A perfect lazy Sunday for father's day, so we decided to cruise down towards Torquay for a look at the surf brand outlets and waterfront. Upon arriving it was time for brunch, perfect timing by me.

Tucked away behind the Ripcurl store, is a little cafe / restaurant called 'Sticks & Stones' that offers specialty coffee and various brunch & lunch meals + cakes.


A quick glance over the menu, and we were sold on the Ricotta Hotcakes. One with banana, chocolate, icecream, & roasted coconut. The other with orange, rhubarb, whipped cream, & mint. We had the kids with us, so it was an ideal combination of hotcake tapas on the table.

It was probably my first 'ricotta' hotcake experience that i've had, and we were well impressed. Think super fluffy, mini sponge cakes. There went down a treat.


The coffee was also delicious. With the kids smashing their babycinnos in a record 30 secs! I didn't ask which beans they were using for the adult coffees, but the roast was quite light and they were served at a spot-on temp. While we were seated, a steady stream of locals were dropping in to order a takeaway brew.


There restaurant had a Persian theme and feel to it, with world music being played in the background and mini rug covers under glass on each table. They were just missing the Shisha. The menu also had quite a few fusion plates, but we didn't indulge this time. 

Overall the brunch was delicious, staff were friendly, coffee spot-on, and the place was kid friendly. The brunch came in at under $45 for 4 people. (2 x Hotcakes, 2 x Coffees, 2 x Babycinnos).


★★★★ -  Perfect for a sneaky brunch or lunch down the coast.


Shop 20, 61 Surf Coast Highway, Torquay, Victoria



One of the best firework shows I have been to....... ever!

Toda, which is located on the river border-line between Tokyo and Saitama prefectures, put on an amazing display of fireworks as part of the Summer celebrations.

We decided to book tickets, as the crowd expected was an enormous number. We secured a small grassy spot in the roped off area and enjoyed the classic balmy summer sunset, with a soft breeze breaking the 34degree humid conditions. 

I guess I don't have much to compare this firework event against, except the odd agricultural show in Australia or a NYE event. Most of these Australian events stop at about the 20min mark with the organisers boasting $x million spent of fireworks. Well.... this Japanese show went for 1.5 hours with the detailed pamphlet not only giving a timeline of each firework shape and type, but claiming in excess of 15,000 seperate firework rockets to light up the sky.

I couldn't think of a better way to sit back and enjoy a hot summer night, and about 200,000 people had the same idea with both sides of the river completely crowded. 

I have to mention the efficiency of clearing the crowd after the event. The enormous line of people slowly marched towards the one train station in town without ever stopping. When at the station it was extremely busy, but we were loaded onto a train and sent home in about 10 min of reaching the station. 

The wife says that there are even better events in Tokyo, but I out this down as my best fireworks experience ever.