Information: Books for Cooks: Address: 129-131 Therry St Melbourne VIC 3000 [opposite the Queen Victoria Market] Phone: +61 3 8415 1415| Hours: Monday-Sunday, 9 to 5. Most public holidays 11-5. Closed on Easter Friday, Easter Sunday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day & New Year’s Day
When I was living in Melbourne, I made weekly trips to Queen Victoria Market, (or Vic Market). For a student on a limited budget, the Market was a wonderful place to hunt for fresh produce, fruit, and an occasional bunch of flowers. 10 years later, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Market for the most part, still looked largely the same. One “new to me” addition that I really wanted to explore was Books for Cooks, which is located on Therry Street, just across from Vic Market. Books for Cooks is an independent culinary bookstore, filled to the brim with new and old books about food and wine.
In addition to cookbooks, there are novels about food, books about food history, food science and food writing. I spent a happy two hours here, browsing through the shelves.
Since I was in my version of paradise, I totally lost track of time. By the time I realized how late it was, I only had about an hour left before needed to head back to make dessert for a dinner party we were throwing that night.
I did a quick walk through the main building of Vic Market for nostalgia’s sake. Since it was Saturday morning, it was very crowded. Then I ducked quickly into the side buildings. We didn’t really need any groceries, so I just picked up a few things here and there.
I also selected a few bunches of flowers for the dinner party. By then, I was starting to feel the need for a coffee.
There was an outdoor cafe conveniently located just a few steps away, so I ordered a flat white, and drank it in leisure, before heading back to take the train.
When I got back to the house, I realized that cooking was in full swing, and there wasn’t quite room in the kitchen for me to start baking, so I laid out all my market purchases so I could admire them. One fruit we don’t have in Taiwan is fresh apricots. So whenever I see them, I make sure that I eat my fill to tide me over until next time. These carrots were also sweet and crisp. (They were delicious in a veggie and prawn vermicelli stir-fry).
Oh, and these are the two books I bought from Books for Cooks~ both I think would serve as handy reference books. The book on the right is actually a vintage home economics textbook. It will be interesting to see how to run a home changes over time.
One question that I was asked several times during my trip was, do you miss living in Melbourne? I realized that I occasionally do miss Melbourne’s generous sidewalks, outdoor spaces and slower pace of life, and I feel fortunate to have re-experienced and appreciated it all during this time around.
Books for Cooks: Address: 129-131 Therry St Melbourne VIC 3000 [opposite the Queen Victoria Market] Phone: +61 3 8415 1415| Hours: Monday-Sunday, 9 to 5. Most public holidays 11-5. Closed on Easter Friday, Easter Sunday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day & New Year’s Day
Queen Victoria Market: Address: Queen St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia | Public Transportation: By Tram: the Market is located within the free tram zone. Take the 19, 57 or 59 to Stop 7, Elizabeth St or Tram 58 to Stop 9, Peel St. By Train: a 7 minute walk from Melbourne Central and Flagstaff Stations. Walk north along Elizabeth or William Street | Hours: Closed Mondays and Wednesdays. Make sure to check their website before your trip, for their up-to-date hours of operation)