Conversations over Coffee

Conversations with Melbourne

I have travelled to many cities across the world. I have fallen in love with New York. I have lost my senses in Florence. I have found my soul in Barcelona. Tokyo took me on a roller coaster. Rome offered solitude. The list of destinations always seems to be growing. Yet, the stamp I love most on my passport is the one that says ‘welcome home.’


Thirty-three years ago my newly married parents boarded a plane with a toddler in tow. Packed in their suitcases were their small belongings and a large cargo of excitement and trepidation. I will always be grateful for their decision to come and live here, in this place I now call home.

Melbourne. I would wax lyrical and take photos of this city forever. You see Melbourne is part of me. I could not be who I am without it. My family live here. My friends live here. My memories are here.



I live only twenty minutes out from the city. Yet there are days when the city tugs at my heart strings, pulling and teasing, begging me to come in. A few weeks ago, while sitting in the Langham hotel at Southbank, late on a Saturday night, above the din of the restaurant and the chink of glasses I was entranced by the reflection of the city lights, the buildings and the river. In that moment I remembered just how much the city defines me.



I love my coffee, good coffee. I’ll happily not drink or return coffee that isn’t good. I love my Italian. From a long cascade of restaurants down Lygon Street, I only eat at very few. Most times, I only eat at one. I love my fashion. But almost all of it is black. Black, goes with black, goes with black and it works. I love the theatre. From Her Majesty to the Princess to the Regent. I have watched the Phantom three times and will always watch it again.



Melbourne is like the cushioned, warm space of a grandmother’s lap. You rest your head, while she strokes your hair with her delicate aged hands. She pulls away your negative thoughts and heavy burdens, like silver string being cast to the wind. I could not imagine living in, or loving, any city more.



On some days, this city is my heart beat. It is the simplicity of spending my Sunday afternoon on Lygon Street, idling through the bookstore, stopping for hazelnut gelati and finishing with dinner at the little place I love. Each time I open the door, to the little yellow restaurant on the corner of Drummond and Grattan, I am greeted with that same knowing smile.

“Ahh Signora, welcome back.”
As she seats us at the same table, near the window she asks. “Three pasta mistas and the Brown Brothers?”
“Yes.” I answer, it is always the same.
Walking back to the kitchen, she pauses and ruffles PJ’s hair “the boys have grown this week.”
How could I ask for anything more than that?


What is your favourite city?

 The next Conversations over Coffee link will open on
Thursday August 29, 2013

The theme is Conversations with Spring ~ everyone is welcome xx

  • lydia C lee

    I love Melbourne – great photo of the graffiti (with cans) by the way….

  • LydiaCLee

    I just commented and it’s gone??? Love the shot with the cans, by the way…

  • Kate

    Josefa, this is gorgeous! You have made me want to go into town and explore my ‘new-ish’ home, Melbourne. Have been here for five years… time to discover it as I have through this lovely post!

    PS. I was so sure you were going to write about Paris!

  • Beautiful story! I love the grandmother analogy. Melbourne is definitely a favourite of mine too!

  • Robyn (Mrs D)

    Beautiful! I don’t know Melbourne very well, I’ve only had one fleeting visit but you made it feel like I need to go back and look at it through fresh eyes. I’d say heart belongs to London – too many special memories there.

  • Pip (@melbournelass)

    Josefa, I could read you waxing lyrical on Melbourne all day. Beautiful post. I didn’t want it to end.

  • You passion and love for Melbourne is captured beautifully in this post Josefa. For those who don’t know her you have described her perfectly. I only get down there a few times a year and love discovering more of her hidden gems; like unwrapping a present slowly and thoughtfully. Beautiful x

  • It’s clear I haven’t spent enough time in Melbourne after reading this!

  • Rach

    I really need to spend some “fun” time in Melbourne….my mums family are all in Melbourne and so for us it was always boring to have to go there it meant a week of being on our best behaviour lol

  • You have made me want to visit Melbourne again 🙂 I have only been there twice.
    My fav city would have to be Sydney, for the many reasons that you have listed for Melbourne.

  • Rita

    Hi Josefa, I just linked my post but I’ll come back on reading and commenting later on.

  • I love this city! It’s so comforting here, there’s always something to see. I’m going to link up an old post if that’s ok 🙂 I loved London but Melbourne is my home

  • Lynne Wambeek

    Ahhhh yes beautiful Melbourne… as soon as I arrived in Melbourne for a temporary stay of 2years….eeeekkkk many years ago I just knew I was at home…. Love it too josefa – and I must just must try that yellow restaurant on the corner of Drummond and Grattan.. x

  • Kristin Mamacino

    I live in Torquay now but I also grew up in Melbourne about 20 minutes from the city too. I love Lygon street and have spent many days trawling book shops and cafes there. I love my coffee and I get you on black…we seem to have a lot in common Josefa x

  • Loree

    A beautiful tribute to your favourite city 🙂 I received your postcard today. Phillip Island looks beautiful. My son would love it. I’ve had a postcard written out for you for about 10 days but I have been too lazy to actually post it. Will do so tomorrow 🙂

  • I’ve only ever spent 48 hours in Melbourne. I’d love to go back for longer. It is so diverse, so full of culture, so much better than the modern, boring Gold Coast!

  • Rita

    As always Josefa, this is a beautiful post. You described the details of Melbourne in a beautiful way. I love Melbourne too. I absolutely love Lygon Street. I live very close to the city too. I think we have the same taste regarding theatre. Since I was a child, I always wanted to see the Phantom of The opera and ending up seeing it only a few years ago, but in Sydney! Where are situated these white statues? They are so lovely. I never saw them.

  • Hmmm. I lived in Melbourne for eight years, and I think I left my heart there. I loved it so much. I lived just up from Lygon Street so your words are so familiar. Cinema Nova Mondays, browsing through Readings, walking through Princes Park. As a home, my favourite city would be Melbourne. To visit, my favourite cities are Utrecht, Marrakesh, Barcelona and Paris.

  • I love Melbourne too and I think if I had a choice of living anywhere other than my home town, Sydney, it would be there. Of course Sydney is so beautiful it takes your breath away, even after decades of growing up on these shores. I also love NYC and Paris for visiting.

  • Ahhh, lovely photos. Its is important to live (or live near) a place that inspires you! You obviously have a great love for you city! This just makes me want to visit even more!

  • Bec | Mumma Tells

    You have such an eye, Josefa. This is a beautiful post. Growing up, we moved up and down the east coast of Australia, living in the major cities (or close by) each time. My heart belongs to Melbourne. X

  • Beautiful photos and a great subject. I don’t know that I have a favourite city as such but I have been to many… It’s quite a different experience to visit as opposed to live somewhere. I confess I hardly know Melbourne at all but I’d love to explore it one day 🙂

  • AParentingLife

    Beautiful photos, it is easy to see why you love Melbourne so much. Thanks for hosting another great conversation

  • Oh I love Melbourne! Your photos show it off beautifully. We lived in Port Melbourne for 2 years before we had Kids and it was so wonderful and still remains our city of choice whenever we need to jump off the Apple Isle for a city fix. Mel x

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