The best hot cross buns in Melbourne – and other important issues

Easter and my lack of self-control when I’m not feeling 100% have a lot to answer for.  But it’s all in the name of research – no really!  This year my brother and I decided to test the claims made in ‘The Age’ about who’s hot cross bun’s were the best in Melbourne.  Fortunately he had a tennis tournament over the weekend so was able to work off a few of the buns and while I did a bit of walking it wasn’t nearly enough.  I’m hoping that walking 100-200km will help with that but it would be good to lose a couple of cm’s before I go.  But hey, it’s easter and I was pretty well behaved all things considered – it’s not like I reduced myself to a hot cross bun coma or anything!  So, what makes a good hot cross bun? you ask.  Well hot cross bun tasting is kind of like wine tasting – there are a lot of factors to consider.  But before we go into those details let me clarify the most important point; I am talking about REAL hot cross buns – not buns with no fruit (seriously, you might as well not bother) and certainly not chocolate chip buns with crosses on them.  Now, what makes a good hot cross bun;

  • Spicy dough – cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg etc – all the yummy spices that smell wonderful and make your mouth water
  • Fruit – plump, juicy and plenty of it!  Apart from citrus peel – I am against peel in buns it is unpleasant
  • Texture – nice and soft and springy and fresh – not hard and chewy

Putting all that into consideration, the 4 buns we tried were ranked thus:

  1. South Melbourne Market buns – By far the best toasted – full of plump, juicy fruit and yummy spice
  2. Safeway/Woollworths buns – spicy and delicious but not quite enough fruit.  Yummy before being toasted but the fruit is a problem – would have made a clear number one if it wasn’t for the lack of fruit (actually were number one for quite a while until we discovered the south melbourne market ones)
  3. Coles buns – harder texture, too thick and not springy enough – disappointing fruit (maybe lower grade raisins)
  4. Brumby’s buns – they were big and pretty and spicy but the fruit was also disappointing.
So there you go – next year try the buns from the South Melbourne Market, they’re completely worth the calorie hit!

The other thing I did over the weekend was finalise my travel plans for June.  So now my itinerary for walking the Camino de Santiago (and having a bit of a holiday!) is complete I can finally share it!

  • Tuesday 31st May – arrive in Paris and invade the rellies house!
  • Saturday 4th June – plane from Paris to Leon then spend a couple of days exploring Leon and surrounds (including a medieval fair complete with historical jousting re-enactment to commemorate the tale that supposedly inspired Don Quixote – woohoo!) and make my way to the point where I start walking
  • Thursday 9th June – Start walking from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela.  The distance is just over 100km and I have 13 days to walk it if I have to.  Otherwise I might have time to walk the extra 80km or so to Finisterre (the end of the world) and explore a bit before I return to Paris
  • Wednesday 22nd June – plane back to Paris
  • Monday 27th June – Asterix park with my cousin!  I love Asterix park, we went there a few years ago and they have one of the best roller coasters I have ever been on – 7 corkscrew loops in a row!  I’m a bit of a roller coaster junkie 🙂
  • Tuesday 28th June – catch Eurostar from Paris to London
  • Thursday 30th June – My baby brother arrives in London and we see Arcade Fire and Mumford and Sons in Hyde Park
  • Sunday 3rd July – I head home 😦
Now I just need to organise travel insurance.  I have a few candidates but it’s looking like I will have trouble getting cover for my pre-existing medical issues; the sinusitis would have been covered if I hadn’t had my hospital visit in January.  Actually, it might not be once I start having the ivig infusions because I’d need to go in to hospital for that too.  No cardiac conditions are completely covered and even though they specifically state high blood pressure etc as conditions they wont cover and low blood pressure doesn’t get a mention I’m pretty sure it would be included in the list…
I still have a month to sort it all out and see how I go on the new medication – Midodrine – which I will be starting later in the week.  It is supposed to help increase blood pressure by constricting veins so there’s less area for the blood to go through meaning more of an effort to get it through the circulatory system.
I am also still waiting for the results of last fortnight’s blood test but as it’s been an incredibly long weekend I’m not holding my breath!  At least  have time to have an infusion before I go if the results show I need it (and figure out if I react to it or not).  I think I might take Ding in with me, maybe he’ll bring me luck as my travel mascot – to help me actually get to the travel bit 🙂
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