It’s the end of the semester and the end of the academic year here – everything and everyone is winding down and getting ready for exams, which feels particularly strange when it’s only the end of Week 3 back at Warwick. This week, Courtney took a few of us to an apartment in the Docklands to chill out, before everyone goes their separate ways for the four-month summer. It’s nice to hang out somewhere outside of halls, especially a place with such great views (and a rooftop pool).
A couple of people spoke to me about my blog this week: “dubious puns,” “don’t say wanky,” and, my personal favourite, “get the word ‘gunt’ out of your blog!” (sorry Flo). I took this feedback in my stride, and endeavoured not to use such ‘jarring’ vocabulary this week (sorry Mum). Talking of puns, though, I really struggled to get anything from Top Paddock, where we went for food this afternoon. I did, however, feel on top of the world after lunch.
Top Paddock has a reputation as arguably the best café in Melbourne. It was the first place I went for a proper ‘brunch,’ back in July when I was new and pale(r). It’s not uncommon to wait for an hour at weekends (that’s how good the coffee is) but we got a table outside straight away. It’s getting pretty hot in the city these days, and the “confident” flies are coming out in force, so we spent the entirety of the time batting the bugs away.
I have eaten meat no more than five times since I’ve been in Australia; it’s too expensive and too much effort to cook in a 34-person kitchen. Since I stopped eating meat, I’ve definitely noticed a positive difference in my skin and my bank balance, but the fish here is too good, fresh and cheap not to eat, and knowing it’s locally caught reduces the guilt somewhat (watch ‘Cowspiracy’ on Netflix if you really want to be turned off the livestock industry). My friend Emily and I both ordered the Mexican-style pan-fried snapper, which came with a chilli-fried egg and tortilla, alongside avocado, tomato and lime.
My favourite Mexican recipe is for vegetarian tacos, and I’ve made it every week for the past few months. It contains quinoa, so it’s obviously 100% healthy, even when eaten with 10-12 cheesy tacos. When you think you Mexi-can’t…you Mexi-can.
Staying in the city has got me looking forward to moving out of halls and seeing what the rest of Melbourne has to offer. We have one more evening left here in the Docklands: maybe I’ll go to the gym, maybe I’ll go swimming… Maybe I’ll have some more tacos.
Top Paddock, 658 Church Street, Richmond 3121