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Insider Guides

Insider Guide To Melbourne With Farm Girl Founder Rose Hood

Rose Hood created her London-based café concept Farm Girl after being inspired by the cool, colourful café culture she experienced while travelling to the Caribbean and West Coast USA.

Having grown up on a dairy farm in the Western District of Victoria, not far from Melbourne, Rose developed a great understanding of farm-to-fork dining and a love for fresh produce. Here, she shares her insider tips to Melbourne including the best places to eat, see and shop.

The best time to visit Melbourne is…

Mid-December to early January – the weather is perfect. I always visit over the Christmas holiday period because it’s the only time that all of my giant family gets together. 

Our first pitstop should be…

A walk around Albert Park to shake off the jet lag. Grab a coffee from Lenny café first, then stroll up to the park.

Your favourite hotel to check-in at is…

The Cullen Hotel in Prahan. It’s in a great location, has lovely rooms, and always has a fun after-party too. 

For an early morning workout head to…

The Botanical Gardens, my old stomping ground and by far my favourite place to exercise – after a quick coffee on Domain Road. Grab a post-workout smoothie from Green Cup.

Where should we go for breakfast?

The Kettle Black. It serves such a yummy breakfast and has the best coffee. 

Best restaurant for a long, lazy lunch?

Stokehouse in St Kilda for relaxed, fine-dining on the beach.

Your favourite restaurant in town?

Chin Chin in the CBD for delicious pan-Asian cuisine and great cocktails with a good vibe. While here, take time to walk around the CBD and over the river to breath in Melbourne’s evening energy. 


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For dinner with friends?

Kisume is the best Japanese in Melbourne. So so good.

The drink to order at the bar…

Sake from Yokohama.

The best place for people watching…

Toorak. It’s where all the stylish kids hang out, and also has some great dog spotting!

The culture spot to rave about…

Flinders Street Railway Station, and all around the CBD. 

The best place to treat yourself is…

A facial at Skin Day Spa

Where can we go shopping?

Collins Street and Little Collins Street for beautiful boutiques and brands, as well as Chapel Street which is an old classic with fun boutiques. 

For the best views head to…

Brighton Beach.

One place only locals know about…

Morning Market, a corner store showcasing quality seasonal produce, flowers, groceries and baked goods. It’s in Fitzroy.

A book to read before we go (or while there)…

In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson, a classic.

For a change of pace try…

Hawthorn district. Grab a bite in Mr & Mrs Anderson, a delicious Scandi-Japanese restaurant. 

Souvenir to take home?

Vegemite, obviously.

A must-try spot for date night?

Coda Restaurant – another great pan-Asian.

The best place to treat yourself is…

Incu Boutique in the CBD. They always have a great mix of brands and it’s so well curated.


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Your favourite neighbourhood…

South Yarra is so pretty and only a 20-minute walk into the city.

Great day trips include…

Drive over to Sorrento and have lunch at Merricks General Store.

How should we spend the final day of our trip?

A picnic in Rippon Lee Estate, walk around the gardens and look at all the beautiful trees.

What’s your Melbourne secret?

A mezcal bar in Little Bourke Street called Bodega. Expect speakeasy vibes and a great crowd.

In one word, Melbourne is…


Essential items to pack?

A hat, particularly the Terry towelling hats from Dougal or a large Jacquemus bucket hat. Sunscreen from Esthederm, I love it. Totally obsessed. Bottega Venata aviator sunglasses. With Nothing Underneath boyfriend shirt in white. The Longing’s emerald towel for the beach. Aesop Moisture Facial Hydrosol.

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