Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Bunny Pub Hop-Crawl

I had a sturdy brunch at Mosskito to line the stomach for a day of drinking around Clifton Hill and North Fitzroy for an Easter Pub Crawl. At 12noon as I was finishing, Melissa called me from the first pub, the Royal, letting me know it was closed for Easter. A great tucked away pub find though, by all accounts.

I met Wendy and Melissa out the front of a closed Terminus, before we walked down to Queens Parade to find that the Normanby no longer exists. Not a good start!

Thankfully, the Clifton Hill was open with a handful of old man locals, and we started our day with pints, to make up for the missed stops thus far. A walk through Edinburgh Gardens, we found familiar Parkview for a double up pint stop, and a chance for the girls to have lunch.

With the sun blazing down on us, and our beer levels back on track, we walked the back streets to the Railway. This is very close to home for me, although I have never been in...looks like the dingiest of old man pubs on the outside. Inside is a strange collection of rooms, with tucked away dining room, family filled front bar, raucous pool game going on out the side, and a surprising beer garden. We took out pots outside, and discovered the fruit trees and canopy of grapes growing.

One of my favourite pubs, and my true local, The Empress was closed as we got there, so we moved on further down Nicholson Street to find that the Nicholson on our map is now a block of flats! But just across the road was the gorgeous wine bar Bistro flor, which I have always wanted to visit. We found a lovely little beer garden here, and Beer Lao on the menu! Hello!

Off on foot again, we ventured down to the back streets back on the North Fitzroy side, and found the North Fitzroy Arms - a heartland pub of the Fitzroy Roy Boys. Walking out of here after our pots in another gem of a beer garden, the girls found a resting point in the setting light, before we walked down Rae Street to Tramway.

Getting back onto Nicolson Street, we found the TAB soaked Royal Oak, where Springer joined us for the rest of the crawl. Next up was possibly one of the finds of the day, the newly polished North Fitzroy Star. We took our pints up on the big beautiful table in the front bar, but found among the book-lined rooms the front restaurant room decked our for a wedding, and the back room prepared for a birthday gathering. A lovely pub and venue!

Back onto Brunswick Street North, we found the Lord Newry, where Springer's bunny ears appeared, and little chocolate eggs found their way to our pot glasses.

Making our way to the next pub, as Melbourne was getting darker, I managed to find myself on the ground at some point, minus a chuck of my right hand. Oops! Ouch! A pub crawl injury, which was tendered to at our next stop, the Recreation, where we also had a bite to eat to refuel. This is the last pub on the offical pathway on the map, however there are several more marked on the map close by, so we plotted ahead, and added three more stops.

Down to Alexander Parade, we stopped for a pot in Father Flanagan, and then walked a little further down for another at the Royal Derby. Beautiful comfy couches here, and a DJ playing just to himself!

The last stop was called Rubira's on the map, but named Ink now, Springer and I popped in for the last drink. Great crawl, some amazing pub finds, and a sore hand - all marks of a top day!

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