Monday, June 24, 2013

Hello Melbourne

I recently took a trip to Melbourne with my husband, my Mum & Dad, and my sister & her boyfriend. We had such a great 5 day break as a fam in this gorgeous city. Now I've been to Melbourne plenty of times but it's been quite a few years since my last visit and this time round we had a fantastic location on Flinders Lane at the Grand Mercure Apartments, and managed to do quite a lot in a few short days.

This is by no means a sponsored post, I just really wanted to share with you some of our highlights and favourite locations, restaurants, events etc. The main details I noticed this time round in Melbourne were the gorgeous, old buildings, the high standard of restaurants & abundance of fantastic little wine bars, the slew of great bars tucked away in the city's laneways, and the friendliness of all the staff we met in the shops and restaurants. 

Day 1
My husband and I arrive to our hotel early in the afternoon - the rest of the family not arriving until the evening due to all of our flights being cancelled (not naming any airline names...) and us all being moved onto random, different flights. Anyway... we were pleasantly surprised by our modern, stylishly appointed 2 bedroom apartment at the Grand Mercure on Flinders Lane. May I just say, I loved these apartments! They were so stylish & spacious, and the staff were so friendly and helpful. It was such a great location too. After dropping off our bags, we walked a few blocks up to the Queen Victoria Market to stock our little fridge up with cheeses, olives, prosciutto, feta stuffed peppers, marscapone stuffed figs, quince paste, dips, hand made chocolates, fruit & wine. Delicious! When my parents arrived we indulged in a few of these goodies before heading up Flinders Lane to a cosy wine bar, Virginia Plain, for a delicious dinner - recommended to us by a random gentleman on he street. We picked up some fresh churros on the way back to the apartment to welcome my sister & her man.

Day 2
We all hopped on a tram to Brunswick Street and indulged in a French-style brekkie at Madame SouSou. I had the Sweetcorn & Zucchini Fritters with smoked salmon, avocado salsa, and horseradish creme. Felt like I was back in Paree ;-) The rest of our day was spent shopping Brunswick Street. My highlights being Hemley Store (the girls were so damn helpful!), Kleins Perfumery (they have a store cat, TC, who has lived there for over 10 years!), and Flowers Vasette (yeah, I know I can't buy any when I'm on holiday but they had a stunning selection at great prices & the staff were so willing to share their knowledge of all the flora we were interested in).

In the evening we shouted my parents dinner at Movida Aqui. I highly recommend this place. Our waiter was so charming and attentive, helping us choose just the right amount of dishes to share between the table. My highlights from the menu were:
Carrillera de Buey - slowly braised beef cheek in Pedro Ximenez on cauliflower puree (melts in the mouth)
Bocadillo de Calamares - calamari sandwich with Basque guindilla and mayonnaise
Bistec - Rangers Valley wagyu flank steak with a slow cooked egg and sherry vinegar glazed mushrooms
Of course for dessert we can never turn down Churros con Chocolate!
After dinner, Mum & Dad headed home while us kids decided to check out a couple of cocktail bars. We sipped on some delicious concoctions at laneway bars GOGO Bar and Misty.

Day 3
  Mum & Dad got up early and decided that they'd cook us a hearty brekkie - so cute. Then we all jumped on a tram and headed to Chapel Street for some more shopping. Our favourite stores on this iconic shopping strip were Lee Jeans (they were having a 30% off sale so we all stocked up on our favourite jeans), The Bronze Snake Shop, Life With Bird pop-up store (my sister & I nabbed the steal of our trip here with nude suede wedges marked down from $550 to $90!!), and ML Denim on Greville St. We had the most delicious lunch and wines at Kazbar. After a huge lunch we decided to just relax back at our apartment in the early evening & pollish off those cheeses and wines instead of eating dinner. Then we took a stroll down to Crown Casino where we found some great restaurants which I've taken note of for next time. We stopped at Lumia Cocktail Bar for short while where I sipped on a Rose & Lychee Martini. Yum!

Day 4
The hubby & I headed off to the National Gallery of Victoria to see Monet's Garden exhibition. Fantastic! I had such a wonderful day. I was completely in my element. Just loved it! Next we met up with my sister and her BF for a late lunch at The Meatball & Wine Bar. After downing my beef meatballs with pesto salsa verde on potato smash and few vinos I was convinced that this was the best meal I'd ever had! Seriously EVER! I need to get back to this place. In the afternoon we had a few cheeky ciders at the Rooftop Cider Bar at Young & Jackson. I had the Cheeky Rascal Summerberry Cider - delicious!

We met up with some good friends of ours who live in Melbourne for dinner at Touche Hombre for some Mexican delights. Not only was the food fantastic but the Blood Orange Madagascar cocktail served in a giant rooster jug was just the ticket. We ended our night at Rooftop Bar where we sat in the open with a heater and some blankies overlooking the city of Melbourne warming ourselves sipping hot buttered rum.

Day 5
Today meant home time but we had a few hours up our sleeves before we had to get to the airport. So we strolled along the Yarra, had a quick shop at DFO and lunched at Bohemian Bar & Restaurant. I highly recommend the Crema Catalana for dessert - an Orange & lemon infused set custard - yum!

These were the highlights of our trip. I really adore Melbourne. I just love the lifestyle down there. Have you been? Do you live there perhaps? Any other recommendations for my next trip?

Clare x

Top 7 images by Creative Flair Photography
Others from my instagram


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Lena! If you ever get to Oz Melbourne is definitely worth a visit.

      C x

  2. Quite a lug for Melbourne ... It is a great city. I have been there many times and each time I discover something new. So filled with ambience. Yolanda xx

    1. Same, Yolanda! I discover new places every single time I go there.

      C x

  3. Awesome post, Clare!!!! And Glenn's photos were gorgeous too. And seriously, how pretty is the architecture!! I've only ever been to Melbourne once, and I was only a wee little girl so I haven't enjoyed any of the cheeky cider bars or tasted any cocktails from giant rooster jugs. We should plan a girls weekend there soon (ok, we'll let the boys tag along), and maybe you guys can be our tour guide! After all, you have got all those new restaurants to try ;)

    Katie x

  4. Really?! We've got to get you down there pronto! Let's do it! You & Ben will love the food down there.

    C x

  5. Hi there! glad to drop by your page and found these very interesting and informative stuff. Thanks for sharing, keep it up!


Thanks for sharing on Soulful Mama ~ Clare x