Our first Melbourne experience

As we are sitting in our lounge in a 2 bedroom flat in Christchurch we see Jetstar have a sale for return flights for 2 to Melbourne over New Zealand’s Labour weekend… for $580.00!!!!!!! So of course we jumped on them.

We had heard such amazing things about Melbourne from friends and had major FOMO every time an instagrammer grammed a cafe or store. Little did we know that so much would happen before we went; we got engaged, threw an engagement party, booking wedding vendors in advance, we found out some pretty rough news about a few things close to home, going through the process of buying our first home and everyday challenges that come with work and being a “grown up”…. this holiday we thought had come at a really horrible time!

Holidaying in another country completely unprepared was the best thing we’ve ever done. You really don’t know how much you need a holiday until you’re away from your life and just enjoying the time you have with each other (it’s been amazing, such a head refresh).

Welcome to Melbourne

We had a few things that soon became our holiday companions, treat this as a pre-warner and don’t read past it because it will be bloody handy

Essentials:

  • MYKI, a prepaid keycard that accesses all the trams and trains around the city.
  • Skybus, the most cost effective form of transport to and from the airport. Get a return pass when you land.
  • Apple maps, type in your destination and it will tell you which tram to jump on, which stop and when it’s coming BLOODY MAGIC.
  • Versatile clothing, the weather here is so indecisive you can have 4 seasons in one day.
  • Nikes, they have the comfiest soles – you will walk ALOT because the shopping precincts are effing HUGE
  • Spending money, the shopping in Melbourne is INSANE so take a lot because it will soon dry up
  • You can’t split bills – so take cash!

The food scene

Melbourne has some AMAZING spots that are worth keeping an eye out for.  A first for both of us was lining up outside for a table for both brunch and dinner but god damn it was worth the wait! The service and food in Melbourne are next level. People give a shit and it really shows.

Here’s a list of where we went and places we recommend

Top Paddock
658 Church St, Richmond

Instantly we felt like we were at “the place to be” which is where we wanted to be. You are surrounded by males wearing polos and lofas and females with bigger hair than your aunt. The interior had a humming vibe with socialites for days, because it was our first time being in such an in demand cafe we decided we would be true kiwis and brave the cold outside – served instantly!!

The meals immediately became our best ever brunches and we were in awe of what Melbourne could produce.

Chin Chin
125 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Another recommendation from an ex-Melbournite, she pre-warned us that we may have to wait and line up (again haha) but the food was worth the wait. We queued for about 15 minutes and booked our table, the accretive front of house told us we were all booked for 1.5 hours away. You can either go downstairs to the Gogo bar or come back later.  We went down for a look but decided to look for a low key bar to have a drink at before the meal and found Yak Italian kitchen, we just sat there and had a few beers and cocktails, it was fantastic and got slightly tipsy haha.

Chin Chin is worth the wait friends, the meals were bloody delicious and the service was ridiculously good, right down to them telling you how the flavours of the meal work together when the meal is served in a tapas fashion.

Fourth Chapter
385 High St, Prahran

We met with Georgias cousin and her boyfriend which was just fantastic, they took us for a walk around the area and described the housing etc – loved it!! Again a popular place so booked before the walk. We were yet again just shocked by how amazing the service was. This cafe was right up our alley (especially for Shayden being a part time Paleo-er).

We sat out the back which was A-MAZING!!  A quiet dainty courtyard with a view over the gardens with a slight mist of rain shielded by the roofing. A Melbourne must!!

White Mojo
115 Hardware St, Melbourne

We wanted something close to the CBD as we had a big day of shopping planned, Shayden jumped on Instagram (follow him @shaydennz) and had a look at where people were tagging, here it was the bright lidded takeaway cups and the laneway location that grabbed our attention so we gave it a go. What a brilliant location, especially if you sit in the window to people watch the lane goers.

We went first thing because we were still waking up NZ time, White Mojo is also the home of the creative Macha and Black bean art – we just couldn’t give up the coffee haha. The white chocolate popping candy sauce on the orange pancakes is worth every dollar spent!

+39
362 Little Bourke St, Melbourne

Georgia’s a good old kiwi girl and can get overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle so the ball was in her court for the cuisine and she just wanted a good old pizza haha.  We really won with finding +39 on Little Bourke!!  A beautiful story of Italian friends coming together to produce mouth-watering pizza (the gnocchi was just as good).

We loved the Italian accents and how friendly everyone was, you really felt you were in their home which was so humbling in such a large city.

Le Petit Prince Armadale
1A Mercer Road, Armadale, Melbourne

A last minute Instagram find and our best yet. The setting was very French like and actually reminded us a lot of Arrowtown, NZ.  The staff lived up to the friendly Melbourne precedent inviting us to sit outside among the trees and rays of sun followed very promptly by an old friend that we know and love – Supreme Coffee.

The food was decadent and full of tastes that complemented each other. As we were eating it was obvious that whatever way you swing (sweet or savoury) you will be very impressed.

This is the type of cafe you could catch up with friends at for hours with many coffees and conversations to be had.

Madame Brussells
59 Bourke St, Melbourne

Our good friends suggested we go here and gave us some money for our engagement saying we must spend it here – so we did! This place is all sorts of brilliant.  You have wait staff walking around in sport luxe clothing serving jugs of sangria and “vag slings” the menu is very erotic and the atmosphere is just so cool.

You would never know that a roof top bar existed from the entry, you weave your way up multiple flights of stairs and come out in a new world where you can instantly tell is going to be a shit load of fun – another Melbourne must (on a hot day).

Things to know:

  • Good coffee and brunch, take a train out to Richmond or a tram to Chapel street, cafes like Top Paddock and Higher Ground are worth the trip, great shopping too.
  • Shopping, make the decision to head to Chadstone, DFO, Chapel street or Emporium/Melbourne Central don’t try to tackle them all because the have the same stores anyway. Personally Emporium and Melbourne Central are winners!
  • Botanical Gardens, are a must!
  • Rooftop bars and underground restaurants, they are everywhere – you have to Google for them first! Madame Brussels – get there.
  • Instagram for Cafes, you’ll see what everyone likes and where it is #melbournecafes.
  • Get to the beach, the trams open the whole city up and are also a great way to see Melbourne. St Kilda is ideal on a hot day!

We had such a great time in Melbourne, if you ever end up going to any of these locations please tag @moochstyle or @shaydennz in the posts – we would love to hear your thoughts!