Melbourne Zoo and Italian Heaven on Lygon Street

A couple of weekends ago we went to Melbourne Zoo as our daughter loves animals.

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It was a beautiful day in the middle of the Southern Hemisphere winter.

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Lygon Street is famous for its fabulous Italian food. As it was not too far away we walked from the zoo to find some tasty Italian lunch. We ended up in the place called Tiamo. It was super popular and we luckily managed to get a table. Later when we told about it to our friends we heard it is an institution on Lygon Street and no wonder as the food was amazing!

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I ordered calamari salad and it was superb! Such fresh and pure flavours.

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My husband loves all kind of seafood pasta so he chose to go for one of their special seafood dishes. Food was just fantastic. I can recommend this place to anyone looking for a good Italian in Melbourne!

Dirty Delicious Chinese

Both my husband and I decided to change jobs, we also organised to have some holiday together at the same time, take our daughter to daycare and just enjoy some couple’s time which we never ever have. We have always lived far away from our parents so we have never had any help with our daughter. We could not pass this kind of opportunity to just spend time together and enjoy Melbourne. We went for shopping first as it is the end of financial year sales here. We found so many amazing clothes. It is so much fun to shop in Australia as there are many brands that are not that known in Europe but still super cool and good quality. My favourites are Sportscraft (over 100 year old Australian brand ) and Marcs (Australian as well but super amazing modern casual clothing and silk shirts! I have bought so many of their silk shirts lately). Those are pretty much the ones I visit if I want to find something nice. I also like Tommy Hilfiger for both men and women. Their jeans are the best I reckon.

After a big shop we went for the Chinese feed in China town.

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I have been eyeing on this one place on Little Burke street for a long time and I am so happy we managed to get there -the line up was huge. The place is called Shanghai Street (46 Little Bourke St). The same place has a smaller quick eat in place in the bottom of Little Burke Street when you turn on Little Burke from Elisabeth street. The place was so packed and the dishes were amazing!

We ordered…a way too much..

Chilli peanut wontons -we thought we would load ourselves with peanut as our daughter was not with us. We cannot really go to Asian places or eat nuts around her due to her severe allergies..so now was our chance.

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We also went for pork buns…which were the best I have ever eaten..

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We ordered two noodle dishes the classic Shanghai noodles that again was one of the best Shanghai noodles I have ever had…

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After these we had to surrender and take the last dish home with us..we felt bad to return it to the kitchen without even touching it..so we have dinner now!

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All these were home made noodles..now I understand why this place is alway full of Chinese and it always has huge line ups in front..It is so worth it!

So I recommend this place for anyone who wants to eat super good Chinese in Melbourne! Yum!

South Melbourne Restaurant Jewel

A little while ago my dear husband took me for a weekend lunch. Like usually we got our baby to sleep in her pram and strolled for a late 2pm lunch to a local restaurant. I had hardly noticed this place before as it is in the quiet area of South Melbourne almost in the Albert Park. It was fantastic. The place is called Lamaro’s.

I could not believe what a fine dining experience it was just on my door step. To start with I went for a fig, chevre and walnut salad. A very classic combination which can be really boring if not done well but this one was beautifully prepared and presented.

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My husband went for something a bit meatier!

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For my main I chose trout. I have not been eating meat much lately, I am somehow a bit tired of meat and prefer vegetarian or seafood at the moment.

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The crunchy corn with beetroot was different but amazing!

My husband went for a pork belly as expected.

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The dining experience was great, the wine selection was fantastic and service great! If you are looking for a great little place to eat in South Melbourne this is it!

I am back…Life is great

So sorry about this huge silence. Everything is good I have been just too busy. In fact my work was too intense for three months, I worked a way too much and spent a way too little time with my sweet little girl. Like I said in my previous post I am not a person who just keeps on going and feels miserable I always search for the change to make things better. In this case better meant changing my job. I just simply needed a job with better work life balance. I don’t want to miss these special years by working when my daughter is super cute and lovely . Life is too short for that. I feel happy, relieved and rejuvenated. I took a week off in between the jobs and I truly feel like now I can breathe freely and I have a chance to discover this amazing city.

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Yesterday I just went for shopping all by myself which was so relaxing..you will probably see some outfit photos soon. Today I went to see Jurassic World in the Crown cinema at Southbank. When I was 5 years old I was determined to become a palaeontologist. I read all the possible dinosaur books before they even became fashionable, I knew the latin names of those creatures and I was super excited about the first Jurassic Park movie back in 1992. Today in the theatre I felt the same goose bumps that I felt when I was in the primary school watching the first Jurassic Park movie. Now when I live in the continent that actually has some dinosaur excavation work maybe I make a career change when I hit 50 year crisis haha! Anyway these two days have been so relaxing.

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Last weekend we went to Mornington Peninsula which I absolutely love. A particularly great spot is T’Gallant. The restaurant is super cosy and casual and wine great quality for the price. I love fine dining but with a toddler I hesitate to go to white table cloth restaurants these days so T’Gallant is actually a super good middle ground!

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We bought three bottles of their great Pinot Noir!

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Another great spot is Merrick General Wine Store in Mornington Peninsula. Food is great and wine selection amazing. I got so fond of this fantastic Elgee Park sparkling. It is like one of my favourite champagnes Pol Roger!

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I warmly recommend!

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Have a great start of the week!

Friends of Mine -One of the best brunches in Melbourne

My intention was to write many posts after arriving in Melbourne but no chance. I started working pretty much on the following day. We have also been house hunting after work plus every weekend until last weekend. We finally found an amazing home in South Melbourne and are moving there this Friday. It is a beautiful area, I can walk to work and it is only 20min walk from my daughter’s daycare so could not get any more perfect than that. It is exactly the reason why we moved to Australia. No commute on train to work, walking distance from everywhere and close to the beach.

I started working full time, most of the mothers here have called me crazy but I guess this is the Finnish woman in me, in Finland as the childcare is almost free it is very common of women to return to work full time after the toddler is about 2 years old whereas here in Australia 2-3 days a week is more usual scenario. I must look like a workaholic woman compared to most others..I did not even go to my daughter’s daycare until last week. The first three weeks my husband handled all the communications, drop offs and pick ups as he was not working and actually won’t start working until next week. I did feel a bit like a neglectful mother when I went there for the first time. The ladies in the daycare must have been thinking if I even exist :)!

Anyway, everything has gone in an ideal way. Our container is supposed to arrive to the port of Melbourne this week and then it will take 1-2 weeks until we get our stuff as it will be checked by customs. Our daughter has seen the most amazing allergy specialist (about which I will tell in another post!!!!). The health care here is superb and everything else is also super high quality. We have been staying in Airbnb rental in Burnley for these first three weeks. Burnley is a lovely area, super accessible, arty, close to the city and lots of things to do, lots of outlet stores for me! If you ever end up in Burnley I recommend you to visit the most amazing coffee shop called Friends of Mine. It does not only have the most amazing coffee in town but the brunch there is just fantastic!!!  We went there a couple of weeks ago with our friends and the food was yummy! Below some pictures about our meals.

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Thai beef salad.

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Beef burger and phenomenal chips…

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Ravioli..

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Scallop fennel salad! (My choice..was amazing!)

I try to write another post soon now when things have calmed down. So many things to tell. I want to tell you about the Little Creatures Brewery we went to last weekend and then a little bit about the area we are moving to and about my work. Life is great here and could not feel happier.

Christmas drinks, Aussie countdown and some thoughts…

I feel excited, happy, full of life..what else could I say. Removalist company will come in three days time and then it is just the countdown until we jet off.

Even though we have been doing lots of moving things for the past two months we try to make sure to have as enjoyable December time as possible. Yesterday we went to Richmond to visit our dear friends as they were hosting Christmas drinks. They bought a place there and fully renovated it and it is stunning. Their home will most likely appear in Good Homes magazines soon. The house is gorgeous.

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Their beautiful Christmas tree and some Christmas punch from huge Martini glass…

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I guess our friends have very similar taste to mine and that is why I like their decor so much, similar colours and similar features that I adore. The house is three stories with the brand new loft conversion, they have under floor heating and the Sonos music system running throughout the house -fantastic! I love every room in the house. The house makes me feel like I am back in home, Finland, with the wooden floors, under floor heating and that modern stylish look. After we left my husband asked whether I considered coming back to London if we got place like that with underfloor heating and modern decor -I said yes! I guess I will never get used to cold English houses, squeeky old floor boards and that slightly negligent building style they have here in many places. I know it is part of English charm but still I think a Scandi will never really appreciate it. Well our friends’ place is the opposite, the house is just done to the finest detail! Wow. Beautiful.

cheese tableThey had made such a huge effort with drinks and snacks…I love the time zone clocks, useful when the husband is Australian like in this household..

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Some brownies..

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I love this lamp or should I say chandelier!

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I love the feature ladders with happy lights too, such a nice touch, exactly what I had on my Pinterest too when thinking of nice features to our new house.

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We had a great time and was nice to go to Richmond, it is definitely one of my favourite areas here in addition to Barnes, Chelsea, Hampton and Mayfair. Peaceful and beautiful.

I guess my mind is already in Australia though. There are ,however, couple of things I want to do. I want to take my daughter to Harrods Christmas Grotto and also I want to take her to some children theatre before we leave this city. I think she would enjoy those things.

I have focused on house hunting now and I think my favourite area in Melbourne is Brighton. I love inner city but I think now with the child I want to go to some beach side area that is close to the CBD but also super nice, safe and beautiful. I have been spotting houses, daycares and schools there and it looks fantastic! What I learned after living first in Marylebone and then in North London was that it was super cool for young couple to live in North but not for a small child, for the child Marylebone or place like Richmond or Barnes would have been better. If we were to come back it would be pretty much Barnes, Chelsea or Richmond that we would consider.

Brighton in Melbourne seems to be like Richmond here. Brighton is a super nice area, beautiful houses, beach in walking distance and only 20minutes to the centre on train. I have already been admiring the high street and it looks lovely, so pretty. I also saw the area on Location, Location Australia and that is why I actually started to look for houses there. I think for my husband who is from Queensland the important thing is to be near the beach and for me the area is everything, I just want to have the feel that it is perfectly safe, clean and family friendly but I also like that classy look and feel as I love shopping and fancy restaurants.

I cannot describe how excited I am. At the weekend when we got the tube that was again busy as always I felt I am done with London for a while. I miss the happy peaceful feel I have in Finland, that safe, quiet and relaxed lifestyle without peak hour traffic, I do miss it so much here and I hope we can get it in a nice area in Melbourne, in fact I know we will. I have been to Melbourne enough to know it is great. It was not chosen to one of the best places to live in the world for nothing. It has the most amazing coffee shop culture ( I am a coffee addict), it is super clean and also what I read today it has one of the best quality water in the world (plus one of the freshest and cleanest air in the world). I have been only drinking bottled water for four years in London and I cannot wait that I can actually enjoy tasty and clean water from the tap like we do in Finland. I know you may think I am a fancy pants but I have not been able to drink London water. I believe this is the same problem for most Nordics here as we are used to fresh spring water. London water is just so dirty, you notice it when you run it from the tap and you look at the water in the light, it has this weird oily layer on top and when you boil it the whole pan is full of calcium and stains. I am like a camel though, I do drink approximately 3 litres of water a day and I guess that is why my taste buds are developed to know the good water. Small things in life but you know a human being is pretty much water he drinks. Fresh and clean water is extremely important for well being.

Anyway, many thoughts today, I have a glass of Vermentino waiting for me now so will shut down the laptop and enjoy my new book Rosie Effect and just dream of our travels!

I hope you had a great weekend, I did.