I f you would ask me how to describe the year 2015 in one word – and wrapping it up with tomorrow’s New Years celebrations – I was thinking about the past 12 months recently and only one word pops up in my head: unexpected.
Always on my bucket list, but never really aware of the fact that 2015 is going to make it happen – I travelled to Australia for the first time in March this year on business, where I met lovely people and gained some amazing insights in a country literally at the other side of the world.
As a start, my arrival in Melbourne could have been shadowed by the fact that my luggage got stuck in Shanghai – something which was about to happen at one point, especially when you travel a lot. But in my opinion it’s a different thing when you travel on pleasure and all you need is a bikini anyway – well but somehow it happened to me on a business trip.
The Doris from 1 years ago would have probably flipped, but either my massive jet lag coming from Bejing or the fact that Australia greeted me with the most amazing summer day – I did not even bother and simply left my hotel address at the airport, jumped onto a bus and drove towards the Melbourne city center with its impressive skyline.
And what impressed me that most that I felt home. I got off the bus and felt so comfortable, light-hearted and happy – a fact so unexpected and strange after a couple of stressful month it basically made me smile all day.
Doris loves Melbourne – and that’s why?
Melbourne to me offered a perfect mix of all the cities I love – as I would later describe it to family and friends: the multicultural mix of people like I experienced it when living in Toronto, the vibe and weather I captured on a trip to San Francisco and here and there the mixed and beautiful architecture reminded me of New York – all paired up with the Aussie’s friendliness of the English.
I was wowed!
After doing the necessary shopping for some essentials and a summer dress – I found myself wander around the Melbourne city center all by myself until late at night, but somehow never felt alone.
I got to meet many friendly, but not fake people, who were curious to know why I am all by myself, why I am so pale and what I am up to in Australia.
And this made me feel light-hearded, worry-free and happy – thank you 2015 for giving me the unexpected opportunity to get to know a tiny bit of this (surely) amazing country.
As I was still at the beginning of my low-carb/ paleo journey, not knowing for sure if it would benefit me or not – but eager to stick to it, I have to say that Melbourne is a destination where going grain-free and clean with your food is taken to another level.
All kinds of restaurants, bars and food trucks offer gluten-free choices, but not only a dry and boring salad but highly creative cuisine and I can just pray for Europe to adapt to this level of tolerance for any kind of dietary requirements.
Here are some my taste-tested recommendations for paleo friendly bites (and there are many many more):
an amazing eatery at the lively Southbank quay with a lovely riverside deck to have a good bite all day long. regular appearances of live bands and just watching the crowd passing along the restaurant make a visit both entertaining as well as relaxing.
taste-tested and paleo-approved:
- pumpkin and beetroot salad – a delicious medley of roasted pumpkin and beetroot, farro, goats cheese and lettuce with a dressing served on the side.
- broccolini tossed in herb infused butter and topped with toasted almonds as a side
location: 2/4 Riverside Quay, Southbank, VIC 3006 | Phone: (03) 9682 4299 | @sohomelbourne
Introduced to me by my lovely colleagues, the 2014 founded South Society cafe/ eatery serves an abundance of local and fresh produce, making sure that the creative dishes do not only taste amazing but go hand in hand with nowaday’s crazy variety of diary requirements. The beautiful and hip interior had me at “hello” – Melbourne style at it’s best from my personal experience.
We ordered a wide variety of foods, ranging from burgers to salads, avocado toast and eggs – and everyone seemed extremely happy, satisfied and well-feed (super good portion sizes).
taste-tested and paleo-approved:
- popeye superfood salad featuring quinoa, broccoli, asparagus, pumpkin and pomegranate seeds for 19 AUD
Location: 435 Blackburn Road, Mount Waverley, 3149 | phone: (03) 9887-9877
This is literally heaven for a paleo on the go – the concept of Thr1ve really lives the mission to “inspire and empower you to look, feel and perform your best” – all fuelled by an abundance of clean food choices tailored to your dietary needs and preferences.
With severval convenient locations, this Melbourne eatery can help you out with a “quick bite” as they follow the practical concept of “fast food” – but since when does “fast” have to mean “fake”? Real foods from breakfast bowls, customizable meat and fish plates as well as the so called “buns of glory”: artisans gluten-free burgers to grab on the go without regret.
taste-tasted and paleo approved:
- forage granola topped with banana and organic honey – a blend of raw superfoods and nuts for only 10 AUD and coconut milk
location: Emporium Shopping Centre, Shop 3-026, 287 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne 3000 | with several more locations in Sydney for example
To be completely honest with you -Melbourne actually took some fear from eating on the go from me – a fact that I will always be extremly grateful for and I am already looking forward to coming back to a city with impressed me with anything.
Also with my colleagues having the possibility to get Quest Bars from their office vending machine – Europe please feel free to keep up.
And thank you 2015 for keeping me up my toes.