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  • taniapanozzoworral

Next stop: Fed Square

Updated: Jul 22, 2021

Here's how to keep all the girls* happy on a two-day trip to Melbourne, as told by my Instagram stories. PS There may have been a little retail therapy in between as well!

FROM ONE TRAIN TO ANOTHER: Jump off the V-line train at Southern Cross Station, hit the ground running. Booking for lunch at Chocolate Buddha in Federation Square. Just as much about the experience as the food! Sushi train plus digital menu, what's not to love! $70 fed five well.

THE COLD NEVER BOTHERED ME ANYWAY: Straight onto the ACMI Disney exhibition next door in Fed Square. We could have spent all afternoon here! From original sketches to movie snippets, this exhibit showcased the vast Disney collection in chronological order. From Snow White to The Lion King and everything inbetween, I dare you to pick a favourite! Entry is timed, book ahead.

EXPRESS ESPRESSO! Quick coffee stop at Brunetti's in Flinders Lane to refuel for retail thereapy at the Emporium and South Wharf DFO (don't bother with Docklands or Essendon, this one is the bomb!) Bookmark some takeway pastries before the trip home tomorrow. Such a sucker for the packaging!

GREEK GODS. Usually we choose fine dining when staying in the CBD (the to-eat list is always long and never-ending) but going cheaper doesn't need to skimp on taste or enjoyment. Stalactities has been on our list since the Stefanos Tsitsipas souvlaki was introduced during the 2020 Australian Open. Not on the current menu, there was still soooo much to choose from, including all the Greek favourites and the more traditional share dishes.

SHOWING OFF: A block further down on Lonsdale St towards the city is this beauty, The Emerald Peacock. We left the kids at the hotel and Mum and I enjoyed a cockatail (or two!). Don't let the secluded entry intimidate you: the stairs lead to three floors of entertainment and eating, think plush couches, secluded booths and chandeliers, plus pre-Covid, live music. Tonight only the top floor was open, but who cares with this view!

THE NEXT BEST THING: Sometimes Melbourne sends you a curve ball, but for all the right reasons. Sure, the Ingresso Cafe at the base of Melbourne's newest boutique offering the Next Hotel, is tiny but the fit out is gorgeous and the coffee and pastries were spot on. Best of all, the barista chauffered us to the lift, which flew us up to the amazing check-in lounge, library, and a spiral stairway to heaven ... I mean La Madonna restaurant. Next time, Next Hotel, next time.

*Girls: Two teens, 15 and 17; Mum, 76 and sister, 47.


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