Friday, August 9, 2013

An Adelaide gals guide to Melbourne-the 2013 edition.

I have just returned from the most amazing weekend in Melbourne. If you love good food, drinks, art, design and shopping, then you will know what I am talking about. 
I have been to Melbourne many times before but this time, we just seemed to get it right. I think it helped that we went sans children and husbands. It was just us gals, and all the time in the world to go where we wanted for as long as we wanted. 

Im by no means a Melbourne expert, in fact, on my own I would get quite lost. But I know good food and shopping when I see it. 

So, you have three days in Melbourne with your girlfriends. What to do? Where to go?

My must do's in Melbourne:

BREAKFAST: Anywhere in Degraves Street. We went to RBM and The Quarter and both were amazing! Degraves is crazy busy in the mornings but be patient, its worth the wait for a table. 

sweet decor at The Quarter
My breakfast at The Quarter. 

Graces Cafe in Fitzroy. Great to sit out the front on the milk-crates-come-stools and people-watch the uber-trendy artsy folk that ride around on vintage inspired bicycles in their designer jeans and grandpa cardi's. 

DINNER:  Movida  Ive been to both the original on Hosier Lane and Movida Aqui. Both are just....just....incredible, amazing, mouth-watering, delicious, insatiable. The mushrooms. You MUST order the mushrooms! The margheritas are pretty damn good also, but at $17.50 a pop, go easy. Order a jug of sangria as well to drink in between. 

BOOK EARLY! At least 3 months in advance....
Cocktails at Movida

 Chin Chin They don't take bookings but again, be patient, its worth the wait. Go to Chin Chin, give them your name, number of diners and your mobile and they will text you when your table is ready. What to do in the meantime? Head downstairs to the Go Go bar for some cocktails. 
Herbal tea at Chin Chin

Transport Bar For a casual feed and a cider. Great atmosphere and very cool interior. I love their salt'n'pepper squid. 

TREAT: So we didn't really do lunch as we were always too full from breakfast and then not wanting to spoil our appetite for dinner. But there is always room for coffee and a cake or a macaroon or a cupcake or a brownie or, or, or.....

Last year we went to the Lindt cafe on Collins Street. I have never tasted such an indulgent, decadent hot chocolate. My choice? The dark chocolate with soy. One word:yum! And it always tastes better when you have been outside shopping in the chilly Melbourne weather.  

This year we tried Koko Black in Chadstone. Again, wow! My tip? The dessert degustation to share with a friend or two. And at only $22, surprisingly affordable for such decadent, edible works of art. They also had dairy free treats as well which pleased my dairy-free friend to no end!

'Dessert Degustation'  at Koko Black
All credit for organising this years trip goes to this gal, my bestie Casey 

I also cant go past a Starbucks when I'm in Melbourne. I just love their silky, sweet style of coffee and they don't have any left in Adelaide any more.  

SHOP: Ok so there are the obvious Bourke Street Mall, Chapel Street, Chadstone Shopping Centre and all the DFO's. But when I'm in Melbourne, I want to find things I cant find in Adelaide. So this year, we booked an op shop tour with Melbourne Op Shop Tours. Laura, from A little Boutique Near Home was our very knowledgeable and friendly guide. I finished the tour with 3 bags full and a lot more cash remaining in my purse than I would of expected. My best bargains? A near new Wish cami for $8 and a pair or Zoe Witner tan pumps for $14. We did southern Melbourne this year, so next year we will book in for a northern suburbs tour as recommended by Laura. 

my op shop tour best buys

But by far, the Rose Street Artists Markets were the highlight of the trip for me. Open every Saturday and Sunday on Rose Street in Fitzroy. Lots of cute and kitsch handmade hair accessories and jewellery ( I stocked up big time for the little lady), amazing collections by local artists from sculptures and clay works, to paintings and photography. And lots and lots of random, awesome things you didn't know you needed like a hot air balloon key ring (me) or a lego brick bag tag (Marley) or a strange, movable, super hero fridge magnet (Marley....ok, me)  But just an incredible amount of talent and amazing, friendly, funny, creative people.

My favourite stalls?
Able and Game This guy has a wicked sense of humour. We spent a good 20 minutes laughing at his hilarious greeting cards. I came home with 3, but I could have purchased so many more. 
Happy Fathers Day Dad

Vavaf-she had the most amazing yet too-delicate-for-me-to-take-home collection featuring sweet little birds and caged wire. Truly beautiful
Louie and the Fox-cute handmade earrings, hair accessories inc. hair scarves, embroidered baby clothes and the most gorgeous little soft  'tool sets' for little ones. One very special little guy is getting his very own set this weekend. 
Chubby Turtle-cool, simplistic designs for the boys. 
There were a few other stalls I bought from but im kicking myself I didnt pay attention to their shop names or grab a business card! But trust me, you wont be able to not buy something!
I wish I could remember the artists name. He had a great collection. This guy is hanging in my hallway.
 A great photographic print from a guy that travels through Africa taking photos and bringing it home to Aus, turning them into artsy prints and blocks. 

I just needed this guy on my fridge. 

Its going to be hard to top this years trip but we have already started our to-do list for next year. On the list?

Lygon St for some Italian
Adrian Richardsons restaurant La Luna Bistro
Madame Brussels on Bourke St
Malvern for shopping
Northern suburbs op-shop tour
A little Offspring stalking in Fitzroy perhaps?
and maybe next year, we might fit in a little art gallery perusing or some pampering of some kind. I came home with very sore feet, hung over and exhausted this year but it was worth it of course.

Im also headed back there in October with the family. But it will be more of an Aquarium/Zoo trip with the kids in tow. 

What are your must-do's for Melbourne? 

Lisa xx

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