It’s time to gather the girls and explore Melbourne’s west. With delicious food, art spaces, day spas and more, in this pocket of Melbourne you’ll be spoiled for choice!
Want to have the first meal of the day in the great outdoors? Your first option requires a tiny bit of prior planning — make sure you bring along a picnic blanket, a few plates and your trusty keep cup — it’s time for a girls’ picnic! Start at Altona Fresh Fine Foods [62—76 Second Avenue, Altona North], where you can pick up the ingredients to build your brekkie how you like it. We recommend picking up some of the store’s fresh bread, avocados, goats cheese and smoked salmon to top it off. Don’t forget to grab a punnet of strawberries or some homemade cakes for a sweet treat to complete your girls’ brekkie. Before you go, get your coffee to-go and head over to Newport Lakes Reserve [Lakes Drive, Newport].
Find a quiet spot next to the lake and enjoy a delicious breakfast with your girlfriends in the reserve’s stunning surrounds. There are heaps of walking trails around the park and plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife so after your breakfast picnic, round up the girls for a walk while catching up.
Get your Insta-game on with a picture-perfect brunch at Heart of Hall [17 Hall Street, Newport]. With indoor plants scattered throughout the space and locally-made products lining the walls, you’ll feel inspired before even picking up the menu. The food is made with love at Heart of Hall, and you can tell. Even its house-made granola if full of flavour, featuring toasted oats, pepita seeds, coconut, cranberries, raisins, sesame seeds and rosewater yoghurt. Everything on its menu is sourced from local farmers and producers, and is made by passionate chefs. It also caters for dietary requirements, with vegan, gluten-free and vegetarian dishes to please every lady in the group. Feeling particularly inspired? Ask about the regular cooking classes. You’ll be whipping up a tasty wild mushroom ragout in no time!
After your indulgent brekkie, continue to relax and spend quality time with the girls with a pamper sesh. Book into the Lavanya Day Spa [4 Coxs Garden, Williamstown] and get ready to unwind. Book your group in for the BFF package and enjoy a dry body brushing, a one-hour massage and an organic coconut hydrating facial. Or, bring your skin back to life with a Fire and Ice facial, to revitalise your skin and leave you glowing.
For a touch of culture, head over to a free exhibition in the impressive 19th-century The Substation art space [1 Market Street, Newport]. It always has something interesting on, from experimental local art to inspiring performances. Enjoy the unusual art with modern interpretations of interconnectedness in this post-modern building, once used to power Melbourne’s inner-west. Check out what’s on before you go or simply show up and be inspired!
There’s nothing like a leisurely afternoon walk with friends. But first, treat your sweet tooth with a cake and coffee at Bezirk [1A Millers Road, Altona] in Altona. Here you’ll find expertly made coffee and rotating range of delicious cakes that are either made on site or sourced from local suppliers.
After your sweet treat, make a beeline for the Bay Trail West [The Esplanade, Altona] and walk along the coastline with spectacular views of the city to the Altona Coastal Park [Bay Trail West, Altona]. No matter the weather, this park is sure to impress with its great views and local wildlife. See if you can spot the old Williamstown Racecourse train station that punters once travelled to race days, a lone palm tree and the wreckage of the old grandstand destroyed in a suspicious fire. Make sure you stop and take in the view of the city — and take some snaps if you feel so inclined —before looping back to the starting point of your walk.
You might be starting to feel a bit peckish after your morning of culture and pampering and what’s a girls’ day out without more delicious food to back it up? Head to George Calombaris’ Hellenic Hotel [28 Ferguson Street, Williamstown] and browse its enviable wine list. Enjoy a drop or two over a decadent long lunch. It’s your turn to be a MasterChef judge as you share plates of modern Greek dishes — think pita bread, grilled halloumi and spanakopita from a menu inspired by George’s mum’s cooking.
Anytime is a good time for some cheese and wine and Hudsons Road Wine & Beer [2/88 Hudsons Road, Spotswood] has you covered. It’s a bottle shop and bar, where you can peruse the shelves before choosing your glass (or bottle). Don’t get overwhelmed by the incredible range of though, the staff know their stuff are always keen to help you decide! While you enjoy your drinks, grab a charcuterie and cheese plate to share from the deli cabinet.
If it’s a view you’re after, you can’t go past Pelicans Landing [1 Syme Street, Williamstown] in Williamstown. Get a seat by the floor-to-ceiling windows and watch as the sun sets over the bay with the city in the background. As you can imagine, sitting right on water means Pelicans Landing has a pretty mean seafood offering. Have an early dinner of house made tagliatelle or share a plate of oysters while you enjoy the happy hour drinks every day from 3pm to 7pm.
Whether you’re after a day out on your bike, sticking to public transport or prefer to drive, have fun exploring the coastline from Spotswood to Altona with our tips for a relaxing day out with your mates.
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