Laneways and Arcades – Melbourne

When I think of Melbourne, I think of nooks and crannies, waiting to be found – coffee shops and arcades, hidden away that only the locals know about – and more importantly… food.

I was determined to uncover at least a small portion of these tiny places (with lots of food), while I was in Melbourne and I found just the way to do it.

Buckle up kids and put on your walking shoes, because we’re going on an adventure!

The City of Melbourne has kindly given us more touristy folk a wonderful Arcades and Laneways walk of the CDB. Find it here and print it straight off. All you’ll need is someone who can navigate relatively well (which obviously wasn’t me) and you’re set to go!

Our adventure started off right near Flinders Street Station at Federation Square and if we followed the directions correctly, the plan was to do a sort of loop and end right back here.

20170207_154512-copy

First stop was Degraves Street.

p1120196-copy

Two files of restaurants and coffee shops on either side of the street, jam packed in the middle, with tables and giant umbrellas and bustling with tourists and locals, enjoying their morning coffee break.

p1120201-copy

Along here, you’ll be tempted by very pretty doughnuts…

p1120197-copy

p1120198-copy

And let’s not forget…

p1120199-copy

WAFFLES!

At the very end you’ll spot the skinny, but attractive Majorca Building from the glamorous 1920’s.

p1120200-copy

Turning right, the adventure continues…

(Hungry yet?)

p1120202-copy

Next stop was the fantastic little pedestrian laneway, Centre Place, which was burstingΒ  with people and teeny tiny cafe’s and restaurants, with something to suit everyone.

p1120203-copy

Visit what seems to be the very popular Jungle Juice Bar and/or Hell’s Kitchen, if you start getting peckish.

p1120204-copy

(Excuse the very fuzzy photo! ^)

Also keep an eye out forΒ  lots of street art around Centre Place, as it’s really known for it.

From the hustle and bustle of the nonchalant, unpolished urban eateries, with all their hipster style and unapologetic street art, our walk suddenly transported us to what I can only explain as pretty much the opposite for our senses.

Welcome to the delightful, historical and beautifully European inspired Block Arcade.

p1120205-copy

p1120206-copy

Built between 1891 and 1893, it was inspired by the incredible Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan. (If you don’t know what or where that is, you better Google it!) Block Arcade got its name from the fashionable elite of the day, who would ‘do the block’, walking the streets surrounding it.

p1120193-copy

p1120208-copy

I fell quite in love with the mosaic floors that treat you on entering…

p1120194-copy

And continue all the way through…*droooool*

p1120183-copy

p1120181-copy

p1120215-copy

When you’re in here, you can’t but help look up. It’s really captivating. And while it is on a tiny scale, I can certainly say it made me reminisce of the grand Galleria in Milan, even before knowing its building plans were based off it.

p1120187-copy

p1120184-copy

p1120216-copy

I made a new friend, while I was there…

p1120191-copy

p1120192-copy

Pup. Just a little adorable.

While you are here, make sure to look around all the beautiful shops. There is a little something for everyone, from women’s fashion, men’s tailoring, homewares, knick-knacks, and stationary, set among the wonderful details of the building

p1120210-copy

p1120213-copy

And of course there is food, but not just any food.

p1120188-copy

Introducing the delightful Hopetoun Tea Rooms.

Dating as far back as the arcade itself, the tea rooms are very popular, almost constantly having a waiting line outside. So, if you plan to visit (as I do next time!), best to book in advance, because it is not only you that appreciates its captivating cakes and richly decorated emerald green interior!

p1120189-copy

Now, moving on from this particular arcade obsession.

Following the map, we emerged into Block Place, where food, once again, was not a shortage…

p1120217-copy

And my brother, Mason’s, photo bombing skills were put to work…AGAIN!

p1120218-copy

Thumbs up to you too kiddo!

Then we crossed the street and entered the famous little gem I’ve already mentioned in my last post.

p1120229-copy

The Royal Arcade.

It is the oldest and longest standing arcade in Australia, with construction having been finished in 1870.

p1120220-copy

20170203_203308-copy

With it’s wonderfully checkered floor and glass ceiling.

It is famously known for the statues of the mythical creatures Gog and Magog, that preside on the end and chime on the hour.

p1120222-copy

p1120224-copy

It’s a sight that takes me right back to my childhood, as we waited for the hour to hit and the bell to ring.

Don’t forget to mosey about the shops inside the arcade also. You couldn’t possibly miss this adorable pastel displayΒ  either…

p1120226-copy

…of sweet yumminess! (That’s a word right?)

p1120227-copy

We crossed right through the city centre, where you’ll find all the glorious shopping your heart could desire.

p1120230-copy

The next interesting lane we came across was Niagara Lane.

p1120231-copy

It was almost eerily quiet, compared to the hustle and bustle of the rest of the city. A rather non-important little place, if you didn’t know better, however this place is deceptively historical. The buildings were once old warehouses dating back to the 1860’s . Now only the special barrel hoists poking out of the buildings are a quiet reminder of yesteryear.

p1120234-copy

Next stop was what I like to think is a little slice of Italia.

p1120235-copy

Hardware Lane.

p1120236-copy

A red paved street, lined with traditional Italian restaurants and alfresco dining, you can walk past, as the well trained waiters try to invite you in.

p1120237-copy

Peer upwards and you’ll see the lovely remains of more warehouses, in the gothic revival style.

p1120238-copy

Now with all this Italian culinary delights and being lunch time, we caved into the temptation.

p1120240-copy

We chose Il Nostro Posto and sat inside, as the air conditioning was far too inviting.

The lunch menu was very affordable and the food was relatively good, but nothing to rave about, I’m afraid. I enjoyed my meal, but the pizza was underwhelming for Mama Feltoe.

p1120239-copy

I had the Linguine Amatriciana, but with gluten free pasta.

p1120250-copy

It was a big portion, rather tasty and I must say the gluten free pasta was almost like the real thing! I couldn’t complain about that. Warning though!…It was SPICY! (The way I like it.)

Thoroughly full, we trudged on with our great tour of the city.

p1120251-copy

p1120252-copy

Forever enjoying the wonderful old architecture, it is undoubtedly a little lost to wear and tear, but even more special for it, I think.

p1120253-copy

Other places we went through include the beautiful Manchester Unity Arcade (keep an eye out for the teeny tiny coffee shop) and Manchester Lane.

And the fantastically colourful Flinders Lane, filled with street art. If you don’t already know, Melbourne is super famous for its street art. It’s everywhere, so you can’t miss it!

p1120259-copy

p1320017-copy

(Obligatory street art, wanna-be hipster photo.)

Finally our tour was coming to an end.

p1120255-copy

We popped into Scott Alley, among other spots…

p1120256-copy

With even MORE cafes!

Before we found ourselves back at the beginning.

p1120257-copy

It was a really fantastic way to experience the city, especially if you’ve already done the standard tourist hot spots like my family and I have.

I believe, like most people, the best way to experience a city is on foot and Melbourne is no exception to this. It opens up a whole new area for you to explore, food and all. Definitely go hungry and while you have only one stomach to experience it on, nothing is stopping you from popping back to Hardware Lane the next night to try the next Italian restaurant along.

p1320043-copy

p1320042-copy

The mushroom risotto, with chicken was fantastic!

p1320038-copy

Ciao for now! xxx

Save

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s