Orient Express

It’s been busy leading up to Christmas as much as I’ve chosen day-time walkie talkies with friends instead of dinners out with end of year and pandemic fatigue. I walked to Burgundy Street in Heidelberg on Saturday meeting friends at The Pepper Tree cafe (two doors up from The Train Yard cafe and across the road from the Salvo’s Store). There are some new businesses opening with Doctor Dumpling (below) catching my eye! While on Sunday, I met friends at Ora cafe in East Kew and walked the Darebin Creek trail past Alphington Grammar and La Trobe Golf Club all the way to Sparks Reserve in Ivanhoe and back. I have slowed down to walking rather than running at this time of year even though metaphorically I think I am limping to the finish line.

It’s nice to see more sustainable Christmas options as gifts this year including directing your money towards Melbourne businesses that need the support or donating to organisations such as the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre if you shop with Your Grocer. Recycled, local and sustainable fashion options are also much kinder to the environment. It’s been interesting reading about second hand fashion stores selling solely on Instagram and this upcycled denim skirt (below) by KITX has caught my eye as much as I lack the budget to buy! I’m also enjoying looking at the fashion choices of Carrie and her SATC friends on And Just Like That

KITX denim skirt

I’ve been to the inner city twice this past week with the ANZSOG Christmas party on Wednesday at the Emerald Peacock Rooftop Bar in Lonsdale Street which while a bit cool weather-wise, was still lovely. It’s not far from another recommended summer outdoor dining venue Pepe’s Italian & Liquor. Things were pumping a bit harder at Johnny’s Green Room in Lygon Street Carlton which I walked past yesterday with my family as we had al fresco pre-dinner drinks at Milk the Cow (where I spied this cool Kung Fu bottle below in the window of Bottega Tasca Fine Wine & Spirits) and dinner at old favourite University Cafe after watching sci-fi movie Dune on the big screen at IMAX Melbourne. We also enjoyed browsing at Readings which has just opened another outpost at the Emporium in the city.

Speaking of Kung Fu, you can catch Jason Phu: Analects of Kung Fu inspired by martial arts and showing for free at ACMI and we loved watching Marvel movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings as a family. It was also uplifting to know that a second Cantonese Red Emporer restaurant has moved to the former Shark Fin House site in Chinatown and if you’re in the area this coming weekend, Melbourne’s Chinese Museum is also holding its Christmas Open Day on Sunday 19 December.