The Black Cat http://www.blackcatfitzroy.com/

The Black Cat was one of the first places that I really felt relaxed in when I first came to Melbourne. I was in the country for a total of four days initially to get set up.  Four days to find a house, get a phone, bank account, job and tax number.  Yup that’s me, always attempting the impossible. However the universe smiled on me and I was able to achieve (or over achieve) and got pretty much all done.  Exhaustion ensued so I sort out somewhere to relax and the Black Cat did it for me.  Delicious on-tap apple cider and lemony grilled halloumi!  What could be more perfect comfortable and delicious?!!

Shag  http://www.shagshop.com.au/  

(Click here to see more!)
Maybe I should have been born in the 70’s because I LOVE bright colours, patterns and odd ball clothing. So when I walked past this store I couldn’t help but to be stopped in my tracks and dive into the colour, sparkle and wonderment that Shag contains!  See these for yourself and believe me its better IRL!!

My Delirium  https://www.facebook.com/mydeliriummelb

I’m pretty sure I “Squeeeeed” with excitement when I stumbled upon this store.  I found it completely by accident when trying to find an address in Collingwood and getting lost and heading the opposite direction to Fitzroy instead.  Ooops!  This place is bright colourful and totally amazing and the ladies that work there are just as lovely!!  I’ve even followed the store’s Instagram profile to get more photographic goodness!  I immediately bought something that was ridiculous and totally worth  every expensive cent!  I cant wait to show you more photos of my purchase in the near future!

Daylesford  http://www.visitdaylesford.com.au

Just 90 minutes from Melbourne, the Daylesford boasts the highest concentration of mineral springs in the country together with an equally large array of therapists.   Holistic health services, cuisine, cellar doors, award winning day spas, spectacular scenery, natural mineral springs, romantic hideaways, country resorts, historic streetscapes, horse trekking and trout farms all make this glorious wee spot a top destination when you’ve had enough of the city and need an escape.  For me it was an beautiful and thoroughly enjoyable romantic get-away.   Although being a little saddle sore for the next few days I’d do it all again in a heart beat with a big dinner and massage at the end of it!

The Butterfly Club   http://thebutterflyclub.com

Some of my new friends in Melbourne said that I’d “HAVE” to visit the Butterfly Club.  Surprised to hear a place come so highly recommended I decided one afternoon to seek it out randomly to check it out.  Looking up at the photo above from the day we went horse riding, that surprised face is exactly what I did when I walked it.  Quickly it changed to super excitement!!  I can’t wait to go back here more often and even put on shows in the cute wee theater!!
The Butterfly Club, a glorious small theater and temple of camp kitsch in the heart of Melbourne – here you’ll find an intimate showroom, an award-winning foyer bar, and a truly enormous collection of kitsch. Take a seat in an improbably old armchair, try a sip of your Thai Butterfly, then move to the theater and forget about the world outside.”

DFO  http://www.dfo.com.au/

Kiwis if you are familiar with DressSmart then this is the Australian equalent.  Cheap, factory outlet, end of line stores but in a HUGE f***off mall.  Its amazing and overwhelming.  But I walked out last weekend with a gorgeous “Bird of Paradise” faux fur coat that I saw weeks ago and couldn’t get out of my head!!  I had to go back and get it.  As soon as I’ve worn it I’ll take photos to post up.. I just keep thinking how wonderfully it will match my Mermaid dress.  It looks a little like this, but more fluffy and two tone.

Dangerfield  http://dangerfield.com.au/

The ultimate Hipster /Alternative shop.  It has everything.  Its the “Target” for anyone with a little bit more of a ‘different’ style.  From “David Bain” ugly jumpers through to cute cardigans or goth pants or tie-dye.   There is a store on just about every shopping street or mall and even an outlet on the top end of Brunswick street if you are trying to find something cheap.

China Town (Spicy Hut and Shanghai Village Restaurants)

Spicy Hut does HUGE meals full of flavour and lots of spice that if you order four dishes it will feed you for a week and not be too dear.  They are happy to give you take away containers if you cant finish a meal.  Off Lonsdale street close to Chinatown.
Shanghai Village is also in Chinatown (112 Little Bourke street and ‘cool’ restaurant in town!) and is the closest you can get to the hipster filled Barrilla Dumplings back in Auckland’s Dominion Road.  A HUGE two level restaurant it is busy, delicious and most of all VERY CHEAP.  A big group can pre-book and organize a flat fee per head. RECOMMEND!!

Williamstown Ghost tours   http://www.lanternghosttours.com/

Being a fan of the supernatural and all things ghostly we trekked to Williamstown, the otherside of Melbourne harbour in the early evening, had a lovely dinner then head over to the old fountain by the shore.  A lady with a lantern took us out around the town and showed us the creppy allyways, haunted tower and old mortuary.  Brilliant, if I get tingles up my spine, and my hairs standing on end – You will too!

 
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