My very first pet was a rabbit called Heidi. She was very cute, and I loved the way she delicately nibbled carrots from my hand. However, she wasn’t the most friendly or cuddle-able of rabbits, and she once bit a hefty bleeding chunk out of my brother’s finger.
This Heidi, who many of you might alreadyknow through her glowingly happy blog, is much lovelier to hug, transforms carrots into amazing muffins and snack bars, is far better to talk to, and I’m willing to bet would never bite my brother.
When I booked my Melbourne trip, Heidi was one of the first people I told. After all, I had to meet this woman who so incredibly, generously, and out-of-the-blue(ly) collected treats for me during her US travels for no reason but to make me smile.
Knowing Heidi’s love of brunch, I suggested we start the day at St Ali but secretly also kept my afternoon free in case I couldn’t bear to leave her. Turns out we both had the same idea, and that’s how almost six hours passed in a timeless whirl of laughter, deliciousness, presents, heartfelt honesty, shared viewpoints, and more laughter.
But first, St Ali.
Heidi and I were Very Bad Patrons at St Ali. We clicked so well that we couldn’t stop chatting long enough to look at the menu, and had to send our poor waitress away many times before ordering. We also got kicked out at the end for staying too long when there were people queuing outside. Oops.
Very uncharacteristically (remember the cake for breakfast and frozen yoghurt for lunch?), I ordered the “my body is my temple: raw beef salad of kholrabi, daikon, carrot with fish sauce, lime juice, coriander and sesame seeds”. I can’t remember the last time I willingly ordered beef, and truth be told my body seemed less temple-like than a bit upset in response, but clearly there is a point at which my body defies my mind’s inclination for sugar. I enjoyed this slightly-bizarre brunch dish, finding it fresh, zingy, and herbilicous.
Heidi ordered the “lola’s flat omelette: veggie chilli flat omelette with marinated capsicum, kalamata olives, chilli flakes and broccoli”. Of course, being Melbourne, we also ordered lattes with the coffee of the day.
The next few hours with Heidi felt so much like hanging out with a long-known-and-cherished friend that I completely forgot to pull out my camera. At Prahran Market, we discovered not only a matching sense of humour but that we both use the same wicked comment to test out whether someone is truly a kindred spirit. Luckily, we each passed. (Heidi, I really fell in love with you at that moment.)
After exploring the markets we headed to Chapel Street, where we talked non-stop, modelled hats, and tried to look rich in the Colette Dinnigan store. There was a dangerous moment in Alannah Hill when I spotted, in my magpie-way, a dress made entirely of sequins and promptly lost all rational thought. Thank heavens for Heidi, who helped me see that spending almost a week’s salary on a dress that would blind senior citizens is not a good idea.
But the pretty! Oh the pretty! (Source)
After Heidi talked me out of the sequins and I talked her out of buying fluoro-cloth-sneaker-wedge-heels for her wedding, we found ourselves breathless with excitement before the mecca of all sweetened-air-fake-ice-cream-incredibilityness, Tasti D’Lite.
Go ahead and judge me, but I loved it. Right then and there, Heidi and I made a pact to have many, many Tasti D’Lite dates if/when I move to Melbourne. And darling? Considering that there are over 100 flavours… you’d best get ready to treat yo’self.
As if to poke fun at our enthusiasm for fake ice cream, the universe next led Heidi and me to an awesome health food store, where splurging on real ingredients happened.
Eventually, though, it was time for our adventure to end, but not before more rapid-fire chatting on the way home and a trading of gifts. Because, lo and behold, right there in Heidi’s trunk was a pair of red heels that I’d commented on earlier in the day, and which turned out not to fit Heidi but to fit me perfectly.