All posts in City Ecape

  • To the Coast, Day 2

    Day two of our little coastal getaway was no less perfect than the first (see what we got up to on day one here). We woke to find the sun hiding behind a moody sky that promised rain later in the day. Desperate to make the most of our precious time here, this nudged us out of the house for an early morning stroll down to the Portsea back beach in the warm, humid air.

    Portsea Beach View 2

    View of Portsea Back Beach

    Nick Ben and Jess Beach

    Jess on Beach

    Portsea Beach

    Jess and I Beach Walk

    Aren’t beach walks the best kind of walks?

    A few spots of rain, a darkening horizon and rumbling bellies told us that it was time to head back. Ravenous for breakfast, we headed into Sorrento for a morning bite at The Sisters — Kitchen Garden Cafe. What a delightful little place! A nursery had previously occupied the site and this little cafe has kept with this theme. Lots of the delicious produce used in their dishes is freshly picked from the portable veggie patches surrounding the cafe. Jess and I enjoyed the red quinoa and organic oat bircher muesli with baked apple and walnuts and our men couldn’t go past the tempting savoury options. Coffees all round too, of course.

    Appetites satiated, we were ready to pack our bags and then head to the Merricks General Store on the way home to meet the lovely Heidi (from Apples Under My Bed) and her partner, Ben, for a refreshing drink and to share exciting plans for 2014. The perfect way to top of a beautiful few days.

    We arrived home from our little coastal getaway feeling happy, energised and recharged. It was just what we needed.

  • To the Coast

    Heading down to the coast was pretty high up on my list of priorities during our little visit home. I haven’t set my eyes on a beach since I visited Barcelona last September and haven’t swum in the ocean since we spent a week in Santorini in July. And let’s be honest, Australians just need the beach. It’s in the blood.

    So, together with some of our most favourite people, we packed the car and headed on down to the Mornington Peninsula for a couple of delightful days. Peta, a dear friend of my best friend, Jess, was so generous to offer us use of her family’s beach house in Portsea for an overnight stay. Isn’t that just so lovely of her? Our first little stop was a delicious lunch at Dee’s Kitchen in Dromana and a little wander along the pier in the sunshine.

    Dromana Pier 2

    Dromana Pier 1

    Fisherman Dromana

    Dromana Pier 3

    Dromana Pier 4

    Dromana Pier 4

    Energised from the beautiful food and warm kiss of the sun, we moved on to Portsea where we literally threw on our bathers and slapped on some sunscreen before dashing off again to make the most of the glorious weather. Shelley Beach was where we wiled away the most perfect afternoon swimming, reading, walking and sunbathing. Bliss.

    Shelley Beach pier lookout

    Private Jetty

    Kayaks Shelley Beach

    Tin Boat Shelley Beach

    Sail Boat Shelley Beach

    Ben in the Sea

    Sea Water

    After a splendid couple of hours it was time to head back to the beach house for a couple of apéritifs before dinner. What a perfect day. Day two of our coastal escape will be up soon!

  • Wannsee Escape

    Now that the weather in Berlin is becoming a touch warmer and we have officially ticked over into spring, I’m already dreaming of the idyllic summer days of July and August. Summer here is a time of great delight for Europeans, a time to be cherished and savoured because everyone here knows it will be gone all too quickly.

    When the temperature in Berlin creeps beyond the 30 ºC mark, Berliners will most probably head to one of two places to cool down: the Badeschiff in Kreuzberg (literally meaning ‘bathing ship’, an über cool swimming pool in the middle of the Spree) or the Wannsee Strandbad. While I’ll have to wait until this coming summer to give the Badeschiff a go, last August at the suggestion of a few dear friends, we headed down to Wannsee to check out Europe’s largest outdoor swimming area on an inland body of water. I love getting out of the city and exploring new places and this was a perfect little day trip on a hot summer afternoon.

    Wannsee is easily accessible from Berlin, the journey taking only 30 mins by S-Bahn to Nikolassee Bahnhof. From here you can either take a bike or stroll through the beautiful forest to the Strandbad. How gorgeous is this little road we wandered down towards our destination?

    Wannsee Forrest

    Once we had paid our 4.50 € entrance fee, we descended down through the main plaza area and onto the beach. With a total beach length of 1,275 metres, there is enough room for literally thousands of sun-bathers at any one time and in the summer this place is swamped. We found a patch of sand to settle on and feasted on our little picnic of goodies we had found at my favourite market at Kollwitzplatz earlier that day.

    Wannsee Strandbad 1

    Europeans always ensure that their main swimming holes are well-equipped and there’s certainly no shortage of activities to amuse you at Wannsee Strandbad. Naturally, there are plenty of Strandkorbs (those big wicker chairs you can see in the photo above) to shelter you from the sun and encourage relaxation. Or, if you feel so inclined you could hire a little rowboat and paddle around the lake. Of course, friendly games of soccer and volleyball are happening everywhere you look. For the more playful amongst us, a giant slide built in the middle of the lake offers up hours of entertainment.

    Wannsee Strandbad 2

    When the sun disappeared behind the clouds that had been slowly rolling in, it was time to make our way back to the city. I can’t say that Wannsee Strandbad can really compare to the pristine beaches we are blessed with in Australia, but when the Baltic Sea is three hours away from Berlin by Autobahn, this little lakeside retreat really isn’t too bad. Come summertime, I’m sure we’ll be heading down this way again for another mini city escape.