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A Grand Day Out in Melbourne City

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by Sean Goedecke (subscribe)
Sean Goedecke is a freelance writer trying to visit every cafe in Australia. If you enjoy his articles, it can't hurt to click the 'like' link at the bottom or subscribe.
Published May 22nd 2012
Get a Little Classy

It's time to put on your Sunday best and get into Melbourne. Plenty of people have the odd day out in the city, but have you ever wondered if your twenty-four hour adventure could be a little grander? We have, and in that spirit we've compiled a little itinerary for visitors and locals alike. Anybody looking to inject a little imperial spirit into their lives could do worse than Melbourne, a city full of impressive-sounding places and monuments. The sweeping lawns of Kings Domain, for instance, or the Shrine of Remembrance can bring out some grandeur in all of us. Don't worry, though this list won't be full of museums and parks.

Wallace and Gromit
Wallace and Gromit, A Grand Day Out (1989)

Adjust your bow tie, screw in your monocle, and get ready to...

Have High Tea in the Botanic Gardens

Who needs breakfast? Commoners, that's who: people without poetry in their soul. You deserve better than that. You deserve scones, ribbon sandwiches, and miniature cakes. Head on down to the Terrace at the Royal Botanic Gardens for the 11am High Tea. You'll need to book in advance, and cough up forty-five dollars per person, but nobody said being grand was easy. Spread cream on a home-made scone and look out over the central lake and the rolling hills. Pay special attention to the tourists and locals with their peanut butter sandwiches and picnic baskets. You're better than those people. Do they have a waiter bringing them a fresh pot of Earl Grey? Well then.

Botanic Gardens
Unfortunately, you can't stop them from sharing the view.

After you've dabbed at your mouth with a cloth napkin, under-tip the staff and leave. You'd better be refreshed, because you're heading to...

Get Old-Fashioned at the Astor

The Astor Theatre, at the corner of Chapel Street and Dandenong Road in St Kilda, symbolises grandeur perfectly. The soft-lighting, stuffed chairs and golden screen curtains all contribute to the building's art-deco charm. If the red carpet is a little moth-eaten, a little decrepitude is part of all the noblest houses just look at the Royal Family. Pick a classic movie, like Gone with the Wind or Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and relax with a glass of wine. Assuming High Tea hasn't cleaned your wallet out, you can even rent the place for a private screening. There's nothing more respectable than the ability to keep the riff-raff out.

The Astor Dining Hall
Except maybe folded napkins.

The film is over, and it's time to have dinner. But where to go? Well, for someone as grand as you, there's only one option...

Eat Dinner at The Grand Hotel

At 333 Burnley Street, Richmond, The Grand has been voted the best pub dining room in Australia. Since its cheapest main meal is a hefty thirty-four dollars, you'd hope so, but you can't spare any expense for the most important meal of the day. You'll need to make a booking, of course. Leave some room for dessert, too although there are plenty of sweet options, you'll order the 'formaggi', a plate of cheeses with muscatelles, apple and lavosh. What are muscatelles? What's a lavosh? Grapes and flatbread, of course, but you'd die before you used such common words to refer to them.

The Grand Dishes
Sometimes the plating's so good it's a shame to eat the food.

Is this the grandest day out possible in Melbourne? At WeekendNotes, we don't listen to the rabble, but we can hardly stop you from posting your suggestions in the comments. Maybe we'll get one of our servants to read them.
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Why? Because there's a little nobility in all of us.
When: Anytime.
Where: All around Melbourne.
Cost: About $150 per person.
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