Saturday 30 July 2016

A girls' weekend away of food, fun and relaxation

One of the things that I have missed the most about moving to a new city is the fact that I don't get to see my close friends from Sydney as often as I'd like. So, when a group of my friends from uni organised a girls' weekend away in Melbourne, I was counting down the weeks leading up to it. Last weekend, we headed to Melbourne and Mornington Peninsula for two days of hanging out and relaxing by the hot springs, dining at some amazing cafes and restaurants, and reminiscing over lots of fun times.

After flying into Melbourne Airport from our various cities, we hopped into a hire car and trotted off to the city in search of somewhere that would feed us a delicious meal at 9:30 pm. Luckily, our first restaurant attempt, Cumulus Inc, had a table available for the five of us.

We decided to order a few dishes to share, including the kitchen charcuterie selection, a chopped broccoli salad, tuna tartare with crushed green pea salad (definitely a winner), fried cauliflower with whey and spiced salt, ricotta dumplings with pumpkin and pine nut, and roasted new potatoes with garlic and sage. To finish off, we shared some madeleines filled with lemon curd, a caramelised orange tart and a bitter chocolate dessert with almond parfait and pear.


After falling asleep almost instantly, we woke up early on Saturday morning and headed to Crabapple Kitchen in Hawthorn for some breakfast. I couldn't go past the buttermilk pancakes with pears, salted pine nut and almond praline, orange blossom and vanilla marscapone, and Canadian maple syrup.

We then drove to Mornington Peninsula to spend some time at a few wineries, before heading to the Peninsula Hot Springs for an afternoon of relaxation.

Feeling thoroughly relaxed, we got ourselves ready in the evening for a meal at the beautiful Ten Minutes by Tractor. Starting off with a cocktail each (I went with the Pimms No. 1 Cup), we then decided that we would all order the three course option. To start, I chose the prawns with confit tomato, dill puree, shaved fennel, prawn cremeux and crispy quinoa.


For the main course, I ordered the grass fed Cape Grim beef with roasted cauliflower puree, mushrooms, braised rib, horseradish and red wine jus. We also shared a mixture of sides, including a beetroot salad, roasted kipfler potatoes and charred zucchini.

To finish, I of course had to go with the chocolate dessert, which came with Michel Cluizel hot chocolate mousse, caramelised pears, hazlenut and spiced chocolate ice cream.

It was an incredible experience and definitely one of the highlights of the weekend.

We woke up fairly early on Sunday morning so that we could head back to Melbourne for some brunch. Unfortunately, our attempts to get a table at Manchester Press and Hardware Societe were unsuccessful, so we ended up finding some fodder at Bowery to Williamsburg (I chose the waffles with berries, pistachios, whipped cream and maple syrup).

After a spot of shopping in the CBD, we decided to have one final snack stop at Laurent Pattisserie. The Bora Bora cake was extremely tempting so I couldn't go past it - a coconut dacquoise with dark chocolate mousse, wild strawberry coulis, coconut mousse and macaron.

The weekend sadly came to an end at this point and we all said our farewells at the airport before flying home. Even though the weekend flew by so quickly, it was such a lovely getaway and I was so grateful for a couple of days spent away with old friends.

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