Soon after, we made our way to Rundle Mall and Street, just down the street and across a junction. We caught a glimpse of the Rundle Balls (no kidding, it’s a landmark really called that) and a few of the Adelaide Fringe Festival performances.
While Rundle Mall provided for the usual mall stuff, we garnered a few ideas from their Fringe and Festival Box Offices, like how all festival tickets are 50% if you bought them between 12 noon to 3pm. I thought it was a cool idea to get more people interested or participating.
Moving on to Rundle Street, we looked around a few shops (art supplies, window shopping), and took a few turns before we found ourselves a street off Rundle, at Grenfell Street. Looking for some lunch, we decided to stop at a place the Tiger was recommending before we flew to Australia.
Started by an Australian and French husband and wife team, Le Carpe Diem is a bright, open café and patisserie along Grenfell Street. We were greeted in French before being ushered to our seats. After a quick look through our menu, we ordered – the Tiger got a Le Traditionelle, and I got a Rouen, both accompanied by a frothy cup of Belgian hot chocolate.
The hot chocolate was served together with a karafe of iced water, while I was in the middle of photographing the interiors and the Tiger was whipping his sketchbook out. Topped with an Everest of whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa, we were in for another surprise when the hostess brought another jug of hot chocolate each – “The rest of it,” as we were told.
Our galettes (savoury crepes) came shortly after. The Tiger’s Le Traditionelle was a buckwheat crepe with gruyere, ham, and egg. My Rouen was a buckwheat crepe with mushrooms, swiss, and crème fraische. While I normally am a fan of savoury pastry (like how I like sausage and eggs with my waffles), this blew me away.
Cheese and mushrooms form a combination that will hardly cause complaints – we have it in pasta bakes, pizza, pratas (in Singapore, at least). In this number, the combination of swiss and fresh cut mushrooms provided a burst of flavour and silky texture. Together with the subtle nuttiness of the buckwheat and the tang of the crème fraische, your palette will be sent for a ride through the tunnel of culinary love with this place.
Similarly, the Belgian hot chocolate was a great pairing. The incredibly dark chocolate gave a subtle bitterness that slowly evolved into a sweetness that slid down your throat, aided by the smooth cream sitting afloat the brown liquid goodness.
And if that was not enough, we got a sweet crepe of a dessert topped with Belgian chocolate sauce, chocolate ice cream, orange slices, and a Grand Mariner drizzle. If that was not enough, they set it aflame in front of you – think a deconstructed (but not so) Crepe Suzette.
While the dessert crepe did not disappoint, what caught my attention was the Cannele de Bordeaux, a French pastry that’s caramelized on the outside but soft and chewy on the inside. Think a more solid crème brulee, encased in its caramelized topping, reduced down to a size of a madeleine. *smacks lips*
The only thing that could complete that imagination was sitting in a café in Paris itself. And Le Carpe Diem’s simple but quaint décor completed the entire package. In fact, it was such a welcoming place we actually went back the following night (where the Tiger got caught drawing their counter front. LOL!)
Le Carpe Diem is located at 230 – 232 Grenfell Street, Adelaide, SA 5000. For more information on them, click here.
After which, we made a quick shuffle to the Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden, where the Adelaide Writers’ Week was held. I went for True Grit, a panel featuring authors David Vann and D.W. Wilson, while the Tiger sat at the back and drew some more. If you would like a more detailed account of the panel, click here.
We took a walk along the Adelaide Festival Centre after the panel and getting our books signed, resulting in the following barrage of photos.
All this before having a quick Mexican takeaway dinner downstairs and heading back upstairs to rest up for an early morning the next day. So that’s Day #2 for you, and I’ll leave all of you with the pictures of our Mexican dinner.