Our time in Melbourne was short, but full. We spent a spooky evening in the Old Melbourne Gaol, visited a once-in-a-lifetime exhibit (and got seriously irked), and I attended a bad-ass conference put on by my fellow ladies that love to travel. We weren’t going to slow down for our final day. Our last hoorah of the trip found us in the sweet little suburb of St. Kilda.
It was Sunday, and that means brunch. If I learned anything from my (very) brief stint living in New York, it’s that. That is not an invitation for you to start calling me Britta. We landed on a themed restaurant and were pleasantly surprised.
The decor at the St. Kilda Dispensary is full blown. It definitely reads like a 1960’s hospital. Betty Draper giving birth in a drug induced twilight sleep comes to mind. The restaurant is awash in white tile and that medicinal pale turquoise color. You know, the color that covers walls in Dr.’s offices across the westernized world. J’s orange juice came in a beaker, the menus are typewriter text printed on yellowed index cards and we definitely spotted some vintage bed pans laying about. Hopefully they’re just for decoration. It is interesting, but I think it is also supposed to read a little strange. What is it about my generation and our comfort in feeling just a bit uncomfortable? That is a question for another day.
Don’t get me wrong. I loved this place. The cheeky, albeit a bit creepy decor, thumbs up. The on-point continuity in theme and aesthetic, winning. To top it all off, the food was fantastic to boot.
J had a classic breakfast roll and I went a bit more exotic with harissa beans on toast with a poached egg and fresh coriander (cilantro for all you Yanks). We finished the meal by splitting a spearmint milkshake. You have to indulge a wee bit, every now and again. And it was so good.
We walked off our breakfast along the main street in St. Kilda, heading toward the beach. There is a beautiful esplanade along the waterfront and stationed at one end is a very appealing grin.
All my time in Sydney and Melbourne before, I never ventured into the Luna Parks. Nor have I been to the newest rendition of the original on Coney Island. Jason and I figured we’d have a little fun before having to head to the airport and take the red-eye back to Christchurch.
Melbourne’s Luna Park is the oldest operational Luna Park in the world, having opened its doors in 1912. It also boasts the oldest continually operating roller coaster in the world. So, it was an historical visit. We were, however, the oldest couple at the park, sans children. I felt a little weird at first, but eventually said screw it, and we had a blast acting like kids the rest of the afternoon.
We went on all the adult-appropriate rides, including the aforementioned rollercoaster. The Scenic Railway, as it is called, is mostly made of wood. It is a bit of a marvel. The train of the coaster has a space in the center where a conductor, an actual person, stands and controls the ride. Never have I seen that before. The ride loops around the entire perimeter of the park. I did a double take the first time I saw a conductor standing on a moving roller coaster train. For such an old ride, it was actually a lot of fun. Like all roller coasters, though, too short.
We went on the ferris wheel, a ghost train, the pirate ship that swings you back and forth until you’re upside down and the twirly, spinning spider with the top hat. I think we might have left our dignity on that last one, because we even hopped on a couple of horses and went around on the carousel, like a couple of idiots. Happy idiots, anyway. We just had to when we learned it had made the journey all the way from Pennsylvania, back in the US.
A final walk.
Once we’d had our fill of amusement, we left Luna Park and walked along the esplanade. We managed to make it just as a weekend market was closing down. Most stalls were packing away the last of their wares, but we did get to see some cool stuff. My favorite were these little succulent necklaces.
And, we were able to grab a quick bite to eat from the remaining food trucks. I’m not even sure what I had but it was delicious. Some sort of braised ground chicken with feta and spinach folded into filo and grilled. Delicious. J had squid. You might be able to tell, we were famished. I wasn’t really paying attention to anything other than what was in front of my face.
Shortly after that, we grabbed a cab and picked up our bags at the hotel. A quick ride on the Skybus and we were back at the airport.
Travel Tip: Tullamarine International Airport has incredibly high quality free wifi, for anyone who’ll be passing through there. Take advantage.
Anyone here like theme restaurants… or are they too kitschy for you? Has anyone been to Luna Park on Coney Island? Also, does that milkshake not look amazing?