The rest of my first day in Melbourne was as much a treat for the senses as the first half. I decided to stick close to the hotel after my 4.15am wake up so wandered the streets of the inner city. My first stop was the Block Arcade on Collins Street. That’s where I stumbled across this gorgeous tea room. How tempting does their window display look? If it weren’t for the line out the door I would have had a nice big slice of one of those cakes. I think booking would be a good idea if you are after a high tea afternoon treat.
Just a few shops down from the tea rooms is Haigh’s Chocolates. Boy do these guys know how to make chocolate. I myself am a Cadbury and Lindt girl but a taste of Haigh’s chocolate a few years ago had me very excited to visit their store.
Their selection ranges from plain chocolate to chocolate covered nuts, fruit and coffee and from chocolate truffles to giant blocks of chocolate.
I exercised serious control and left the shop with only a jar of chocolate sauce (I’m going to buy some plain vanilla ice cream to savour it with), a giant choc-hazelnut cookie (which I enjoyed for dessert that night), some chocolate covered coffee beans and a boxed selection of their signature truffles for my Grandma’s Birthday.
After all the sweetness (and having given up on my search for new wardrobe items), I set my heart on having a cupcake for afternoon tea. About 45 minutes of walking around was finally rewarding when like an oasis in the dessert The Cupcake Bakery appeared on the horizon (ok not quite like that but I was rather happy to see it).
They had a beautiful selection of cupcakes (30 different flavours a day I was told). You can also order online and have them delivered but I’m not sure how far they’ll travel.
I was a little overwhelmed with the selection so decided that the best way to judge a cupcake shop was by their classic vanilla cupcake with vanilla icing. I know I should have been adventurous. I actually contemplated ordering a second one but decided my waist line probably wouldn’t agree. They serve T3 tea in cute little cupcake mugs.
The icing on the cake was delicious – not too sweet and a lovely texture. The actual cake had a lovely flavour but was a little dry for my liking. Perhaps the weather had something to do with it. Overall, it was well worth the hunt.
It was time for a rest after my sugar fix so I headed back to the hotel. On my way I passed many of my favourite Melbourne attractions – their laneways. I love all the little bars and restaurants. They remind me so much of being in Europe with their relaxed atmosphere and enthusiastic waitstaff.
After my nap we headed to the coolest place I’ve ever been. Yes it deserves that status. The Spice Market is hidden away in yet another little alley way and is quite intimidating on first look. There are three lines – VIP, general important people and then Joe Average a.k.a the line we were allowed to enter through.
The atmosphere is so chic and fancy it’s just like walking into a Kasbah in Morocco. I couldn’t stop looking around with bug eyes and an open mouth (really classy I am). The Spice Market is definitely not the least expensive place for a drink but I would highly recommend a pre-dinner visit even if it’s just to check out the wow factor.
A quick dinner at a cute little Italian restaurant on the way home was about all we could manage after our 4.15 wake up call then off to bed I went ready more Melbourne exploring the next day.