There aren’t many cities that I’m able to fall head over heels with at first visit. It normally takes a couple of dates (y’know, the intro, and then the more intimate second date) to feel like I’ve really gotten to know somewhere. Don’t get me wrong, three days in Melbourne wasn’t nearly enough, but there was something about the city that totally sucked me in. Perhaps it was the people- or maybe it was its laid back feel and celebration of small businesses (lets just say there are only four small Starbucks in the whole city)- but I totally fell in love with Melbourne, and already can’t wait to go back.
Staying: The Cullen
If like me your hotel priorities include a ridiculously comfortable bed, a vibrant location and a room service menu that includes everything from avocado to brownies- I think I’ve found the one. Cosied in the upcoming suburb of Prahran, boutique hotel The Cullen is the perfect balance of cool and comfortable, with incredible art by Aus artist Adam Cullen governing the incredible design. Not only that, but our room had it’s own mini kitchen bar (with a hob, toaster and microwave) making it feel all the more like home.
64 Commercial Rd, Prahran VIC 3181, Australia
It’s no secret that I gravitate more towards stationary shops than I do anything else in life, so you can probably imagine my utmost glee upon stumbling across Mag Nation near to our hotel. Not only does it stock the most beautiful collection of local and international magazines, it boasts some of the prettiest stationary and gifts- which I’m pretty sure my desk was asking me to bring home.
88 Elizabeth St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Milk & Sugar (abbreviated to M&S in Aus, which is definitely their cooler Marks and Sparks)- is one of the most gorgeous design and home ware shops I discovered whilst in Melbourne. Decked out in sorbet shades with simple design- everything from their crockery, textiles and prints all had me at hello (so much so I was incredible close to buying a print until I realised my suitcase wouldn’t fit it- sob)!
207 Chapel Street, Prahran, VIC 3181
Before this trip I’d never actually visited a whole shop dedicated to selling ‘zines- so being able to finger through some of the most creative, funny and imaginative zines the other side of the world was seriously cool. Tucked away by the Degraves subway, Sticky Institute is a breath of fresh air for any tube-time reading- I just wish I’d picked more up (note: take cash)!
10 Campbell Arcade, Degraves Subway, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
After coming across No Order Market on Instagram (and realising they were home to another couple of my recent Insta brand discoveries)- I was super keen to pop by their store and see the pieces in real life. With No Order Market housing brands Suku, Shifting Worlds and Baserange Summer Store- their aim is to bring harder to find designers to the fingertips of the city in one curated design-led hub- dreamy.
193/187 Elizabeth St, Melbourne VIC 3162, Australia
For fans of colour, print and Lazy Oaf- I can assure you you’ll be a fan of Aussie brand Gorman. With ‘directional knitwear and distinctive colour palettes’, the collections combine vintage inspiration with modern shapes- and inspiration from local artists and culture. With everything from clothing, to home ware and all.the.socks it’s one to note down!
t33/9 Driver Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Something that I kept going on about whilst in Melbourne were the amazing selection of indie businesses. You couldn’t walk a single street without coming across one- and Lunar Store was by far one of my favourites that we stopped by. Stocking everything from beautifully crafted ceramics, offbeat jewellery (and dreamy Karen Walker pieces) to books and posters- there was such a stunning selection (and they have an online store too, so you don’t even have to travel)!
2/127 Greville St, Prahran VIC 3181, Australia
Fancy discovering some gorgeous upcoming and established Australian designers all under one of the most beautiful roofs in town? Of course you do! In that case, I can’t recommend a visit to Monk House enough. With two stores across the city and the most impeccable interiors- you don’t need to be in need of a new wardrobe to pay them a visit (although their clothing selection is pretty stunning too)…
4 Driver Lane, Melbourne, VIC, 3000
Although undoubtedly you’ll end up venturing down some of Melbourne’s Laneways without even planning it- make sure you don’t miss these incredible streets threaded through the city. With bustling bars, cosy coffee shops and pop up galleries- these really are the heart and soul of the city, and the street food culture is not one to miss out on- go hungry or go back home and regret eating beforehand!
The only thing that was disappointing about Melbourne was the fact I had stomach flu for near enough the whole time we were there. Unfortunately in one of the worlds most vibrant cities for food, this meant I was pretty much on a diet of toast, rice and digestives- meaning most of our amazing foodie recommendations had to go amiss. Fortunately, on our last day I was feeling near enough better- and was able to make dinner at the highly recommended (and numero uno go to), Chin Chin– somewhere I’d heard so much about, and I wasn’t disappointed. With Joe and I sampling some of their most loved dishes (Joe doing most of the trying on this occasion)- it’s clear why this place is one of Melbourne’s busiest and most loved Asian restaurants- I just wish it was closer!
125 Flinders Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Despite the fact I sadly didn’t try the pizza here, it comes with a glowing recommendation from Joe (who sat next to me in bed eating it)- so I thought I’d give it a mention here, as I highly trust Joes pizza judgement. Not only that but Ladro are also big into sustainability, recycling 100% of their organic waste, have 15 taps for drinks and search Aus for the best, local and sustainable produce too. So, if you’re after good pizza, good drinks and good ethics- this gets the thumbs up from us.
162 Greville St, Prahran VIC 3181, Australia
I can’t lie, when it comes to coffee I’m a total novice. But, being in a city that is almost literally fuelled by the stuff- I felt inclined to take note of some of the most recommended spots- whether you’re a grab and go, or sit in with your laptop kinda person. Dukes being one of them. Not only do they specialise in delicious coffee (and hot chocolate people)- but they also have a selection of delicious fresh cakes and plenty of ~Instagrammable~ nooks and crannies.
247 Flinders Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Okay, so like me you’re also not a big alcohol drinker (I know, I know)- then let me introduce you to Bad Frankie. As well as spirits and local beers Bad Frankie specialises in some kind of culinary sorcery called Jaffles. Jaffles are essentially sealed toasted sandwiches, but having a menu that covers everything from classic cheese to bangers and mash- I am all for more bars like this please.
141 Greeves St (near Smith St), Fitzroy VIC 3065
If you’re after a golden era inspired cocktail bar with a menu as sparkly as the decor, The Everleigh is the perfect spot. With a speakeasy inspired feel and a dimly lit hallway leading you to a decadent bar- it’s the perfect glamorous getaway from an evening on the town.
150-156 Gertrude St, Melbourne VIC 3065, Australia
The Black Pearl and Attic in Fitzroy are a couple of the more mellow bars in the city worth taking note of. With a constantly evolving and creative cocktail menu, alongside cosy couches and a laid back atmosphere (there’s always room to sit and natter here)- it’s the ultimate post-exploring spot when 5 o’clock refreshers have never looked so good.
304 Brunswick St, Fitzroy VIC 3065, Australia