This travel diary is a slightly belated one. If you follow LGB on the regular, you’d know Matt and I took off down to Marysville and Melbourne recently, thanks to the team at TFE Hotels who manage hotels you’ve heard of before like Vibe, Travelodge and Rendezvous. If you need to get caught up on where we left off, read my travel diary Marysville first. I had planned on combining my Marysville and Melbourne trips in one travel diary, but when I started writing it I just had so much I wanted to share that it became its own blog post. I guess that just goes to show how much I loved visiting Marysville.
After tearing ourselves away from Marysville, we hit the road and picked up the Coldstream Trail. If you haven’t heard of it before, and don’t worry if you haven’t because I hadn’t either, it is pretty much a food and wine lovers dream. The trail is a pre-determined route of 10 stops, including lots of wine, great food, breweries and, of course, an insanely good dairy. You can find out more about the Coldstream Trail here. The great thing about it is the trail takes you through the gorgeous scenery of the Yarra Valley and guides you directly to the best spots. We stopped in at the Coldstream Brewery for a really delicious pizza and a tasting paddle of beers.
Watch: our ‘Marysville Roadtrip’ video
The trip back into Melbourne was easy going and we were back in the heart of the city within an hour. Along the way we stopped and quickly watched a few YouTube tutorials on how to make a hook turn and what the driving rules are when it comes to trams. After a bit of discussion, re-watching and checking our understanding, we forged on into the heart of the city toward the Rendezvous Hotel.
We pulled up and felt a little bit swish as our car was whisked away easily by the valet, leaving us to check-in and get settled. We met with Felicity, the really lovely duty manager, and she showed us up to our room. As soon as the door opened, I was blown away by. Felicity explained the room we were in, one of the hotel’s Heritage Rooms, was actually her favourite in the whole place and it was easy to see why.
The hotel was built in 1913 so it’s a huge part of Melbourne’s history and stepping into it you can’t help but be awed by the old-world glamour of it and imagine how the people who first stayed here would’ve felt. The room had huge ceilings, making it feel extremely grande and opulent. It was incredible spacious with a gorgeous big bed set in the middle, a desk to the left and a comfy velvet covered chair to the right.
Being heritage listed the room has had to retain all of its natural charm, which gives it a completely unique vibe. I’d never stayed anywhere that felt so luxuriously grande in an old-world glamour sense. I immediately put on the big fluffy bathrobe and got comfortable. The lovely team at Rendezvous had left us with some yummy cupcakes, a lovely welcome note and chocolates from Koko Black.
Stepping onto the balcony we were greeted with picture perfect views of Flinders Street station and the Yarra Promenade across the river. It just felt like were immersed in Melbourne, staying somewhere so iconic and seeing a view so iconic too.
That night we had dinner in the hotel’s restaurant, the Straits Cafe. It was mostly in-house diners there, which is good for us because it means the rest of Melbourne hasn’t cottoned on to how good the food is yet. We were treated to a really tasty deconstructed Goan Seafood curry and a re-imagined soft-shell-crab taco. The food was bursting with flavour and the seafood was incredibly fresh and delicious. I had told myself I didn’t need dessert but when I saw a soft meringue with winter berries on the menu, I couldn’t resist.
After getting an incredibly good sleep in our big, comfy bed, we woke up refreshed and hit the buffet breakfast at the hotel then spent the next day exploring Melbourne and trying to dig a little deeper than we had before. We got the hot tip from a local that Patricia’s Coffee Roasters was the place to be, so we headed up to the corner of Little William and Little Bourke Streets and crammed into the super-cool laneway coffee shop chockful of locals. The coffee was fantastic and I definitely recommend it as a must-try when you’re visiting Melbourne.
We spent a few hours wandering the streets, photography and looking at shops, just enjoying being there, then stopped for lunch at one of my favourite spots, +39 Pizzeria in Little Bourke Street. The gnocchi special was too good to go past and we wolfed it down, as per usual.
With full bellies and tired feet we headed back to our room at the Rendezvous to relax before meeting friends for dinner and drinks later in the evening. We started with beers at Arbory Bar & Eatery, a great place to soak in the cool Melbourne evening air with views of the Yarra River. Then we headed to nearby Mama’s Buoi tucked down a typically cool Melbourne laneway. We stuffed ourselves with tasty Vietnamese food, including an out-of-this-world vegetarian curry, and retreated back to the hotel.
We woke up the next morning pretty pleased with ourselves after having an incredibly fun weekend, but also a bit sad to be heading home. Although our cat was pretty pleased to see us when we walked through the front door, she spent about 3 hours meowing at us constantly, catching us up on all the gossip we’d missed while we were away.
The whole weekend with TFE was awesome. It was a dream come true for Matt and I to be recognised by such a big brand as a blog worth working with and it gave us a lot of confidence in what we’re doing. It also gave us the opportunity to meet and connect with some really wonderful people from Marysville and Melbourne. Getting to stay at Vibe and Rendezvous was a real treat, they were both unique in their own way and places we would definitely recommend to our own friends and family. If you’re keen to read more about these two great spots I’ll be posting written reviews on them in the coming weeks.
Watch: our ‘Things to do in Melbourne’ video
Phoebe Lee is a travel writer and award-winning blogger with a love for storytelling. Phoebe creates practical, fun and engaging written content designed to inspire and energise travel-lovers and dreamers. Follow her and Matt’s adventures at home and around the world, right here on Little Grey Box and through Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.