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Melbourne – The capital of cool

June 30, 2019

Lifestyle | by Baldwin Ho


There are plenty of cities that consider themselves the ‘capital of cool’, but this title has never been more apt than in describing a metropolis like Melbourne, the capital of the state of Victoria in Australia.

From boutique hotels to cool coffee shops, there is no shortage of creativity and vibrancy in this capital.

South Melbourne is arguably one of the trendiest areas in the city and one top boutique hotel to consider is Coppersmith with fifteen elegantly designed rooms with the ultimate comfort in mind – custom mini bar menus, Nespresso coffee machines and recordable Foxtel for you to catch up on your favourite programmes.

Melbourne

Award-winning designers

The room itself includes furniture pieces from award-winning Australian designers such as tables by Oak & Elm, custom designed wall lamps by Ross Gardam and ottomans by Jardan. Their bathroom products are from leading Australian brand, Appelles Black Label.

If you are in any doubt on the cosmopolitan nature of Melbourne, you just need to look at the pan-national nature of the menu with dishes like a warm salad of Japanese pumpkin, orange, feta, mixed seeds and crispy duck breast with duck wonton and sour cherry glaze. Apart from a slick looking bar area on the ground floor, they also have an unrivalled rooftop terrace for guests to soak up the Melbourne sunshine.

It is a city filled with opportunities. If you ask the restaurant owner of David’s, he came to the city over fifteen years ago, not speaking a word of English selling tea to now owning one of the most-respected, popular Shanghainese restaurants in town.

Melbourne

A walkable city

The classic traditional sticky pork belly is a must-order dish using rock sugar, star anise, dark soy, and wombok cabbage; but it is also a very vegetarian-friendly restaurant with mouth-watering options like sesame spring onion pancakes and home village tofu.

David’s also offers hand-crafted dim sum as well as some indulgent sounding desserts like jasmine tea-infused chocolate fudge cake. You might notice the staff chatting voraciously with all the diners and that is not a surprise here, as they get plenty of repeat clients from the local community.

Melbourne is very much a walkable city and one of the best tours to try is Fashion by Foot where you are offered a guided shopping tour of local independent fashion designers with a strong emphasis on sustainable, independent and ethical fashion.

P.A.M Store

Dedicated men’s fashion tours

The guides, Donna and Briar, are some of the most personable and hospitable people you will come across in the city and their knowledge of the Melbourne fashion industry is second to none. The great thing about their tours is apart from focusing on different regions of the city like Fitzroy, Brunswick and the CBD, they also run dedicated men’s fashion tours. 

You get to visit renowned designers like Lord Coconut, who make contemporary handmade jewellery for men or bespoke Italian tailors like Carl Nave and often those shops are not on street-level, so you really do need a local expert to point them out to you.

Melbourne
Lord Coconut

Hip restaurants

And the tour isn’t just about fashion; you start off with sparkling wine on a rooftop bar where they discuss your needs and aims. They take you to hip restaurants for lunch like MoVida for timeless tapas.

Other destinations to consider include National Gallery of Victoria, where they tend to host ground-breaking exhibitions like Escher x Nendo, South Melbourne Market and the Royal Botanic Garden Melbourne, which is one of the best-sculpted gardens you will see anywhere in the world.

Melbourne Royal Botanic Garden

Finally, if you have time for a day trip, do book a day trip to Phillip Island to see the march of the penguins.

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