Our impromptu walk led to many of our favorite things!

Over the weekend, Alex and I strolled around the neighborhoods just north of where we live in Melbourne. It was funny because Alex had intended to put in some extra time to work to get ahead of things for EOFY but then when he spotted the sunshine on Saturday, he changed his mind.

Off on foot we set to stroll through our favorite park, Carlton Gardens, to then keep going past it to explore an area we had only been to once before. We headed to Faraday Street and eventually ended up at Drummond Street, where we spotted a few restaurants serving their menus outside. We weren’t quite hungry yet so we kept going and kept the area in mind since it felt like a chill yet happening area.

Sugar, spice and everything nice

While we were meandering without destination, Alex spotted a store that he thought I’d love. It was an herbs and spices merchant! After we checked in via the “Service Victoria” app, we stepped into paradise.

Gewürzhaus gave me all the feels. The feels through the aromas that hit my olfactory senses in just the best way possible. Calming notes of teas, tingly feelings from hot peppers, twinges in my jowls from the various salts (just from smelling them!), sweet vibes from the chocolate powders and more.

We ended up getting a French mineral salt from Guérande, a chocolate spice blend with Dutch cocoa and Christmas spices, a coffee and charcoal rub for meats and an English pickling spice!

Fast forward to a few days later and I used the coffee and charcoal rub for a whole roasted chicken! Who wants to see it? And taste it? 🙂

It was such an invigorating and fun experience that I actually didn’t take too many pictures, cuz I was just so happy opening up the different containers to take in all of the fragrant aromas. Alex and I could have stayed there so much longer. We told each other we’d be back again soon.

P.S. We also got the trivet pictured above from the store. We definitely found ourselves some fun treats…spices and homewares we didn’t know we needed!

We worked up an appetite from walking around

I’m so glad that Alex decided to let his day be guided by the sunshine rather than staying cooped up inside! I felt so inspired by all of the sites we saw, from art to flowers to patterns and more.

I’ve always said that the French expression of flâner sans destination, meandering or strolling without a specific aim, is one of my favorite pastimes.

And so we trekked on…

Then we got hungry.

The perfect duo DOES exist: Pizza + Coffee

When the hunger pangs hit (or should I say HANGER pangs), we decided to head back to that cute little corner at Faraday and Drummond. There we spotted D.O.C Gastronomia Italiana. We grabbed a table at the corner outside which was surrounded by a sprinkling of tall potted plants that gave such a nice ambiance of feeling tucked away yet part of the activity of the streets.

We started with two black coffees and were instantly transported back to all of the Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee episodes we binge-watched in NYC in 2020 during the height of the pandemic with Jerry Seinfeld savoring Lavazza coffees with his guest comedians. It really brought back a little bit of remembrance from that timeframe of our lives.

And yet, the enjoyment of coffee in the moment and in the now, in Melbourne, really took us to the present. In a way, I felt like the coffee was a time machine of sorts from a connection not of taste but of nostalgia bringing itself into a present moment when we were able to truly just be.

Alex always told me that his two favorite foods were coffee and pizza. After listening to the specials of the day, we decided to order the 2nd special which had spicy salami and a soft, savory cheese with wilted greens.

It just felt so amazing to slow down and sit in our new home city after months of being on the go. We shared with family and friends that our move from NYC to Melbourne has had its challenges and has been quite the whirlwind. It’s also had its highlights too but it truly felt nice to sit and stay for a while.

Just look at the pizza!! The crust was absolute perfection with a lightness that also carried a balanced amount of chewiness to crunchiness. HOW did they do it?

When your Saturday vibe continues through to Sunday…

We loved the Saturday we had last weekend. Those few hours felt blissful. Strolling and discovering is an activity that suits both Alex and myself when we’re together. We always seem to be the happiest and most fulfilled when we can take a breather, hand-in-hand, chat and converse while being on the move discovering new adventures and experiences.

So I was so happy when the next day on Sunday, Alex and I decided to do a bit more exploration. We first went to a bicycle shop to take a look at bikes that was across the street from Queen Victoria Market. So afterwards, we thought we’d finally check out the market, something we’ve been meaning to do since moving to Melbourne. While checking out the market, Alex again spotted a place he thought I’d love…a bookstore for people who love to cook!

When reading makes you salivate…

While enjoying flat whites at Queen Victoria market, Alex suddenly tapped me and pointed to a place he spotted: Books for Cooks. I can’t tell you just how excited I was at both the name of the store and also the enjoyment it conveyed we’d be experiencing once stepping in and turning a page.

We were greeted by the inviting covers of cuisines from around the world.

If only the images and words in the books could dance around and come alive into a full experience of a 12-course meal!

We spotted many books that called our names but the very first book that Alex opened up was a book on Sichuan cooking. And after perusing the store’s lovely offerings, Alex told me he wanted to get the book for me! I didn’t refuse!

It was nice of Alex to think of me and help me to deepen my love for cooking through getting me the book as a gift! But also, who else thinks that Alex just loves Sichuan cuisine himself and hopes that I’ll cook more Sichuanese dishes! *wink*

Thank you, Melbourne, for giving us a weekend filled with some of our absolute favorite things. We’re super excited to continue to get to know you better!