December 16, 2014 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Restaurants, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Melbourne, December 2014 What is a stokehouse? We came across this sister to the restaurant with the same name in Brisbane when dragging ourselves through the Melbourne alleys, too weak from fatigue and hunger to care. We never did find out, but it doesn’t matter. We spurned the packed, noisy bar for the upstairs restaurant which happened to be as packed and noisy but also light and airy. Virtually the only decorations are large chandeliers wrapped in string nets which we eventually decided we liked. I had to try the peach gazpacho. It was disappointingly sans peach as far as…

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France Soir

December 16, 2014 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | LIFE, Restaurants, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |
france soir 2

Google Maps suggested that we could walk to this restaurant from our Melbourne central hotel. Wrong. Luckily we chose to cab it through the leafy suburbs to this hole in the wall gem.  France Soir is a treat. The provincial French theme may not suit those hardy souls who prefer minimalism and modernity but it suited TVC right down to the butter (butter!) served with the bread. The garlic snails were too garlicky for words and the bouef bourginon was black and unctuous. Pommes frittes come with the main courses. We were invited to have another drink despite the diners…

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The Flower Drum

December 16, 2014 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | FOOD, Restaurants, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |
Image courtesy of Huang dan 2060

Image courtesy of Huang dan 2060

Opposite the Ding Dong Lounge in Market Lane, Melbourne, is a sinister looking red door. Push it open. Nod to the couple sitting behind a desk in the “lobby” (why?) and catch the lift to reception on the first floor. Ahh!! The Flower Drum. Decorous, traditional and calming. The venerable waiting staff, (all Chinese, all male) are courteous to a fault. The menu is happily confusing and peculiar, in true Chinese style. The food is understated.  It’s a must.  

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The Windsor Hotel

the windsor

At 111 Spring Street, opposite Parliament House, a tall man in purple has been welcoming guests to The Windsor for a very long time. The Windsor is TVC‘s hotel of choice when in Melbourne and indeed we are such regulars that both we and our close relative D were once upgraded to  suites  and we always receive a handwritten letter of welcome from the CEO when we check in. This is a grand eminence of red carpet, federation tiles, chintz curtains and afternoon tea. There is no day spa but there is the Cricketers’ Bar, with deep window embrasures and…

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The Book Show


 Summer 2014, Ultimo TVC loves this show, although the initial set was a shameless rip off of “Hidden”.  A great argument for the national broadcaster, although surely the Fry-B-C could muck along for a few millions less?  We attended a taping some time back (incognito) and thus got stalker-close to Ms Byrne, Ms Hardy and Mr Steger plus guest. Jennifer Byrne is the perfect host – charming, open-minded, enthusiastic (but no pushover – she does generally not abide shite).  Marieke Hardy is P’s favourite, hardiest critic – she and P may share few opinions overall, but when she hates something,…

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