I travel to Melbourne once a year for sales appointments for the day job. I spent a week in the city back at the start of August! Here’s my recap plus travel tips….
Highlights & lowlights of Melbourne:
- A special birthday dinner with my gorgeous best friend Renee (State of Grace had divine cocktails mixed with hit and miss service)
- Good Food & Wine (read my review of my special birthday lunch at The Press Club here)
- Quirky lane ways with street art and cafes offering a hot cooked breakfast plus coffee for less than $15 (bonus: Free live music and the bustle of the city passing you by)
- Catch up with lovely friends (Colin and Marc. Bethany, Chloe, Dean & Mark)
- Time to reconnect, chat and laugh with my beautiful bestie R (not to mention her taking me to Gold Class for Magic Mike XXL…I’ve got some thoughts to share on that soon)
- cold, cold days (seriously nothing above 13 degrees Celsius)
- Getting lost on the trams and/or the streets and feeling frustrated…. Melbourne I swear I’ll work you out one of these days
- Less than warm welcomes with some of my work meetings (side note: kindness costs nothing)
- Not being able to relax at some meals due to wait staff constantly checking if I needed a new drink (before the previous one was completed)
- I flew Virgin Australia from my home (Gold Coast) to Melbourne return and racked up more FF points. I love how they give you a snack on every flight now plus a free entertainment system through an app on your tablet or smart phone. Not to mention I was lucky enough to have a spare seat beside me on each flight!
- I stayed at my faithful Punthill Apartments on Flinders Lane, it’s my second year staying with them and I keep returning for the location and the funky decor (black, white and purple reign supreme). Located in the heart of the CBD just one street away from the iconic Flinders Street Station and Federation Square plus 2 blocks (my tip: take the shortcut through those famous laneways filled with cafes and shops) away from the shopping Mecca that is Bourke Street Mall.
- Do sign up to the direct guest program (it’s free) on Punthills website. You’ll have access to special rates and free wifi. The apartments are semi self contained with a full kitchen (there’s 2 supermarkets within walking distance of the complex) if you need a break from Melbourne’s food scene (as if).
- My nemesis the Melbourne trams now offer a free tram service around the city centre from Flinders Street Station and up to Queen Victoria Markets (where you can grab everything from the finest fresh produce to a leather jacket) as well as out to Docklands and Treasury Gardens on either side of the city making it easier than ever to get around. The free tram zone map can be downloaded here: PTV_FreeTramZone_Map
Overall my week away reignited my love for Melbourne. From its quirky laneways with street art, the river that snakes through the city centre, the shopping, to the food (oh my god, the food), my lovely friends who live there and make the effort to catch up with me, and finally those silly trams who I can’t seem to spot the right stop for every time! Melbourne I heart you real hard.
Have you been to Melbourne? What are your favourite things to do in the City?