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Aimee Young

NZ Bloggers

When it comes to destinations for holidays that include great hotels, relaxation, shopping, arts, food, drink and good coffee Melbourne is my go to. On my most recent trip, I also discovered that Daylesford and Bendigo have so much to offer.

There always seems to  be something new to discover every time I visit Melbourne. On this trip the food, wine, culture and shopping were everything I knew they were and more.

A memorable place to stay
Staying at Crown Metropol in Southbank was a highlight. I am a big fan of staying somewhere different if I have visited a city before. I feel it gives you a different perspective. At Crown Metropol you have everything you could want right at your fingertips, including an infinity pool with quite possibly the best view ever and Melbourne CBD just a short walk away.

The best eating and drinking – and shopping
When it comes to places to eat Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and Press Club Projects were next-level amazing – two very different experiences in both food and atmosphere. Union Electric Cocktail Bar is hidden in a little laneway location and is a standout when it comes to beautiful drinks. And of course, if relaxed cafe or street food is your thing the options are endless!

Shopping in Melbourne is always amazing, and for me the huge selection of homeware and design stores is like heaven, from Ikea to West Elm to Fenton & Fenton. On this trip a visit to Norsu Interiors was a highlight.

From Melbourne to spas and bustling Bendigo
On the second part of my trip I headed out of Melbourne to regional Victoria. I first visited the spa town of Daylesford, which included stunning places like the Convent Gallery (steeped in history and arts), Hepburn Bathhouse (relaxation, swimming and spa treatments), and the Lake House, which was so impressive from the stunning setting to the most luxurious suites and fine dining perfection. The small main street of Daylesford has many gems including bars, cafes, vintage shops and design stores. 

My last stop was Bendigo and I could not have loved this vibrant regional centre more. The Marilyn Monroe Exhibition at the Bendigo Art Gallery was mind blowing. I had goosebumps almost the entire time! This exhibition is a must-see for Marilyn fans as well as lovers of fashion, movies and film history in general.

Bendigo has everything I could have possibly wanted in a holiday destination. The town is just filled with history. There's amazing food and wine, which is mostly sourced locally, especially at The Woodhouse and Masons. The Schaller Hotel was like nowhere I have ever stayed, with rooms filled with art, books and very contemporary, on-trend decor. And the shopping was fantastic, especially the homeware and design stores. It is easy to see why I am already planning my return to this wonderful town with my family to see and enjoy more.

So yet again a trip to Melbourne and Victoria has been everything I hoped for and more. I cannot wait to return to discover more.