Madame Brussels

Madame Brussels - Sandwiches and sausage rolls.

Madame Brussels – Sandwiches and sausage rolls.

Usually when winter hits I automatically morph into a hermit in response to the icy cold weather outside. Ideally I like to stay indoors with the heater blasting, tucked in a warm blanket with lots of yummy food sitting on the coffee table within arms reach from the couch. But it was my friends birthday so I manned up, emerged from my warm shell and went out into the coldness for afternoon drinks. Upon my arrival at Madame Brussels I was given a cosy blanket from my friend, similar to the one I had just been in at home (had she read my mind?).

I was thankful but confused. I know that some people use their jacket as a blanket to cover their legs or some people put their hoodie on and pull the jumper up to cover their mouth like a ninja to feel like they’re in a blanket, and more obviously some people wear blankets ponchos, which is basically a big blanket with arm-holes in it (I know I wear my poncho/blankie out all the time).  But this was different, my friends just straight out brought their blankets to the bar. I hadn’t been out for a while and wondered if it was suddenly socially acceptable to bring your actual blanket from home out to bars. And if this was the case hey, I was all for it. My friends soon explained that the bar provided the blankies (awesome and less akward). With the heater blazing above me and wrapped up in a blanket, I immediately felt right at home.

Blankie

Snug as a bug in a rug.

Third floor up we walk inside and the floor is covered in astroturf AKA fake grass and there is a curvy tiled pathway down the center of the room that leads you to the bar. The white outdoor tea settings scattered around the room made it feel like an enchanted tea party. The inside décor looks like your outside (this can become confusing especially after a few too many drinks). The real outside was the spectacular outdoor terrace overlooking our beautiful city of Melbourne.

Madame Brussels - The Outdoor Terrace

Madame Brussels – The Outdoor Terrace

The choices of drinks were mouth-watering, they had Jugs of Pimms with fruit and cucumber (my fave), Ameretto sour, Sangria etc. yum yum yum! We had these delightful little toasted sandwiches (no crusts) with poached chicken, chives and mayo. They were delicious! They had teeny bits of lemon rind in the sandwiches so each time you took a bite there was a hint of lemon. So refreshing! A sandwich refreshing?, who would have thought. Delicious! We also had Mother of Pearl’s homemade sausage rolls dunked in “dead ‘orse”. Dead ‘orse, tomato sauce, same same. Tasty! A table near us had the scones and the fondue, we viewed them from a distance and ate them with our eyes from a table close by.  They certainly looked delicious.  The tea was served in silver teapots with adorable knitted tea cosies aside mismatched vintage teacups.  Aww so cute even the teapots had a blankie. Before we left we couldn’t restrain from trying the lemon sponge cupcakes with hot pink icing displayed at the bar.. they were average but they looked pretty and had hidden raspberries inside yay.

Madame Brussels - Lemon sponge cupcakes with hot pink icing.

Madame Brussels – Lemon sponge cupcakes with hot pink icing.

I had a blast on a winter afternoon but I heard it’s even better in the summer. It gets really busy so you need to go early to score a good seat and apparently the nights on the weekend get super packed so go early to avoid sad-faces.

I heart Madame Brussels!

Olives x

Madame Brussels 
Address: Level 3, 59-63 Bourke Street, Melbourne
Website: http://www.madamebrussels.com
Phone: 03 9662 2775
Trading Hours: Monday-Sunday (Everyday) 12pm (noon)-1am

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Macarons! the new cupcake…

So once upon a time cupcakes were the latest craze. And like any fad, it is short-lived. Some get into it and some get over it. But the truth is, cupcakes have definitely outlived the standard attrition of a fad. What could possibly take the focus off of cupcakes? Macarons! that’s what. A macaron is like a small round, cakey, meringue-like cookie sent from the heavens.

My friend suggested we try some macarons from Lindt, and I wasn’t interested. For some reason I felt like I had tasted macarons in the past and wasn’t impressed. And the thick plottens =) My mum confesses making some bad macarons in my childhood, so naturally I was resistant to try them in my adult life. I remember them being hard and weird tasting, overall not enjoyable. So we try these macarons and to my delight, they are the best damn thing since iced cupcakes.

So I start raving about these macaroons and people inform me that it’s actually macaron and that there are other places that sell them. Apparently there are heaps of places in Melbourne to find them. Some amazing ones (La Belle Miette), some not so nice (Laurent), some with wonderfully creative flavours (EARL Canteen).

Why had I not seen them before? Having that first macaron ignited my sixth sense, ESPM – Extrasensory perception for macarons. It sparked my awareness and I started seeing macarons everywhere.They were floating around my bakery, my local coffee shop and even some big department stores. Everywhere I looked there was macarons. Not to my dislike of course.

Head-hunting the best macarons is my current mission. There are some crazy unimaginable flavours out there and I am keen to try them all. Also I am soon to attempt making them myself (I’ve had a pack of almond meal sitting in my pantry for weeks). All in good time.

With macarons you really have to take your time and experience it in its entirety. So when something new takes your fancy, embrace it with your whole heart so that you can unlock it’s true flavour.

Olives x