Birds of a Feather, Newport, Melbourne

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I can't believe it's almost a month since we left Melbourne, Australia. In fact, seeing as we spent the last 10 days out of the city in the lovely seaside town of Rye, it's really been over a month since we left. I have a huge list of places still to write about from our time there, not to mention our adventures in Bali, Malaysia and Singapore!  

I'm writing this from a grey and slightly damp Loughborough as I'm staying at my Dad's right now before heading back to Bristol next week. Just looking at the blue skies and thinking back to the sitting in the sunshine to eat this brunch at Birds of a Feather in Newport is filling me with happy memories. Oh to be back in Melbourne! 

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Fenways, Loughborough

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Tonight I ate at the newest place in Loughborough - Fenways.

I'd been aware that Fenways was coming for longer than most. As the previous marketing manager for the Orange tree group it's been in the planning for a while and although I no longer work for the company, I'm pleased to see that it's up and running. And, thanks to co-owner Pugsy's eye for detail and the hard work of the entire team, it looks bloody awesome inside and out.

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Weekend Brunch Club Round Up - March 2017

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I'm back in the UK and despite the daffodils and spring sunshine, for me, it feels bloody freezing!! I'm sure I'll acclimatise soon enough but after the humidity and heat of Malaysia and Singapore, it all feels a bit fresh. I'll be writing about our adventures soon!

Now, if you've not heard about Weekend Brunch Club before, it's a blogger linky I set up at the start of the year for food bloggers to share their favourite brunch inspired recipes. For readers, it's a source of inspiration for that luxurious weekend meal.

Weekend Brunch Club blogger round up
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Melbourne’s Best Burgers According to Me

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I blame Melbourne’s incredible burger scene for my pot belly. Actually, scrap that. If I'm honest, I already had a pot belly. But I do blame Melbourne’s incredible burger scene for the extended edition I'm now sporting.

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Potato Head Beach Club, Bali

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You might have heard of Potato Head Beach Club. There are several of them around the world – in Hong Kong, Singapore, Jakarta and pictured here; Bali.

It's a fun place to hang out, listen to music, dance, drink, swim and enjoy the views. As so—an avid supporter of all things fun—I was pleased to be able to spend an afternoon at their original site in Seminyak on our recent Bali trip.


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Higher Ground, Melbourne

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"If you would lift me up you must be on higher ground"

I couldn't say it better myself.  I'm assuming that when American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson penned this famous quote he was looking well beyond his 19th century existence. His crystal ball was tuned to February 2017 and focused firmly on Little Bourke Street, Melbourne Australia.

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Weekend Brunch Club: Roasted Greens & Goats Cheese on Toast

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This recipe is inspired by something I ate at Pond Cafe in Torquay. Nope, not that one. Torquay on the Great Ocean Road in Australia! I've always been a fan of a roasted brassica but I've never thought of putting them on toast. Until now. 

If you've not been following, at the start of the year I began my new blog link up, Weekend Brunch Club, to honour and celebrate this wonderful meal between breakfast and lunch. This is the third recipe in the series so far and you can see the previous two (plus details on how to join in) here.

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Shanghai Street - Dumplings worth waiting for?

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When you see a queue outside a bar or restaurant do you join it? Or do you walk away? 

For the last few months, we've seen the queue outside Shanghai Street in Melbourne's chinatown and walked away. There is so much choice for dumplings that we never thought it worth the wait. Last week we decided to join the queue and finally see what all the fuss was about. 

A real spread at Shanghai Street, Melbourne
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Weekend Brunch Club Round Up: February 2017

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Another month, another collection of excellent brunch recipes from my fellow food bloggers! If you're after some inspiration for next weekend or just fancy trying a new recipe for your next lazy morning, read on. 

Spring Vegetable Pancake from Kelly's Food to Glow
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Sweet Orange Warung, Ubud, Bali

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Without sounding too far up my own you-know-what, I can honestly say I'm really good at finding hidden gems when it comes to food. I tend to avoid trip advisor, turning instead to instagram and travel blogs to see where similar folk are eating in the places I visit.

It feels like a lifetime ago since we were in Bali but I still have so much stuff to share with you from that trip. Starting with this place: Sweet Orange Warung. A peaceful dining spot just 20 minutes walk outside of Ubud. 

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Artotel, Sanur, Bali.

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We hardly ever stay in hotels when we travel, choosing Airbnb or family run guest houses instead, both to keep the budget down and experience the place in a more meaningful and 'real' way. That said, on our recent trip to Bali we chose to end the holiday with a couple of nights at Artotel. A touch of luxury to end what was essentially a budget break.

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Four places to eat the best street food in Melbourne

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You all know just how much I love my street food so it'll come as no surprise that when we first arrived in Melbourne I was keen to seek some of the glorious stuff out. Turns out there's plenty of it here and in the last few months I've been scoffing my way around various markets, events and festivals.

We've eaten some truly delicious and innovative street food here. That said, it's not immune to the same old 'greasy fairground' traders you get in the UK at big events like the Bristol Balloon Fiesta or Nottingham's Goose Fair. At the recent St Kilda Festival for example, a lot of the food traders were a bit middle of the road. Fortunately, I've done some serious research to save you all from eating anything even remotely average. Stick to this list of the four best places to get your fill and you'll be right!

Liquorice ice-cream from Game of Cones, Melbourne
Liquorice-delish from Game of Cones
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Weekend Brunch Club: Coconut French Toast with Honey, Apricots & Raspberries

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For this month's recipe as part of my new Weekend Brunch Club series, I decided to do something sweet. When I think of brunch it's nearly always savoury - eggs, avocado, sourdough etc... but actually (here in Melbourne at least) brunch menus often include sweet things. Pancakes, fritters, french toast and the like. 

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Thoughts on Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

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Darwin isn't a place I ever thought I'd be travelling to.

The reason for our visit was to see our friends who live there, funnily enough the ones whose wedding in Perth first brought us out to Australia. Originally from Bristol and London but with a keen sense for travel, they settled here a few years ago and, in search of something challenging and truly Aussie, they now called Darwin their home.

When we told people in Melbourne that we were off to the Northern Territory for a December visit, they all laughed at us. It's the worst time of year to go  very hot, very sticky and slap bang in the middle of wet season. Anyway, we went. And they were right. It was disgustingly hot and sticky.

Lee Point Beach, Darwin
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Weekend Brunch Club Round Up - January 2017

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It feels like January has flown by! The start of February means it's time for the inaugural round up for my brand new linky challenge 'Weekend Brunch Club' which I launched at the start of this year.  Thank you to all the bloggers who took part, I'm really pleased to have a nice selection of brunch recipes to share with you today. Hopefully whether you have a sweet or savoury tooth, you'll find something tasty to try at home!



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Discovering Uyghur Cuisine

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I always love meeting people who enjoy food as much as I do so when we recently met David and Trevor through a friend here in Melbourne, we hit it off immediately.

David is a HUGE foodie, I bow down to him in his knowledge of all things delicious. The first time we met I walked away with a huge list of recommendations and not enough time left in Melbourne to get through them all in. Anyway, we joined them last weekend to tick off the first place on that list: Dolan Uyghur Food Heaven


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Bay City Burrito: St Kilda, Melbourne Australia.

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When we were in Bali we saw a programme on food challenges around the world. I think it was a Man V Food type thing. One of the places was Melbourne's Bay City Burrito. They have a killer hot burrito called the 'ultra bomber' which is definitely not for the faint hearted!

Although neither of us were planning on trying the ultra bomber, we both loved the look of the place and decided to give them a visit when we got back. Bay City Burrito are pretty much the daddy of the Melbourne tex-mex craze and they specialise in San Francisco 'mission' style burritos. Mission burritos come from the mission district of San Francisco and are probably the type we're all most familiar with, featuring rice as well as beans, meat and other ingredients. 

La Fajita Steak Burrito at Bay City Burrito in St Kilda

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Secret Ingredient Smoothie

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Everyone seems to be on a January detox or some sort of post Christmas diet. None of that's for me. I've accepted my pot belly as a permanent fixture and I prefer to eat what I like and just make sure I stay active.

Looking at this smoothie, you'd be forgiven for thinking it was some sort of detox or health drink. It's not! For fun, I posted the below picture on instagram and asked people to guess what the secret ingredient was. Suggestions mainly veered towards the healthy end of the spectrum with several people saying 'chia seeds'. One person came close with peanut butter. They get half a point.

My secret ingredient smoothie
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Food for thought at Sjaki-Tari-Us, Ubud, Bali

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On one of our many wanders around Ubud we stumbled upon Sjaki-Tari-Us. Well, I say stumble, it's pretty well hidden and quite hard to 'stumble' upon, thanks to it's position at the end of a thin path edging a big field. We only found it because we were hunting down a Geocache (a worldwide GPS treasure hunt).

A spread for dinner at Sjaki-Tari-Us in Ubud, Bali.
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Travel Whispers Blogger Challenge

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Aside from all the dead celebrities and political horror show both at home and in the US, 2016 was a big year for me in terms of change.  In a nutshell, I quit my full time job to work for myself, moved 150 miles away from home and then, in October, left the UK on a six month stint travelling. My wanderlust is strong right now and the 'list' grows longer by the day. 

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Weekend Brunch Club: Smashed Avocado & Feta Two Ways

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I've been thinking a lot about brunch recently. And eating a lot of it too. It's a very Melbournian thing to do apparently. And as the new year approached, I had a brainwave! It's this - my new monthly 'Weekend Brunch Club' series. 




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Bali's Best Suckling Pig? Ibu Oka, Ubud, Bali

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Chefs and food writers including Anthony Bourdain and Rick Stein have eaten at Ibu Oka and given it such high praise that I was genuinely over-excited to try this place when we were in Ubud last month. So much so that when we turned up and they had run out of part of the dish we left and went back the next day to make sure we had the full experience.

The 'famous' special at Ibu Oka in Ubud, Bali
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Brunch at Little Henri, Thornbury, Melbourne

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Since coming to Melbourne I seem to have spent most of my time eating one of three things: Burgers, Ramen and Brunch. Today I want to talk about the third. That magical meal which sits between breakfast and lunch. A time when naughty food is accepted as a first meal of the day.

Brunch at Little Henri in Thornbury

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