Damn, I miss Montréal

Not that Brisbane’s a bad place to live in. Au contraire, it’s beautiful:


But it’s not THIS. Or this. Or even this.



Quickie post: Sydney in pictures

‘That’s it?’

‘Well, yes, that’s “it”, it’s titled a “quickie post” for a reason!”

Over and out

Akanksha Travel Blogger Teal Rain Boots

Portsea: Updates from the road

Another post from the road: aren’t you lucky?

I shall assume you are nodding politely in agreement, and continue with said post.

You are nodding, aren’t you? (Did you just nod to that as well? Exciting! OK, I’ll stop!)

Now, assuming you’ve already read my previous post on my first day in Melbourne, I shall continue from whence* I left off: which was, to be quite honest, where I was nursing a mild hangover. Or a heavy head, anyway.

We left the wineries for Portsea, a small seaside town. Not your run-of-the-mill seaside town, mind you, this one’s where Victoria’s crème de la crème have millionaire mansions. And on a day like the one we had, it was swarming with preppy sorts and their offspring.

Now, let it be known that I have nothing against children. They’re allowed to enjoy blue skies and sunshine as much as the next person. But for gosh sake people, if you’re going to let your child run free with chocolate ice cream smeared across their face, screaming like a hooligan, please ensure said child does not trip down some stairs, and start (justifiably) wailing like banshee. Better yet, look up from your phone, and don’t expect service staff to double as babysitters.

OK, sorry about that– am done ranting. Moving swiftly onwards…

Portsea was lovely. I know I use that word a lot, but it truly was splendid. Proof in pictures:

#portsea #beach #houses

A post shared by Ka Yue Chan (@kayue.owo) on

We ate lunch at the Portsea Hotel, which has a coveted view of the seaside, and a rather interesting menu. That said, the food was somewhat disappointing, and not exactly on the cheap side of things (though I suppose one pays for the view in such places).

In case you’re wondering (I’m mostly looking at you Madre): we sampled the fish ‘n’ chips and chicken schnitzel. The former wasn’t bad, but the side salad accompanying it was a tad too mushy for my liking, and the batter for the fish could have done with a little less grease. The schnitzel on the other hand, was lacking in colour, and unimpressive overall.

Akanksha Portsea Victoria Melbourne Travel Blog
C’est moi. And the view. And the food. If this were on my Instagram profile, I feel like I’d hashtag it with #proofIwasthere.

Anyhow, if you’re in the area, I’d still recommend the pub for its view, and stellar wait staff.

Also good to note: 

  • The town has a tourist info. centre– helpful staff, maps, and pamphlets about the area were abundant
  • Outdoor water-based fun (SCUBA diving, kayaking, snorkelling etc.) are doable here too. Equipment rentals and tour companies are in the the same area as the tourist info. centre. (I skipped out on the aforementioned fun because I’m visiting from Queensland).
  • The Point Nepean National Park is a must-do. We didn’t make it here because of how tight our schedule was, but if there’s one place I’ll make it to the next time I’m in the area, I think this might be it.

That’s all for now. Happy International Day of Non-Violence! (Don’t forget to donate to Save the Children’s Child Crisis campaign to help out children in Syria to support the cause)

Akanksha Singh travel blogger teal rain boots

*apologies for all the archaisms which may follow; I’d been reading Edgar Allan Poe prior to writing this

Red Hill: Updates from the road

Melbourne has been stellar weather-wise for the last few days. We’re talking sunshine, blue skies, and Akanksha with starry eyes (sorry, I love a good rhyme– and it came to me so naturally!)

I started my time here with a trip to Red Hill and Portsea. The former is chocoblock full of wineries, and subsequently (in my opinion), wedding venues. But I digress…

Tragically, I didn’t really get to do much of a tasting at wineries in Red Hill– more of a ‘try before you buy’, if you will. We were handed a wine list, and asked to select samples for tasting off said list. This was, in my opinion, well-suited to someone who knew exactly what they wanted (I didn’t; so, it goes without saying it complicated my life immensely). 

Nonetheless, I made do– and was rather enjoying the wine buzz in a matter of hours. Here’s a quick round-up of my favourite and not-so-favourite wineries (a more detailed one to follow on TripAdvisor soon):

Favourite – Polperro by Evan Keel

The tastings at Polperro were held in a compact back room, with chic fittings, and sleek minimalist décor. Their restaurant extends out onto a wooden deck overlooking a vineyard, and given the weather was a lovely place to be.

The staff on duty were all stunning beautiful and extremely hospitable. The sommelier was  away, but the stand-in staff member was both friendly and knowledgable about wine. Although Polperro’s wines weren’t cheap (compared to wineries I’d visited in the Hunter Valley, anyway) they were, for lack of a better word, delicious.

Highly recommend: Tumbarumba Chardonnay 2013 ($35) — super fresh and citrusy (I repeat: I’m by no means a connoisseur), went down like a dream.

Least favourite (by a mile) – Montalto Vineyard & Olive Grove

I am by no means an expert on wine, but I am a customer. The staff at Montalto were curt, and disinterested in serving us (I believe it takes little effort to put on a smile, and fake being happy but what would I know?)

That being said, the wine was still up there in quality. We’d have sampled their olive oil, and perhaps even eaten at their much-talked-about restaurant with a view, should we have been treated with a little more decorum. Hay-ho, enough ranting:

Recommend (if you’re in the mood for dealing with the staff, that is) — Pennon Hill Shiraz 2014. This shiraz was beautiful: smokey / peppery, rich. Again, it was too darn bad, the lady pouring it was emotionally constipated.

Until next time

Akanksha Singh travel blogger teal rain boots

Weekly travel tip: Avoiding scams

Dear Blank [please insert your name / nickname / or alter ego’s identity here, and pretend like we are amigos. Or amigas. I should stress that it is somewhat imperative that we establish a bond along the lines of friendship, and or sistahs (but not the type in habits), because what I am about to tell you is immensely hush hush at the mo’]

I have a confession to make: I was once duped into a scam while on holiday *gasp*

Before you go getting all judgemental or throw me a pity party (which, for the record, must jello shots because I’m all class), I should like to add that I was very young, very broke, and very gullible. Now I know this is where I should probably tell you the goings-on of said scam, but I’m afraid you let me have far too many jello shots!

I jest. Here’s the big secret…

I almost got pulled into one of those CD scams in Times Square, NYC (see infographic below for more details). Fortunately, I was am too cheeky for my own good — so when the gentleman handing me his demo CD told me to take it, ‘for free’, I told him to give me a sneak peek at what was on the CD. To cut a very long story short- he tried hitting a few notes, failed miserably, and I told him his music wasn’t to my palate. Not to mention his voice wasn’t really suited for hip-hop (if I’m being extremely blunt, he sounded like a strangled cat). Which, for the record, wasn’t a lie– and I can say this without bias, I should like to think, because I studied singing for several years.

I tell you all this buddy Blank (because, at this point, we are obviously buds), not to vent my frustrations or to convey how awful the fellow sounded on the high notes (the sound was haunting awful), but to (i) procure an endless supply of jello shots, and (ii) to keep you from making the same mistake.

Thus, I give you ‘40 Tourist Scams to Avoid This Summer‘, via Just The Flight

Beautiful infographic, isn’t it? Be sure to head over to Just The Flight’s travel blog for more infographics, and travel tips!