Top 7 places to visit in (and around) South Yarra
Fashion and Food – Chapel St and Toorak Road
Chapel St, once categorised as just a ‘shopping strip’ has matured in recent years and added a whole lot more strings to its bow. Such is the elective nature of this famous street that it is now spliced up into distinct neighbourhoods, many breathing new life into areas once passed up on.
While the South Yarra end (around the intersection of Chapel Street and Toorak Road) continues to house some of Melbourne’s best fashion boutiques, in recent years a glam bakery scene years has established itself in the district. Establishments such as the Tivoli Road Bakery, Adriano Zumbo Patisserie and Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio Patisserie continually draw Melbourne’s considerable number of sweet lovers like a moth to a flame.
This area has also long been Melbourne’s centre of French cuisine. With restaurants like France-Soir, Bistro Gitan and Entrecôte continually wowing critics and foodies alike, South Yarra is definitely the place to go experience the taste of La République française.
Bar hoping – Chapel St, Greville Village and Windsor Quarter
After you’ve consumed a French classic or a sugar infused piece of culinary art, venture down to Greville Street to soak up the village atmosphere, or continue on to the Windsor Quarter (High St to Dandenong Rd), which has established itself as a lively bar hopping hub to match the best of them.
Particular favourites are Oak & Steel Wine Bar, The Woods of Windsor, The White Oaks Saloon Bar & Dining, The Railway Hotel, Black Bar, and Wonderland.
Getting a different perspective – ArtBoy & Tusk Galleries
Fancy browsing a bit of art to uplift the soul, give you an insight into the human condition or just a different perspective on things? Well, you might get all three at the ArtBoy Gallery in Prahran. This contemporary gallery is full of bold, vibrant art that can be enjoyed by any age group. The Tusk Gallery on Chapel St also presents a diverse selection of thought-provoking art from Australian and South East Asian artists.
Stepping back in time – Como House
Situated on one of Melbourne’s most picturesque estates, Como House offers visitors a window back into 19thcentury grandeur. This 160-year-old mansion, once owned by one of Australia’s wealthiest pioneer families, is now a sanctuary of old world charm and nobility. Wander the beautifully manicured gardens and soak up the glorious vista across the Yarra River and imagine yourself as part of Melbourne’s aristocratic set during such historic times as the Gold Rush, the Depression and the two World Wars.
Back to nature – Royal Botanic Gardens
Melbourne’s favourite oasis. When the sun is shining its famously manicured lawns are sprawled with sunbakers, picnickers and those simply seeking a break from it all. Outside the gardens, the famous ‘Tan’ track is the spiritual home of Melbourne runners, with a lap or two over the weekend being as much a part of the weekend ritual as a cafe breakfast or an afternoon nap.
Shopping in style – Toorak Village
With its mock Tudor buildings, Toorak Village is one of Melbourne’s unique shopping destinations. Fashionable boutiques, cheerful cafes and fine dining options are drawcards for the well-heeled and those who enjoy a quaint shopping experience.
A Melbourne favourite – The Yarra River
Melbourne’s ‘upside-down’ river is never short of company. While the river is not the most attractive colour, it is a perennial favourite with walkers, joggers and cyclists who flock to its winding paths to exercise or just soak up its peaceful atmosphere. On warm days and barmy nights the air is filled with the smell of sizzling sausages and the sounds of good times as people fire up the famous riverside barbecues and kick back.
Image: The grandeur of Como House, ComoHouse.au