Back in February, the girl squad from Adelaide came to visit and I pulled out all stops to plan a duck off itinerary that showcased the best of Melbourne.
When they announced they were coming back, I thought, “Frick, how am I supposed to top that weekend!” But I think I pulled a goat out of a jacket with this girls weekend in Melbourne itinerary. CNTL-C away.
Massages in Daylesford
Given most of the weekend’s planned activities lazy Susaned around food and wine, on the Friday I wanted to do something that didn’t unconstructively impact our waistline. The only thing my carb-craving brain could think of were massages. And where do you go to get massages in Victoria? You get on the road and head to spa country – Daylesford. While I battled the urge to splurge with some soaking and kneading at The Mineral Spa, Ali talked me off my cash-splashing cliff and we went with a cheaper option: Omada Spa.
Afternoon walk around Lake Daylesford and Trentham Falls
A few puddles of water worth eye-balling (and making the 90-minute drive from Melbourne worthwhile) are Daylesford’s namesake lake, with its cute little boathouse and rainbow-coloured paddleboats; and Trentham Falls, which is 20 minutes away (by car not donkey), thats star act is an f-off 32-metre waterfall.
Dinner at Toko on Greville Street
I proudly announced that we were going to Tokyo for dinner. I just didn’t mean to include the y. Although after gorging ourselves on a feast of edamame, gyoza, tempura, sushi, sashimi, nigiri and pork ribs, we soon forgot that we hadn’t stamped our passports.
Toko Melbourne | 142 Greville Street, Prahran, Victoria
Phone: (03) 9521 3155
Rufus for a nightcap
Named after Winston Churchill’s poodle Rufus, this hidden drinking den perched above Greville Street is an ode to the formidable former British Prime Minister and the perfect place for a nightcap. With chandelier lighting, plush velvet chairs, a dark blue and gold colour scheme, and waiters dressed like butlers it’s all very grand, yet intimate. Although you do feel like you should be donning a top hat upon entry.
When the clock struck midnight and Ali turned into a pumpkin, falling asleep in the oversized lounge chairs, it was time to DeLorean ourselves back to the present and our beds.
Rufus | First floor, 143 Greville Street, Prahran, Victoria
Phone: (03) 9525 2197
A winery crawl in the Yarra Valley
I’m one step ahead of myself and have already written a post that transcribes our Yarra Valley day winery-by-winery – you can conveniently read that here. If you’re after a quick condensed extract, it would look a little something like this: drive, chink some champagne at Domaine Chandon, drive, bathe in gooey goat’s cheese, feel all hipster with a paddle of cider, take some vineyard selfies, drive, uncover a duck of a wine find and then crash in a champagne coma.
Dinner at Mr Miyagi on Chapel Street
Despite the fact that we ate our weight in nigiri the previous night, when you get a mental message from Mr M telling you that you must eat more sushi because sushi makes you happy, you do as Mr M says. So we trundled on over to the Japanese restaurant on Chapel Street that has more sass than Emma Stone, along with lots of colourful cocktails, anime references and ‘rice dropping devices’ (aka chop sticks). Plus, I had to introduce Bel and Ali to Melbourne’s best food invention since Vegemite: the Nori Taco (pictured below).
Mr Miyagi | 99 Chapel Street, Windsor, Victoria
Phone: (03) 9529 5999
A boilermaker at Boilermaker House
To be honest, I had planned a bar crawl here but no amount of Red Bull could conjure up the energy needed after a wine-packed day. I was flat as an old basketball. But we did squeeze in a boilermaker at Boilermaker House – well actually the girls did, I rebelliously had water.
If you’re crazier than I, here’s the list of CBD bars I had tucked up my right sleeve.
Boilermaker House | 209–211 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, Victoria
Phone: 0424 270 082
Walk to Melbourne city
After eating our way through the previous 48 hours and definitely unconstructively impacting our waistline, the only option was to lace up the Converse and get our exercise on. For us, this involved a 90-minute walk from Prahran, through the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, along the Yarra River, popping up in the city (and stopping for a drink at Ponyfish Island), on our way to Carlton for cheese.
Stop for a drink at Ponyfish Island
Floating in the middle of the Yarra River, underneath the Southbank pedestrian bridge, is a tropical-themed bar (called Ponyfish Island). Despite the fact that it’s largely out of character in grey, very non-tropical Melbourne, it provides a unique angle to admire the city and dirty Yarra from. Plus, it’s fun to pretend you’re a troll living under the bridge. Just instead of eating billy goats gruff, try the cider.
Ponyfish Island | Southbank Pedestrian Bridge, Melbourne, Victoria
A cheese and wine flight at Milk the Cow
Exercise over (if you can call it that), it was time to reward ourselves with a racket of cheese at the heartland of cheese: Milk the Cow. Promptly plonked in front of us were three sparkling cheese and wine flights, a whole baked camembert, a mini pot of liquid gold (also known as truffle honey) and a board of meats.
Now excuse me while I die and go to cheese heaven, heralding the end of an ultra-fun weekend with my favourite ladybugs.
Milk the Cow | 323 Lygon Street, Carlton, Victoria
Phone: (03) 9348 4771