Aussie GTG - Melbourne, 22nd May 2010

May 20th, 2010, 10:14 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 109
I would love to come along for a meet/greet/drink, prior to going to see Jersey Boys on Saturday night. WOuld that be possible/OK with everyone else??
The stairs at Seanstress are "open" which makes them look more rickety than they are.
MissB99 is offline  
May 21st, 2010, 12:06 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,691
Have a great time people! Wish I could join you but as I have to be in Melbourne next Friday and cannot take that much time out just now I'll have to stay home.
AlanJG is offline  
May 21st, 2010, 12:16 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 987
Miss, the more the merrier. Not too many cocktails before The Jersey Boys though. You will be very embarrassed if you start throwing your knickers at the stage or fall asleep and start snoring loudly, depending on how much you enjoy it.
shandy is online now  
May 21st, 2010, 12:30 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,542
Any chance an attendee will post some photos after-the-fact for those of us who can't make it?

On the weather front, it was beautiful 23c here in Perth today. I actually got hot! I'm a weenie, I know.
Melnq8 is offline  
May 21st, 2010, 02:02 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 784
Miss do come . Most welcome.

And as for photos Mel , we may have to take steps to preserve anonymity or we could have one of those " Guess Who It Is " competitions .
JohnFitz is offline  
May 21st, 2010, 11:35 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 12,037
Great, MissB99 - look forward to seeing you at "Seamstress".
Jersey Boys is fabulous and a cocktail or two will put you right in the groove.
Bokhara2 is offline  
May 21st, 2010, 04:23 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,100
Have a great time, people - post photos!

Sorry I can't get away!
margo_oz is offline  
May 21st, 2010, 10:24 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 45,322
I am just popping in to wish all of you cousins across the pond a wonderful Fodor's GTG! I know you will have so much fun as we always do. So good thoughts are sent your way from Northern California.
LoveItaly is offline  
May 22nd, 2010, 01:18 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 8,161
okay it's 9.15pm here in NZ need a trip report!!!! I guess you are still at the GTG so I will wait another couple of hours for a report.
nelsonian is offline  
May 22nd, 2010, 03:57 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,541
Hope you had a nice time!
amelie is offline  
May 22nd, 2010, 02:06 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 784
Well it was terrible .A disgrace really. Why ?

Everyone was nice. Everyone was polite .Everyone behaved as good Fordorites ought .
No " Oh my lord what have we got here......get me out ..."
I couldn't fault anyone . So this little report is going to be a bit dull really .

Stormbird was the official photographer and assures us that they are all " flattering " but funny that she did not show them to us ....and asked permission to post them we shall see .Will I regret it ?

It was a very good night which finished around 11pm after drinks commenced at 6pm at Seamstress - nearly a day's work really except it was all fun.

I will give a quick overview as others will no doubt post other reviews .

Seamstress was a good spot for a drink and to meet although in our banquetted booth in a corner lit by 2 tea light candles it was dim .If you were a crime boss not wanting to be seen it was perfect . But could be heard if not seen .

Nonetheless they serve a good drink and were very pleasant. We had a range of non alcoholic , wine and cocktails .and water was served and replenished on the side gratis . I had concoction of Aperol , lemon juice and Piscio with fizz . One of those sweet / sour drinks that you cannot tell just how potent it is but it was very good .

Of course as I arrived a little later than everyone , bar Shandy who was last and Cliff who joined us at dinner ,I had to guess who was who ------- big mistake .Got everyone wrong bar kiwi rob .Noone looked as I imagined ,which is not to say they did not look very nice and in fact better than that looked terrifically good . A " smart group " .

And as always happens it turns out MissB knows and works with one of my old collegues ( who I like a lot ) very well. What do they say about no degrees of separation !!

It took 2 or 3 minutes to walk from there to Trunk . We had a long table .With hindsight it would have been better with just 8 of us to have tried to get a round table to ensure easier chatting as it was a busy place and a little noisy .But I diod not notice ay round tables . But that did not stop mingling and chair hopping.

Very pleasant dinner which we ordered a la carte with some excellent Victorian red wines .

Everyone was as I had expected them to be from our interactions on Fodors - polite , fun , interested and interesting.

Stormbird had done a wonderful job and we all received, compliments of Fodors , some light nylon travel / shopping bags and a choice of one of their excellent travel guides which had been sent from the USA to Stormbird . I selected one for the Amalfi Coast and Naples . Thankyou Fodors.

We all agreed that we will do another in 2011 in Sydney .

So over to the others for their reviews in due course .
JohnFitz is offline  
May 22nd, 2010, 03:02 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 8,161
Thanks John Fitz, now waiting for photos!!!
nelsonian is offline  
May 22nd, 2010, 05:41 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 987
It was great fun getting to put faces with the names and for those of us whose screen name has no relationship to their real name, it was sometimes a bit hard to remember the real name rather than the screen name. However either name seemed to work.

As I had spent the day working out our tax, hence my rather late arrival, it was just the panacea I needed - a most enjoyable evening with some good conversation and a few drinks.

Many thanks to Stormbird for organising the first INAUGURAL Australian GTG. Stormbird, hang onto your bright orange Fodor bag and you can use it as a flag at the next GTG so the participants know which table to head to when they arrive. As already mentioned by John Fitz we are already talking about Sydney for next year. Thanks also to JohnFitz for his choice of Seamstress and Trunk, both were good.

For those of you who went to the time and expense of flying in to Melbourne for it, well done.
shandy is online now  
May 22nd, 2010, 09:45 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,018
What fun! It was so nice to see everyone in the flesh!!! A huge thanks to JohnFitz and Stormbird for organising everything!! Thanks to Fodors for the orange shopping (?) bags and the guides.

We all had a great time at Seamstress and then dinner at Trunk. Seamstress is such a cute bar, the ceiling was festooned with brilliantly coloured fabrics in memory of the building's past. Typical of Melbourne, wish we had something comparable in Sydney!!!

GTG in Sydney 2011, or maybe Perth?
Susan7 is offline  
May 23rd, 2010, 02:33 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,067
Many thanks for Stormbird and JohnFitz for the arrangements and to everyone for the great company.

I had a nice time, a nice dinner and hope I can make it next year.
Clifton is offline  
May 23rd, 2010, 01:07 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 784
Lovely to see the family snaps Cliff and especially of your gorgeous little girl as a baby and of the family.I hope your time in Melbourne continues happily .

Susan I have cut the bag tags as you suggested !We ought to coordinate trips to Venice for the Art Biennale when next we go .

More shoes purchased yesterday Bokhara ? Did I mention and do you know of the only Australian outlet for Hugo Boss and Ben Sherman mens and womens wear in Preston ? Some girlfriends from Adelaide swooned on seeing it and then revived and pounced .

And Shandy I pushed myself to look at tax papers yesterday as well - inspired by your dedication .

In short it was lovely to have had the privilege to meet everyone and exchange personal information and stories that enable me to now put your faces in my mind when I write and enjoy that extra link in the chain of creating friendships beyond a computer screen .That was your achievement Stormbird by your initiative in getting the ball rolling .Salute !
JohnFitz is offline  
May 23rd, 2010, 09:23 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 12,037
Salute indeed, JohnFitz & Stormbird, for the idea and inspired choices of Seamstress & Trunk.

I really enjoyed meeting everyone - couldn't put it better than JohnFitz's last paragraph.

Seamstress was fun,funky,atmospheric and did we mention, dimly lit? There we were, gathered around our booth with cocktail menus in hand ... and using our mobiles as torches to read it! Had we needed an ice breaker, which we didn't, that would have provided it - very funny. I had an El Diabalo which, now I can read the menu on line, I can tell you was a mix of tequila, cassis and spicy ginger beer. Very good it was, too.

Here's the link for everyone else Just click on the silk reels.

By the time we left for Trunk, and Miss B99 for "Jersey Boys" (How did you enjoy it B99?), we'd found links between her & JohnFitz; that I'd lived in Susan7's suburb; Shandy wasn't thinking of beer & lemonade in choosing her name; Stormbird's a rev head; Mrs Kiwi_Rob is charming, has two legs, any wool she was wearing was elegantly processed and the only "Baaaaa" was on the other side of the room - rumours of sheep sh ..earing scuttled! Me? I can't resist a fabulous shoe, impulse trips or a pongy cheese & failed 100% on the "Guess who?"

Trunk's exterior & interior are interesting & quirky and I suspect some of us now have a new purpose in mind for some of those discarded clay plant pots!

With several inviting choices,I finaly settled on a starter of mussels & mascrapone, with a very good piece of veal to follow. JohnFitz's choice of red was good - even better was the superb drop that was delivered by mistake, discovered by the waiter only after we'd had our first glasses! Some excellent cheeses, accompanied by a wonderful honey (Leatherwood? Manuka?) for some of us, while 2 or 3 opted for sweeter offerings.

We had a very entertaining & happy night, table hopping and chatting, exchanging stories and tips on everything from menus to shoe shops. It was lovely to see your gorgeous little daughter Clifton, and chat with you about the treasures we find on our travels that become part of our family history. I hope you & your family will be very happy in Australia & look forward to seeing you at future GTGs.

This one ended with a short walk back to my hotel .. the new shoes fitting like gloves and pleasant thoughts of 8 interesting & charming people, who were now much more "3D" than their Fodors names for company.

I'd booked into the Grand Chancellor (131 Lonsdale St) because of its proximity to both venues & favourable rate. It doesn't rate all that well on Trip Advisor, but a call to the Operations Manager confirmed what it'd suspected. It's an older property undergoing refurbishment; changes in cleaning contractors & an occasion of lift malfunction being highlighted on Trip Advisor skewing its rating somewhat unfairly. It suited me because it was close, cheapish and I'd only be there a few hours. The staff were unfailingly helpful, one spent nearly 10 minutes trying to print out my QF Boarding Pass yesterday without a blink. My room was perfectly adequate; refurbished, clean, good size and had a door which opened onto a small balcony. Fresh air in the city. The Mantra on Russell is a far better property - but it's in a different market and at a somewhat higher price point.

Yesterday, I went to Prahran with a friend (markets, Chapel Street shopping) and .... didn't even enter a shoe shop! Thanks JohnFitz for the tips - next trip.

We had a very good yum cha at Oriental Tea House (455 Chapel St.) before I flagged a cab & headed to the airport for my flight home.

Thanks everyone for a really lovely weekend.
Bokhara2 is offline  
May 23rd, 2010, 10:13 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,542
Thanks for posting Bokhara, sounds like ya'll had a good time. Sorry I couldn't make year maybe.
Melnq8 is offline  
May 23rd, 2010, 10:55 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,100
What!? N
Glad I didn't come - I do hate to be the odd person out!
margo_oz is offline  
May 23rd, 2010, 10:56 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,100
Sorry - that should have read:

No-one was arrested? No-one was drunk and disorderly?

Glad I didn't come - I do hate to be the odd person out!
margo_oz is offline  

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