Toorak & South Yarra
Flip your designer handbag so the label is most certainly on display and hit the shopping strips of Toorak and South Yarra, daring to dream at the real estate listings and peeking at the lives of privileged pioneers.
Marvel at the works of art that are the haute couture window installations on Chapel Street and Toorak Road, though even the most exclusive boutiques struggle to rival the jewels in the window of Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio patisserie.
Shopping between meals
European designers and local heroes like Collette Dinnigan will happily make a dent in your wallet and ensure you look the part.
Enjoy a terrace breakfast at Harvey's Restaurant, coffee at Caffé e Cucina or Yum Cha at Ay Oriental Tea House before the shopping begins. Long lunches or deluxe dinners can be had at France Soir, The Botanical and The Millswyn. Get sustenance at MoPho, The Outpost or with macarons at LuxBite.
An art escape
Look out for the openings of art studios adding to the area's dynamic commercial gallery scene. Upstarts like KALIMANRAWLINS ensure stalwarts Nellie Castan and Gould galleries don't rest on their laurels.
Delay the end of your South Yarra dream with a night or two in the arty surrounds of The Olsen Hotel.
Glimpse into the lifestyle of the life and times of 1850s Melbourne aristocracy at Como House and Garden. Covet one of Melbourne's finest gardens, tour the historic mansion, and linger in the cafe until it's time to admit it's not your house.
Eschew the shopping centres for quaint, contained mock-Tudor Toorak Village, boasting boutiques bursting with exclusive designer fashions or Hawksburn Village, on Malvern Road, with its sprinkling of forward fashion, smart restaurants, friendly cafes and gourmet retailers.
How to get there
By tram: Number 8 from Swanston Street to Williams Road (and a 7-10 minute walk to Como House and Garden) and Toorak Village (about 25 minutes); Number 72 from Swanston Street to Malvern Road (about 30 minutes); Number 78/79 to travel the length of Chapel Street (from North Richmond to St Kilda).
By train: From Flinders Street to South Yarra Station (connecting with Number 8 tram to Como House and Toorak Village).