A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
Published April 27th 2014
Spice is the variety of life
It's not even officially winter yet, but already the temperatures are dropping and there's a distinct chill in the morning air. This suggests we are in for a long, cold winter. Groan... Well, here are some ideas that will keep you toasty warm even as the days get shorter and your feet get colder.
Think hot! Think spicy! Think.... chilli and curry and dance and....alcohol. But don't get yourself into hot water...
Have a hot bath
Well maybe there's an exception to the hot water rule. There's nothing nicer than sinking into a hot bath, at a temperature that you can only JUST bear. In the interests of (ahem) saving water, you may like to share that hot bath with a significant other.
Buy some beautiful fresh spices and cook something spicy
I've had a bit of a revelation in researching for this article. There are fabulous dedicated herb and spice shops in Melbourne called Gewürzhaus. ('Gewürzhaus' is German for 'spice house'.)
I visited the Toorak store (they're also located in the CBD and Carlton), and felt like I'd been transported to Morocco or Turkey, such were the rich aromas and the amazing range of spices. (Though, with due respect to Morocco and Turkey, I'd have to say Gewürzhaus is much cleaner, and its spices are in very hygienic looking containers!) So pop in and load up on your favourite spices. They also have an amazing range of salts, herb and spice blends (the BBQ Bloke Spice Blend is popular), and drinking chocolate (try the Mayan Chilli Chocolate).
Glühwein is a type of mulled wine, often an après-ski drink, but why should the skiers have all the fun? It's usually a red wine, that's heated, and various spices - such as cinnamon sticks, cloves and star anise - are added. This drink is often sweetened with a little sugar or honey, and there is also often a citrus element added. Try this recipe. It will warm you from the inside out.
Eat something spicy at Red Spice Road
Red Spice Road, located in McKillop Street, Melbourne offers diners the flavours of South East Asia. They offer a communal approach to the dining experience in the form of shared platters. There are broad Asian influences, from Thai to China to Vietnam and beyond. Try their Beef Cheek slow cooked in Soy, Rice Vinegar and Star Anise with Choy and Herbs ($37).
Dance something spicy
How about getting hot and spicy on the dance floor? Salsa could be just what you're looking for. Two left feet? The Salsa Foundation offers a free class for beginners at 6pm each Wednesday and Thursday evening in the Melbourne CBD.
So don't let the cold get you down this winter. Remember, variety is the spice of life.