Back to life

The glorious Spring weather has been much needed and appreciated this weekend. I had another mad week in the office with my previous Dean and CEO Ken Smith having his farewell on Thursday evening (which started with an Acknowledgment of Country and ended with a Maori song) after over five years at ANZSOG and our new CEO Adam Fennessy starting tomorrow. Needless to say I’m very glad we booked a family staycation a few months ago for this weekend at Crown Towers redeeming a gift voucher we’d been given two Christmases ago.

It is a five star hotel and my youngest was wowed by the porters in suits who greeted us as we drove in to the spectacular and very opulent foyer filled with flowers and decadent looking sweets on display at TWR (The Waiting Room) bar. We did feel like tourists in another country lining up with interstate and international guests to check in.

The other thing I will say about Crown is that their bed was probably one of the best I’ve ever slept on and I discovered today you can buy their At Home collection of beds, mattresses, pillows and bed linen if you are wanting to re-create the hotel experience at home. We didn’t get to enjoy the bath but the hotel bathrobes and slippers are also welcome additions. After unloading our luggage and ordering some in-room french fries to tide us over until dinner – we walked up the busy promenade all the way to Southbank and back before the sun set.

It was pumping on Friday night and Melbourne is definitely back – the ground floor bars and restaurants at Southbank were all vibing with young and old enjoying al fresco drinks and food and pulsing dance music – it felt great to be in the city as well as a bit of departure from the quiet of the suburbs.

The ground floor riverside restaurants at Crown look pretty atmospheric – Rockpool and Spice Temple in particular but I think all of them would be pretty amazing to eat at if you had deep pockets. We had a more budget friendly but still excellent Italian meal at Tutto Bene at Southbank up on the first floor ending our night with house gelato before walking back to our room to watch a movie in bed, which was bliss!

We also enjoyed the buffet breakfast in the light-filled Conservatory where you can ask for customised orders (the disciplined lady at the next table ordered poached eggs and greens on the side), table service for coffee and tea and both Asian and European hot and cold breakfast options. The views of the river are lovely and you don’t need to be a staying guest to book in – it makes for a very civilised way to start the day.

We sadly didn’t get time to enjoy the pool but I know the Marriott Docklands has a pretty amazing looking heated infinity pool and W Hotel’s pool can be used by non-guests if you’re wanting to party DJ and all. We did enjoy sitting by the Yarra river after we checked out taking in the rays and watching river life with rowing teams being shouted at by their coaches on bikes with megaphones, families enjoying outdoor picnics on Go Boats and groovers having food and drink on the water at Arbory Afloat, Yarra Botanica and Ponyfish Island. We had a very Melbourne weekend and that was just the start of it. Needless to say daylight savings will mean a hangover this coming week for us night owls – enjoy all.



It’s the name of the new art, music and ceremony festival being held in Melbourne starting 26 May (the same night as the lunar eclipse i.e. a new moon rising). It’s also a call to arms given the collective suffering of our artistic community over the past 12 months. The Wilds at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl looks pretty amazing and I also love that Golden Square in Melbourne’s Chinatown where I used to park when managing the Bold Thinking Series at the State Library is being turned into an ‘art carpark’ with ice sculptures, a laser-eyed inflatable (?), kayak performance and moon parades which sound intriguing to say the least.

One of my sisters works for Melbourne City Council and like other public servants, she’s been asked to return to the office 5 days per week given the CBD cafes, restaurants and hotels that are struggling, particularly during business hours and days (rather than on weekends).

A number of new hotels have actually opened in Melbourne over the past 12 months including W Melbourne and the Lancemore Crossley St. however I was excited to read about the Hilton Hotel returning to Melbourne in the heritage-listed Equity Chambers building – the oldest continuously occupied barristers chambers. There’s nothing like a bit of old school glamour especially in the absence of being able to travel overseas – it’s lovely to be able to enjoy what we have in our home city if you can afford it.

I was interested to find out more about the private dining rooms that are also available in the city in addition to those I knew about at Kisume, Cumulus, Spice Temple and Flower Drum restaurants – a number of friends celebrating special occasions this year are opting for something smaller at home or lashing out at places like these.

Speaking of flowers, Mr Rosanna bought his mum this beautiful bunch (above) from French Blue Flowers today (and a native bouquet for me). I hope you’ve had a great Mother’s Day if you have a mum in your family. For me, my morning was spent talking to my own mum – a single parent who raised three kids on her own – as well as seeing Mr R’s parents this afternoon. I also enjoyed home made scrambled eggs in bed and a hand drawn card courtesy of my boys. Given those separated from their families at the moment and unable to see their mother, or be a mother, for whatever reason – it has felt like a real privilege.