For several years, Melbourne has been the winner of the most liveable city award in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) liveability survey. It doesn’t surprise me. I love it – and here are six reasons why.
Coffee lovers love Melbourne. Cafés are expected to make a good coffee here. By that I mean, it must have a good “crema”, be strong enough and not bitter. As a black coffee drinker, the quality of the coffee making is paramount because there is no hiding behind a milk screen.
Melbourne café owners have taken a connoisseurial approach to coffee. They offer particular roasts, coffee of particular origins and they describe their coffees as one might describe a wine – they talk about acidity, body and flavour.
Throughout Melbourne there are produce markets that trade regularly. Some are in purpose built facilities – like those at the Vic Market, South Melbourne and Prahran and others that happen in the street – like Richmond. Regardless of the facilities the produce is what people go for. Generally you’ll find goods that are fresher, cheaper and of better quality. You don’t always get to talk to the grower/producer but you do get to meet some real characters.
Our usual haunt is the Vic Market on a Saturday morning. We have a routine and tend to go to the same store holders each week. We buy just about everything we need there from the butchers, fishmongers, delis, fruit and vegetable stalls, eggs sellers, flowers stands, dried fruit and nut stalls. There is usually entertainment as well – from buskers to spruiking stall holders.
Breakfast is one of my favourite meals and there are many great cafés in and around the Vic Market. So yes, you guessed it we go there after our shopping. My selection usually favours poached eggs with different side serves. Monsieur Controleur sometimes lashes out with French toast served with lots of lovely fruit and yoghurt accompaniments.
Port Phillip Bay is beautiful. On a day like the one pictured, it is a joy to be on. Alas, it can also present very challenging conditions for all water sports enthusiasts. For me, sailing out of Sandringham yacht club brings great moments like these. It’s a great way to blow out the cobwebs from the week and breathe clean air.
Melbourne has wonderful buildings. There are those steeped in history, set against those of more modern allure. Each has a story to tell. Edifices like the GPO Building pictured here now house departments stores and fashion outlets. Federation Square is a remarkable modern building in stark contrast to those around it. I am sure there is not a right angle in the place – an engineering challenge to build!
Every year there is an event where the buildings of Melbourne are opened to the public. Workplaces, office buildings, old government and utility buildings throw open their doors and let the people of Melbourne in. It is a delightful day to explore these places that are usually only admired at street level.
Where else in the world, can you get four seasons in one day? I love it. Having grown up in the tropics where it was hot all the time, I embrace the seasons with enthusiasm. And – if they happen on the same day, I have really gotten my money’s worth. So this summer, here is our challenge! The next few days of weather see us yoyo-ing up and down the temperature gauge! Oh well – at least it’s not boring.
Have you been to Melbourne? What did you like most?
Photo credits – Federation Square as per listed link
Remainder – author’s own