A-Z of Collins Street, part I
05 February 2017
In the first of two blog posts, Melbourne blogger Danielle Bruce @eatmystreet lists a definitive A-Z guide to the best Collins Street has to offer.
Beautiful Collins Street runs through the heart of Melbourne’s CBD. Stretching from Spring Street in the east all the way to Docklands, it is home to some of Melbourne’s premier and most loved boutiques, jewelers, laneways, fashion houses, eateries and bars.
Visual art, in all its forms, can be enjoyed on Collins Street; from the street art on display in many of the laneways that meander off the main strip, to the sculptures, bronzes, tapestries, mosaics and paintings found both inside and out of the street’s historic buildings.
Spend your time immersed in the sophistication and architecture of the “Paris End” of town or get carried away in the bustle and gothic architecture found at the west end. Either way, you’re sure to be surprised by the many hidden gems you can find along beautiful Collins Street.
You can meet the current Australian Tea Brewers champion and self taught “tea nerd” Ayden Graham at the wonderful Sensory Lab in Ridgeway Place. Ayden selects single estate teas for you to try at the Collins Street store and you might be lucky enough to be part of one of his “tea with intent” classes. While you are there, try something from the industrial “toast tank”, featuring premier Australian ingredients such as Pepesaya butter, Jam Lady Jam and Dench bread.
30 Collins Street
Get lost in one of Melbourne’s most treasured precincts, the iconic Block Arcade. Jewelry, fashion, tea, cake and spices are aplenty beyond the historic mosaic tiled, glass canopied entrance way. The arcade was built between 1891 and 1893 and is now on the Heritage Register. It is one of Melbourne’s most richly decorated interior spaces and is a must-visit for tourists, shoppers or those wanting to be reminded of the beauty of a more decadent era.
282 Collins Street
While you are in the Block Arcade you might like to visit Melbourne’s much loved Haighs Chocolate Store and buy a box of their premium chocolate for yourself or a loved one. But don’t stop your chocolate escapades there. Take yourself on a chocolate lovers’ tour of Collins Street at Koko Black (52 Collins Street), The Chocolate Box (45 Collins Street), Ganache (245 Collins Street) or the Lindt Cafe (271 Collins Street).
Lastly, if you’re really feeling decadent, why not finish off the tour with dessert at Collins Kitchen at the Grand Hyatt where you might be tempted to try the “Living Grand” White Chocolate Sphere. Or, for something a little different, dessert and cocktail hangout, “Lustre Bar” is a must. Raspberry and Chocolate Bombe anyone?
Head all the way to the western end of Collins Street and you will find the Docklands Park. Home to wetlands, walking tracks, bike paths and a sprawling interactive playground this is also a great launching spot for taking in the rest of the Docklands area.
1-91 Harbour Esplanade, Docklands
Head east to the “Paris end” of Collins Street. This is home to one of Melbourne’s favorite coffee shops, Market Lane Coffee. Then get lost in books and history at Kay Craddock Antiquarian bookstore. While you’re there, step outside to see the beautiful Victorian era architecture of Collins Street Baptist Church (1845), St Michael’s Uniting Church (1867) and the Scots Church (1874). You might like to grab a bite to eat at Pei Modern or a drink at the stunning Collins Quarter.
La Belle Miette means “the beautiful crumb”, and you will feel like you’ve stepped straight into a quintessential Parisian café when you enter this lovely shop. A hand painted mural adorns one end of the pastel hued space and a wall of Mariage Freres Teas takes up the other. Spread in between is the most amazing selection of macarons featuring flavours including strawberry, passionfruit and rhubarb as well as the ever-popular Fleur de Sel caramel.
8 Collins Street
ANZ Bank stands majestically on the corner of Collins and Queens Streets and is a stunning example of high Victorian gothic architecture. Look up to view the lancet windows, lofty ceilings and narrow spire or venture inside to see the gilded carpets, iron columns and painted ceilings. Continuing with this theme, why not pop in for dinner and a drink at nearby The Bank on Collins Restaurant & Bar and enjoy the grand atmosphere of this historic stone building.
ANZ Bank Museum
380 Collins St
The Bank on Collins
394 Collins Street
High tea at a lavish hotel is one of Melbourne’s best indulgences and there are plenty of great options on Collins Street. To really experience the classic Melbourne High Tea experience why not do it in one of Melbourne’s favorite buildings? The Hopetoun Tea Rooms have been serving high tea to a continuously enthusiastic clientele for many years. This little shop is so resplendent and beautiful that people even queue outside to take photos of the cakes on display in the window.
282 Collins Street
Your options for excellent Italian fare on Collins Street are many and varied. Guy Grossi has recently opened Merchant Veneta in the Rialto Towers building, inspired by rich Venetian Culture (Bellini anyone?). It’s well worth a visit to the little Italian bistro Lupino for handmade pasta and pizza or Il Solito Posto for a more sophisticated, Trattoria style meal. You might also like to try the very popular Treviso Bar in Bank Place or to try food made by Melbourne’s own “Queen of Tarts” Philipa Sibley, pop in to the very atmospheric Syracuse.
Rialto Towers 525 Collins Street
Lupino 41 Little Collins Street
Il Solito Posto 113 Collins Street
Treviso Bar 4-10 Bank Place
Antique, modern, classic or costume, you will find it all on Collins Street. Visit Rutherford’s, Melbourne’s first family of pearl jewellers, to view their unique and authentic pearls through their evocative square-windowed shop underneath Collins Street Baptist. You can also wander upstairs to discover an antique jewellery lovers’ dream, where each piece tells a story old and true. Or why not fulfill an Audrey Hepburn-inspired dream with a visit to the inimitable Tiffany & Co?
Rutherford Jewellery 174 Collins Street
Tiffany & Co 267 Collins Street
Kino Independent Cinemas can be found at Collins Place. This independent cinema offers a great selection of international and local feature films and documentaries, as well as special events including film festivals, Q&As and forums.
45 Collins Street
There is a long list of wandering, sprawling, modern, ancient, paved, concreted and gorgeous laneways off Collins Street. These laneways are what make Melbourne great and you will never regret taking a wander down one to find what lies at the end. Try Church Lane, Presgrave Place, George Parade, Alfred Pl, Pink Alley, Ridgeway Place or Coates Lane, not forgetting Hosier Lane directly behind the T&G Building.