Travel

5 MINUTE READ

A perfect day in Melbourne

Words by Georgie Young

22 February 2024

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Australia’s culture capital bursts with coffee, cocktails, and creativity – here’s how to spend 24 hours there.

It’s easy to have a perfect day in Melbourne. Forget glittering surf or brunch on the beach – days here are spent exploring street art-strewn laneways, eating at some of Australia’s best restaurants, and sipping craft cocktails in buzzing speakeasies. It’s a place where coffee purists mix with footy fanatics, where skyscrapers sparkle and art galleries glimmer, and where an excellent flat white is never more than a few blocks away.

It's also the home of Quintessentially Australia, which has shared the below insights for spending one – of many – perfect days here.

Morning

Melbourne’s coffee scene is among the world’s best, so caffeinating is your first port of call. If you want yours to go, follow your nose – and the lines of locals – to somewhere like Lune, but if you want to sit and savour every sip, head for Higher Ground on Little Bourke Street. Here, you’ll find a dedicated coffee menu that includes a breakfast tasting board of several pour-over and batch-brew options.

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Then, head to South Melbourne Market for breakfast on the hoof. Open since 1867, it’s Melbourne’s longest continually running market, selling everything from fresh fruit and fashion to kitchenware and confectionery. Take your time grazing your way around its stalls – Emerald Hill Deli’s walk-in cheese room is a highlight, as are the crisp croissants from Agathé French Pâtisserie.

Afternoon

Even if you’re only in the mood for a light lunch, you can’t miss a meal at Andrew McConnell’s Gimlet. Set in the lavishly reimaged Cavendish House, the restaurant is all grand chandeliers and leather booths; it’s a bit Parisian, a bit NYC. For food, go for the Southern rock lobster. For drinks, a gimlet is an obvious choice, or else order something red and Australian – although there’s a great selection of unique European wines, as well.

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Andrew McConnell’s Gimlet

By now, your legs will need a stretch, so head over the road and into Birrarung Marr and Melbourne Park. This is the more peaceful side of Princes Bridge, with people often lying on the grassy banks sketching or reading, as you might expect from a city where culture is king.

Follow the river bend to the Melbourne Cricket Ground (the MCG – or the G as it’s locally known), where you’ll spend the afternoon watching a game of Aussie Rules Football. Even if you don’t go for a team – or understand the rules – the atmosphere is always electric (and the chants are performed with passion).

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(L) Melbourne Park (R) Melbourne Cricket Ground

Evening

After a quick pitstop at your hotel for an outfit change – book the Ritz Carlton or Park Hyatt – jump on the tram to Richmond for dinner at Minamishima. In short: this is the city’s best sushi. In long: this is an intimate, sushi master-led omakase restaurant that’s notoriously tough to get a reservation at (unless you have a Quintessentially membership, of course).

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(L) Siglo (R) Minamishima

Finally, check in for a post-dinner cocktail at Siglo, an open-air rooftop bar overlooking Parliament House. Even though it feels fairly hidden (you’ll need to head up a secret set of stairs on Spring Street), it’s become one of Melbourne’s more popular havens for red wine swirlers and Cuban cigar smokers. And somewhere between the sun setting and your second spritz arriving, you’ll realise that this was a perfect day in a perfect city where perfect moments are around every turn.

Want to stay up to date with the latest in luxury? As the world’s leading global concierge service, we spend time securing you access to the best of the best across the world, so you can spend more time doing the things you love. Discover more about membership here and about Quintessentially Australia here.

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Words by

Georgie Young

As our Digital Editor, Georgie writes about all types of luxury – whether that’s deep dives into London restaurant trends, interviews with famous faces, or travelogues from all over the world.

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