Butter and pounds: it’s all a bit rich

How’s that couple in the UK who won £161 million the other day? That’s a whole lot of pounds. Yet they’ll keep the car and the same house, but might go on a few holidays…

Just as well they were retired, as I don’t buy that line that people say they’ll continue to work. Yeah, right! Like I’m going to keep slogging it out for some bogan boss who can’t believe I still turn up at 9am every single day.  

I don’t buy that line that money won’t change us. Hell yes. Change me, baby. Change me. Bring on the vintage champagne and pool boy, I say. Sort of like that Imperial Leather ad doing the rounds at the moment. That’s my style..

One thing I would do would be to continue to eat incessantly around Melbourne. And one place I’d continue to haunt would be Le Traiteur. People, if you haven’t eaten there, go immediately. The kitchen churns out fresh baguettes and pastries twice daily, so the cafe is constantly perfumed by the smell of fresh-baked bread – that smell so beloved of real estate agents because it immediately makes us wrap our arms around our (ample) selves, and say, ‘I love this place’ (and, if it is an Australian house, ‘ I want to spend the next 30 years working to pay for it.’)

Back to Le Traiteur, it’s deliciously French with an Aussie twist, with gorgeous mustards, relishes, lots and lots of porky things and now I know where I’ll buy my next lot of saffron from. I was willingly led there by G, who knows her onions, pates, terrines and brioches. I was uncharacteristically early, so watched the legals around me scoff the last remaining pies de jour (a sensational looking chicken and leek). Dammit, I wanted to rip the pies from their very plates. But I desisted, instead taking G’s recommendation for a brioche so buttery it should carry a health warning.

The service: charming (hey, they welcomed a pram into the cafe during the lunchtime rush and owner Nick came out for a baby cuddle). The coffee: fabulous. Stick your nose in; trust me you won’t regret it.

Le Traiteur: 552 Lonsdale St, Melbourne

About the author

Fear is found on a creaking glacier in the Caucasus mountains and joy is encapsulated in the perfect Shanghai dumpling. And while I love a $500-a-night hotel room (who doesn’t?), sometimes the best stories are found in a $20 guesthouse. With an eye always out for good markets and great street eats, I write the travel news and features for the Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne’s The Age newspapers, and features for whoever else asks. I have a particular soft spot for the wilds of the Middle East, scarves and carpets. My articles and photographs have been published in a range of consumer magazines and newspapers in Australia and abroad, and occasionally I chat on radio, too, from Essentials Magazine to 3AW or the Irish Times.

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