St Kilda is lively at night, and laid back by day. It’s so easy to nip down there by tram from the centre of Melbourne that I took to eating breakfast and an evening meal there. On Sunday morning there is a craft market. When I return to Melbourne next I’ll seriously consider staying in St Kilda rather than in Melbourne itself.
It has three living monuments to the history of entertainment – the Palais Theatre, Luna Park and the St Kilda Pier.
The pier has a chequered history. The original timber jetty was replaced by the present concrete structure on a slightly different alignment. The charming and much loved pavilion, known locally as the “kiosk”, was destroyed by fire in 2003, and as a result of vehemently expressed public opinion was rebuilt in its original form, with a cool, glass-fronted modern extension behind which houses Little Blue [www.stkildapierkiosk.com.au]. Here you can eat either in air-conditioned comfort or wafted by natural breezes: I had a restorative risotto, while others around me tucked into Sunday brunch.
Beyond the pier and its kiosk is a breakwater, part of which is fenced off as a wildlife reserve.
I liked The St Kilda Pelican [16 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, 3182 VIC] for its intriguing wooden veranda with circular openings through which to see and be seen, its relaxed, sunny, morning atmosphere, and its eggs Florentine for breakfast.
There’s a plethora of choices for an evening-meal venue at St Kilda Beach. I stumbled upon The Street Café [www.thestreetcafe.com.au] which I enjoyed so much I made a second visit. This return visit showed that what I thought was pumpkin and lamb soup the first time was in fact pumpkin and lime. (I still have trouble with Australian vowels.) The service at The Street Café is highly polished, and it’s possible to sit by the window watching the people go past in the evening sun. Food and entertainment is what the seaside should be about.