City Guide: A Day in Melbourne
So as promised here's a round-up of where we ate and what we did in Melbourne. It's such a foodie-filled, walkable city that you lose hours just wandering around. I hope you enjoy, please shout out and share your recommendations.
7am: Indulged the night before? Head to the Yarra; there's a great running track that lines the river and it's beautiful watching the rowers do their morning water dance. Pop in virtually anywhere for a quick espresso, Melbourne cafés delightfully serve a shot of cool sparkling water with each espresso.
9am: Now you're ready to face the day, watch the CBD wake up by walking the streets. Be sure to flash a glance down the laneways you pass, there could be an amazing café or restaurant hidden there. If you have the willpower save room for breakfast at Higher Ground; their ricotta hotcake has a cult following for good reason.
11am: Now you're full it's a safe time to visit the delicatessen at the Queen Victoria Markets. It's a place that's vibrant and full of personalities because there are so many speciality providores from: Koko Black chocolate makers, to the award-winning fromagerie Curds and Whey, and Swords Wines where you can try before you buy (and nab 1 litre refillable, quality bottles of wine for $10-15).
12:30pm: You must be hungry again, but earn that lunch and enjoy a stroll through the Royal Botanic Gardens before stumbling upon Shannon Bennett's Jardin Tan where a vibrant Vietnamese lunch awaits. If you're keen for a taste, not a banquet, try the Còm Phân; it's a lunch tray filled with a small bites (ours had a mini spring roll, a rich wagyu beef massaman curry, crunchy coleslaw, and a bite sized coconut and chocolate square).
2pm: Wander downhill to The National Gallery of Victoria. It has a stunning exhibition of more than 200 works by French painter, Edgar Degas' (on 'till 18 September). It's a generous showcase of his pieces, displayed in an detailed timeline so you have a chance to really get to the heart of the painter.
3:30pm: Haven't dropped yet? Let's go shopping then. Grab an Über and head to Chapel Street, wander in and out of the dozens of boutiques that line the street. This is your one stop shop.
5pm: Time for a cocktail and while Spice Temple at Crown Casino certainly makes the best dirty martini in the city (I asked the bartenders what they do; it's Tanqueray gin but I'm sure there's an added secret) the one at Entrecôte comes pretty close too, plus it's just a 9 minute walk from Chapel Street to South Yarra.
7pm: Ease from cocktail hour into Entrecôte's famous steak frites, or grab another car and scoot to Cecconi's along Flinders Lane for that classic crisp linen, old-school Italian experience.
And that's it! Pete and I are in bed usually by 10pm...