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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.

Window dressing

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 will happily make a dent in your wallet and ensure you look the part.

Enjoy a sidewalk breakfast on Chapel Street, caffeine at The Final Step, or brunch at Coffee Darling before the shopping begins. Long lunches or deluxe dinners can be had at France Soir, Bistro Gitan, Da Noi and Entrecôte. Get sustenance from the kaleidoscopic delights at LuxBite.

An art escape

Look out for the openings of art studios adding to the area's dynamic commercial gallery scene. Make time for Station and Gould Galleries.

Delay the end of your South Yarra dream with a night or two in the arty surrounds of The Olsen Hotel.

Como House

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.

The villages

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).

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Things to do

Toorak & South Yarra

La Trobe's Cottage

La Trobe's Cottage is the original home of Victoria's first Lt. Governor, Charles Joseph La Trobe...

Como House and Garden

A stone's throw away from the centre of Melbourne and perched high above the Yarra River lies Como...

Dinosaur Designs

Meet the Flinstones with chunky jewellery and homewares made from resin, silver, ceramic and glass.

Herring Island Environmental Sculpture Park

Accessible only by boat, Herring Island, 3. 2 hectares in size, is just three kilometres from the...

The Olsen

Set on Melbourne's prestigious Chapel Street, The Olsen Hotel offers travellers premier South Yarra...

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Food & wine

Toorak & South Yarra

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France Soir

Experience classic Parisian bistro fare paired with a wine list and table service that is legendary.

Burch & Purchese

Treat your sweet tooth to handcrafted delights such as ice-creams, sorbets and chocolate exotica.

Da Noi

Remove decision making from your dining experience and choose from the Sardinian set menu.

LuxBite

Conjure your own descriptions of the macarons being created by LuxBite's young artisan chefs.

Entrecôte

Steak out pasture-fed Black Angus beef from Hopkins River at this Parisian steakhouse and cafe.

Jardin Tan

Stop by Jardin Tan on your next lap of the Tan for a long lunch of dynamic French-Vietnamese fare.