Melbourne is better than Sydney (Day 1)

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My trip to Melbourne is a Love Letter… penned with pictures. I can never describe my love for travel, my desire for airline lounges, my desire to be at 30,000 ft or my love of plush hotel rooms, and amazing dining experiences. Words can’t describe it, so it’s largely in pictures! Here is my trip… it’s a diary from the soul

The Flight Over

So I wake up at ~3:45am to find a text sitting in my inbox from Qantas telling me they have cancelled my 7am flight to Melbourne… I manage to rebook for a 7:15am flight, so all is forgiven.

I get to the airport and head straight to one of my fave places – The Qantas Business / Platinum Lounge (if you haven’t already, check out my Special Feature Lounge piece here)! The breakfast at the lounge is oh so amazing… silky scrambled eggs, warm cinnamon muffins, velvety pastries and a creamy mango yoghurt. Throw in some views of the tarmac and I am in heaven.

The Breakfast View

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The Eggs

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The Pastries & Yoghurt 

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Morning Coffee (Oh I so needed this) 

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The Tarmac (Is there anything more beautiful?)

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I do hate to interrupt my time in the lounge… but my boarding call beckons and I’m off… seeya Sydney

In the Clouds

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The Hotel

So the plane touches down in Melbourne… my dreams of being in the sky forever are shattered (for now). I make my way to my hotel! I am staying at the Royce Hotel this time (it’s an old Rolls Royce showroom – hence the name)… a plush Art Series Hotel with a touch of Bohemian / New York Boutique feel. My room has an expansive terrace with views of the Melbourne city skyline which is amazing (see below). The pillows and bed are oh so comfortable and the marble bathroom is just the epitome of elegance. A huge thank you to the beautiful staff who take such good care of me.

The Lobby 

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The Room 

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Mini-Bar

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The Terrace in the Room & Views of Melbourne Skyline 

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The Dinner (Rosetta Ristorante at Crown) 

I manage to find some time for lil dinner after a hectic day and meet someone in Crown Complex. Rosetta is an Italian Restaurant owned by the Rockpool Group with a focus is on traditional Italian dishes with a char-grilled cooking style that adds smokiness and extra flavour to the cuisine.

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I get seated at the table and my dining companion arrives shortly thereafter. Here’s the run down of the meal.

Shared starters (Calamari with zucchini, Buffalo Mozzarella, Polpette al forno)

The calamari is succulent with amazing crisp outer coating. The buffalo mozzarella has a firm texture with supple creamy taste which is paired with a crispy Italian bread.  The Polpette al forno (Italian meatballs) are juicy wrapped in a rich tangy tomato sauce. Perfect way to start the evening.

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The Cervo (Charcoal grilled wild venison with butternut squash puree and balsamic onions)

I have the venison – which is superb. The succulent gamey flavour of the venison shines through. The smokiness of the grill attaches to the meat and along with the rich gamey flavour it is set upon a contrastingly smooth squash puree and mixes with the gentle tang of the balsamic onions.

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Salsicce di Chianina (House made beef sausages with roast pumpkin, walnut and sage salsa)

My dining companion has a lovely traditional Italian beef sausage (so not the average run of the will BBQ) and attests that they are amazing.

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The side of carrots 

The soft baked carrots are full of flavour and complement the mains perfectly.

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The Chianti (Ricasoli – Castello di Brolio 2010)

I love the Chianti – I am lost daydreaming about Tuscan hills, vineyards and cobblestone streets… and thankfully my dining companion let me choose the wine. The wine has the lovely scent of spices, tobacco and cherry that waft from the glass as I have the first taste. It’s a dark, full-bodied wine. The taste of plums, cocoa, and dark cherries flow through your taste buds unlocking a sensational experience… it’s such an amazing wine.

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Torrone al Cioccolato (Frozen chocolate, peanut and coconut semi freddo)

The crunch of the coconut and peanuts together with the thickness and creaminess of the semi freddo is an array of textures. The dish is rich, full of that “cocoa kick” and creative. Lovely way to end the evening.

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Apple Strudel

My dining companion has the strudel (against the advice of the waiter) but enjoys it.

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Ends such an amazing night! One more day in Melbourne (check out my review of day two here)…

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