Feeling #blessed to live in a city that The Economist has named “the world’s most liveable” five times running? Melburnians, it’s time to make the most of what your city has to offer. Take a luxe staycation.
If you’re a Melbourne local, you probably know your own neighbourhood back to front – so we’ve set you up in the heart of the CBD to view the city through a tourist’s eyes.
Let the urban adventures begin.
Start your Melbourne love fest off right by doing the most Melbourne thing you can do: drink coffee.
The team at Manchester Press won’t bat an eyelid at orders that take longer than one breath to say, and they keep things interesting by hosting a rotating menu of guest brewers – single origin and batch varieties. They also churn their own house blend by 8oz Coffee Roasters.
A cafe where coffee is serious business. Picture: @manchesterpress/Facebook
Track them down in Rankins Lane, off Little Bourke Street.
If you’re pressed for time, you could easily grab a bagel at Manchester Press, and you wouldn’t be disappointed (they’re known for them).
But in the interests of packing as much into your staycation as possible, we suggest carb loading for activities – and seeing a bit more of the city en route – elsewhere.
Hit up Lune for a taste of heaven you won’t find in any other city. Founder Kate Reid was an aerodynamic engineer at Formula One before she designed the best damn croissant in the southern hemisphere – so you can only imagine the precise set of rules and formulas that have gone into crafting these now-famous pastries.
Flake perfection. Picture: Supplied by Lune
A visit to Lune’s Fitzroy headquarters in Rose Street is well worth it, but even if you arrive when doors open, you’ll wait in line. Since you’re in the city anyway, we suggest skipping the queues and visiting the CBD branch: Shop 16, 161 Collins Street, entering via Russell Street.
The traditional croissant is hard to beat, but for something a bit heftier, go the ham and gruyere.
This depends. If it’s a sunny day (and it’s a Wednesday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday) definitely jump on a tram from Flinders Street and head to South Melbourne Market. It’s a gastronomical feast for the senses, so bring your appetite, or at least your appreciation for a good taste-tester. From Polish delis to fishmongers, there’s plenty to sample such as cheeses, olives and freshly shucked oysters.
There’s something for everyone at the South Melbourne Market. Picture: South Melbourne Market
One stall simply not to be missed is the unassuming South Melbourne Market Dim Sims. These humble dimmies have made a name for themselves Melbourne-wide, and can be purchased steamed or fried, but always doused in soy and chilli sauce. Just be sure to grab a few extra serviettes.
If the Melbourne rain is beating down, umbrella-war your way across to Federation Square instead and pop into the NGV (National Gallery of Victoria). Their exhibitions are world-class and often not to be missed – last year’s Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei roadshows almost broke the hashtag #cultured on Instagram.
2pm: It’s now time to check in.
Adelphi is at the helm of Melbourne’s concept hotel scene and offers a sweet proposition: it’s dessert-themed. Rich, chocolate-toned furnishings team with sweet-patterned carpets and bar stools that look like liquorice all-sorts. With design guru Fady Hachem behind the interiors, and Michelin Star chef Jo Ward running the hotel’s signature Om Nom restaurant, it’s hard to go wrong.
Plus they give you treats, all-inclusive. Be warned, though: the chocolate-coated pretzels are addictive.
The best part of this hotel is undoubtedly its location, right on the doorstep of the CBD’s best restaurants, bars and iconic landmarks – catch Instagrammers snapping their little hearts out in -art-adorned AC/DC Lane, or duck down to The Forum to see a favourite band play in the gorgeous centuries-old venue. Or simply look down on it all from the glass-bottomed rooftop pool. Feeling baller yet?
We purposefully had you fill up on croissants and dim sims early in the day because we didn’t want you to ruin dinner. You’ll thank us later.
Adelphi is literally across the road from Supernormal, which specialises in the modern pan-Asian cuisine of your dreams. Don’t even hesitate, just get the banquet. For $69 per person, you’ll get all the best items on the menu, including the famous New England lobster rolls. Drool.
But Flinders Lane is also the home of Chin Chin, another failsafe choice. This Thai-fusion institution – famous for its refusal to book tables for less than 10 people, and the consequent lines out the door – is so yummy you won’t even be mad about it. We know it’s in Sydney now too, but Melbourne is HQ, and there’s something about the vibe in the humming city restaurant that’s hard to replicate.
Don’t miss the flavour explosions at Chin Chin’s Flinders Lane location. Picture: Supplied by Lucas Online
Dishes not to be missed are the kingfish sashimi, Son-in-law eggs and jungle fish curry. Purchase the cookbook on your way out to relive the foodgasm at a later date.
All good staycations end with a night cap. We suggest Siglo if you’re feeling fancy. Its rooftop looks out over Spring Street and Parliament House and is just a short walk from Flinders Lane.
Expect table service with a smile, a solid whiskey sour and a range of Cuban cigars, if that’s your jam.
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Article sourced from realestate.com.au