The morning after our wonderful dinner at Il Bacaro, we departed from our hotel just after 9am. We had opted out of paying for breakfast – we had a better offer. After I had plotted a slightly tricky exit from the city centre, Maggie drove us in a westerly direction, over the West Gate Bridge and down the road towards Geelong, Victoria’s second largest city.
We had arranged to have brunch with one of my cousins, Linda at a new cafe close to the centre of Geelong. But not just any cafe. It was Little Green Corner, developed and managed by Hugh, husband of Claire, one of Linda’s three daughters, and proud father of 18-months-old twins.
We were making good time so, as it was a sunny morning, Maggie suggested we leave the main road as we approached Geelong and drive around the edge of Corio Bay, the peaceful body of water that lies in front of the centre of the city. It was very photogenic!
Maggie then took us to the pretty beach at the eastern end of the bay. Eastern Beach, as it is named eponymously, is very family-friendly, with a safe, enclosed seawater swimming pool and an esplanade of grassed areas, walking paths, bench seats and picnic tables. Speaking of which, it was time for brunch!
We joined Linda at a table inside the cafe and began to take it in. I began with a comfort stop, where I came face-to-face with Hugh’s commitment to sustainability.
Next, a coffee. At home, we have one short black (espresso) each morning. Going out for a coffee, I prefer a short macchiatto; Maggie sticks to her routine. Our coffees were delicious, with a long finish which had a mild molasses edge to it. Next, something substantial to eat. (We were mostly chatting with Linda non-stop, pausing only to exchange greetings with Hugh, then Claire who was putting in a couple of hours before going to her part-time teaching job, then Hugh’s mother, who had arrived to wash some dishes!)
While Linda chose the plate of mushrooms and fetta, which she said she had enjoyed very much on previous occasions, I ordered a dish of chick peas, braised with tomatoes and served with bacon, a baked egg and some whole-grain toast. I rarely eat chick peas, except as hummus, but I wanted to try something more complex than the egg & bacon roll that Maggie went for. The dish was tasty and wholesome, although, to me, the bacon seemed a little out of place.
We weren’t there long enough to form a rounded picture of Little Green Corner; besides, we were engrossed in conversation with Linda. However, we certainly saw plenty of evidence of the cafe’s motto: “Local. Sustainable. Simple.” This suits the times and Hugh and Claire are fully committed to these principles – Exhibit A, the rolled-to-order oats for making your morning porridge with maximum nutritional values. So, I do hope their business model works. We will return, for the coffee – I had a second before we left – and to explore the lunch menu.
Quick good-byes, then we turned for home, calling into the bustling South Melbourne Market, for a bag of frozen prawn cutlets, and Toscano’s, for a fresh supply of ingredients to cook at home.
Our next Aussie adventure? Three days and nights in the Barossa Valley, Australia’s most famous wine region. Just 36 sleeps away!