I was lucky enough to go on two trips to Melbourne over summer. I expect to find delightful breakfasts in laneways, amazing shopping and vibrant restaurants whenever I visit, but this time I was also lucky enough to stay in two amazing hotels and soak in the sunshine that we had been starved of in Queensland. Happy days!
Over the New Year I booked a hotel off my bucket list – the Grand Hyatt Melbourne for Mr LML and I. And I’m happy to say it made a special trip, amazing.
• Champagne and nuts on arrival. How did they know?
• Views over the city. Exactly what I wanted!
• A concierge who knows the hottest restaurants around. No need for my other tips.
• Ipod dock by the bed. Simple but fabulous (and already replicated back at home).
On my second trip (for the Australian Open. Woop!) I was spoilt rotten by the Clarion Suites Gateway who showed me how the other half live by putting me up in one of their penthouse apartments.
With views over the river to the Crown Complex, you know you are right in the heart of the action. Getting up the next morning and leaving was exceptionally hard. I still wonder if they would have found me if I just hid in one of the linen cupboards.
It’s no secret Melbourne is renowned for its impressive dining scene. Here’s my three red-hot tips for places you have to go to:
1. ChinChin and Gogo Bar – Every time I’m in Melbourne the phrase “Why don’t we have anything like this at home” comes up and Chin Chin was one of ‘those’ places.
Even though it was just after New Years Eve and the city seemed quite quiet, this funky little restaurant was packed and a hive of activity. It only takes reservations for 10 – 12 people so we had a small wait in GoGo bar downstairs. I can’t remember the name now but there was definitely some elderflower involved in my cocktail and you should definitely look out for it and order it if you are there.
GoGo was the perfect distraction while waiting for our seat at the bench of the ChinChin bar. Watching the cocktail waiters at work is such a fun way to dine and allowed us to quiz the friendly team on all sorts of cocktails while we waited for our food.
The meals are medium sized and perfect for sharing a few plates. I highly recommend the pork belly. It was amazing!
The coffee was so good we had seconds and enjoyed watching the crowd busting around us. Afterwards you can easily roll out and straight into the shops in Flinders Lane. A great way to start off a shopping day.
3. Mamasita – This Mexican restaurant in the city is also too popular for reservations, but has been on my bucket list for years and I was determined to dine. As it turned out January is a great time to brave the queues and we had a short 30-minute wait for our spot – at the bar again, so Melbs.
The wait was definitely worth it… although it took a lot of convincing to get Mr LML to stand still, he was easily coerced once we looked at the menu and I promised him fancy Tequila shots for starters.
There is so much to say about what I love about Melbs, however after writing this I’m going to have to take a break and get something to eat.
What’s your favourite Melbourne restaurant?
Post your comment below.
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