Transformer Fitzroy crams a whole lot of design delights into the one venue. Street art? Tick. Warehouse conversion? Yup. Garden greenery? You bet. But it’s the perfect composure, the precise balance of all these elements that saw it highly commended in the 2015 Eat Drink Design Awards.

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You don’t visit the Grounds of Alexandria, you experience it. Encompassing a smattering of individual sub-venues, The Grounds is a planet within a city. A farm within a warehouse. A garden within a coffee school. A florist within a restaurant. And so much more.

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Melbourne is renowned for little laneway treasures – filled with fabulous finds that you stumble upon, off the main drag. I discovered Chuckle Park a couple of years ago, chancing a sideways glance down an alleyway that literally stopped me in my tracks. SURPRISE! (Love it when that happens.)

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Smart and sexy. That’s the link I’m drawing between this gorgeous and airy bar on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast and its namesake, the fictional character of M’s secretary in a string of Bond films.

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Red Hill Epicurean

Usually when I visit an artful venue it’s because I’ve hunted it down, researched it to within an inch of its life, heard the hype or doted on the designer. The Epicurean however, I completely stumbled upon by sheer luck in a tiny rural community an hour outside Melbourne. GOLD, I tell you! I found GOLD!

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