Oceania

Melbourne I’ve Got a Crush on You

So I’ve got a bit of a crush. I wouldn’t say I was in love, we hardly know each other. But I can’t stop thinking about you; your laid back vibe, heavenly coffee and gallery-worthy street art on every corner. I’m completely enamoured and a little bit intimidated. I am a Londoner (an East Londoner to be precise), I should be used to urban grit and skinny jean hip. But you are different. You are cool without even trying. You don’t have to make a song and dance about pop-up bars, dazzling sunshine, even your proximity to world-class beaches, because you are positively overflowing with them. For you this is normal. You’re cool and you know it, but you’re not afraid to sit back and let the rest of the world work it out for themselves.

I think I might be falling in love with you Melbourne and here are some of the reasons why:

Bars

In a grotty courtyard off a dingy alley in the heart of Chinatown, you construct a bar out of abandoned storage containers and it is one of the coolest things I have ever seen. (Section 8)

Section 8

Section 8

Jammed onto a pontoon in the middle of the river you house a bar that people clamour to get into. (Ponyfish Island)

On the top of a derelict-looking building with a scarily old lift, you open a rooftop bar and cinema. (Rooftop Cinema and Bar) And in funky Fitzroy, Italian cafes and vintage clothes stores are interspersed with bars decorated with reclaimed furniture (Bimbo Deluxe) and German-esque beer halls (Little Creatures).

Ponyfish Island Melbourne

Ponyfish Island

Coffee

I spent two years in training with a Melburnian so that I was able to drink coffee before visiting your city. As soon as we landed we found our way to St Ali and I was glad to have converted my tea-swilling ways. Half warehouse, half science lab, even this novice coffee drinker knew the bean was good. We continued to tour the city, from Manchester Press to Brother Baba Budan, on a never-ending journey of acclaimed coffee houses.

Coffee at St Ali

Coffee at St Ali

Shopping

Melbourne your shopping is good but it’s the way you present it that really rocks. In underground subways (Campbell Arcade) and down cobblestone laneways (Manchester Lane). In renovated post offices (Melbourne’s GPO) and scarcely restored office buildings (Nicholas Building). The shopping is cool but the surroundings are even better. (Click here to find out more about Melbourne’s Shopping Hidden Secrets.)

Melbourne laneway

Melbourne laneway

Street Art

I’ve included some pictures of my favourites below. I’ll say no more.

Keep your eyes peeled for pretty murals

Keep your eyes peeled for pretty murals

Degraves Street

Hosiers Lane

Brunswick Street

Eats

Melbourne you seem more multicultural than the rest of your Aussie city siblings. You’ve embraced the Asian culture and that is visible in your cuisine. You offer Asian fusion banquets that enabled me to eat like a Queen (Chin Chin – 7 courses for $70) and have whole areas dedicated to the joy that is Vietnamese cuisine (see Halong Bay in Richmond). At Queen Victoria Market, trading since the 1800’s, the clothes may be a bit cheap but the variety of fresh food and veg on offer still delights the locals today.

Food shopping with personality at Queen Victoria Market

Food shopping with personality at Queen Victoria Market

Hotels

For a visitor like myself you offer a wide range of accommodation; luxury hotels with postcard-worthy views (Crown Towers) or boutique affairs influenced by local artists (Art Series Hotels). The Olsen actively encourage guests to overstay their welcome by offering a second night free if your room is not already booked. I might never have to leave!

The Olsen

Melbourne I think I am falling in love with you. Could it be you love me too?

Thanks to the team at Hidden Secrets Laneways and Arcades Tour for introducing me to the arcades and laneways mentioned above. For a full Guide to Shopping in Melbourne please visit travellingshopaholic.com. Find out more about my stay at the Crown Towers by clicking here. For info and advice on planning a trip to Melbourne please go to the Visit Melbourne website.

18 Comments

  • Reply
    Angela
    January 21, 2013 at 3:34 am

    Melbourne seems awesome. It looks really young and live! Melbourne is definitely added to my must-visit list.

    • Reply
      Jayne
      January 23, 2013 at 8:42 pm

      Fab – I think you will like it 🙂

  • Reply
    Elle Croft
    January 22, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    You know, even for someone who’s been to Melbourne and loved it, you make me want to go again and discover much, much more…

    • Reply
      Jayne
      January 23, 2013 at 8:41 pm

      hahaha DO IT!!

  • Reply
    jenny@atasteoftravel
    January 23, 2013 at 1:04 am

    What a fabulous post on a city that I love. Sounds a though it won’t be long until you are back, drinking coffee and finding more of the fun spots the city offers.

    • Reply
      Jayne
      January 23, 2013 at 8:41 pm

      I sure hope so 🙂

  • Reply
    John
    January 23, 2013 at 3:17 am

    Melbourne is my favourite Australian city. If and when I go back home, I would love to live there. Nice post!

    • Reply
      Jayne
      January 23, 2013 at 8:41 pm

      Thanks – I’m thinking the same thing 🙂

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Chris
    July 8, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Hi Jayne,

    Like Elle you’ve also made me want to go back to Melbourne, I’m very fond of the city.

    I was there for 6 weeks but there are many things I want to go back and see and Section 8 has been added to the list!

    I was actually there at the same time as you were back, left Mid January. You can find my similar Street Art pictures here if you’re interested! – http://my30stravelblog.com/amazing-melbourne-street-art-part-2/

    I really like your first street art shot.
    Thanks

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  • Reply
    Hannah
    August 20, 2014 at 9:01 am

    I absolutely loved this post! I’m moving to Melbourne from London in 20 weeks and I cannot wait, that city had me from the first moment I laid eyes on it.

    • Reply
      Jayne Gorman
      August 20, 2014 at 11:09 pm

      That is so exciting! I am sure you will love living there. Plus the weather might be better by the time you arrive 🙂

  • Reply
    Kurt
    August 26, 2014 at 6:02 am

    I have lived in Melbourne all my life, and I have always taken these things that Melbourne a great city for granted. I never really knew what we had until I read this post. It’s always refreshing to hear good things about our city from someone who doesn’t live here 🙂

    I’d also add the seasons to the list. The delightful sunshine and warm weather during summer makes an outdoor stroll through the gardens and along the bay a pleasurable experience. The beautiful red and golden colours of the trees throughout the city and the gardens surrounding it in autumn is majestic. The foggy mornings in winter create a romantic ambiance and the ability to wander the city whilst remaining indoors from the chilly air adds versatility to the city. And the sunshine and smell of freshly cut grass and blooming flowers in spring gets brings a sense of joy and happiness.

    Great post on our wonderful city 🙂

    • Reply
      Jayne Gorman
      August 26, 2014 at 6:10 am

      You make the seasons sound magical Kurt – I enjoy the changing of the seasons too although I have heard that Melbourne sometimes has 4 in one day which must be hard to dress for 🙂

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