Often rated as one of the world’s most liveable cities, Melbourne is the perfect mix of sophistication and edge.
An ordered grid of city central streets play host to a thriving metropolis full of street art, coffee culture, restaurants and boutiques. It’s a city known for international events, such as the Australian Open, the Australian F1 Grand Prix and the Spring Racing Carnival, But in our eyes, wandering the labyrinth of hidden laneways and arcades reigns as the supreme Melbourne experience.
Fashion Quarterly’s ultimate Victorian must-dos:
Breakfast at Higher Ground,
650 Little Bourke St.
Claiming to be “Not really a café, not really a restaurant”, Higher Ground invites you to come for breakfast and stay for dinner”. Opt for the buffalo yogurt chia with muddled strawberries, mint and pistachio for a fresh and light start to the day. Top Tip: You’ll likely have to queue for a table, but what better excuse to people watch the stylish clientele while you wait.
Take a load off at Miss Fox,
285 Collins St.
Immerse yourself in this one-stop beauty shop to revive after hours wandering the streets. With offerings that cover cosmetic, therapeutic and grooming, whether you’re there for a massage, manicure or martini, a sense of vintage glamour and blissful state of balance defines the Miss Fox experience. Try the 90 minute Divine Rose Balm Massage, which includes a piccolo of Moët to enjoy post-massage in a relaxation room.
Reboot with lunch at Serotonin Eatery,
52 Madden Grove, Burnley.
Just a short Uber away, situated in an old bar, you’ll find Serotonin Eatery which specialises in cuisine that enhances your mood. The delicious plant-based fare regulates neurotransmitters and hormone activity, keeping your mood and gut happy and giving you more energy for activities you love. Like shopping! Try the deconstructed sushi bowl and the golden smiley-faced latte, made from turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, pepper and spun almond milk.
Taste Victoria with dinner at Taxi Kitchen,
Federal Square, Swanston St.
Look back at Flinders Street station and the river as you enjoy a degustation of Asian-influenced Australian dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. Try wine-matched, expertly paired and Victorian- sourced wines.
Sleep over at Crown Metropol,
8 Whiteman Street, Southbank.
Stay overnight at the Crown Metropol. Not only is it light, bright and luxurious, with great views and a 27th floor swimming pool, but it is also conveniently situated next to the Crown entertainment complex. Hello to dinner at Nobu and the high-end shopping district on Southbank.
For a change of pace, take a drive to the Yarra Valley,
Approx 50 minutes from Melbourne CBD.
For somewhere so close to an urban metropolis, the Yarra Valley feels like it’s a million miles away. Jam-packed full of vineyards, with more than 50 cellar doors and arguably home to some of the best cold climate wines Australia has to offer, as well as mountain ash forests full of wild life, historically important Aboriginal art and a thriving foodie community.
For an afternoon tipple, we say head to Four Pillars Distillery,
2a Lilydale Road, Healesville.
Launched in late 2013, Four Pillars gin has quickly gained international accolades. Brewed in small batches and flavoured with native Australian botanicals, this craft spirit has a cult following (including the Fashion Quarterly team). Try the extremely limited and only available at the cellar door Bloody Shiraz gin; steeped in Yarra Valley Shiraz grapes from the 2016 vintage, this gin has a clear peppery and dense raspberry flavour. Enjoy with soda or tonic for a perfect blush-hued summer quencher.
Roll on to dinner at Meletos,
12 St Huberts Rd, Coldstream.
Nestled amongst an orchard of crab-apple trees, in a collection of repurposed, abandoned farm buildings, you’ll find regional café and gourmet pizzeria Meletos, something of a local institution. If you visit on a clear night, you can take advantage of the low light pollution and enjoy a little star gazing with your main course. Also, don’t miss the margaritas.
Stay overnight at the Yering Gorge Cottages,
215 Victoria Road, Yering.
Cute, modern self-contained cottages stationed on the banks of the Yarra River in 44 hectares of nature reserve filled with gum and eucalyptus trees and plenty of kangaroos and Australian native birds.
View the Yarra from an aerial prospective,
with Global Ballooning
It is totally worth the 4:30am alarm call. Victoria’s largest hot air ballooning company offers flights over Melbourne and the Yarra Valley. Experience the romance of a hot air balloon flight followed by a champagne breakfast. Our advice is to pack a warm coat, and be prepared to roll your sleeves up as helping the pilot set up is part of the fun.
* For more information about the great things you can see, do and eat in Melbourne: visitmelbourne.com is the official internet home of the city’s tourism; Experienceoz.com.au has a great shopping guide; and thatsmelbourne.com.au is your culinary go-to resource.