I think I'd like to write a bit about the lead up and the planning of the wedding here on the blog. I took photos of all the things we did. Would you like that? I found it really useful reading on other blogs how people do their weddings, especially the different, non-traditional ones. It was actually very reassuring and interesting. If there is anything in particular you might find helpful, do let me know.
And now, on this Christmas Eve eve, I want to take you to Melbourne's own Little Italy, in Carlton. John and I were chuffed to be invited for a pretty dreamy dinner at Helados Jauja recently – the dinner of ice cream! Yes, we lived the dream of childhood for a night. Seriously.
For those of you who don't know Melbourne, Carlton is a really beautiful part of Melbourne, right next to the CBD. A friend of mine used to live here years ago, and I lived in North Fitzroy, which is one suburb across and then up. It's really old and leafy and has real Melbourne character.
When I worked in South Melbourne I'd ride my bike through Carlton every day. On my way home, I used to whizz down that road on the far left and into this roundabout – it was a pretty long hill and you could get up some real speed if you weren't careful! But also: neeeeoooooooow FUN. (The long hard ride up the hill in the mornings was less fun.)
Lygon Street in Carlton is super famous here for its Italian food. To be honest, I think it has quite a touristy reputation more than an amazing one, if you know what I mean, so we don't come down here very often these days. Plus, with John's mum cooking only the Best Italian Food ever, we are hardly going to go out to an Italian restaurant while here! We get to eat fresh home made pasta every other week, so..! The funny thing is, as we walked down on that cool but sunny evening, we could see the good bits of it and why it became so popular in the first place. It just looks amazing and has a nice, relaxed atmosphere – and the big old trees are gorgeous. I think that's such a massive sign of when you know you feel at home in a city: when the places visitors are told to go to become familiar and almost forgotten.
We were then all treated to lots of tasters of special ice creams. John and I asked why we were getting full ( we hadn't had dinner yet) and apparently it's because they are made with fresh full fat milk and cream and eggs. I can be a bit picky about ice cream and actually don't eat it very often because I remember having a dinner party and someone didn't finish their ice cream and I left the plates to be washed the next day and the ice cream hadn't melted at all, and I thought that was gross. It just kind of put me off it. I can happily tell you that these ice creams do melt, as ice cream should!
My favourite flavour (along with salted caramel – obviously, I am in Melbourne after all!) was the Yorba Mate, which I think is pronounced Yorba Martay, because it isn't too sweet and reminds me of something that I can't quite put my finger on. I was also really surprised that I liked the mint one, as I am really either or with mint and HATE artificial mint flavour. (I'm not joking, I really hate it, hate the smell, don't want to even be near it. Argh get it away from me!) Fresh mint is completely different although sometimes I can find it a bit strong, but this one had tiny flecks of very fresh mint leaves and was really good.
We were shown some of the fresh ingredients used. (I loooooove muscovado sugar and always want to make something with it, but I'm never really sure what – maybe I can find something over the holidays.)
We walked back to the car through wide streets promising each other we would go back to Carlton and definitely back for more ice cream. Maybe even in some warm sunshine, ahem, Melbourne! Actually it can totally wait from my point of view – sorry Melbourne people in advance – I want it to stay cool and would prefer rain to sunshine but dry and cool-ish and overcast ould be most awesome please thanks up until the New Year please thank you! x