48-hour itinerary: Romance
Make your weekend in Melbourne an affair to remember.
Feel loved in Melbourne this winter, with romantic bars, snuggly cafes and seasonal menus. Linger over winter's best long lunches, fireside dining and wonderful wine bars. Wrap up for some seriously cool hunting in Melbourne' s inner city laneways and nearby neighbourhoods.
Check into a luxury suite at Crown Metropol for a weekend of quality indulgence. With spa suites and stunning city views, it's perfect for a romantic Melbourne weekend away.
Settle in, dress up and head downstairs for dinner.
Expect a little magic and fairytale whimsy at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, or get your sizzle on at Neil Perry's Spice Temple.
For a pre-theatre sundowner and excellent set menu Italiano - a table at Fatto, with twinkling city views, is hard to beat.
After dinner, stroll riverside along the Southbank promenade or take your seat at a show in the Southbank Arts Precinct.
Breakfast in bed, then wander along to Winter Masterpieces at NGV International. Run your fingers through the waterwall and catch a kaleidoscope of colours as they fall to earth beneath the world's largest stained-glass ceiling.
Take in the picturesque 'Paris End' of Collins Street in Melbourne's CBD. It's easy to find romance in the scattered light through bare branched trees and the twinkle of high-end fashion stores.
Wet streets glisten, and cosy cafes beckon as Melbourne's iconic trams trundle by. Head down to the St. Collins Lane collection of boutiques and the historic Block Arcade.
Follow your nose to emerge on Collins Street, and admire sparkly things at Tiffany & Co. Enjoy modern Italian for lunch at award-winning Tipo 00, then pick sweets for your sweet at La Belle Miette, purveyor of divine macrons.
Collect your ticket for a matinee show in Melbourne's East End. Try a 2.00pm session for musical lovers and book ahead for the best seats.
Movie lover? Make an afternoon date with Kino Cinemas. Collect your prosecco, popcorn and tickets under the Sofitel.
Later, select an elegant Melbourne bar and critique the show. Cosy up over a glass of red at Kirk's Wine Bar, or ease into your evening upstairs at French Saloon bistro, gazing out over the terrace, as city lights flicker to life.
Treat your taste buds at one of Melbourne's finest restaurants. Book a date with romance at Cutler & Co., Il Solito Posto, Lesa or French Saloon bistro. Try exquisite modern Japanese restaurant Kisume, or opt for classic fine Italian fare at Grossi Florentino.
Up late? Head to Siglo upstairs, pint sized Bomba's rooftop, basement wine bar Juliet, laneway cocktail den Arlechin, or the much lauded Embla – for a nightcap with a generous measure of romance.
Early riser? Full of beans? Chase down a neon pink sunrise on a Yarra Sunrise Running Tour, while the rest of the city sleeps. Warm down over coffee at a top café.
Ready to impress? Roll out of bed and into a classic car, courtesy of d'Luxe Classic Car Tours. Let your driver show you the city's architectural icons, romantic parks and gardens, bayside boulevards and the best neighbourhood pockets. Stop off for coffee and fresh-baked croissants along the way.
Slept in? Linger over Sunday brunch at Higher Ground or Richmond-based sibling Top Paddock, then explore more of Melbourne's neighbourhoods.
From the CBD, catch a tram a short hop north to bohemian Fitzroy. Pick out a Melbourne-made keepsake at Rose St. Artists Market, then refuel with superior caffeine at Industry Beans.
Trace the grid: down Brunswick, along Gertrude and up Smith street. Take in colourful street art, galleries, boutiques and hip cafes. Stop off at Marion or Archie's All Day, and lock eyes over a perfect drop and tasty snacks.
Stay in the hood for fancy dinner at Saint Crispin, or stroll over to leafy Carlton as the sun dips and the light turns golden.
For a relaxed, bustling vibe, share authentically rustic pizza at Carlton's Kapric. Or pop into Neighbourhood Wine in Fitzroy North, for the kind of cosy, casual atmosphere that makes conversation flow easily.
Find dessert on Lygon Street and split your affections between gelateria Pidapipo and the cheese board at Milk the Cow. Top it off with a drink at the intimate Heart Attack & Vine.
Detour to South Melbourne for markets, cafes and boulangeries.
Brunch at The Crux & Co, then head to South Melbourne Market – alive with colourful locals, up to their elbows in an abundance of fresh produce.
Nearby The Kettle Black does a beaut breakfast with carefully crafted coffee. And Chez Dré bakes fresh bread and pastries to make you swoon.
As the sun goes down, head to the bayside suburb of Port Melbourne.
Pop into Clooney Kitchen and Bar for a great wine selection and a bite to eat from the mod-Oz-Asian menu. Or maybe a romantic booth seat and flickering fireplace sounds inviting? Book your spot at Ciao Cielo for rustic Italian dishes, served in fine surrounds.
On Wednesdays until August, Queen Victoria Market becomes the Winter Night Market after dark. Layer up and head on over for global street food, mulled wine and free live music.
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