Nice Smoothies in the Naughty Part of Town

Ivy & Bros

Oudezijds Voorburgwal 96A, 1012 GH Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Amsterdam was definitely one of the most beautiful cities we visited on our trip through Europe, and in a lot of ways, it reminded me of Melbourne. This was certainly the case at Ivy & Bros, a fantastic café we visited for lunch on our first day.

View of the canal

Just a stone’s throw away from Amsterdam Centraal, it was hard to believe that this establishment was situated in the Red Light District, but those that have been to Amsterdam will know that the city completely transforms from day to night. However, when we visited, it was naught but an innocent little café serving fresh sandwiches and drinks, perfect after all that decadent dining in France.

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279 Glenferrie Rd Malvern, VIC 3144

After-work catch-ups over delicious food – always a good idea. A friend suggested Aoba, a little Japanese restaurant in Malvern with barely enough room to sit down, but makes up for it with its excellent selection of affordable food.


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On Top of the World…or At Least, Paris

Le Jules Verne

Avenue Gustave Eiffel, 75007 Paris, France

La tour Eiffel – perhaps the most iconic monument in the entire world, it is a breath-taking lattice tower standing at over 320 metres tall. Situated on its second level is Le Jules Verne, a fine-dining restaurant with lauded chef and restauranteur, Alain Ducasse, at the helm. Ducasse is known most famously as the first chef to hold 3 Michelin stars simultaneously in 3 different cities, and is one of the most renowned chefs of his generation. Since its opening in 2007, Ducasse has earned Le Jules Verne one Michelin star for its classic French cuisine, excellent wines and impeccable service.

K and I ummed and uhhed about whether to visit this unique, albeit very expensive, restaurant for several weeks before our trip, but eventually decided to take the plunge. It’s not every day that we get to visit Paris, and dining 125 metres up the Eiffel Tower is certainly an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.


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Drugstore Espresso

Drugstore Espresso

194 Toorak Rd South Yarra, VIC 3141

Having many-a-time walked past Drugstore Espresso whilst shopping or on my way to another café, I finally decided that I should give this establishment a go and visited with a few friends. Located in South Yarra, it looks deceptively like it only serves take-away coffee from the outside, but there’re actually two levels of seating inside for those wishing to tuck in to something more substantial. The décor is nice and simple, with the exception of a wall of stylised graffiti art inside, which adds a lot of character and interest to the space.


The 4 of us arrived for lunch and walked into the café expecting to be seated, but at least three staff members walked right past us without any form of acknowledgement. We managed to flag down someone who was standing just a metre away to ask for a table, only to be met with an eye-roll and some very reluctant service. Not a great start, but still salvageable.

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