I’ve always loved the laneways, street art and cafes in Melbourne, but there’s been a couple of changes here since my last visit that are making me appreciate Burn City even more! 5 things I’m loving about Melbourne right now are:
1. Free Trams
All trams are now free to ride throughout the city centre – how cool is that? Signs at tram stops will indicate whether you are in a free ride radius and, if so, you’re welcome to hop on and off any route you like. If you venture just outside the free zone (like I did in Collingwood this morning) you pay just a small fee for the additional travel (I paid $1.80.) Noticing the previous stop was in the free zone I simply walked to that one before hopping on my free ride back to the hotel.
Aside from being free the trams are also far more frequent and punctual than the Sydney buses I’ve experienced. (Just saying.)
Last time I came to Melbourne it was all about the doughnut but now there’s a new cake craze in town and I think I like it even more. Introducing the scroll – otherwise known as a cinnamon roll or cinnamon swirl (if you’re buying from Starbucks *coughs*). Scrolls with fancy toppings are popping up at cafes all over the city but there’s none better (IMO) than the ones found at Eat A Scroll Pop Up Bakehouse in Collingwood. In their retro-fitted cafe Eat A Scroll bake fluffy scrolls and decorate them with the likes of cream cheese or Nutella and caramel. I tried the cream cheese one this morning and it tasted even better than I imagined. As well as digging their vintage decor I must say their service was absolutely fab. The staff were sweet and attentive, and didn’t even flinch when I asked to use my card to pay for a $4.50 scroll. (Unlike my local grocery store who charge me 50 cents every time I top up my Opal card *rages*).
3. Patricia Coffee Brewers
Patricia Coffee Brewers kept popping up in my Instagram feed so I had to come check it out whilst in town. Situated a little away from the main drag (between Little Bourke & Little William St.), Patricia’s is definitely a local kind of coffee place. It reminded me very much of an Italian espresso bar actually as there is a marble counter down the centre and standing room only for customers (unless you squish into the windows). They serve single blends as well as Melbourne’s famous Seven Seeds and do so swiftly and sweetly. They’ve handpicked a selection of the cities best pastries to sell on the counter, including scrolls (!), and their take away cups are very pretty (which shouldn’t matter but sort of does a little bit…).
Sydney has a H&M but it’s a fair schlep from the city centre and nowhere near as big and beautiful as the one in Melbourne’s GPO. I ‘cut through’ the store earlier today. 1 bag, scarf, belt, shoes and necklace later..
5. Free Wi-Fi
I get why cafes are anti-wi-fi, I really do. They want us to enjoy the food and conversation and not be glued to our laptops but sometimes I want to grab coffee and a bite and do work at the same time. The website of 1000 £ Bend, where I wrote this post, positively encourages customers to come down and enjoy the food, coffee, atmosphere and use the free wi-fi too if you want to. I’m not made to feel uncomfortable for cracking out my laptop and as I’ve already ordered several drinks and a sandwich they’ve got their fair share of business out of me too. I know there are probably places like this in Sydney, they just don’t happen to be anywhere near me.
Of course, there is 1 small thing about Melbourne I don’t like so much and that’s the weather. I’ve been rained on 3 times today and had to go back to my hotel to change into a warmer coat after realising the temperatures here were A LOT lower than I’m used to in Sydney. Seems you can’t win at everything Melbourne!