Here’s a little overview of some of the highlights, must dos / eats!
Drink a coffee!
Melbourne has a very impressive coffee culture. It started back in Victorian times and was enhanced by Italian immigrants post-WWII. The best area is ‘The Lanes’ for enjoying a good caffeine / cake fix…
Melbourne has a 24-hour nightlife with lots going on and is a very safe feeling city to walk around late in the evening. Live music is very popular, as well as a growing bar scene.
After waiting the tantalizing minutes for the drink to drain through, I happily sipped the finished cocktail admiring the sunkissed city below.
Eat. Then eat some more!
If you’re a foodie, then Melbourne is one of the best places to go in the world! There is a huge amount of good and affordable food from all around the world. My particular favourite is always Asian food and there is a massive selection of Chinese, Thai, Korean, Japanese, Malaysian and Vietnamese places to eat at.
Chin Chin– I’ve lost count of the number of people that recommended this awesome Thai place to me. It’s got a massive menu and a fab interior.
It’s always packed, so arrive early and be prepared to queue.
Kingfish sashimi with lime, chilli, coconut and thai basil
Crying tiger – chargrilled sher wagu, chilli tamarino dressing, ground roast rice, fried glass noodles and thai basil
Crispy barramundi and green apple salad with caramelized pork, peanuts, chilli and lemongrass
Coda – This basement style place was recommended by a fellow travel foodie (thanks, Lou!) and didn’t disappoint.
Kicking off with an ‘old cuban’ cocktail, I then happily perused the food menu before settling on..
With Crispy prawn and tapioca betel leaf
It was all delicious!
In their own words: “Welcome to Longrain, Melbourne, continuing to evolve Martin Boetz's original Longrain vision with a menu that brings together South East Asian influences with the best Victorian produce. Inspired by the communal eating philosophy of the Asian table, our menu is made up of dishes created for sharing. Large servings and communal tables encourage the spirit of eating together, so you can try each dish as part of a full tasting experience, just as it was intended.”
|It was such a shame to have to break this gorgeous presentation|
|Pulled pork mini burgers for starters!!|
|Made me giggle..|
They also had some quirky versions of my sweet-tooth favs…triple kit kat chunky and Ben & Jerrys!
|Why are these heavenly bars not available at home?!|
Melbourne is the fashion capital of Australia with so many shopping centres and boutiques lining the streets. In the CBD there are the designer / fashion houses in Collins Street. At the top end of Collins Street (aka ‘the Paris end’) there is the ornate Block Arcade, built in 1891.
If you fancy taking shelter from the weather (I experienced a couple of icy wind days), head indoors to Melbourne Central, the Bourke Street Mall or the new Emporium centre.
Plus it’s surrounded by some tasty cafes!
|Perfect little brunch spot|
|How I have not got one?!|
|Finally - a mug that matches my needs!|
Melbourne residents are sports enthusiasts with the Australian Football League (AFL) being likened to a religion – particularly as Australian Rules football was invented in the city.
I was fortunate enough to be invited to a game the the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground) where longtime rivals The Hawthorns played the Geelong Cats.
Interesting fact (well, depending on where your interests lie!) is that Melbourne was the first city to host the Olympic Games in the southern hemisphere in 1956.
Melbourne is Australia’s second biggest city and cultural capital. It has been appointed as the world’s most livable city since 2011 and is highly rated in a number of areas, such as entertainment, healthcare and tourism.
Melbourne’s central business district (CBD) is bordered by the Yarra River dividing the city (like London!) with a ‘Southbank’ area lining the river front, creating an entertainment and dining hub.
|St. Kildas cake / coffee stop to warm up!|
|Check out the shop fronts!|
Flinders Street railway station – the iconic colonial landmark of Melbourne on the corner of Flinders & Swanston street. A popular meeting spot for locals – “meet you under the clocks at Flinders station” was said to me more than once!
|Creepy creepy face!|
The Lanes – these historic lanes and arcades are full of shops and cafes – and street art! I spent hours just wandering through (& sipping on cups of delicious and warming coffee) The impressive street art covered many of the laneways in graffiti, murals and posters – even Banksy was here (though the local council painted over one of them!) The best lanes were Hosier Lane and AC/DC Lane. You can book a tour, to bring it to life: melbournestreettours.com / meltours.com.au / walktoart.com.au.
|View from my hotel room|
Fortunately I was flying Business Class so the 34 hour trip back to Munich via Kuala Lumpur and Dubai wasn’t too bad…