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.

Long lunches or deluxe dinners can be had at Atlas Dining, Matilda, Wilson & Market, Da Noi and Ramblr. Get sustenance from the kaleidoscopic delights at LuxBite.

An art escape

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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