Discover Your Own Backyard Tour- City of Stonnington

Sometimes, when you seize an opportunity to do something, it yields amazing result.  I was really bored at work one day when I glanced at Twitter and @LittleMissMelbourne retweeted whether there are any fashion/lifestyle/ food blogger free this weekend cos there’s an opportunity for you!  I think the more skeptical person in me went “Yeah? What opportunity?” but thought I got in touch anyway.

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Turns out, @Sarahstyle is helping the City of Stonington run a Discover Your Backyard tour.  “Where the heck is Stonnington?” I asked Hubby and he shrugged.  Having been here for nearly 8 years, I am ashamed to admit I don’t know most city council’s name.  I think I only know City of Melbourne and City of Whitehorse… Fail

Google is my friend at that point.  City of Stonnington encompasses suburbs like Armadale, Toorak, Windsor, Prahran etc.  Aha! Not too far away! LOL.  So yes, this is a blogger event and food and drinks are being paid for.  Shopping is not by the way ;) in case we went nuts.

This tour reminded me of the one I had in Paris, where a not-for-profit organization have volunteers running tours in their neighborhood, and we were taken around the cheese making , bread making places, wine shop etc on our tour and then had a picnic in the gardens.  Our retired tour guide actually paid for everything for our picnic, which he was not supposed to do, but he did it because he is so passionate about his city.

Anyway I digress.  Discover your own backyard made a video of Stonnington, inviting people who resides in Stonington to talk about their favorite spots in the area.  This tour brings us through these recommended spots to discover what Stonnington has to offer.

Lisa Baron

Lisa Baron

We started off at Lisa Baron’s shop in Armadale, where we get a private tour of her workshop.  It was interesting to know that she came to Melbourne from Perth with $500 in her pocket 30 yrs ago and now here she is.

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Her clothing designs might not be something I would wear at my age, but the details of the design was very interesting and the fabric quality looked fantastic.  That said I am no fashion blogger.  Which was quite funny cos everyone else seemed to be and were all wearing fabulous outfits except me :(.  Mind you, I did try.  I tried putting some eyeliner on but got a friggin allergic reaction and had to rub it out.  Sadness Hahahahaha.
IMG_4880 [640x480]Next, we stopped at House of Orange, which is a fabulous Dutch homewares store.  If you like nice clean lines and design, this is definitely the store for you!  I am obsessed with the gorgeous button wall decorations/ hangers and the crazy cubby house bunk beds!  Why don’t we have this when I was younger??
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Market Import is our next stop, a treasure trove of colourful trinkets and homeware.
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 @LittleMissMelbourne bought this beautiful heartshaped dream catcher there.  I think mum would like this little cow lamp there but the thought of lugging my SLR, jacket, scarf and bags just deter me from buying stuff this time.
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Next up, we took the tram down Chapel St to have lunch at  this place called Parlour.  It smelt a bit greasy when we walked in but this place came highly recommended by the video and one of the blogger in the tour.
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Parlour has an American Diner feel when you walk in, it specializes in burgers, curly fries and thick shakes.  I bet hubby would love this.
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Thankfully, Parlour is no crappy Johnny Rockets, which is the only one American diner I have experienced.  My burger, the captain was friggin massive.  Whilst its not a first date kind of meal, it was delicious.  The beef patty was thick and flavoursome, moist and juicy.  There’s egg, bacon, tomato, lettuce and they are all super fresh.
IMG_4898 [640x480]My advice for chilli lovers is to add this sauce called Trouble Maker.  It packs a bit of a punch and has a slightly ginger citrus tang to it.
IMG_4896 [640x480]The only downside to my burger is that because it has so much stuff and sauces it was a bit soggy.  I don’t think the other blogger’s burger is as soggy but then again no one had the captain.
IMG_4893 [640x480]The curly fries are certainly da bomb.  I don’t know what potatoes they use but it just tasted a little bit different which makes it oh-so-delicious.  We wondered how they make potatoes “curly” but apparently there’s a machine that cuts them :)). Definitely need to bring hubby here.

IMG_4907 [640x480]Next up, we took a leisurely stroll to Rue de Chapel, an up and coming precinct where The Red Balloon is situated.  The Red Balloon is an old fashioned boiled candy store.

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We got to do a blind taste test of four flavours each.  I got spearmint, mango, lychee and lemon myrtle + manuaka honey.  I must say I am pretty impressed with the lemon myrtle + manuaka honey, it tasted super refreshing. It would make a great souvenir for overseas travellers also I reckon.

IMG_4909 [640x480]Next up, we headed off to Greville St for a bit of shopping.  I discovered this USA soft drink and confectionery place and this hotdog place called Massive Wiener.  LOL.

IMG_4910 [640x480]After all the hardwork shopping, Sarah took us to Market Lane for a mini session on coffee.  We get to experience the Pour Over using Juan Ticona.  I am no coffee connoisseur so I have only heard of Pour Over from Glee cos Kurt and Blaine always get pour over… LOL

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IMG_4917 [640x480]IMG_4914 [640x480]I haven’t heard of Cylk before this trip to Chapel St, but I will certainly come back now.  With simple elegant designs and beautiful fabrics, I have already picked out a few outfits I wanted to try on.  Also loved its dressing room with natural light, so you can really see what you look like.  They also collaborate with artists and have a few installation going on instore.  Gorgeous.

IMG_4923 [640x480]We finished our grand tour of Stonnington with drinks at the Lyall Hotel.  What a gorgeous space.  I have always wanted to come here for a peek so what a fantastic chance to come by.

IMG_4920 [640x480]IMG_4931 [640x480]IMG_4924 [640x480]We celebrated with some canapes and sparkling from Chandon (LOL no, not Laurent Perrier) and our guest stars Lisa Baron and Barbie joined us for a drink.  Those of you who are wondering what the heck is with the Barbie, one of the bloggers Cheryl @busichic has received a barbie from Mattel.  Talk about random but fun.  I think Barbie lost her shoes by the end of the day.  LOL.

I had such a great time so thank you @sarahstyle and City of Stonnington for the wonderful food and drinks… and of course fashion and homewares!

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