Melbourne could be described as quirky, charismatic, charming and sophisticated. It has a European feel. There is art oozing out of every nook and her creative inhabitants really rock. Different in a good way, would be an organically honest description this city's vibe. I was shown around by two locals this past weekend, really the only way to see a city right and today we are going to deal with this must see Australian destination in lists.
The Best Ice Cream
This is Jock's at 83 Victoria Rd Albert Park. It is a Melbourne institution and you can tell how popular it is, by all the people lining the pavement licking their cones. It was very yummy. I stuck with one scoop to avoid 'a moment on the lips and a lifetime on the hips' outcome. But it may be hard to stop at one.
The Funkiest Bar
Siglo Bar @ 161 Spring Street is way groovy. It's between The Windsor Hotel and The Princess Theatre. It's behind a beautifully fashioned vintage wooden door. You have to look hard not to miss it, which only ads to its intrigue. When you find it, walk up the stairs to level 2. Its' like a little bit of Paris smack bang in the middle of Melbourne. With great views of Parliament House and other historic buildings, serving tapas and fabulous local wines. It's outdoors and well heated in Winter.
This is Coda Restaurant in the Basement at 141 Flinders Lane. I didn't eat here, but it was packed and comes highly recommended. It's cuisine is modern Australian with an Asian bent
We did eat at Movida and it was gorgeous Spanish inspired tapas. Interesting dishes, fabulous service and buzzing with locals. 1 Hossier Lane Melbourne. There is a more affordable option in the adjoining bar, known as Movida Nextdoor. Bookings for the restaurant are well in advance, so try the bar if you are travelling to Melbourne on a whim.
Australian Traveller has described it as ' Probably the Best Tapas I've had in Australia'
The Best Markets
These are known as the Magnolia Street Markets and are a pop up event of carefully selected artisans, selling beautiful bespoke items ranging from clothing, jewellery, toys and gourmet food. I was lucky enough to be in town for the St Kilda version of these ab fab markets. Go here for the next pop up event. It will be totally worth it. Have a look at what I bought.
A beautiful resin rose ring, in the big is beautiful theme, from Keep Resin. Here's her FB page
This ring I adore and have been supporting it on my finger ever since I bought it. It's already started a few conversations and I've only been wearing it for 2 days.
I also bought this gorgeous Crayon Chick
crocheted garland for the Beach House Brat's Bedroom. It's so different and that is why I found these markets just so enchanting.
Find this garland and many more crocheted delights here
We only had time for a bite on he run. The food was delish and very reasonably priced.
The styling of this market by the Magnolia Square girls was something else. White and vintage......oh yeah it was good.
Exercise in Melbourne
Take a turn around Albert Park, home of the Melbourne Grand Prix and the Korowa Rowing Club.
Jog along the beach at St Kilda, take a dip in the sea, or if you prefer a more structured swim, try the St Kilda Baths.
Take a walk along the promenade at St Kilda. There are plenty of coffee stop options along the way.
Kite surfing is huge when the wind is on. I finally got a shot of this guy flying through the air.
And after you can exercise no more, vege out in the gorgeous afternoon sun.
Taking a walk at night is also the done thing in Melbourne. I was a little apprehesive upon entering Fitzroy Gardens on dusk, but my local guide, Marie, assured me it was fine and there were lots of people doing the same. I wouldn't be so happy doing it in Sydney, but it seemed quite OK here in Melbourne.
It was so safe, we even walked home along the Yarra River amongst the well lit street sculptures.
A Fabulous Breakky at Jerry's
So Jerry's Milkbar is a Melbourne icon. You know you are onto something when you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, and I mean that in the nicest way, and the place is rockin'. This place serves old style milkshakes and even has a lolly counter. I don't think 5 cents would fill a bag these days, but if you are at all nostalgic for the 60's and 70's, you will love this joint. The building is circa 1915 and Jerry's C.1964. It's famous for it's all day breakfasts, which by all reports are terrific. I had lunch.....choice is limited, but it was lovely. Find Jerry's at 345 Barkly St, Elwood.
The Best Vintage Shopping
This store, Empire Vintage, is full of eclectic pieces and for someone like me, it is to die for. Not cheap, but beautiful furniture and bric a brac, coupled with some fabulous vintage clothing, complete the fabulous shopping experience, that is this store.
Located @ 63 Cardigan Place, Albert Park, it is in a lovely little ribbon shopping development. My local guide and friend Amanda, said the seafood buffet, at the Albert Park Hotel, just down the road, is pretty good for value as well. Take tram #1 from Swanston Street Station, which takes you right to the centre of Albert Park. It's that easy.
There's also plenty of vintage shopping to be had in St Kilda. At the intersection of Grey and Barkly Streets, one block back from St Kilda Road, there are several stand out vintage stores to keep you busy. My favs were Scout House......largely with an industrial bent and The Bitch is Back, with some gorgeous 20th Century retro pieces.
So if there's not enough to keep you busy here, have a look at the story I did on Williamstown when I was in Melbourne last Christmas. Just a short ferry ride from Melbourne central at South Bank.
I adore this city and I hope I have highlighted for you, a few of the local hangouts you might not find on the standard tourist brochure. Go well my friends.
Today I am linking with