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Etihad x LUXE: 12 Hours in Melbourne

November 30, 2016

While she doesn’t offer much in the way of wow sights and scenery, chilled hip cat Melbourne secrets an abundance of avant-garde food, fashion, design and culture. And with long summer days approaching, there’s no better time to explore her famed laneways and hidden city hotspots. Here’s a svelte one-day foray to introduce Oz’s creative capital – order yourself a long black and make tracks!

clock 9.00.png  9am: Breakfast at Cumulus Inc

Forget a simple morning meal of Weet-bix and Milo, Melbourne is the home of Australia’s famed cafe culture and thus breakfast is very much a big deal. Kickstart the day with shakshuka eggs, a smoked bacon bap, or a quintessentially Aussie smashed avo at warehouse-situ’d inner-city stalwart Cumulus Inc. Pair with a cup of single-origin house blend coffee, natch. 45 Flinders Ln, City. +61 3 9650 1445. cumulusinc.com.au

clock 10.30.png  10.30am: Shop Flinders Lane

Melbourne’s most iconic laneway is stacked with homegrown label studios and beaut boutiques. Start on the corner of Russell Street and work your way down past street-art-splashed Hosier Lane towards Degraves Street, stopping by gorgeous girlvana Christine with stagger-jewels, scents, sunnies and accessories; designer sole stash Miss Louise; or Melb-born bag specialists Crumpler. Need another caffeine fix? Join the locals lining up at Dukes Coffee Roasters.

clock 1.30.png  1.30: Lunch at Coda

Now you’ve got the kit, reward yourself with lunch at industri-chic basement box Coda –  hands-down, the most stylish table in town. Wire mesh pendant lamps and moody black walls set the scene for chef Adan D’Sylva’s sharable Southeast Asian-fusion flavour bombs, consistently drawing a smart lunch crowd. Shimmy over to your pre-booked table or perch at the bar while you graze on shucked-to-order oysters, and barramundi with jungle aromats. 141 Flinders Ln, City. +61 3 9650 3155. codarestaurant.com.au

clock 3.00.png  3pm: Get an Aussie art overview at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia

Don’t know a Nolan from a Blackman? Get up-to-date with all things Oz art at Melb’s pre-eminent, post-modern gall tucked at the back of Federation Square. The vast collection, spanning colonial, C.19th and modern day, includes more than 20,000 paint, sculpture and multimedia works. Not to be missed is the standout assemblage of indigenous pieces old and new, or the ace local craft-championing gift shop. Federation Square, Flinders St & Russell St, City. +61 3 8620 2222. ngv.vic.gov.au

clock 5.00.png  5pm: Take a lark in the park at the Royal Botanic Gardens

After your gallery gander it’s really time to stretch those legs with a pootle around Melb’s main green scene, the Royal Botanic Gardens. If you’re feeling extra energetic join the Fitbit-fanatics trotting The Tan – a 4km track that skirts around the grounds, along the Yarra river and past the solemn Shrine of Remembrance – or just amble along the shaded paths to find specimen gardens and swan dotted lakes. Birdwood Ave, South Yarra. +61 3 9252 2300. rbg.vic.gov.au

clock 7.00.png  7pm: Fine dine at Woodland House

Once the flagship restaurant of Jacques Reymond, this stately C.19th villa is now helmed by two of his protéges, Thomas Woods and Hayden McFarland. A chic, crisp linened dining room backdrops innovative elegance on the plate – ask for a window table overlooking the garden as you tuck into refined tasting sets that might include pepper-spiced kangaroo fillet, or southern rock lobster with blossom vinegar and chicken liver. 78 Williams Rd, Prahran. +61 3 9525 2178. woodlandhouse.com.au

LUXE has partnered with Etihad Airways to produce a series of destination-inspired Business Class amenity kits, each complete with its very own LUXE City Guide. Collect all six next time you fly Etihad Airways.

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