Tuesday, August 28, 2012

my (wholefood) melbourne

I can't tell you if it was the Spring sunshine or the novelty of spending slow time with River and Sol in the city that made me feel so nostalgic and fond of Melbourne today but for whatever reason as I drove back to the coast I felt like I'd experienced a renewed romance with my hometown. Most visits to Melbourne are fleeting and work related; the pace, pollution and traffic usually annoy me.

This time we skipped school and were in Melbourne for a night to be with Pete while he prepared for work in the Northern Territory. I took the boys on an adventure starting at Collingwood Children's Farm, where River milked Biddy the cow and later told me, "I was scared to do it Mum but I did it anyway and I'm so glad I did." The other highlight for River and Sol was holding guinea pigs that had super soft and shiny fur and names such as Ginger, Caramel, Munchy and Nibbles. We visited the well-handled guinea pigs 3 times between feeding goats and following chickens and peacocks and marvelling at the size of Glenda the sow.

At lunchtime we headed to Friends of the Earth food co-op and cafe, just up the road on Smith Street, where you will find possibly the best value wholefood lunch outside your own kitchen. There's no menu just a choice of small or large plate, piled high with a vegan or vegetarian feast of biodynamic/organic curry, rice and salad that varies each day. Our plate featured a tomato based chickpea curry, mixed green salad, coleslaw of cabbage, carrot, daikon radish, almonds and apple, potato salad, and basmati rice with red quinoa and green puy lentils topped with a generous spoon of their signature tahini dressing. The wholesome, energising feeling that accompanies eating this style of food is something I want everyone to experience. I know though that each person is at a different place with what they like to eat, I believe so strongly though that wholefoods are the answer to good health for people and planet. And of course there is more to wholefoods than chickpeas and tahini - River and Sol were very happy to savour a piece of chocolate brownie and in the picture below you will see vegan cupcakes and other sweet treasures.

To read the story I wrote for Epicure about Beth Cameron, the inspirational wholefood mama who has managed Friends of the Earth co-op and cafe for 23 years go here

The boys did not want the day to end. They boo-hood my announcement that it was time to drive back home. I felt a bit the same way. There had not been a squabble between them, a whinge or a whine, the day had been so much fun I understood the not wanting it to end part. So we headed to Edinburgh Gardens for a play on the sprawling playground and kick of the footy where we soaked up the last of the day's sunshine and ran out the last of our city energy. After that as we were so close to Dench Bakers I couldn't resist popping in to pick up a coffee for the road. I am though now suffering a caffeine induced headache and shakiness for going beyond my limit of one cup per day. Ce la vie.

To finish, here is a list of links in no particular order of some of 'my' Melbourne old favorites...

Elwood General Store 5 Ormond Road Elwood. ph:03. 9531 9584 (my fave place for real chai)
Prahran Market
South Melbourne Market
Avenue Bookstore
Babka bakery & cafe

So many more to add. To be continued...

If you live in Melbourne or have visited, where do you like to hangout? Or if you have moved away from Melbourne, what do you miss?

ps so good to be back here at blogspot. I won't bore you with the details other than to say wordpress.org and I were not having fun together and one of the reasons I started blogging is because I enjoy it, so here I continue on and thank you for reading x


  1. Thank you Nikki for the lovely and delicious tour from Melburne! It looked like your cute boys had a lot of fun :)

    1. Hi Judit+Corina I took a look at your site and it is jam-packed with so many beautiful food stories I could be there for hours! Thanks for stopping by here x

  2. So delicious, delightful and easy. What a day. That plate of awesomeness got me salivating, I love plates like that with so many different tastes and textures. oh and welcome back, sorry wordpress was such a pain. but so great to be able to comment now, woohooo. oh and your new photo is totally hot!

    1. Thank you for your words and compliment - you do make me laugh! :) I keep changing the photo because I can't quite get used to having short hair and not looking like my old self. Yesterday was a fabulous day and if you are ever in Melbourne I completely recommend a visit to Friends of the Earth, a great place to go with children. Looking forward to your next post xx

  3. This looks delicious and fun Nikki! I have not been to Melbourne since I was very young...I must get there one day. Thanks for the ideas :)


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