Get in on Friday night and grab some dinner
You’ve landed, made it in one piece to your hotel – we recommend The Blackman in St. Kilda – dumped your bags and are now ready to revive and restore your weary tissues with a stroll, a satisfactorily delicious meal, and a drink or two.
For convenience – and presuming you are staying fairly central – head out into the thick of things to hunt down your dinner. Melbourne is a foodie’s dream because of its sheer number of quality restaurants. Why not go to the much-lauded Chin Chin for some fairly priced but outstanding Thai/Australian/Vietnamese cuisine?
Friday night: Hit the town
Now that you’re all rejuvenated with some epic king salmon red curry (wrapped in banana leaves, of course), you might find yourself inclined to head out and get a taste for Melbourne’s nightlife. If you want to make the most of your Saturday, you could find it prudent to enjoy a cocktail or two before turning in. For this we recommend Eau de Vie. This cocktail bar is on everyone’s list when it comes to getting something that’ll leave you feeling braced, and there’s a reason for that. It’s consistently great. And the fact that you mosey in through a blank door into a lounge vibe filled with jazz is what keeps people coming back for more.
Well, it’s going to start with a coffee no matter what. In a city that takes its coffee seriously, this is basically a prerequisite. The city is so replete with fantastic cafes that if you somehow manage to get a bad cup of coffee, we’re fairly certain you win some sort of prize.
After this it’s best to just wander and get acclimatised with Melbourne. There are plenty of graffiti-decorated streets here to meander down. The best places for checking out the cool murals are the Flinders Street and Flinders Lane areas with all their adjoining laneways.
There are heaps of options for a good lunch in this city, and you’ll want to make it a quick one because, if you’re lucky, the afternoon heralds a unique Australian experience. Head down to the world-famous Melbourne Cricket Ground – that’s the M.C.G for those in the know – and catch a game of AFL. For those of a non-Antipodean persuasion, this acronym stands for the Australian Football League, but it’s not football as those who hail from Europe would know it. This is Aussie Rules, mate.
Pumped up after watching your very first Aussie Rules match – and anyone who watches their first game and tells you they understood what the devil was going on is a liar, by the way – you’ll be in need of sustenance of the first order. In our opinion, that means something hearty and filling and washed down with a few glasses of good wine or beer. Fortuitously these needs can be filled on Lygon Street at the North Side of town in Brunswick. It’s here that you’ll find some of the best and authentic Italian restaurants in the whole of the city. Our three faves: Tiamo, iL Cantuccio Restaurant and Papa Gino’s.
After a dinner of delicious Italian fare, why not stay on the North Side? Head to The Rum Diary Bar, a nautically themed and cosy joint. From there we recommend heading to The Kodiak Club for some quality, bourbon-based beverages, before winding down in The Black Pearl.
After some world-class Saturday night antics, you might find yourself in need of a breakfast the likes of which is a cool hand to your feverish (and hungover) brow. Don’t worry, we have just the place for you and that place is the Galleon Cafe on Carlisle Street in St Kilda. Here you can find everything you’ll need to shake off the dust from the night before. The eggs Benedict is a safe bet if you’re feeling a little delicate.
Now that you’re feeling a bit more up to code, why not try and master the perfect cup of Melbourne coffee? Join a two-hour workshop at Proud Mary Roasters in Collingwood to learn how to brew your cuppa to exacting Antipodean standards.
To finish off your trip, it’s only fitting that you head out to do a little shopping to celebrate making it through a whole weekend in this mad and wonderful metropolis. You might notice that the vibe is very much about the vintage gear at the moment so save time and head straight to Retro Star located in the Nicholas Building at the centre of the city. Here you’ll be able to get yourself some fantastic vintage swag and return home maybe a little worse for wear in the head department, but definitely better dressed.