Things to do in Melbourne

I knew I was going to love Melbourne, before I even arrived. Known as the food and coffee capital of Australia there was plenty for me to taste and try in my 10 days there, and it’s almost impossible to pick my favourites from the long list. This cosmopolitan city also boasts some of the country’s best cultural highlights and designers, which kept me entertained in between mealtimes!

the prince melbourne

To Stay

The Prince – a design haven in the bohemian St Kilda district, this chic boutique hotel offers 40 stylish bedrooms. Their two-hatted restaurant, Circa, serves beautiful food; go at lunchtime for the reasonably priced In’n’Out set menu.

To Eat

Supernormal – there is often a queue for this popular fusion restaurant. Have a drink at the bar before devouring indulgent dishes such local oysters, roast duck bao and velvety wagyu beef.

Saint Crispin – I had my favourite Melbourne meal at this modern Australian eatery. Open for lunch Friday to Sunday, you can sample three courses of the chef’s exquisite creations for a fraction of the full dinner price. Before your meal, try the “Snap, crackle and pop”; a magical combination of puffed pork crackling, dashi, brown sugar and white sesame.

Coda – this award-winning basement restaurant is stylish and slick. All the Vietnamese-inspired food is tempting. I suggest ordering half-portions so you can taste a wider variety of dishes – the unique blackened quail is especially good and I loved the fresh and vibrant hanoi roll.

Gelato Messina – the mecca of ice-cream, this much-loved institution has spread across Australia. The Italian-style gelateria makes successfully inventive flavours; salted caramel and white chocolate is the most popular.

Lune Croissanterie – as long as you’re willing to wait (sometimes up to two hours!) you’ll be rewarded with the flakiest croissant, perhaps in the whole of the southern hemisphere. Their perfect pastry recipe was created by a rocket scientist turned chef, which explains the space theme of the bakery.

Top Paddock – the perfect weekend hang-out for a leisurely brunch with friends. Don’t miss their famous blueberry and ricotta hotcake with berries, organic maple, seeds and double cream.

Tipo 00 – this new pasta bar is thrilling the Melbourne locals, and it’s a struggle to nab a table at the intimate venue. Sit at the bar and enjoy a bowl of the homemade pappardelle with braised rabbit, marjoram & hazelnut.

Tuckshop Takeaway – set up by ex-Fat Duck husband and wife team, this cute corner shop serves some of the best burgers I have ever tasted. Everything is homemade, from the bouncy brioche burger buns to the nostalgic sodas and shakes.

Cookie – those in the know head to the 1st floor of the Curtin House building for the city’s best Thai food. Be sure to order the addictively good betel leaf wrapped pork skewers.

To Drink

Patricia Coffee Brewers – those in the know head to Patricia for their morning wake-up. The café was set up by Bowen Holden and Pip Heath in 2011 and named after their grandmothers (coincidentally both called Patricia!). Tucked away in the centre of town, with only standing space, this tiny venue is frequented by local office workers. With leather aprons by Jess Wootten, cups by potter Malcolm Greenwood and pastries by Lune Croissanterie, I loved every detail.

Market Lane Coffee – serving seasonal coffee from around the world these speciality roasters pour some of the best coffee in town. With four branches around Melbourne you are never far away from a Market Lane fix.

Bar Americano – In my opinion this compact bar mixes the finest drinks in town. Hidden away on the corner of Presgrave Place, with enough standing space for just 10, it is a homage to the drinking dens of the 1930s. Order from their short seasonal menu of strong classic cocktails.

Everleigh – This prohibition venue is repeatedly crowned the best bar in Melbourne, and for good reason. Sit at the long glamorous bar and ask the talented mixologists to create something to suit your taste. The juices are squeezed fresh for each drink and ice is supplied by the bar’s own company, and cut as needed.

Black Pearl – A Fitroy favourite, this friendly bar opened over 14 years ago and has a loyal following. Barmen Will entertained us while we drank our creative and tasty drinks. Upstairs, The Attic is a cosy room, perfect for private events.

Siglo – This al fresco rooftop wine bar has great views over Parliament and is always filled with beautiful bohemians. The smell of cigars will linger in the air as you drink a glass of wine from their sophisticated wine list.

ai weiwei

To See & Do

National Gallery of Victoria – This large museum has two branches in different areas of town. At the international venue, wander around the permanent collection of Eastern and Western art, both ancient and modern. We enjoyed the bold and brilliant Ai Weiwei and Warhol temporary show.

Centre for Contemporary Photography – A small gallery in North Fitzroy showcasing eclectic contemporary photo-based art. The centre also host photography courses.

South Melbourne Market – This local covered market has been running since 1867, with a wide range of vendors offering all kinds of food, clothing, homeware and more. It is a lovely place to walk around, stopping when something delicious catches your fancy. I couldn’t resist the baked treats from Agathe.

The Shrine of Remembrance and Botanic Gardens – The Shrine of Remembrance is Melbourne’s most iconic landmark, paying tribute to the lives lost in the first world war. Nearby the beautiful botanic gardens offers a quiet place away from city life. In summer you can go punting on the lake and watch films under the moonlight.

Neighbours Tour – A must for all Ramsay Street fans, meet the stars and find out the secrets behind Australia’s most famous soap.


To Shop

Aesop – If you are already an Aesop addict you will love shopping at the brand’s stores in their home city. Less than half the price of UK outlets, you can buy the whole face care range without any guilt.

Gertrude, Smith, Johnston and Brunswick Streets – these streets in the hip Fitzroy area are back-to-back with some of the best independent boutiques, local labels and cool eateries.

Loose Leaf – this beautiful flower emporium is a jungle of hanging plants and fragrant blooms. Stop by to pick up one of their lovely bunches or a scented candle.

Monkhouse Design Shop – Found in East Brunswick this carefully curated women’s boutique stocks a unique range of independent luxury labels from Australia and around the world.

The Cool Hunter – This slick store in the Prahan district is a gallery of desirable objects and items. Pick up a The Horse watch or a set of glasses from cult brand Iittala.

Hansom – Hansom was founded by a British couple who opened their first store in 2012. I visited the flagship Fitzroy store and wanted to buy everything from this laidback local brand. I particularly liked the peach cropped palazzo pants paired with a simple white silk shirt.

yarra valley

To Escape

Yarra Valley – This stunning wine region is the perfect day trip from the city, just a one-hour drive from central Melbourne. There are over 80 wineries from small family owned to corporate, all producing cool climate wines. I recommend heading to Innocent Bystander for a tasting and to try their delicious sourdough pizza. If you like fizzy wines, visit the pictoresque Chandon vineyards to sample their collection, including an unusual sparkling red wine.

Dinerama, Shoreditch Yard


This summer the Street Feast team welcomed Dinerama, the newest addition to their London street market collection. Located on Great Eastern Street, you will see it’s name in lights before you smell the succulent food. The market place is open Thursday to Sunday (lunch – late), so you won’t have to wait ’till the weekend to get your street food fix.

dinerama pizza

There are six eat in street diners, five street shacks, two food trucks and five bars to choose between. Holding up to 1000 people there is plenty of space to take a crowd. If you are planning a party there are areas you can book, like the mezzanine platform looking out over East London.

Vendors include Duck’N Roll (the street food project from Michelin starred Club Gascon), Smokestak, Baba G’s, Yum Bun, Rainbo and Chuck Burger among others. We tried a thin and tasty pizza from Fundi and a juicy burger from Chuck, but it was the sticky-sweet addictive pork ribs from Smokestak that I would recommend heading to first.


Dinerama, 19 Great Eastern Street, London, EC2A 3EJ

Thurs – Sat 12pm-12am, Sun 12pm-9pm 

Things to do in Barcelona

Barcelona is one of the most popular short-break destinations for Brits. Short travelling time, reasonably priced city, plenty of culture, food and sunshine to enjoy. I have been desperate to write about the Catalan capital for a while now and when I did finally spend a weekend there I had an endless list of must try things to do, see, eat and experience. In three days I dashed to every corner of Barcelona to bring you this varied and fun directory of my favourite things to do.


Mercer Hotel – tucked away in the atmospheric and historic Gothic quarter this hotel is removed from the main tourist streets. There is a luxurious sense of calm and cool inside the grand building. Stylish and minimalist design-led rooms are blissfully comfortable, the rooftop terrace bar and pool is heaven on a hot day and the restaurant downstairs serves seasonal fine dining.
Generator Hotel/Hostel – this affordable option is on the outskirts of central Barcelona. Always full of passionate travellers Generator is a perfect combination of character and comfort. Share a room with fellow guests in the hostel or enjoy the privacy of a hotel room complete with private bathroom and balcony.


La Pepita – tired and hungry this little venue was ideal for a first-night quick meal. With long opening hours La Pepita is great for a snack any time of day. Enjoy a glass of cava and a selection of tasty tapas.
Cornelia & Co – this NYC inspired deli-café is perfect place to pick up picnic supplies, or pop in for a morning croissant and fresh juice. The chic canteen-style design is a pleasure to be surrounded by.
La Boqueria – a favourite with tourists, this large public market in the centre of town is a landmark in Barcelona. Offering a wide range of edible goods I recommend wandering round and quenching your thirst with an exotic fresh pressed juice.
Caelis – an elegant Michelin starred restaurant serving inventive cuisine by Chef Romain Fornell. Try the speciality sharing dessert, “Explosion St. Honore”, a dish to remember.
Tickets – simply the hottest ticket in town. If you are blessed with good luck you may find yourself sitting at this wacky tapas restaurant by prestigious chef Ferran Adria. The famous foodie applies his avant-garde creative and unconventional ideas to create a menu that is both delicious and thrilling.
Caravelle – this trendy café is known to make the best brunch place in town. The minimalist little venue is reminiscent of East London hang-outs, with guests tapping away on macs and shovelling the baked eggs into their mouths enthusiastically.
Cañete – an upmarket and fashionable tapas bistro for those in the know. Cañete serves up a taste of old Spain, I couldn’t fault the food. Always busy, it is best to go along at opening time to ensure you get a table. Sit at the bar so you can see the chefs at work, food envy is inevitable so best to order as you go.
Bacoa– Burgers are increasingly popular in Barcelona and this outlet is the place to try them. Now with several branches Bacoa is never too far away. The team use the best meat grilled to juicy perfection, homemade bread and irresistibly creamy sauces, we shared one burger and wished instantly we had got one each!


La Donuteria – If you can bear to leave the traditional churros snack behind, visit this new sweet-tooth heaven for a donut.
La Cova Fumada – the tapas bar with no name, this scruffy traditional eatery is found nearby to the beach, 56 Carrer del Baluart and is always full with local workers. Said to be the birthplace of the spicy potato bomba it is the best place to try this delicious Spanish specialty.
Eyescream and Friends – ice-cream doesn’t get much friendlier than this. Located near the main Barceloneta beach Eyescream and Friends serves animated homemade ice-cream with toppings of your choice. These need to be seen to be believed.


Satan’s Coffee Corner – now relocated to a bigger venue this coffee place was set up by Marcos Bartolome, who saw a gap in the market serving truly great coffee in Barcelona. Local and visiting caffeine addicts flock to the chic corner café to get their fix and sit in lovely light room.
Nomad – this lab and shop in El Born is for coffee fanatics and devotees. Known for offering the best coffee in Barcelona the Nomad boys use a wonderfully balanced blend… the flat white here was one of the best I’ve tried.
Sirvent – selling the locally loved drink horchata, Sirvent is an institution in Barcelona. Horchata is a unique blend of tigernuts, water and sugar and is a refreshing creamy drink. Family run since 1920 Sirvent often has a long queue of parched customers in summer, each clutching a paper numbered ticket ready to be served.
Barcelo Raval – a glamorous 360 rooftop bar with a lovely relaxed vibe, and spectacular panoramic views of the entire city. Not as well-known as the more popular W Hotel this bar is less busy and consequently much more pleasant for an sundowners drink.
Dry Martini – opened in 1978 and has remained the top place to drink fine cocktail in Barcelona. Owned and created by barman legend Javier de las Muelas this bar is a homage to the celebrated Dry Martini.
Negroni – a small and discreet little bar which barely has a sign indicating its whereabouts, and inside there is no menu to choose from. Sit on the high stools and chat to the experienced mixologist about your preference of flavour and ingredients and minutes later your perfect drink will be placed in front of you.
El Mariachi – this hidden away secret bar in the Gothic area is impossible to find but worth looking for. Manu Chao is sometimes seen jamming here, but if he’s not in the house there will often be other talented musicians entertaining the crowd. Drinks are reasonably priced, but beware there are no English speakers here.


Camp Nou – visit this iconic football stadium and museum to get to grips with the history of Spanish history. See the luscious green pitch where the world’s best players illustrate the beautiful game. We enjoyed an in depth tour with a knowledgeable guide, even I left humming the familiar Barcelona FC fan song.
Fundacio Joan Miro – located on the Montjuic hill this impressive white modern museum honours the work of Joan Miro, a 20th Century Catalan artist. I particularly loved the selection of outdoor sculptural work which are arranged with amazing views of the city as a backdrop.
Recinte Modernista – The Modernista Sant Pau Complex was built between 1905 and 1930 and designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner as a garden city for nursing the sick. Recently Renovated this incredible collection of buildings is now partially reopened allowing the public to admire the beautiful architecture and design.
Barceloneta beach – when the heat gets too much the Spaniards head to the beach. It is a rare treat to have the seaside so close to the city centre so take advantage of the cool blue waters and fight for your place on the sand. Nearby bars and restaurants provide sustenance when you get peckish, or buy a fresh mojito on the beach.


Picasso Museum –  this lovely museum houses one of the most extensive collections of artworks by the 20th-century Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. After paying your dues in the queue wander round and pick your favourite painting from the unrivalled selection.
Els Encants flea market – In a startling mirrored open-sided complex near Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes, the ‘Old Charms’ flea market is the biggest of its kind in Barcelona. Over 500 vendors sell antique furniture, second-hand clothes and other random bits and bobs.
Pink Peony – this adorable little salon gave us a chance to recuperate and relax, for a blissful 2 hours we let the attentive staff pamper our feet and hands. Located very centrally on the famous shopping street Passeig de Gracia, this small salon opened in 2008, the perfect place for shoppers to stop for a beauty break.
La Sagrada Familia – easily the most famous landmark in Barcelona La Sagrada Familia by Antoni Gaudi is a challenge to get into but you’ll regret it if you don’t make the effort. I would advise to book tickets online before you go so you don’t waste time in the queue. Inside the large psychedelic Roman Catholic church is even more remarkable than the exterior. The quirky design, multi-coloured stained glass windows and the terrifyingly tall towers are unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.


Colmado Quilmez – dating back to 1908 this old-school grocery has a spectacular range of local and international food and drink products. Make sure you check out the unrivalled selection of bottled waters, there are over 200 brands to choose from!
Les Topettes – a dinky, daintily designed shop with a range of lovely perfume brands from around the globe, beautifully packaged soaps and scented candles. I particularly loved the fragrances from Madrid-based perfume house Oliver & Co.
Chandal – Can I please live here? I loved it all…  a fabulous retro concept store stocking retro stationery, books, cameras, toys, t-shirts and much more. A whole load of things you don’t need, but desperately want.
Fantastik – this mad and magical shop stocks imported items from around the world. Here you can buy brilliantly kitsch décor to add some character and colour to your home… Chinese thermos flasks, Mexican virgins, plastic pandas from Japanese and photos of Indian hairstyles from the 70s.
Vincon – an expansive design emporium on the main street Passeig de Gracia Vincon spans two floors and holds a huge collection of aesthetically pleasing furniture and homeware. At the back the small gallery Sala Vincon showcases intriguing exhibitions.
Oriol Balaguer – where chocolate and design meet. Oriol Balaguer is an award-winning chocolatier and he is renowned in Spain. In his bijou Barcelona store in Barrio Alto presents the fine sweets, pastries, cakes and mousses in a beautifully decadent way. Go along in the morning for an indulgent pain au chocolat.
Holala! – this is vintage heaven, with a handpicked selection of vintage clothes and furniture from USA, Japan and EU. Pick up a second-hand Ralph Lauren shirt, neon sports shorts or a retro pinafore to add to your wardrobe.

Many thanks to the Barcelona Tourist Board for their help with this trip, more information here.