Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Oh the places we'll go

While I've been pretty housebound the past week caring for my boys and technically back at work (at least in body if not in spirit), it has been great to get out locally while things are quiet and less rushed - January really is Slow Melbourne and I'm quite happy with that.
Image via Urban Spoon
Mr Rosanna and I did end up having an impromptu pre-Christmas meal with the boys at Little Black Pig on Burgundy Street in Heidelberg (right next door to Cash Converters) and while the location is down the not-so-salubrious end of Burgundy street, the food and service were great.  It has a fairly spartan interior, along with plywood shelves and hard floors which make it quite loud if you do go in for a coffee or meal.  We were served by a lovely native Italian speaking waiter and the Italian food on offer looked fantastic.  There were a couple of big groups having lunch when we went in for brunch - the eggs were great and the coffees are also good.  I think I will be back there for a meal at some stage.
Image via CERES
I also had brunch with my best friends last Sunday at The Merri Table Cafe located in environmental park CERES, which is a far cry from the fairly barren wasteland that it was back in the mid 1990s when I first visited while working for Citipower.  It has evolved to include a nursery, market and cafe and also holds workshops as well as sells gift vouchers - something I'll have to keep in mind for next Christmas.  Being Brunswick, the crowd at CERES was a lot more hipster than suburban and there were a lot of people with babies in prams including my own party of friends.  I had a vegetarian borek with salad and you can also buy organic fruit and vegetables if you get there before 2pm.  There is a carpark in the front area on the left as well as limited parking in nearby streets.
Mr Rosanna and I also took the kids to Edinburgh Gardens in North Fitzroy one afternoon and the thing I like about it is that it really is a people's park.  I've never been to Central Park in New York but in many ways, I think Edinburgh Gardens could almost be our micro-version equivalent in Melbourne.  We parked on the perimeter next to a marquee that had been set up with people holding a party complete with outdoor games and music.  The boys rode around on their bikes but everywhere I looked there were people immersed in relaxation and activity - lying on picnic rugs, playing with frisbees, walking dogs, playing tennis or basketball, jogging or walking around the park, flying kites, skating in the skateboard rink or playing in the playground.  I loved some of the more incongruous sights to be seen like this Muslim woman (below) determinedly shooting basketball hoops even though a group of big guys was hogging the court.  Go sister!  We had fun kicking the soccer ball around and watching the many dogs going crazy being off leash and getting a number of free pats by the more curious ones who came to say hello.
After finishing our play at the park, we scooted to Victoria Street Richmond where you can always find a Vietnamese restaurant that's open over the quiet hospitality season.  We had a cheap and cheerful meal at Ha Long Bay restaurant bumping into another school family while we were there.
Image via Urban Spoon
Finally, summer wouldn't be complete without ice-cream and we also stopped in one hot summer's night to Fairy Hills Gourmet Ice cream in Ivanhoe which is open most nights until 9pm.  It's in a fairly quiet group of shops opposite Ivanhoe Grammar School on Lower Heidelberg Road and the ice-cream there is yum!  I also managed to beat Mr Rosanna playing Connect 4 while we were there, which was funny.
Whether you are back at work or still on holiday, I hope you are enjoying the summer.

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