If you can be bothered to leave your warm bed in the depths of winter, Melbourne is worth getting out of bed for. I can hibernate with the best of them, but today felt like braving the 8C temperatures to avoid cabin fever! DH and I headed off to the city and mingled with backpackers, students, and other brave souls wrapped in scarves, hats, gloves, and several layers of woolly garments. The skies were overcast, but no rain, and little wind. Federation Square was hopping, rugged types in deckchairs watching the big screen showing movie clips, art, and ballet. The restaurants were doing a brisk business, and we headed to "arintji" for a fortifying glass of rose and some yummy tasting plates. I tried a really nice mushroom terrine with pickled red onions and croutons, and DH made short work of a lamb skewer and a few other nibbly things. We headed over to the Atrium to see if the book market was on but no luck. There was a very long line for the Tim Burton exhibition, something to remember for another day. After browsing through the National Gallery shop, we looked at the beautiful glass art exhibited in another corner. An exhibition of Rupert Bunny's works was on at the NGV, and across the road the main part of the NGV is hosting an exhibition of European Masters from the Staedel Museum in Frankfurt. (The Staedel Museum was on the regular school excursion list when I lived in Germany, so I've probably seen most of the works! Wouldn't mind seeing them again though). We walked up Swanston Street, said Hi! to Larry Latrobe, then turned down Collins Street.
The heritage-listed building in which the cafe is situated is amazing, with a very high ceiling, art deco skylight, and a balcony around the central atrium. It also houses a shoe shop, which is lit by a spectacular round chandelier. We headed back to the car, walking through some of the city's back lanes, which were packed with people eating and drinking and talking and laughing and having a great time! Melbourne is always worth a visit, and even after living here for 30 years, there is always something new to see and do.