Hello Fellow Travelers:
Welcome to our world of business information, museums, adventure, birding, botanical gardens, dining and fine wines. This newsletter provides you with “The Welge Report for Melbourne.
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Recognition: We extend special thanks to the people who manage and/or own the institutions, museums and restaurants featured in our guides. In some instances we have relied on their descriptions and photos.
Birding Opps: Info for our birding friends. In and near Melbourne you can see the black-eared minor, the orange bellied parrot, roselles and honeyeaters.
This is a do-it-yourself guide and site (birdlifemelbourne.org.au/birdingsites/) showing four distinct birding areas near Melbourne.
Melbourne Water (melbournewater.com.au) administers excellent birding sites but you need a permit to visit.
Grape Experience – Australia has more than 60 designated wine regions across the country and has developed a worldwide reputation for its award-winning wines. This site gives you a broad brush description of wine areas and wineries (australia.com/about/australias-landscapes/australian-wineries).
Transportation: Check out this website for your public transit needs (http://ptv.vic.gov.au/)
Business Information: Here is help in regard to your business: (http://www.business.vic.gov.au/)
U.S. Embassy: (melbourne.usconsulate.gov), 553 St Kilda Rd, 61 3 9526 5900
Exchange Rates (http://www.x-rates.com/)
Day One: Our cousin suggests a visit to the National Gallery of Victoria – W-M: 10-5, 180 St Kilda Road, 61 (0)3 8620 2222
The NGV’s Australian art collection encompasses indigenous art and artifacts, Australian colonial art, Australian impressionist art, 20th century, modern and contemporary Australian art.
In addition to the Australian collections, international collection areas include European painting, fashion and textiles, photography, prints and drawings, Asian art, decorative arts, Mesoamerican art, Pacific art, sculpture, antiquities and contemporary art.
It has strong collections in old masters, Greek vases, Egyptian artifacts and historical European ceramics.
Time for lunch at Coda – L & D: Daily, Basement 141 Flinders Lane, 61 3 9650 3155
Go for the sugar cane prawns or the spanner crab. At Coda it’s about small plates. The blackened quail is another favorite as are the seared Coffin Bay scallops.
We suggest the 2012 Te Mata Gamay Hawke’s Bay for your wine choice.
Let’s visit the Australian Centre for the Moving Image – Daily: 10-5, Federation Square, Melbourne, 03 9655 1995
At the ACMI the centerpiece is a new permanent exhibition charting the journey of the moving image and, in particular, Australia’s engagement with screen culture as consumer and creator.
Screen Worlds: The Story of Film, Television and Digital Culture is a unique, interactive and immersive exhibition that dynamically illustrates how each of the forms of the moving image have emerged and evolved as a powerful creative medium.
The exhibition is the cornerstone of the major development project which also includes a second special exhibition space, two new state-of-the-art production studios, and a new national screen culture resource centre – the Australian Mediatheque.
Dinner is at the popular Cutler & Co. – L: F, Su, D: Nightly, 55-57 Gertrude St, Fitzroy, 61 3 9419 4888
For an appetizer we are partial to the smoked trout & rye toast or the grilled octopus with Bob’s fermented chilli.
For your main it’s the poached grouper with smoked mussels, nettles and green olives or tuna sashimi with ginger, shaved squid and kimchi.
The 2012 Sorrenberg Gamay is a good match. Dessert is their famous buttermilk ice cream with boysenberry sorbet, clove meringue and rosemary.
Day Two: Breakfast is at The Hardware Societe – B & L: Daily, 120 Hardware St, 61 3 9078 5992
One of the great choices here is the baked eggs with chorizo and pimento. You can dine outside in the lane or sit at a communal table inside.
Another delicious choice is the roasted parsnips and creamy mash or the almond praline biscuits and croissants.
After this delicious offering let’s start the day with a short drive to Werribee Mansion – Daily: 10-5, Gate 2, K Rd, Werribee, Victoria, 03 8734 5100
Werribee Mansion is a living, breathing postcard of the 19th century. Built in the Italianate architecture style, Werribee Mansion boasts 60 rooms in several wings and includes period clothing and furniture.
It is surrounded by 10 hectares of formal gardens. The gardens feature a parterre, which is a geometric garden design best viewed from the mansion balcony, pond and original grotto.
Within walking distance of Werribee Mansion is the Victoria State Rose Garden, an internationally acclaimed garden that is shaped like a giant Tudor Rose and it displays 5000 roses.
Lunch is at MoVida – L & D: Daily, 1 Hosin Lane, 61 3 9663 3038
Lots of small plate choices here. You might enjoy the hand-filleted Cantabrian anchovy on crouton with smoked tomato sorbet or the house cold smoked Spanish mackerel with pine nut gazpacho sorbet.
The duck liver parfait with Pedro Ximenez foam and toasted brioche is popular as is the Valencian salad: endive, orange, palm hearts and Manzanillo olives.
Either a glass of the 2012 Peregrine Chardonnay or the 2012 The Story ‘Tinkers’ Shiraz would work.
Our cousin wants you to know how people got here by visiting the Immigration Museum – Daily: 10-5, Old Customs House, 400 Flinders St, Melbourne, 03 9927 2700
The Immigration Museum re-creates the real-life stories of coming to Australia with a rich mix of moving images, personal and community voices, memories and memorabilia.
From the reasons for making the journey, to the moment of arrival in a new country, and the impact on indigenous communities, these stories are sometimes sad, sometimes funny, but always engaging. The result is a thought-provoking and moving experience.
Have you heard about the City Circle Tram # 35 – Su-W, 10-6, Th-Sa: 10-9, For further information about the City Circle Tram, phone 1800 800 007, visit ptv.vic.gov.au or call into the Melbourne Visitor Centre at Federation Square.
The City Circle tram service operates within Melbourne’s central business district.
The service operates in a circular route passing major tourist attractions, as well as linking with other tram, train and bus routes in and around Melbourne. Trams run in both directions approximately every twelve minutes.
Best of all, it’s free. To catch the City Circle Tram, simply wait at any tram stop along the City Circle Tram route. These tram stops are specially marked with a City Circle sign.
Tonight you will experience dinner at Vue de Monde – L: Tu-F, Su, D: Nightly, Level 55, Rialto/525 Collins St, 61 3 9691 3888
For a starter they have an excellent selection of oysters or you might enjoy the duck egg with chorizo, eggplant and smoked yogurt.
Another popular dish is the Foie gras baked in brioche. A glass of the Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label would be a good match for either dish.
For your main we suggest either the poached snapper with fennel, anchovy butter and herbs or the veal Milanese.
The 2008 Domaine Tollot-Beaut ‘Monopole’ is a good choice. It’s gotta be the chocolate soufflé for dessert.
Day Three: Breakfast is at Brunetti – B: F, Sa, Su, L & D: M-Sa, 380 Lygon St, 03 9347 2801
We suggest the poached eggs with bacon, tomato, and mushroom on toast, the strawberry crepes or the smoked salmon with avocado, cream cheese and capers.
Brunetti is famous for their biscotti, biscuits and jellies.
This morning you’re off to the Melbourne Museum – Daily: 10-5, 11 Nicholson St, Carlton, 1300 130 152
The Melbourne Museum explores life in Victoria, from the natural environment to culture and history.
Located in Carlton Gardens, opposite the historic Royal Exhibition Building, the award-winning Melbourne Museum houses a permanent collection in eight galleries, including one just for children.
Highlights include a complete skeleton of a blue whale, the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Center, a living rainforest, the racehorse Phar Lap and an IMAX theatre on site.
Major international exhibitions are presented in the Touring Hall. A visit to Melbourne Museum offers rich and often surprising insights into life in Victoria.
The Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre is a space for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to learn about Victoria’s Koorie (south eastern Aboriginal) people. Presentations include artworks, artifacts, stories and performances.
For another only in Melbourne experience head to the Block Arcade - 282 Collins St, 61 3 9654 5244. Tours of the Arcade are run on Tuesdays & Thursdays.
The two hour tour commences at 1:00pm and includes a short stop for Devonshire Tea, for bookings ring 61 3 9654 5244.
The Block Arcade is a great example of a 19th century shopping arcade with mosaic-tile flooring and a glass canopy. The boutiques and cafes have retained a uniform design through color and lighting.
Popular venues include the Hopetoun Tea Rooms and Haigh’s Chocolates.
Today’s main meal is at the Taxi Dining Room – L & D: Daily, Level 1, Transport Hotel, Federation Square/Flinders Walk, 61 3 9654 8808
What’s not to like about this menu? After all of your shopping partake of a couple of oysters or the spiced hoi sin lamb buns.
Try the plum wine from Kyoto. Follow that with the Sichuan braised tofu with chilli, black bean leeks and wilted greens or the sticky pork and seared scallops with a red chilli dressing.
A glass or two of the ’09 Ten Minutes by Tractor is a fun match.
When was the last time you had pan-fried gnocchi with baby beet roots, hazel and macadamia nuts? Another favorite is the snapper filet with spanner crab curry and a coconut sambol.
Ask your server for the ’11 Shadowfax “Minnow”. If not now when? For dessert it’s the warm vanilla poached quince and almond cake with buttermilk and cardamom cream.
Until next time, best wishes and safe travels,
Dick & Dee Welge
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