Autumn is the most glorious time of the year. Summer mornings are wonderful, winter mornings are gloomy, and spring mornings are tempestuous. But autumn mornings can be relied upon to increase my heart rate as I first spy the contrast of a misty sea of fog blanketing eucalypts and a bright blue sky promising a warming afternoon. The crispness in the air is unlike any other season and countless mornings I actually feel myself smiling at the weather as I walk to my car.
While my garden is over flowing with gumtrees, roses and mossy boulders, it lacks the Technicolor rainbow of deciduous autumn leaves that fall from malting branches to blanket the ground. So this weekend, Cal and I bundled Beau and ourselves up for a journey in the nearby Dandenong Ranges which I knew promised orange, ginger and cherry hues in abundance. The ranges are beautiful at any time of the year, but on autumn afternoons you will find quaint little restaurants serving warming tea, smoke swirling from homely fireplaces and roads littered with golden leaves.
Our destination was The Alfred Nichols Memorial Gardens in Sherbrooke, which is one of my favourite places in Melbourne. It is a secluded, winding patchwork of Australian and European flora with views over the bush, culminating with a bridge-crossed mini lake that looks like it belongs in a Pre-Raphaelite painting. You’ll also find a pergola, secluded areas to roam, grassy lawns for summer picnics and a small boathouse.
Beau was so excited by the unending stream of new sights, smells and sounds, and the numerous passers-by who stopped to pat him. He’s such a sucker for attention!
Plus, he loved frolicking in the blanket of crunchy leaves. He has rather little legs, so in some places, the leaves were almost as tall as him!
My new Allbirds trainers accompanied me on this brisk Sunday afternoon and while initially bright white, it didn’t take long before they were stamped with muddy paw prints. Having worn them around London for two weeks, I knew they could be relied upon for sturdiness and warmth and they wash up really easily so Beau’s little footprints won’t last forever. These Allbirds trainers are actually made from ZQ certified wool and recycled plastic so they wick away moisture, are sustainably sourced and dry really quickly. I’ve also used them working out, travelling on long-haul flights and so far they’ve been super versatile and adaptable.
I have developed a real ‘thing’ lately for a mid-afternoon tea pick-me-up. As we head into the cooler months, there is nothing quite so simultaneously calming, invigorating and warming as the perfectly brewed cup of tea when 3pm hits. As much as I adore a good English Breakfast brew I try to be good to my health with a green tea at least once a day. Knowing we’d be out on our little adventure, I brought along my Sol Cup filled to the brim with Japanese sencha. These reusable hand-blown glass travel mugs are developed ‘to keep the heat in and the nasties out’ and the team campaigns for a plastic free lifestyle.
We finished our afternoon of autumn colours and mountain air by stopping in at the Piggery Bakery next door. They do the most delicious sourdough which paired perfectly with our cold-evening meal of more-ish Bouillabaisse.
An autumnal afternoon perfectly spent!