I was lucky enough to hitch a ride with Jas last week as she headed down to Melbourne. Jas was recently awarded one of the 10 positions as a Garnier Ambassador for helping to take care of the people in her community. As part of the prize, Garnier flew the ambassadors down to Melbourne and put them all up in The Cullen Hotel for a few nights so that they could be pampered and celebrated for their hard work.
I was familiar with The Cullen, so I quickly convinced Jas that she needed me to come along for moral support. I told her I would help carry the bags and pull the suitcase, and wouldn’t get up to too much fun while she was on her official duties. Little did she know, I had my entire holiday planned – and it involved a LOT of coffee.
The Cullen is in Prahran – across the road from Prahran Market and about 2 minutes (by foot) away from Market Lane. With Market Lane so close, I knew I would have a constant supply of delicious, fresh caffeine. I ended up visiting Market Lane at least once a day while I was there, and that still felt like I was missing out. Over the numerous times Jas and I visited Market Lane, the coffee was consistently excellent. They were as good as last time we were down – they use non-homogenised milk and texture it perfectly. On Saturday, they even had a mushroom burger stall set up outside – the chutney on those burgers was delish. It was full of flavour and a little spicy – between Jas and I, that burger didn’t last long. Market Lane also served up the best double ristretto single-origin while I was in Melbourne. It had no bitterness and had some earthy-chocolate undertones. I loved it.
On Friday, Jas had to partake in official duties with Garnier. By official, what I really mean is a champagne breakfast, a blow-dry and a day of fun and food with some lovely ladies. I had the day off, so I ventured across town to visit a new cafe. Axil was recommended to me by a friend at uni – he is probably more into coffee that I am, so when someone like that tells you to visit a particular cafe, you do what you’re told. I double checked the address and headed out with a grumbling belly. Axil is located in Hawthorne, not too far from Prahran. I decided to get to Axil fairly early, and spend the day wandering around after breakfast and a coffee, or two.
After placing my orders, I was surprised at how quickly my breakfast and coffee was made – it was incredible. The staff were really friendly and the coffee was amazing. I ordered a latte and smashed avocado and persian fetta w/ poached eggs. After finishing that, I ordered a double ristretto of their single-origin (I can’t remember the details, sorry). The ristretto was a little bitter for my liking, but there were these delicious undertones of blueberry that would have probably been well suited to a piccolo or machiatto. I watched a few photography videos on my tablet, ordered another latte (hey! I’m on holidays, right?) and got up to leave a few hours after I arrived. I was well satisfied, and decided to walk back to Prahran. It was a beautiful day, and the 7k stroll back to Prahran took me past some cool buildings and photo-opportunities.
Some other moments I wanted to share:
Macaroons from a little store in Prahran Market, and an impromptu photoshoot inside our room.
Breakfast that I enjoyed with extended family at Pillar of Salt. When I realised they have 5 Senses coffee, I decided to try the single-origin as a double ristretto. The short black was smooth and fruity. It was easy to drink, and definitely gave me a buzz to brace the cooler Melbourne weather.
Finally, when we arrived on Thurday, Jas and I managed to fit in a quick visit to Henryk’s photography exhibition at Rtist before meeting a friend for dinner at Hutong Dumpling House. I highly recommend doing both of those things while in Melbourne. Henryk’s photos look amazing in person (as in, more so than on his website), and Hutong do the best dumplings that my taste-buds have ever experienced.