Gazi, Melbourne

I have to admit that I haven’t really eaten much Greek food in my life. The odd souvlaki or the occasional haloumi salad (although I really do love haloumi!), but I can’t remember the last time I went to a Greek restaurant. Gazi in the Melbourne CBD was suggested by an old school friend for our very long overdue catch-up, and when she gave me the address, I was surprised to find that it was ridiculously close to where I work, yet I had never noticed it. As I always do before going to a new restaurant, I checked out the menu and I was immediately drawn to the soft shell crab souvlakakia.

Soft shell crab souvlaki - wanderluxelife

Crab Souvlakakia – soft shell crab, mint, coriander, honey, mayo

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The Wild Collective

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I love to shop. I can happily browse for hours in shopping malls, scroll through online storefronts till the early hours of the morning and – to my fiancé’s frustration – spend days touring the high streets and outlets while on holidays. But one shopping experience I absolutely love is roaming around markets, be they farmers, arts and crafts or food and wine. So when I heard about The Wild Collective’s fabulous new market event featuring some incredible foodies/designers/producers, I was more than excited to join the tribe!

The Wild Collective - wanderluxelife

The Wild Collective

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National Institute of Circus Arts

Ever dreamed of running away and joining the circus? If you want a taste of circus life before packing your bags, then the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) is the place to start. A training institute that is part of Swinburne University, it offers a bachelor degree in circus arts for those who want to make their career in the industry, but for those of us who just want to escape our desk jobs for a while, there are any number of short courses to choose from! Tumbling, hula hooping, trapeze, aerial silks – basically anything you’d expect to see in a circus!

Aerial hoop - NICA - wanderluxelife

Aerial hoop

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CNF Cafe, South Yarra

Brunch is probably my favourite meal of the day, mainly because you can order anything you want – sweet, savoury or anything in between! One of the first places we actually tried in South Yarra was CNF Café and we’ve been back a couple of times since. I’ve ordered the same thing every time, despite the variety in the menu, but it has basically everything I want in a brunch dish!

Gluten Free Stack - wanderluxelife

Gluten Free Stack

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Pastuso, Melbourne

Walking down Flinders Lane, I’ve often passed ACDC Lane and noticed a restaurant at the very end – Pastuso, a “modern Peruvian grill, cevicheria and pisco bar”. My only previous experience with Peruvian cuisine has been the Japanese-Peruvian fusion of Nobu, which I loved, so I did have quite high expectations of Pastuso.

Ceviche Nikei de Camarones — Crystal Bay prawns, radish, ginger, turnip puree, ponzu & white miso

Ceviche Nikei de Camarones — Crystal Bay prawns, radish, ginger, turnip puree, ponzu & white miso

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Flight Plan: Emirates First Class Private Suite

“Would you care for a shot of Grey Goose vodka with your caviar?”

Caviar with a traditional selection of finely chopped onion, chopped boiled egg, sour cream and lemon, served with crisp melba toast and soft blini pancakes. And a shot of vodka!

Caviar with a traditional selection of finely chopped onion, chopped boiled egg, sour cream and lemon, served with crisp melba toast and soft blini pancakes. And a shot of vodka!

Such is life as a passenger in the Emirates First Class Private Suite. Nothing is too much trouble for the cheerful and friendly flight attendants, who introduce themselves as you board and explain the many features of your suite and the extensive menu, from which you can order anything at any time. Continue reading

DreamWorks Animation: The Exhibition, Melbourne

“Prepare for awesomeness!”

So says Po from Kung Fu Panda and that’s what you should be ready for if you visit the DreamWorks Animation exhibition at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) at Federation Square in Melbourne. Celebrating 20 years of DreamWorks, this exhibition is sub-titled Journey from Sketch to Screen and demonstrates the creative process of making an animated movie from start to finish. As huge fans of Shrek, the aforementioned Kung Fu Panda and pretty much all of DreamWorks’ filmography, my sister and I were desperate to check out this exhibition on our recent trip to Melbourne.

Scenes from Shrek

Scenes from Shrek

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Quarters at Flinders Hotel, Mornington Peninsula

Friends had frequently told me about the incredible variety of things to do in the Mornington Peninsula, from visiting wineries to relaxing at the beach, wandering through hedge mazes or floating away in hot springs. So when I came across a group buying deal for a two-night stay at Quarters at Flinders Hotel, I immediately snapped it up. Mornington Peninsula is an easy 60-90 minute drive from Melbourne (depending on where you start from), with Flinders Hotel located on the eastern side of the peninsula. The hotel’s location means that it’s only a few minutes walk to the closest beach and Flinders Pier.

Flinders Pier

Flinders Pier

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Nobu, Southbank

Nobu Matsuhisa’s first restaurant in the USA was located in Alaska and went up in flames after just weeks of trading. It’s fair to say that things have only improved since then. Nine years after his ‘Bombe Alaska’ (yep, I went there!), Nobu opened a Japanese-Peruvian fusion restaurant in Beverly Hills and soon became one of the world’s first celebrity chefs. There are now 22 Nobu restaurants around the world, including one in Melbourne which opened in 2007 at Crown Casino.

Nobu

Nobu

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