Summer makes us get out more, whether it's to soak up the sunshine, hang at the beach or spend more time outdoors - a change of season means change in fashion. It's easy to stock up on a few staple fashion items to add to your existing summer wardrobe, spruce it up and create a fresh new look without going overboard with your budget.
There's no disputing that Melbourne is the city to find lots of bargains and unique pieces that can make you stand out from the crowd.
Ever thought of getting away for a few days and do what women love best - shop? Before or after the festive season, Melbourne is the 'shopping capital' with constant bargains to be found. Every year with a few girlfriends, I visit to do one thing - shop!
Staying at a hotel in a good location in Melbourne needs to be top of the list. They say when you're on a good thing stick to it, so I book through the Oaks Group as their properties are located at some of the most best locations in and around the city.
Oaks Pinnacle is a new addition to the Oaks Group, and stayed in a one bedroom apartment in the heart of all the action at South Yarra.
This new property has decided to ditch the keyless entry and gone back to basics with the old style door-key. Security is not overlooked still requiring a computer key to access the floor of the apartment.
Interior decorating is a growing business, and although I have no flair in this department, it's not difficult to notice that presentation and colour plays a major part in word of mouth recommendation and repeat business.
Arriving in Melbourne on a warm 30 degree plus afternoon, the room temperature was perfectly pre-set, with the blinds drawn to keep out the sun's heat. I was pleasantly surprised with the way the quaint one bedroom apartment was designed and elegantly furnished, and drawn to the way one particular colour stood out. Who would think the colour orange would make such an impact?
Orange was mixed with beige, charcoal, white and pastel colours. It was clear by the way it was sprinkled throughout the apartment that a lot of thought and attention to detail went into the design. Splashbacks, canvas paintings, bed linen, pillows and cushions with sections of the office wall and bathroom doned the colour orange - well done to say the least. Special mention on how white and charcoal blended beautifully with the design of the lamps and other pieces of furniture.
Bedroom with full length mirror and space for clothes
The balcony overlooks South Yarra Station and Melbourne city. I immediately thought I wouldn't get a good night's sleep but rest assured - it was very quiet due to the double glazed windows blocking out noise.
I watch what I eat, so staying in an apartment gives me the option to stock up on essential breakfast groceries leaving more money in my budget to shop with! You can't beat this location - at your doorstep you'll find not one but two supermarkets, a liquor store, juice bar, bakery, dry cleaner and the choice of cafes and restaurants that Melbourne is famous for.
Chapel Street is walking distance from the apartment, as is South Yarra train station. It took five minutes to get into Flinders Street Station in the CBD. From there I made my way to two DFO outlets at South Wharf and Spencer Street in the city.
DFO Shopping Outlet Spencer Street Melbourne. Photo: Wikimedia
Studies have shown that getting away for short 'retail therapy breaks' can actually improve performance, decision-making, and relieve stress and anxiety. Although shopping is not the conventional type of therapy, it does have positive emotional effects.
After a day of retail therapy, we went to Squires Loft Steakhouse for dinner, one minute walking distance from the hotel.
Squires Loft Steakhouse Toorak Road South Yarra
Following dinner we stocked up on champagne before heading back to our apartment. The perfect nightcap - none other than a glass of champagne, a few episodes of Sex and the City and some good old fashioned girlie talk, before calling it a night to start early on our retail therapy the next day.