The south side is chock-full of dining, shopping and wellness experiences that the whole family — including four-legged friends — can enjoy. Here are our top picks of Melbourne’s South.
From Portuguese to Indian, dumplings to ice cream, no matter what cuisine or dish you want to master, chances are you’ll find something that hits the spot at Relish Mama [1/347 Bay Road, Cheltenham]. Nellie, who runs these cooking classes, is passionate about food and her enthusiasm is infectious. If your kids love being in the kitchen, book them in for the kids’ ice cream, granita and sorbet class. They’ll leave putting Mr Whippy to shame.
The Brighton Baths [251 The Esplanade, Brighton] date all the way back to the 1800s, so you’re in for a genuine health and fitness experience from this longstanding institution. If you’ve never tried yoga before, this is a fantastic spot to start with casual passes available. With stunning views over the water, you’ll be in the perfect place to find your zen. It’s also home to a private beach, perfect if you’re looking for a quieter spot to enjoy some time by the bay.
When was the last time you enjoyed a lazy, long lunch? Taste the flavours of the Mediterranean at White Rabbit [118 Church Street, Brighton]. A crowd favourite here the Saganaki with grilled prawns and Turkish bread.
If you prefer to cook delicious meals yourself, stock up on the right ingredients at Tasmanian Grocer [2 Willis Lane, Hampton]. Enjoy strolling its aisles to see what specialty Tasmanian goods you find. If you’re a seafood fan, the Salmon here is some of the best you’ll find outside this side of the Bass Straight.
You might recognise Too Many Chiefs [305 Bay Street, Brighton] from its rainbow lattes popping up in your Instagram feed. Its healthy breakfast menu though is also a drawcard. For a healthy start go for its Ultra Green Breakfast of charred greens, kim chi, avo, shaved radish, dukkah and crispy kale.
No matter what time of day your hunger strikes — breakfast, lunch or dinner — Allegro [22–24 Church St, Brighton] serves up hearty Italian meals that will have you wanting more. Go for a classic woodfired pizza or the seafood linguini. If your carb cravings are still strong, top your meal off with Nutella calzone. Early risers can enjoy brekkie of smashed avocado bruschetta or Belgian waffles with passion fruit curd, banana and vanilla ice cream.
It’s always a good time for a little R&R and positioned a stone’s throw from Brighton Beach, Endota Spa [242 Esplanade, Brighton] is a fantastic spot to get your fix. Book in for its Surrender Package — a combo of an organic facial and a relaxation massage. Or, if you’d like to relieve more tension, book in for the deep recovery massage.
You’ve taken time out to relax and unwind, now it’s time to pamper your pooch! The professional dog groomers at Lady and the Tramp [226 Bluff Road, Sandringham] will treat your pup to a brand-new do and blow dry that will see them walking out in style. The best part? There’s an outdoor space for them to enjoy while they wait to be picked up.
Enjoy tucking into fresh seafood with a fantastic bayside view at Harbour View Restaurant at Sandringham Yacht Club [Jetty Road, Sandringham]. The oysters are up there with some of the best, and the eye fillet steak is perfect to fill hungry tummies, with pumpkin puree, dauphinoise potato courgettes, kale chip and peppercorn sauce finishing the meal.
Looking for a gift for someone that’s notoriously hard to buy for? You can’t go wrong with a gourmet gift hamper, brimming with delicious goodies. Just Surprise Me [74/15 Cochranes Road, Moorabbin] is just the place for a gift basket that takes things up a notch. Filled with the best quality Australian products — olives from Kangaroo Island and relish from the Yarra Valley for instance — its hampers are sure to impress whoever is lucky enough to receive one.
Another restaurant that offers stunning views along with great food is local institution Sea View [150 Esplanade, Brighton]. Take an evening stroll past the iconic Brighton Bathing Boxes — just minutes from Sea View — then pull up a pew on the terrace to take in the sunset while enjoying a glass of wine and a delicious meal like pan-friend barramundi.
Whether you’re about to take a holiday or just want to feel like you are, head to Tangerine Beach [34 Carpenter Street, Brighton] for breezy resort wear. Its range includes colourful kaftans, quality basics and casual designer wear that will take you from day to night.
Delve into the behind-the-scenes-world of sport with the aid of Encountour. Here you’ll get to know some of the city’s best sporting venues, then enjoy the delights of Melbourne’s south including St Kilda, Brighton Shopping Centre and the Brighton Bathing Boxes.
When you’re in Melbourne’s south and craving a sweet treat, a stop at Laurent Bakery [2/71 Church Street, Brighton] never disappoints. Positioned on Chruch Street, it’s the perfect pitstop during a shopping session. Order one of its flakey pastries or a slice of cake with a latte, and watch the shoppers pass you by. Or, opt for something on its savoury menu like a chicken and leek pie.
Take your workout gear to the next level by pickup up some pieces from JAGGAD Sportswear [123 Church Street, Brighton]. Part-owned by AFL legend Chris Judd, with ranges from his fashionista wife Bec, you can rest assured JAGGAD sportswear is designed with performance and style in mind.
If you have unrealised dreams of becoming a ballerina, Barre could be your new favourite exercise. Influenced by ballet, yoga and pilates, this elegant exercise is all about control and flexibility. Xtend Barre Bayside [500 Hampton Street, Hampton] offers a beautiful space to hone your barre skills, with dedicated staff who’ll help you get results.
Looking for somewhere to stay during a bayside escape? Brighton Bay Luxury Serviced Apartments [197 Bay Street, Brighton] offers large, well-appointed one- or two-bedroom apartments, perfect for the whole family. It’s perfectly positioned for you to enjoy all the action of Brighton, and the staff take service to the next level.
For dog owners, finding a good pet store can be almost as exciting as discovering your new favourite coffee spot. Studio Pets [64 Bay Road, Sandringham] is a gem when it comes to pet supplies, offering everything you need to ensure your furry family member is well looked after.
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