Restaurants, Retail Therapy & Relaxation in Melbourne

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I’ve been on a few trips to Melbourne of late, so I thought I would put together some of my favourite shopping hot spots, great eateries and places to relax in nature near the hub of the CBD. You can have it all in this awesome city.

In my opinion, Melbourne is the most European-feeling city in Australia. It has a distinct culture of what I like to call ‘laid-back chic’. The restaurants and cafe’s here do not mess around, they know what they’re doing and the food is fantastic. I wish I took even more photos of all of these places to share with you.

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To Shop…

Chapel Street, South Yarra – what’s a weekend in Melbourne without visiting the ever-so stylish Chapel Street, lined with shops ranging from high-end designer to mainstream stores.

The Rose street Artist’s Market, Fitzroy – hidden in the back streets of Fitzroy is a small market but with big impact. Gorgeous stalls with on-trend goodies such as homewares, clothes, jewellery and leather-goods.

After the markets, take a stroll down Brunswick Street in Fitzroy which is full of trendy, quirky shops from the latest Scandi homewares to vintage clothing.

CBD Shopping – features most mainstream stores that you can get elsewhere in Australia with a few cool additions – COS, a Swedish Clothing Retailer that sells sleek, modern and quality ware (only available in Melbourne), INCU for a designer hit and H&M for the more cost effective option. H&M in Melbourne is housed in the most incredible space, Melbourne’s historic GPO Building covering 3 entire floors. Even if you aren’t an H&M fan, it’s worth a look for the architecture.

To Eat…

Drugstore Espresso Cafe, located in the heart of South Yarra, has a hipster vibe with a killer menu.

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Pictured above is the smoked salmon salad with seasonal vegetables, crushed mint peas, fennel, watercress salad & finished wasabi crème fraiche + poached egg. It was amazzzzing. Simply put, this was happiness on a plate, or shall I say happiness on a palate.

Degraves Street for cupcakes at Little Cupcakes – the best cupcakes in Melbourne, try the Blueberry Pistachio,  Tiny Teddy and Coffee flavours.

Top Paddock in Richmond is a great place for Breakfast. This was recommended to us by one of my girlfriends who couldn’t stop raving about the incredible breakfasts here, rightly so!

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Hellas Cakes Richmond – serves great coffee, amazing cakes and awesome baklava. The orange cake was the bomb! If you need a sweet-fix, this is the place to head for  authentic Greek fare.

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Bahari The Hellenic Palate in Richmond – Melbourne is known for its Greek food and this is Greek food at its finest. With great service and most importantly, incredible food. All dishes we ordered were smashing, from the pulled pork, incredible zucchini fritters to the custard polenta cake, which was out of this world.

Movida Aqui CBD – We tried to get a table at Movida and Movida next door, but they were booked out so we tried their 3rd venue, proving it is just as good as the others. Great tapas and fabulous wine.

Maedaya Sake & Grill in Richmond – Japanese food is my favourite cuisine and this restaurant paid homage to Japanese food. It was so good, we went there twice. They don’t take bookings unless you are with a big group so get in early to secure a table.

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Last, but not least, we had to quench our desire for Fro-Yo!

Frolic Yoghurt in Fitzroy served up some deliciousness – try mixing the banana flavour with the original flavour… Wow! Just Wow!

YO-CHI in Carlton was spectacular. I know it sounds ridiculous to call a Froyo place spectacular, but the decor is very cool and the flavours are even cooler (seems I am full of puns today!). If you like mandarins, then you’ll love the mandarin flavour they serve up, it is fresh, zesty and packs a punch.

And finally after all that shopping, walking and eating, it’s time to Relax…

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Go for a stroll along the Yarra river followed by finding peace in the hidden away tranquillity of the Botanical Gardens. It truly is the perfect location for meditating in the outdoors!

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Which are your favourite cities to go away for a city break?

Alice

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