I must admit, the past couple of weeks have me feeling very cultured. While I paid homage to my good ole U.S. of A on July 4th (and had some great friends joining me for the American fanfare), the celebrations for Bastille day seemed to one up everything just a bit! Admittedly, having a limited supply of fellow Americans makes it a bit difficult to have a big throw down, but I think next year I will step up my game a bit! For July 4th,some friends and I went out to a couple of bars with American themed food and drinks. The Aussie’s put up a good attempt, but they do not quite understand how to whip up a GOOD corn dog (yes, I was disappointed). However, bar number two was a winner with an apple pie drink that EASILY wins the title of my all time favourite cocktail. Delicious. Please also note the pie crust placed ever so carefully atop my glass.
Anyway, back to France….What was meant to be Bastille day turned into Bastille week here in Melbourne as we found French-inspired fun almost every night that week! On the “real” Bastille day, I visited a French night market in South Melbourne. Though the weather was a bit dreary with some rain and cool temperatures, it was apparently eerily representative of Paris (so said the Frenchies), and thus a perfect way to celebrate France. The evening began with Mulled wine, had a lovely “never tried this before” moment with the tasting of a Raclette, and finished with an espresso martini (get off my back…I know it’s not French, but it was GOOD).
For those (like me) who have no idea what a Raclette is, let me endeavour to enlighten you. Evidently it is both a cheese and a dish (because that’s not confusing). The cheese on the dish is called Raclette (a very tasty cheese), but the dish itself is comprised of the cheese atop either a baguette or potatoes. On a cold winter’s night in Melbourne, this dish paired with my wine was perfecto (oops, not french).
At some point during this evening venture, a wine and cheese night was planned. I can’t remember how the event planning began, but somehow it ended up at least becoming partly about convincing me that goat cheese really isn’t as horrendous as I think it is. I likened my experience of first tasting goat cheese to the time I tasted vegemite. The Aussies are still trying to convince me that that black paste can be tasty, just as the french are trying to entice me to give goats cheese another go. They also really didn’t appreciate having their cheese compared to vegemite…
So wine and cheese night happened that weekend. I know nothing really of cheese, so I stuck with bringing wine, and my own American twist…baked mac and cheese. Don’t judge. It was delicious and paired wonderfully with the wine. I call it wine and cheese night, but technically the french were sharing their evening with Italy as the theme was France and Italy (and apparently other nearby countries as well). I was explicitly told American cuisine did not fit the bill, but I claimed my mac and cheese as “italian” pasta, brought some homemade macaroons for the french, and I somehow got away with it! Those macaroons caused quite the stir, however, as we had a bit of a language barrier when trying to define what a macaroon was.
To the french it was this:
To me it was this:
But apparently the answer is both….we just need better ennunciation
The wine and cheese party was heaps of fun. And, yes, in case you are wondering, I did indeed try goat cheese….and more importantly, the french were right. It was good….and….it is not as bad as vegemite. Sorry Aussies.
As if two French days weren’t enough…there were MORE french festivities on Sunday over at the city Library. I must admit, this event was a bit of a letdown following the other two days as there wasn’t a WHOLE lot going on. There was no time for whining (whinging as the Aussie’s say), however, as I was quickly placated with a salted caramel crepe…. Happy with my food selection, and with my Parisienne PIC (partner in crime…I’m getting the hang of all this aussie brevity) deciding we had seen enough, we departed the festival portion and wandered around Melbourne in search of a new scene.
The arvo (afternoon) continued with a delicious coffee from a place you would never find without already knowing it existed (these are the best places). Captain’s of Industry was its name, and shoemaking, hair cutting and dress making was its game…well, sort of. I couldn’t actually figure out if this place functioned as any of these things, or just showed off antique equipment for artistic flair. Either way the coffee was on point.
Not quite wanting the Sunday to end, we extended the adventuring into the early evening, hitting up a bar called Section 8. It had a very cool vibe, situated out in an open courtyard off a small side street. The heaters kept the place warm enough that the winter jackets came off pretty quickly.
There was no set DJ (at least from what I could tell?), as people seemed to just go up and drop a record on the table. It made for some very interesting song choices…
I was told to take this photo. Nothing more to say on that..
I’m done attempting to smile in these pictures. I’m just going to make ridiculous faces as well because somehow I feel like I’m the one losing this photo battle?
Well I did have this one from wine night…actually I think she still one….zut alors!
All in all it was a great evening with friends:)
And so ends my week of french adventures (frenchventures? frechtures?…I’ll find a good one..). One last au revoir from the city library (photo credit to the french..I did not take this, but it’s a pretty good final shot).