My lovely wife, C With Nu Eyes, and I escaped South Gippsland for the weekend to St Kilda in Melbourne. I always look forward to our little escapades as we wonder around finding new places and trying new eateries.
This is one of my great loves – food. New restaurants, old restaurants. I don’t care which, unless it’s one I haven’t tried before. In St Kilda, we managed to find streets loaded with new ones. Excitement abounds at the thought of trying to pick just one of them to eat in. Nevertheless, we manage it.
Firstly, we were staying at the Novotel St Kilda, with a room that overlooked St Kilda beach. Even on a rainy day, there are things to see if you look. Watching the water and waves with the rain overhead was glorious. There are photos on Marieke’s instagram (@cwithnueyes) as well as mine (@quietnoise). We hit our room in the evening after a couple of hours driving and decide to chance their restaurant.
Make no mistake, the Novotel hotels have great restaurants. I had a Asian style duck salad, which was fantastic to be followed with lamb shanks. The meat fell off the bones of the two shanks I got. They were superb and so big I barely finished them. But once I had started on them, I knew I could not stop.
Marieke had a medium rare steak. The irony being that the meat came from South Gippsland – where we live. The great news is the steak was cooked perfectly. With a slightly charcoaled casing, the taste had Marieke melting on the spot.
I was looking forward to dessert, but after the amount of food consumed, we couldn’t do it to ourselves. This was disappointing as they had french crepes on the menu.
So we stumbled to our rooms wondering whether we should have ordered wheelbarrows for our stomachs, happy and blissfully carefree. A wonderful night of sleep followed to wake refreshed and ready to take on the day.
We jumped on the first tram we came across and soon found ourselves in Chapel Street, Windsor. This street was a haunt for both of us, so it was nice to see the old place and how it had changed in the intervening years. Shops come and go but luckily for us, the ones we like had survived. One first stop is Comics R Us to get our full geek on!!
Finally, we were at the Jam Factory – the end of this journey. Jumping on a tram, we hoped we were heading to the city. Fortunately, we were. It was then that we met our first new friend. Kate worked in at Bookbinders Design on Elizabeth Street. When I said I was looking for manuscript boxes, her ears popped up, quickly followed by why? I told her I was writing a book and needed something to carry it in.
After some twenty minutes in there, I felt like a fully fledged author with a new fan. She even asked for an autograph, which I gave. That was exciting – my first autograph and fan. I hope you see this, Kate!! You made my day.
Wondering for hours on end, ducking in and out of any shop we chose, was fun, buteventually we got hungry and found a little Chinese eatery that didn’t even have a English name. Our snack was delicious. If I could tell you the name, I would. It’s worth going to!!
More wondering, then a spa. Then we were off again. More food!!
This led us to finding the sensation of our weekend. Santa Ana is a tapas bar on Acland Street and bloody brilliant. Our waiter was a Franch Canadian by the name of Nizar (who will become a centaur in the book I am writing currently), who helped us chose. If you go there, trust his recommendations. He knows what he’s doing! We had sausage, prawns, taquitos and beef on french fries and each of them was a taste explosion. If I could have eaten more, I would have kept ordering.
So, happy with that, we stroll back to our room on a brisk St Kilda night, reveling in the feeling of getting the most of out of out little weekend. One better than that though, we rekindled our love for each other by enjoying each other’s company outside of our usual family unit.
What could be better than that, my love?