Showing all posts tagged: Melbourne

Third best coffee on Earth? Sydney. Tenth best? Melbourne…

11 April 2024

Expresso coffee at Crepe & Coffee Co, Redfern, Sydney. Photo by John Lampard.

Espresso, brewed by Crepe & Coffee Co, photo by John Lampard.

Sydney has been adjudged the third best city in the world for coffee, this according to American magazine, Food & Wine. Copenhagen, perhaps unsurprisingly, comes in at number one, followed by Tokyo in second place. But here’s where things may get contentious: Melbourne — perhaps surprisingly — ranks at number ten on the list.

Number ten? How can that be? Did not Melbourne birth McCafe, the McDonald’s hamburger restaurant coffee-shop off-shoot? Isn’t Melbourne where the rest of Australia supposedly draws all ideas and inspiration coffee related from? Not that I’m trying to stoke up any Melbourne versus Sydney antagonism, or rivalry, here.

Not me. After all, I’m officially based almost two-hours drive north of Sydney. But when it comes to coffee consumption elsewhere, I’ve had more Sydney coffee than I have Melbourne. And besides, I like both cities. But they’re different places, they’re not cookie-cutter replicas of each other.

Objectively, how then could one possibly be better than the other? Let me illustrate, while keeping the theme victual. Years ago, a chef (whose name escapes me), described the differences between the two cities, thusly. When you go out for dinner in Sydney, it’s for a quick bite, because you’re on the way somewhere else.

That’s true. Sydney never stands still.

On the other hand, when you go out for dinner in Melbourne, it’s an occasion. People dress up, and stay seated at the table for hours. And sometimes we like doing both. But let’s avoid any further Melbourne versus Sydney discord, and take solace in the fact Australia is a country that embraces independent coffee brewers, and has little time for multinational coffeehouse chains.


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Dates announced for the 2023 Melbourne Writers Festival

22 October 2022

The 2023 Melbourne Writers Festival (MWF) will take place from Thursday 4 May 2022 until Sunday 7 May. Mark it on your calender. The 2023 event will be held a few months earlier than the 2022 which ran during September.

Update: the decision by MWF organisers to move the event to early May 2023 has upset the convenors of a number of other literary events taking place at, or around, the same time. Most noteably organisers of the nearby Bendigo Writers Festival are particularly concerned, as their event takes place at exactly the same time.

It seems to me the MWF move could have been better thought out. To say the least.


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2022 Melbourne Writers Festival program

29 July 2022

The 2022 Melbourne Writers Festival program was unveiled last Tuesday by MWF artistic director Michaela McGuire. Between Thursday 8 September 2022, and Sunday 11 September, over two-hundred-and-fifty storytellers from across the world will gather in Melbourne, Australia, and after several years of COVID imposed lockdowns, this year’s event is aptly themed ambition:

Reading is the ultimate act of ambition; the boundless ambition of the curious mind. Ambition to learn, to inhabit another person’s life and experience the world from their point of view. To grasp the limitless possibilities that literature affords us, the solace it has given, the joy it still has to offer.


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