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Melbourne, Bendigo & Daylesford

When it comes to destinations for holidays that include great hotels, relaxation, shopping, arts, food, drink and good coffee Melbourne is my go to. On my most recent trip, I also discovered that Daylesford and Bendigo have so much to offer.

There always seems to  be something new to discover every time I visit Melbourne. On this trip the food, wine, culture and shopping were everything I knew they were and more. 

A memorable place to stay

Staying at Crown Metropol in Southbank was a highlight. I am a big fan of staying somewhere different if I have visited a city before. I feel it gives you a different perspective. At Crown Metropol you have everything you could want right at your fingertips, including an infinity pool with quite possibly the best view ever and Melbourne's CBD just a short walk away.

The best eating and drinking – and shopping

When it comes to places to eat Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and Press Club Projects were next-level amazing – two very different experiences in both food and atmosphere. Union Electric Cocktail Bar is hidden in a little laneway location and is a standout when it comes to beautiful drinks. And of course, if relaxed cafe or street food is your thing the options are endless! 

Shopping in Melbourne is always amazing, and for me the huge selection of homeware and design stores is like heaven, from Ikea to West Elm to Fenton & Fenton. On this trip a visit to Norsu Interiors was a highlight.

From Melbourne to spas and bustling Bendigo

On the second part of my trip I headed out of Melbourne to regional Victoria. I first visited the spa town of Daylesford, which included stunning places like the Convent Gallery (steeped in history and arts), Hepburn Bathhouse (relaxation, swimming and spa treatments), and the Lake House, which was so impressive from the stunning setting to the most luxurious suites and fine dining perfection. The small main street of Daylesford has many gems including bars, cafes, vintage shops and design stores. 

My last stop was Bendigo and I could not have loved this vibrant regional centre more. The Marilyn Monroe Exhibition at the Bendigo Art Gallery was mind blowing. I had goosebumps almost the entire time! This exhibition is a must-see for Marilyn fans as well as lovers of fashion, movies and film history in general. 

Bendigo has everything I could have possibly wanted in a holiday destination. The town is just filled with history. There's amazing food and wine, which is mostly sourced locally, especially at The Woodhouse and Masons. The Schaller Hotel was like nowhere I have ever stayed, with rooms filled with art, books and very contemporary, on-trend decor. And the shopping was fantastic, especially the homeware and design stores. It is easy to see why I am already planning my return to this wonderful town with my family to see and enjoy more.

So yet again a trip to Melbourne and Victoria has been everything I hoped for and more. I cannot wait to return to discover more.

Read more from Aimee at her My Beloved Style blog here: mybelovedstyle.com

Aimee's top picks

Lake Daylesford, Victoria, Australia

SERENE - It's goodbye to the beautiful serene @lakehousedaylesford and onto new adventures in Bendigo today #visitmelbourne #daylesford

Lake House, Daylesford, Victoria, Australia

LAKE HOUSE - These are my digs for the night! @lakehousedaylesford Pure luciousness, especially after swimming at Hepburn Springs followed by a 90 minute hot stone massage - I am already planning my return #visitmelbourne#lakehousedaylesford #hepburnspringsspa

Aimee's Instagram

Melbourne highlights

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Things to do

Bendigo

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History & heritage

Bendigo Tramways Vintage Talking Tram

Sit back, relax and let the tram do all the talking as you journey through the past 150 years aboard a majestic Vintage 'Talking' Tram.

Parks & gardens

Rosalind Park

Explore the beautiful old gardens, historic conservatory, fernery, playground and 60 acres of open spaces in Rosalind Park, in the centre of Bendigo.

Art galleries

Bendigo Pottery

Explore the gallery showcasing ceramics and artwork or throw a pot on the wheel and create your very own piece of art.

Museums

Golden Dragon Museum

Experience a living history of Bendigo's Chinese population and explore exhibitions featuring artefacts dating as far back as the Shang Dynasty.

Art galleries

Bendigo Art Gallery

Stop by the Bendigo Art Gallery and see works by contemporary Australian artists including Patricia Piccinini, Tracey Moffatt and Bill Henson.

Food & wine

Bendigo wine region

While red wine lovers flock to Bendigo for the now famous shiraz and cabernet sauvignon, white wine fans should seek out chardonnay and riesling.

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