Fitzroy used to be a bit dodgy but now it's regarded as lively suburb with a bit of a bohemian reputation. Its many eclectic bars and restaurants are popular with students, weekenders and young professionals. Brunswick Street, a short walk from our apartment, is a trendy retail and nightlife strip. There were at least 30 restaurants and bars within walking distance.
We went out on a limb and chose an Ethiopian restaurant for our evening meal. The food was interesting. No utensils so the food was 'scooped up' from a communal bowl using pieces of traditional Injera flat bread. I liked the food eg. slow cooked goat in berbere (spicy!) but the bread was too sour for my taste.
I don't think we will be trying that cuisine again.
Next day we geared up for the major reason for the Melbourne visit ie. the Australasian Quilt Convention.
After breakfast at a great Vietnamese bakery (we ate there the three mornings!) it was a reasonably short stroll to the Royal Exhibition Building venue for the AQC.
Standing in Carlton Gardens, this building is as beautiful inside as out.
It is the oldest surviving building from the Great Exhibition era that is still operating as an exhibition hall and continues after 135 years to bring dozens of trade fairs and public expos to the city annually. It's also home to gala dinners, fashion shows and community events.
I spent the morning there (quilt pics in separate post) but left the co driver 'to it' while I headed into town to explore some old haunts of my hometown.
From Federation Square I walked past Flinders Street Station and St Pauls Cathedral, around the main city blocks, down tree lined Collins Street which is known for its grand Victorian architecture, prestigious boutiques and high-end retailers. The street has served as Melbourne's traditional main street since 1837.
The eastern end is known colloquially as the 'Paris End' due to its numerous heritage buildings, shopping boutiques and alfresco dining while western end of the street is increasingly referred to as the 'New York End' due its modern glass skyscrapers and history as the financial heart of Melbourne, home to various banks and insurance companies.
I really see no comparison to either of these great cities but that's Melbourne for you!
Then I took in some of the old arcades and rode a tram along Swanson Street before eating an Asian inspired lunch of gyoza and nori fries.
Then it was time to meet up with the co driver, discuss her purchases and plan our next day's activities over a much earned coffee.
She wanted to road test a few sewing machines as her current ones are showing their age and might be heading for 'toes up' territory.
All the major brands are at the show.
That night it was drinks at a trendy bar and simple burgers and fries with a beer at Mr. Burger.