Hey Melbourne, we all need a bit of time out to unwind every now and then. Regardless as to whether or not you're a local or a visitor to this dynamic city, these suggestions will be just as equally worthy of your consideration. It depends on your interests. A temporary escape into mindlessness is a great thing once in a while. We're so busy, yet we all need that time out for ourselves. Life is short, and we need to spoil ourselves for our efforts once in a while at least.
1. Melbourne City Escape at Radisson on Flagstaff Gardens
Awesome buffet breakfast at Radisson on Flagstaff Gardens. Comes as part of the hotels Melbourne City Escape package
You have a four and a half star hotel that actually provides five star service all round right opposite some quality garden space. That's right at Flagstaff Gardens. Flagstaff Gardens provides a great way to unwind whether you wish to have a picnic, go for a stroll or work out with a personal trainer. Radisson on Flagstaff Gardens has put together a Melbourne City Escape package, where you get to unwind with overnight accommodation, free Wi-Fi, free car parking and a free buffet breakfast at HQ's Restaurant and Bar. Their rooftop jacuzzi and fitness centre is also stunning. There is also a rooftop balcony where guests can chill out. A great way to unwind speaking from recent experiences, with impeccable service and attention to detail that is rare these days. Your chance to experience Radisson on Flagstaff Gardens Melbourne City Escape from now until the 30th of December 2012.
2. Soap Art at Renascent College
Learning how to make soaps at Renascent College last year
One of the owners of Renascent College, Lesley Mitchell, is so passionate about soap art. I also had an opportunity through WeekendNotes to learn how to make beautiful, pretty soaps with Lesley in the past. The kids enjoyed it as much as the adults did. I loved the experience so much that I actually decided to hang around and help the kids out. These treats also make great Christmas presents. Her partner, Daryll is also a Qi-Gong master. His grounded energy helps you relax and unwind. Renascent College is based in Warrandyte, only a 45 minute bus trip from the city. Your chance to find yourself in greater Melbourne in peace, calm and serenity. Soap art is actually quite relaxing and therapeutic. Many of Renascent's clients keep coming back to discover more. Keep an eye out on their website for their open day that usually occurs in December. Just for attending their mini workshops to obtain more calm, you can score a free gift. This is also when their calm and serenity products go on sale as their way of giving back to the community.
Just have it anywhere. It may seem like a lucky dip, yet if you go to any cafe in the city, St Kilda, Fitzroy, Collingwood, Lygon Street, South Melbourne, Port Melbourne, South Yarra and Balaclava to name a few, you can't go wrong. Coffee is relatively inexpensive and it is great to chill out with a quality brew, either alone or with one of your buddies. Heck, it can even be at Starbucks on one of their sofas. For the latter, with 30 minutes free Wi-Fi with any coffee purchase, you can't go wrong.
Any place with green turf in Melbourne is ideal. You can't go wrong here either. Great parks to unwind at in Melbourne from a local's perspective would be Queen Victoria Gardens, Kings Domain, The Royal Botanical Gardens, Fitzroy Gardens, and Treasury Gardens to name a few. Ample grassed areas, ponds and flowers bring serenity and calm, even if it's for a moment. The best things in life can come for free.
In the cooler, winter months (when it is winter in Melbourne, it's cold as) QV is home to a pop up space of tranquillity called the QV Hidden Garden. Although the grass is artificial, the space is just relaxing with the quality decor otherwise. It might feel like Alice in Wonderland has come to life, even if its only for a moment. A chance to go on a swing, play chess or cards which will leave Crown's cards gathering in their dust due to the sheer size of them in this garden. Great for anyone. Watch out for some cheap lunch vouchers that get handed out in the gardens come winter time.
The horse and cart - another way some Melburnians love to unwind