This chichi Melbourne neighbourhood is getting its urban groove on, thanks to cool bars and eateries plus a stunning new hotel.
Kick off the day at Gilson, which serves a most fashionable smashed avo with chopped egg and chilli. Open from 6am until late, it just might coax you back for two hours of aperitivo power each weeknight.
South Yarra is an image-conscious ’burb and arriviste Bar Carolina steps up to the plate with a sleek fit-out to please a discerning clientele. This sibling to city stalwarts Sarti and Il Bacaro is a place to be seen but the confident Italian menu gives it substance, too.
An innovative culinary globetrotter, Atlas Dining tackles a different cuisine every four months. Whether young chef Charlie Carrington is flitting to Peru, Korea or Vietnam, the one constant is the mighty wood grill that adds its lick of fire to the menu.
Leonard’s House of Love
Leonard’s is an American-style bar that resembles a log cabin spliced with the lounge room in The Brady Bunch. Drinks are mainly beer and fruity cocktails, while fried chicken and burgers sate the appetite.
The dial is set to “party” at The Emerson, where it would take considerable effort to be overdressed. Whether you’re hitting the dance floor or the roof deck, the good times roll, courtesy of a drinks list with a keen eye on trends (hello frozen riesling infused with blueberry liqueur).
A quintessentially Melbourne experience, the 3.8-kilometre Tan Track that loops around the Royal Botanic Gardens and Kings Domain is a magnet for joggers and walkers. Enjoy the sights before heading to Shannon Bennett’s French-Vietnamese-inspired café, Jardin Tan.
Did you know gourmet hotspot Prahran Market is actually in South Yarra? This historic precinct is the perfect place to laze away a weekend morning with coffee from Market Lane and an oozing cheese toastie from Maker & Monger.
United Places Botanic Gardens
On blue-ribbon Domain Road and opposite the gardens, United Places Botanic Gardens is a swank 12-room “home hotel” with apartment-sized suites and meticulous styling by Carr Design Group (responsible for Jackalope on the Mornington Peninsula). Amenities you won’t find at home include a butler. At the ground-floor restaurant, Matilda 159 Domain, the wood grill is driven by chef Scott Pickett of ESP, Saint Crispin and Estelle Bistro fame.
But first, caffeine…
Get your fix at Drugstore Espresso, where the coffee is a custom blend from local roaster Rosso Roasting Co using Fairtrade organic beans.
Top image: Gilson