Ah, the culture capital of Australia. We went for the food…
Stayed for the week at the Park Hyatt located just behind Parliament House near the Fitzroy Gardens, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and a short stroll to the CBD. Our lovely king room had a great bath – complete with TV! I basically spent a week watching E! from the bath. Awesomes.
We did a lot of laneway wandering and coffee-spot-hopping for the most chilled out of weeks. Obviously our first port of call was Pelligrini’s (66 Bourke Street) for their fantastic lasagne and watermelon crushes (we visited more than once…). Tutto Bene following a stroll around Southbank (and some losses in the Crown casino) is a really lovely spot for a bite. We just came here for some post-Pelligrinis dessert – John got a cheese board (as he’s now such an adult) and I got an amazing Tiramisu and a Bellini. Perfetto. We did go back for their award-winning gelato another evening (also good but not as good as the Anita experience in Sydney).
We spent a lot of time wandering around the shops in the CBD and checked out the new Emporium shopping centre. Not everything is open here yet – Topshop is coming in July but Uniqlo took the top spot for queues and seemed to be a crowd-pleaser as all of Melbourne seemed to be carrying their logo-laden shopping bags. H&M (which also sells their home range) just opened in the old GPO building. Oh Lord the queues – insane. Melbourne Central shopping centre is connected to the back of the Emporium and is probably a nicer shopping experience. David Jones and Myers had sales on so we took advantage (a little bit since we’re currently trying to save save save for South America later on this year). Just things we needed you know.
There are plenty of shops around the Prahran/South Yarra area which kept us busy (read: Topshop, Witchery…), only a short tram trip from the city. Chapel Street Bazaar is the coolest retro and vintage store – it’s huge and we whiled away quite a bit of time in here. The Olsen and Cullen Art Series hotels are out here too and I think in a great location for a girlie weekend away. Prahran Market (closed Mondays and Wednesdays) is a great spot for a potter round. Not a huge food market but nice for a wander and some photo opps. Market Lane Coffee at the back of the building sells their own roasted coffee beans and brewing equipment. They also host some roasting classes and I think cupping classes too (all these coffee classes are a huge deal in Australia these days). Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio up near the Olsen has lovely little cakes too.
We took the tram to Brunswick for a few hours to check out the area; hipster spot if ever I’ve seen one. It was pretty drizzly so we checked out Code Black Coffee Roasters, which does a fabulous gluten free muesli with coconut yoghurt and berry coulis and eggs for John. No matter what time we get out and about we have to search for a spot that sells eggs on toast with avocado. Men! This is such a large space with a huge area at the back of the building for roasting. Very unassuming from the outside; kind of like walking into a car tyre changing spot to be honest! Amazing spot though. Had to purchase more coffee beans here…our luggage allowance back to Sydney was pretty much entirely taken up by coffee-kgs! We took a stroll over to Brunswick East via some cute side streets to check out the Brunswick East Project – for yet more coffee…and more to take home. The Lost Weekend vintage market is out here but sadly we weren’t there at the weekend; it’s housed in a pretty cool spot.
ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image) is hosting a Dreamworks Animation exhibition at the moment, which we obviously went to since we have a combined maturity age of 12. So amazing to see the work that goes in to animations – new appreciation for sure. Virgin are doing concession tickets for Velocity members so that was a nice little surprise.
Some Culinary Spots
1000 £ Bend on Little Lonsdale Street is a bustling café and gallery with lovely bircher muesli. We’ve been to the Manchester Press (8 Rankins Lane) on most of our Melbourne trips. They do really nice bagels and there’s often a serious queue waiting to sample them. We tried to get in to Hardware Société (120 Hardware Street) a few times but the queues were of astronomical proportions and ain’t nobody got time for that. The Journal Café in the CAE building on Flinders Lane is a lovely spot for a chai latte. The macarons in the Little Royal just off Bourke Street mall are amazing. Better than Ladurée. There, said it. The Switchboard Café (220 Collins Street) is in a blink and you’ll miss it spot but is so cute. Ca de Vin in Postal Lane next to the GPO (now H&M) for a charcuterie plate and some vino. Tasty. The Mess Hall (across from Pelligrini’s on Bourke Street) is a really nice dinner spot. We both ended up with the beetroot tagliatelle. We had a quick catch up lunch with a friend at GAZI on the day we left, run by Masterchef’s George Calombaris. Pretty tasty.
We had all these plans to go to Daylesford to check it out (really cute spa town about 90 minutes drive from Melbourne) but café life took over. Such is life!