Posted on July 01, 2012 by Fraser Doherty

While we were in Sydney, we figured it would be fun to pop down to Melbourne for a few days.  It was.

The city has a European feel, helped with all the Victorian shopfronts and, at least when we were there, rainier weather than Sydney.  

People joke that in Melbourne you can lean on a door and fall into a bar; there are loads of great little lanes, filled with tiny bars, coffee shops and chocolate shops.

For breakfast, we checked out Degraves Espresso, on Degraves  St, which is the first of the quirky little lanes.  After that, we had some cake at the amazing Victorian-style Hopetoun Tea Rooms (there was a long wait to get in!).

Melbourne sprang up during a gold-rush and a good place to check out that story is the Treasury Buildings.  Not worth more than 15-20 minutes but pretty interesting nonetheless, even just to see a mock up of what $28m worth of gold looks like!

My favourite area of the city was Fitzroy, which was really bohemian/hipstery, almost entirely filled with independent stores, great coffee shops (Melbourne prides itself of its coffee) like the Black Cat Cafe on Brunswick St, fun bars and nice places to eat.

I can't recommend the restaurants Gills Diner (Gills Alley) and Newmarket (St Kilda) enough.  

Gill's was the kind of place where they talked to you through the whole wine list and knew all of the winemakers personally.  The food was out of this world - Spaghetti Marinara was especially delightful..

At the California-inspired Newmarket, we had a whole load of sharing dishes.  Things like bone marrow tacos and a 'Whole Hog Pit BBQ', with slaw, collard greens and hot cider vinegar sauce.  Lip-smackingly tasty!

There's plenty places to go for a drink; I liked Melbourne Supper Club and couldn't help enjoy drinking a cocktail out of a syringe down a dodgy-looking alleyway at The Croft Institue.

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