Current location: Melbourne, Australia.
Thoughts of location: Incredible. Better than I ever imagined. I'm in love with the city.
- I met up with the charming Fran McGregor, from Planet Cake, who brought us over to Melbourne's Little Italy for a sublime breakfast of savoury sandwiches and sweet italian pastries. Fran and I chatted about cakes for a couple hours with a plan to meet the next day to continue my exploration of "Sweets from Downunder".
-Andrew and I wandered around the downtown CBD this afternoon searching for sweet things to report on and came upon a gorgeous chocolate boutique called KoKo Black. It's nestled down a small alleyway called, the Royal Arcade" just off the Bourke. The chocolatier was creating truffles when we arrived. Take a look at the picture below. But one of my favourite parts - the upstairs area was called, "Chocolate Lounge". Brilliant.
- Next we found a charming pastry shop called, Laurent. Their sweet selections were very inviting, but the macaroons had caught my eye. Evidently, this sweet trend is as popular 'down under' as it is back home. I was so sorry to miss Charmaine's French Pastries class in early December where she taught students have to make french macaroons. I heard it was a great success and I look forward to her next class in the new year. I digressed again. Here is a picture of Laurent.
- The next day I spent at Fran's house in the suburbs, chatting about cakes and the trials and tribulations of running a cake school. As we were talking up a storm, Fran was also finishing up an order for a Christmas themed cupcake. They look incredible. She is so talented!
- Well, it couldn't be all cakes all day. So we included a couple great "must-see" stops along the way.
We visited the 12 Apostles along the Great Ocean Road...
We visited the Victoria Market... which is very similar to St. Lawrence Market in Toronto. Fresh fish, seafood, meats and produce... but I knew I was in Oz when I saw that the butchers has Kangaroo on their menu.
And we visited Kangaroo Island, where I had a chance to hold a baby kangaroo and discover Koalas Bears nestled among the treetops. We also visited a colony of wild seals basking in the burning sun. Our only moment of cool relief on that visit what on a guided tour deep inside an underground cave.
- The sky's have been blue since we arrived, and the weather is as high as 41 degrees. It's been an amazing few days and I admit to pinching myself a few times. I really and truly am in the Wonderful Land of Oz.
To be continued...