I'm an experienced corporate communicator and editor with an eye for interesting events and an attachment to my trusty Oxford dictionary.
Published June 15th 2014
Who cares what the rest of the world is doing?
It was one of those magical days, the kind you wish you could place on your own real-life, personal playlist, to be repeated every time the weather turned sour or the car broke down or the baby cried most of the night. Actually, the baby had just cried most of the preceding night, but that's another story.
A perfect Melbourne morning
We sat on the deck of The Baths Cafe and Bar, overlooking Port Philip Bay — the sky a clear ice blue, the city just a jagged grey form on the horizon, the air so crisp it almost crackled — and wondered what the rest of the world was doing. Well, not really. Let's face it, you don't give too much thought to the rest of the world when you're sitting in the lap of such perfection. As the strains of Imagine Dragons' On Top of the World washed over us and the water lapped gently below, it was hard not to agree with the sentiment (if not the appallingly bad grammar) of the song.
View from The Baths Cafe and Bar
We hadn't even intended to go out for breakfast. A sleep-interrupted night just had us seeking fresh air and sunshine as we set out for a walk from our holiday accommodation at Brighton. Our aimless meander invariably turned in the direction of the beach, and after a pleasant stroll along the Bay Trail we realised, just as we arrived at Brighton Baths, that we had 'walked up' quite an appetite. We thought about buying something from the takeaway kiosk but serendipity such as this always leads to one of our family's WTH (what the heck?) moments, so the next thing we knew we were being seated at a table on the deck by a friendly waiter and handed our menus. Bliss.
The breakfast menu isn't exotic or extensive. Instead it offers the usual suspects such as muesli, pancakes, and eggs — poached, baked Spanish, Benedict, fried or scrambled. You can also get pastries, fruit salad, toasted sandwiches and 'The Baths BLAT' — bacon, avocado & tomato on toasted sourdough.
My eye, or rumbling stomach, was attracted to the crushed avocado smash. Something that combines some of my foodie favourites like sourdough bread, avocado, ricotta and Roma tomatoes demanded my attention. Comedy Relief eschewed the fancier options in favour of plain fried eggs, and the choice of Designing Daughter, whose mission in life is to eat her way around the world one eggs Benedict at a time, was a no-brainer. This time she opted for the smoked salmon version. We all decided to keep it simple and not go for any of the extras such as bacon, mushrooms or hash browns.
As we had already satisfied our caffeine cravings before we left our apartment, courtesy of a thoughtfully provided espresso coffee machine, we opted instead for other beverages; tangy cranberry juice for me, chai latte for Designing Daughter, and Comedy Relief's favourite away-from-home breakfast accompaniment, tomato juice. All were refreshing and hit the spot.
My avocado smash, though small, was a treat. The avocado, ricotta and tomato popped with a mild chilli zing and the two slices of sourdough were toasted just right — crispy and lightly tanned. Comedy Relief's eggs were exactly as advertised; two fried eggs on sourdough toast, with soft yolks, just the way he likes them. And the eggs Benedict? Another success story for my daughter to add to her eggs Benedict honour roll.
Needless to say we took our time, watching hardy swimmers take on the baths' cold waters for their morning exercise, and boats bobbing lazily at the marina. While we ate the cafe started to fill up with an assortment of couples, families and groups and pretty soon we were surrounded by the happy sounds of people enjoying all that the exquisite public holiday morning had to offer, not the least of which was the plain but perfect food.
I know I'm showing my age here but nobody went out for breakfast when I was young; it just wasn't done. So now that I'm older I'm making up for lost time. I would choose eating out for breakfast (a severely underrated meal in my opinion) in preference to dinner nine times out of ten. And it's perfect autumn days, and the satisfying food and beachside ambience of places like The Baths Cafe that keep me coming back for more.
But I do like to cover my bases. On our next trip to Melbourne we'll have to see how that ambience translates into night time when the smell and sound of the ocean and the twinkling lights of the distant city hold sway. It's a tough life, but...