Bondi boys vs Indie Melbournites

Bondi Icebergs swimming club

There always seems to be some cultural divide between certain cities in countries. UK has it’s North – South divide, actually it even has a North – South London divide. I always used to joke about taking my passport with me when I headed down South (even though I’m a converted North Londoner, having been born and raised in a South London suburb).

Sunrise at Bondi beach

Sunrise at Bondi beach

LA vs NYC, Paris vs Marseille, Berlin vs Munich… and so Australia has their own: Sydney vs Melbourne which  I discovered while visiting.

Tamarama beach

I must say I was pretty slack on the “touristy” front when it came to my adventure downunder (as you can see from the almost beach only pics).

Perfectly manicured beaches at Bondi + more blue skies & water

Perfectly manicured beaches at Bondi + more blue skies & water

The first week in Sydney I spent prepping for the Edible Immigration Tales with my fellow foodie partner in crime, Frankie so I didn’t make it out much (the local organic store, Sam the butcher and a quick meander along the bondi beach).

Walk to Bronte beach

Walk to Bronte beach

And after that the view of the surfer boys at Bondi (blue skies, turquoise clear sea and lots of toned bronzed bodies) was much more enticing then the grey concrete slabs of the city. I can quite proudly say now that I’ve been to Sydney but didn’t even see the Harbour, although I did wander around Surrey Hills and Paddington. And did the obligatory visit to the Donna Hay store (a must for any food/prop stylist).

Fluo Sydney Sandles

I picked up the most amazing fluo sandles in Paddington at bargain sale price too which turned out to be a great conversation starter.

St Kilda's beach and no.28

Melbourne was another story. Frankie and I were lucky enough to be put up in probably the best ever bachelor pad. Enough flatscreens to compete with any Sports bar, a rooftop terrace with a hot tub and two barbecues… I had serious kitchen envy with the 6 ring gas hob, enormous oven plus plenty of worktop surface. No need for flashy cars to impress me, just show me your oven!

Cow milk jug at Monsieur Truffe

Anyway needless to say we were well looked after. I was introduced to many Australian delights “Golden Gaytime” ice cream and Jägerbomb. The latter being something I never wish to experience again.

Italian Café sign in Fitzroy, Melbourne

Italian Café sign in Fitzroy, Melbourne

Plenty of cool bars, restaurants and cafés (cute little chocolate shop/tea room Monsieur Truffe), especially around the Fitzroy area. Fitzroy was like hanging out on some Indie band video shoot. Obligatory skinny tight jeans with rock and roll ruffled hair for the boys and vintage chic for the girls.

One of my favourite bars was Madame Brussels. Reminded me of a rave I went to in Berlin. Totally random door, take a lift up a crummy building and then you end up at this über cool bar on the top of the roof + lots of cute guys and girls in Fred Perry tennis outfits. And the cocktails were super yum!

Luna Park, St Kilda

Daytimes were spent hopping on and off the tram, in and out of the “laneways” checking out some cool graffiti and popping into some cute boutique shops. I did manage to fit in a talk on the future of Australian hospitality hosted by the Taste of Melbourne at the The Prince hotel in St Kilda, very interested to meet up with some of the local up and coming talent.

Beach at St Kilda

So the overall verdict: well to be honest I don’t think I could give a fair one. However what I did notice when I got my pictures developed is that the colours in the Sydney pictures tended to be a lot more brighter and louder whereas Melbourne was a lot more subtle and muted….I’ll let you make your own conclusion.

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