But last week I went to Melbourne for a real holiday, by myself - that's right, no children!
My two sisters living in Melbourne each kindly put me up for a few days, which allowed me to explore their respective locales. I had an absolutely amazing time and will post up some of my adventures in posts to come.
But first, I want to share one of the highlights of my trip, which happened at a gorgeous cafe in inner Melbourne.
On this particular day I was wandering around the city exploring the sights, and was getting rather footsore and hungry. I had only had a cup of tea that morning, and it was almost midday. As I was in Melbourne, home of the cafe, there was no way that I was going to settle for a burger at the usual suspects. So I googled 'cafe melbourne CBD' to see what nearby cafes looked interestingly different and might be open for brunch or lunch. That is how I stumbled upon the Hardware Societe on Hardware Street, Melbourne.
After lining up briefly with a few other hopeful diners, I was quickly seated at a communal scrubbed wood dining table to enjoy the friendly service and unpretentious yet delightful ambience of the place.
Being somewhat starved (from all the roaming about) and wanting something brunch-like, I ordered scrambled eggs with salmon, and a pot of tea. THIS is what appeared:
The scrambled eggs would have to be among the best I have ever tasted. They were done to perfection and served in a cute little frying pan alongside grainy toast topped with avocado, leafy greens, salmon and a rather delicious chutney. So yum!
It hardly seemed possible that there could be more but what excited me even more than the yummy deliciousness of the food was the tea! The teapot came complete with a magnificent crochet tea cosy
and a prettily mismatched china cup and saucer.
It was all so overwhelmingly retro and hip at once - I was in crochet heaven!
On inquiring about the cute little tea cosy, I was pointed to a collection of them for sale and advised that they are made for the Hardware Societe in Bali.
I could not resist - I bought one of my very own. A green one, in fact. Here it is, in pride of place in my kitchen.
I am seriously thinking of making my own cosy, using this one as a pattern, given its impressive cuteness and simplicity. But for now I am really loving looking at it on my teapot.
Sometimes, it is the small things that really make a holiday great. My brunch experience at the Hardware Societe was one of those things.