This lovely mild weather we are experiencing in Houston right now has me remembering my time in Melbourne a couple of months ago. Although quite different from Sydney, which I loved immediately, Melbourne had an appeal all its own, and it grew on me as I explored the city. During our visit, we stayed at the Park Hyatt that was in a great area of the city and central to everything. We walked or took short taxi rides to all of our destinations. Though the location was almost recommendation enough for the hotel, it was so beautiful on top of that. It has an old world luxury feel, and the most amazing spa with an indoor pool that I definitely took advantage of! Also, if you stay there, do not miss the afternoon tea! It’s well worth the experience. The pastries were delicious, and the champagne didn’t hurt anything either!

As a point of reference for those of you who have been to Austin, the vibe in Melbourne reminded me a little bit of that city. It was laid back and “weird” in the best way. I had no idea before visiting, but there is a robust street art scene since the government has embraced it in Melbourne. During my stay, I saw the most interesting, and sometimes quite moving, paintings all over the city. Since it’s viewed as acceptable, it’s literally everywhere, but there are certain alleyways in the city where the art covers every available inch of wall.

Street art tours are available that take you around the city to the best spots to view the graffiti, but we ventured out on our own and stumbled upon artists at work, which was very entertaining. Some of the artists were much better than others, but it was nice to see that everyone was welcome, no matter what their experience level was.

I did so well in Sydney and stayed away from the shops, but I couldn’t resist in Melbourne. A week and a half without any shopping would have been nearly unbearable…Just kidding. Kind of. But the shopping! I fell in love with a couple of Australian brands while I was there, and I’ll be sharing a couple of outfits with you in the coming weeks. The clothes are incredible! Melbourne also had my tried and true favorites that never get old like Chanel. I’m happy to report that I did not indulge, but there was nothing wrong with window shopping!

After I tired myself out from all of the shopping, I indulged in some of the best food I’ve ever had while traveling. We started out with some traditional Australian cuisine at Cumulus. The roasted lamb shoulder and the perfectly spiced and crispy potatoes are a must. Chin Chin, a Chinese fusion restaurant, was our next food adventure, which came highly recommended. The food is served tapas style, so you have a chance to sample quite a bit depending on your group size. They had a number of curries, and we asked for the spiciest. Try it if you dare! So good. Get this – they also had some really tasty fried chicken wings tossed in a ¬†spicy sauce!

If you’re a bruncher, don’t miss the brunch at Top Paddock. I had to take some of the baked goods to-go, including one of their peanut butter and jelly donuts. You haven’t lived until you’ve tried one. Trust me. Last but not least, the best pizza in the world can be devoured at 400 Gradi. We ordered way too many pizzas because everything on the menu looked so good. We weren’t disappointed either, and everybody left full and happy with no room for dessert!

I really hope I can go back one day, but until then, I’ll stare at the pictures and day dream!

Stay chic and travel far,

Lisa Dawn