING
Southgate
If you still have the energy to walk around, a stroll along the river with a backdrop of the city lights is both scenic and romantic.

Crown Casino can also be found here, not because you want to gamble, but just because there is a light show inside every 15 minutes and a Fire display outside from 9pm on weekdays and 8pm on weekends. But hey, I don’t blame you if you want to try your luck. And if that doesn’t work out, you can always just go and eat.

Guided Tours:
If you want to experience a guided tour of the city, you can do anything from walking tours, bicycle tours, hidden laneways tours, beer tours, food tours, and even a silent disco walking tour. These ranges from an hour to three or more, depending on your selection and can cost anywhere between $20 – $100.

And then there are those who offer “free” walking tours but operate on a tips-only basis, so basically, you still have to show your appreciation through cash. I did, however, find a tour operator, Meltours, who claims to offer a completely free orientation tour of the city. I haven’t tried it for myself so it’s completely up to your own discretion.

Resources:
City Circle Tram
Melbourne Visitor Shuttle
Open House
Thatsmelbourne
VisitMelbourne

For more ideas on your self-guided tour, Thatsmelbourne.com.au has these:
A Walk in the Park
Secret Gardens
On the Waterfront
Arcades and Lanes

Click on this link for Part 1 of this itinerary

Click on this link for the Part 2 of this itinerary

Disclaimer: LezGoMelbourne is not paid by nor affiliated with any of the companies, shops, or brands mentioned above (if any). These are LezGoMelbourne’s personal opinions with no intention to cause or do any harm. These tips/guides are not to be taken as fact or absolute. Please consult with a professional for your own counsel.

© LezGoMelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com 2013 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including photos if any, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.


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10 Tips on Moving to Australia: Eat, Breathe, Live Like a Local Part 1

Moving to Australia feels like I can do anything. I was positively excited to try out what this city has to offer. I want to mingle. I want to go places. I want to go out and eat. I want to know where or how I can fit in.

My way of doing that is by knowing my way around the city or the neighbourhood. I want to have my own share of favourite hang-out spots. I want to have an instinct of where I can go on a Thursday night or a Friday night. I want to manoeuvre the markets, the lanes, and the find exactly what I am looking for.

Friends, even acquaintances, will gladly advise you some places that you need to take note of like the Asian grocery or a market stall where you can get really good seafood. Those are some of the essentials. However, what I’m sharing with you are some places that I could find within a few steps or blocks from my place.

1. Hotel
You want to grab a drink with some of your buddies? Go to the nearest watering hole, also known as your local bar. Here, they call it the hotel. Yes, you read that right. And no, they are different from the ones who offer guests accommodation but they do have that too.

2. Bottle shop
There are bottle shops that close early and some that are open until 1am. Knowing where to get a bottle of cider after a hard day’s work or if you just plan on bringing some wine for dinner with friends, this is the place to go to. This place is really handy, especially when the walk is too long and it is too cold to go to the grocery which may or may not carry your preferred drink or brand.

3. Laundromat
Your apartment may be equipped with a washing machine or there is a communal laundry facility in the building. However, don’t be too confident that you won’t run into any problems with the laundry machine. You need to be a boy scout and prepare for the worst. Locate where the nearest laundromat is and save yourself the hassle of hand washing everything.

Hmmm Burger, Lezgomelbourne, JusBurgers

Hmmm Burger

4. A Great Burger Joint
You earned your hunger. Only a really great burger would do. Remember, you are in Australia. Quality beef, lamb, and veal is cheap. That means a great burger isn’t too far behind. So, if you want to reward yourself with real comfort food, you will find yourself a great burger place that serves a grilled patty.

5. Chinese Take Away
Rice? Noodles? Dumplings? You can have all three if you want, especially when you’re too busy or lazy to cook.

6. Pizza
I think Filipinos enjoy a great burger as much as a great pizza. Try the local pizzerias first. If you don’t think they’re better than the big wig fast food chains back home, which I doubt, then by all means, go for the one that best suits your palate.

Melbourne Australia Coffee Shop Cafe LezGoMelbourne 10 Tips on Moving to Australia: Eat, Breathe, Live Like a Local Part 1

A great cup of coffee

7. A Good Cup of Coffee
This is Australia. The number of cafes and brekkie places here is more than I can imagine. There is good food to be had. And the coffee, a number of good ones are out there I’m telling you. You’re in for a great brew.

8. Pie Shop
You’ll be seeing pie shops everywhere in the city. There’s quite a few of them scattered around the suburbs. Why is a pie shop on this list? Well, if you want to be a local I assume you would want to have or develop an appreciation of pies. So grab a freshly made one from a local store before you grab a frozen pack from the grocery.

9. The Post
Snail mail is alive and it is nice to send your loved ones back home a postcard or two just because you remember them. Also, it comes really handy to know where you can collect that package your mailman can’t leave at your door.

10. The $2 Shop
I thought that the only places I could score some nice bargains from are Dimmeys, The Reject Shop, and Arthur Daley. Well, there is a $2 dollar shop here in my neighbourhood and it really is like a scaled down version of these discount shops, albeit with a narrower selection. Still, I find that I can buy a range of items here without breaking the bank, like a cake carrying case, a rolling pin, and even tabo. Yes, tabo like the ones we have back home.

Disclaimer: LezGoMelbourne is not paid by nor affiliated with any of the companies, shops, or brands mentioned above (if any). These are LezGoMelbourne’s personal opinions with no intention to cause or do any harm. These tips/guides are not to be taken as fact or absolute. Please consult with a professional for your own counsel.

© LezGoMelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com 2013 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including photos if any, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lezgomelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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LezGo to Queen Victoria Market

I’ve been to Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne CBD for about 3 or 4 times. I can’t remember how many times exactly but I love going there. The fresh fruit stalls, the organic produce, the deli shops, and the outdoor souvenir and dry goods market makes you want to spend a whole day there.

Compared to Footscray Market, Queen Victoria Market is more accessible as it is situated in the CBD, so you can easily catch a tram or train to get there. You can easily catch the tram on Elizabeth St. from Flinders Station to get there.

It’s also nice that Queen Victoria Market has an organic produce section that allows you buy anything from the basic herbs such as basil to whole wheat flour. And if you know what produce are in season, you will easily find a good range of them being sold in the organic section at a competitive price. For one, I bought an organic rock melon for $4 apiece when non-organic melons are sold at $3 each.

The variety of deli shops is also mesmerizing. By mesmerizing I mean I’ve seen cheese being sold whose name I can’t even pronounce, and the cuts of preserved meat hanging on the stall windows, I don’t think I’ve encountered most of them. And then there are stalls that offer fresh baked bread, hand-made butter, and the now infamous borek. Fresh butter, how can anyone pass that up?

Fruits too can go for a real bargain with pomegranate sold for $2 apiece, strawberries for $3 for 2 large punnets, and figs for $6 a punnet. The supply and demand can be different on days so you really have to go and see what bargains you can take advantage of.

Basically, what you need is in Queen Victoria Market. However, if you want to easily buy chili leaves, green mangoes, plantains, and other goods that you would usually find in an Asian market, then I highly suggest that you go to Footscray market. Oh, the treasures I find there are truly one of a kind.

For now, here are some items I grabbed during my grocery shopping.

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Different shades of red. Roses $6 for two bouquets, Truss tomatoes at $1.99/kg, and Strawberries at a bargain for $3 for two large punnets

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All organic produce. Potatoes at $2.95/kg, Lettuce at $2.95 apiece, Red Onions at $3.99/kg, and Basil at $2.95 each

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All organic fruits. Golden Nectarines at $5.99/kg, Seedless Grapes at $3.99/kg, Rockmelon $4 apiece, and Bananas at $2.50/kg

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Non-organic but still fabulous produce. Figs at $6 per punnet, Coriander at $2 per bundle, Avocado is $3 per piece, Lemongrass is 60 cents, and Broccoli Leaves is $2 per bundle.

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Seafood fare! Ahoy mates! Prawns at $15/kg, Barramundi at $10.50/kg, and Live Mussels at $6/kg. Also Garlic at $1.50, Butter is $2.10 for $10 per kg, $3 Grated Parmesan, and Lemongrass at 60 cents apiece.

Disclaimer: LezGoMelbourne is not paid by nor affiliated with any of the companies, shops, or brands mentioned above (if any). These are LezGoMelbourne’s personal opinions with no intention to cause or do any harm. These tips/guides are not to be taken as fact or absolute. Please consult with a professional for your own counsel.

© LezGoMelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com 2013 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including photos if any, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lezgomelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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Footscray Market

Food is one of the things that I love. It is truly interesting how much joy it can bring, how creative you can get with it, and how each spoonful can be quite simple or complex, and both fantastic. Cooking, baking, and doing the grocery – I can just get lost doing them for hours on end.

So one day, I decided to go on an adventure and go to Footscray Market. It was just wonderful. Shopping for fresh produce, discovering new ingredients, and finding such great bargains, all of it just makes the trip more appealing.

Footscray Market is smaller compared to Queen Victoria’s Market, but it is packed with a great array of produce. You will find a lot of Asian greens, spices, and other items here.

Shopping in markets can be far cheaper than heading out to the nearest grocery store. It gives you a better idea of what fruits or vegetables are in season and gives you a far better range when it comes to variety. Also, you can get some real bargains, especially when you are keen on getting your money’s worth. For less than $80, I was able to haul all these goodies home from my trip to Footscray Market.

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Strawberries $1/punnet, Cherries $8.00/kg, Watermelon ₵79/kg, Seedless Grapes $2.99/kg, and a Melon priced at $2/kg

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Eggplants $1/kg, Squash ₵99, Bittergourd $2.95/kg and Okra is $8.99/kg
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Roughly a kilo of Green Mung Beans $1, Chayote $2.99/kg, a bunch of Bittergourd leaves $1.48, and Chili leaves $1.48

A jar of spicy sardines I had found at an Asian grocery was marked at $4.50. I had bought two but was charged only $3. Why? As it turns out, it was $3 for two bottles. See? I told you I was getting some real good bargains. Anyway, moving on.

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Mama Sita’s Sinigang sa Bayabas Mix $1.20/pc, Pandan leaves $2, Broccoli ₵99/kg, Carrots $1.49/kg, Coriander $1.00, and Mongo Sprouts or Mung Bean Sprouts for roughly ₵78. I also bought a cucumber for $1 but forgot to take a photo of it.

Vegans need to look away at this post and anyone who is squeamish about seeing a whole fish. If you get upset, it’s not my fault. You have been warned.

Anyway, the only upsetting thing that I had bought at Footscray Market was the frozen mussels. They were somewhat dirty but I didn’t mind. At the time, I had thought that frozen mussels was commonplace. But it was a bad idea, bad. They turned out really rubbery. We couldn’t eat a single one at all.

As for pork, I bought some but I don’t think it is essential to post the pictures. The price at the time for Pork Shoulder was $12/kg and Pork Liver at roughly $5/kg.

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Frozen mussels $4.99/kg, Tilapia $4.99/kg, and Taiwan Bangus (Yup, that’s what it said) $6.99/kg.

So there you have it. More than a week’s worth of fresh meat, fruits and vegetables for less than $100. I hope to venture out into other markets and buy more great items. And by then, I would probably have more time to capture pictures of the place.

Disclaimer: LezGoMelbourne is not paid by nor affiliated with any of the companies, shops, or brands mentioned above (if any). These are LezGoMelbourne’s personal opinions with no intention to cause or do any harm. These tips/guides are not to be taken as fact or absolute. Please consult with a professional for your own counsel.

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Cadbury Chocolate Factory

I grew up eating Cadbury chocolates. In fact, my mom craved for nothing but chocolates when I was still in her tummy. So I was just running on chocolates even before I was born.

This Cadbury Chocolate Factory that I found was inside Victoria Gardens Shopping Center, near the entrance to Kmart . While it wasn’t exactly a factory in size, it still produced chocolates by the handful. Yes, this contraption isn’t exactly a novelty. But hey, doesn’t it just makes you wanna go have a whirl with it?

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A claw machine that produces chocolates by the handful, if you’re lucky.

For a dollar, you can give it a go. I was trying so hard to control myself since I already had a good amount of chocolates stashed at home. So, I walked away, quietly. I gave it a second look and promised to eat my chocolates so I could get more. Lols.