Just a few short weeks ago, Hometruths Melbourne were exploring life on the south side of the city – enjoying living and working from the designer-filled environs of our beautifully curated Little Projects apartment at Central South Yarra. (More on that here if you missed out first time!)
And whilst the TRES-styled interiors of our home-in-the-sky were VERY hard to leave, we were keen to see what living at Central South Yarra would be like ‘on the regular’. Where would we go for a jog, find a good coffee, pick up some flowers and have a browse on a lazy Saturday morning? Often called the ’10 Minute Suburb’ – South Yarra offers its lucky citizens so much culture and beauty within a 10 minute stroll. In today’s Hometruths Melbourne x Little Projects blog, we take you with us on a mini-adventure from our Central South Yarra abode – and show you exactly how sweet your southside lifestyle could be.
Setting off on a rather blustery winter day, we headed north along Yarra Street, past South Yarra Station and alongside the redbrick grandeur and lush green playing fields of historic Melbourne High School (There’s another perk! If you have kids, they won’t have far to get to class.). Strolling along Alexandra Avenue towards the Botanical Gardens, you really get a sense of the history of South Yarra – a mixture of gorgeously aged Hollywood-style art deco blocks (I can imagine generations of twenty-somethings sharehousing there, making their first forays into adult life in the city), Cape-Cod inspired homes with meticulous gardens (peach tea on the porch in a polo, anyone?), 1970’s dreamboats looking over the river with their brown brick and glass facades (the location of real-time Don’s Parties in days of yore) and of course, modern architect-designed apartment buildings like Central South Yarra, too.
Crossing the road, I strolled along the Yarra River as cyclists, joggers and power-walkers passed by me. Living in South Yarra means tearing up your gym subscription (and probably your taxi passes, too): with easy access to running tracks including the Tan and safe cycling paths right into the heart of the city. Gazing along the Yarra’s long familiar bends, dotted with icons such as the Nylex sign, AAMI Park and towards the soaring scrapers of our city – you’re no more than a 20 minute walk from Melbourne’s sporting, retail and business hubs.
The ornate lace ironwork of the Royal Botanic Gardens – a perfect place for casual Spring picnics with mates, Royal Shakespeare Company garden performances on Valentine’s Day or nights at the Moonlight Cinema with a glass of bubbles and lots of imported cheese.
What’s a morning walk without a coffee? I know you’re asking this question somewhere in your subconscious right now.
A morning without coffee is not much of a morning, indeed! That’s why I was excited to learn that Melbourne’s latest cool kid of the southside – Entrecote on Domain Road – has a self-proclaimed ‘Magic Millswyn Window’ from which they distribute both bonhomie and takeaway coffees for only $2.50. I KNOW, RIGHT?! Grab one to pep you up while you perambulate around the Tan clockwise, and then come back to Entrecote again for their signature ‘golden folded eggs’ while sitting in their frenchy-chic surrounds with your best ami. Best known for their legendary steak frites (with endless frites I KNOW, RIGHT?!), Entrecote is the cherry on top of South Yarra living in 2015.
Cheeky Entrecote barista Dennis (who told me his Greek name was Dionysius, the God of Wine and Party) makes a mean takeaway coffee and delivers fine repartee, too.
Fully caffeinated, we headed back along Domain Road past The Botanical Hotel (a great place to begin your morning before Portsea Polo or the racing season) and spotted something humorous in the window of Domain Dry Cleaners on Park Street: rack after rack filled with carefully laundered Santa suits. If South Yarra is good enough a postcode for Santa to do his annual laundry, surely that is tick of approval enough for us mere mortals! Turning off Park Street opposite lush Fawkner Park, we cruised down Toorak Road before coming to our design mecca of choice: Top3 By Design.
Top3 By Design pieces featured heavily in our Central South Yarra apartment – and having had our palette for fine things duly whetted, it was a treat to go in store and see what other treasures they had!
These giant, ceramic ‘bell’ lighting fixtures took my eye – their soft palette and organic shapes felt a bit like ‘Devo’ helmets, too! A very tempting place to browse for unique pieces to furnish your new Central South Yarra apartment.
After all that walking, my tummy started to rumble and my mind turned towards returning home for morning tea. But first: flowers! Walking east up Toorak Road past hairdressers, boutiques and hip men’s barbers, we stopped in at Victoria Whitelaw: Beautiful Flowers. A legendary florist of the southside, Victoria’s business is a veritable Aladdin’s cave of beautiful blooms.
Featuring carefully curated seasonal displays (there were mounds of fluffy white ‘snow’ nestled around her flowers on the day we visited), the scent of her business is intoxicating.
It was a pleasure to chat with Victoria about her business and the changes she’s observed as a younger generation move into South Yarra.
Let me say – it was difficult to choose which bunch of flowers to take back to our Central South Yarra abode. But choose we did, and before long we arrived at our last (magical) ’10 Minute Suburb’ location:
Conveniently located just a block from Central South Yarra (perhaps a little TOO conveniently if you know what we mean), Adriano Zumbo‘s South Yarra premises are a feast for the senses. With a mirrored shop fitout rich with bright neons and cool blues, his signature macarons pop like gems from their brightly lit cases.
What to choose!?! We settled upon peanut butter and toasted coconut, salted butter popcorn and drunken pear. One thing is for sure: there will always be something impressive to offer your guests next time they decide to ‘pop round’ to your gorgeous Central South Yarra ‘pad!
Coffee? Check. Exercise. Done. Browsing, flowers and sweets? Tick, tick, tick – that’s what we call a perfect ’10 Minute Suburb’ location! Now back at our apartment it’s time to arrange those beautiful pink Victoria Whitelaw ranunculus and pop the kettle on.
Good Morning blend by T2 steeping, I swirled the tea leaves while looking out at our incredible view of the city skyline as a drizzly day set in. Home just in time!
Tea for three? Mais – oui. And a special limited-edition Top3 By Design Apres candle into the mix for good measure – throwing a scent of vanilla, tonka bean, caramel and birch tar around our beautiful lounge room.
That caramel scent complimented a Zumbo morning tea perfectly.
One macaron or two? (Two, definitely.)
And thus ends your morning with Hometruths Melbourne – having explored our ’10 Minute Suburb’ of South Yarra, we can safely say that when you live at Central South Yarra – you won’t need your car keys any time soon. With provedores from florists to gallerists to hairdressers and booksellers, Toorak Road offers all you need for a perfect morning stroll. Additionally, living so close to running, walking and cycling tracks along the Yarra River and the Botanical Gardens which take you directly into the city means there’s more time for socialising and enjoying all that Melbourne has to offer – rather than being stuck in your car or on a train. Inner-urban apartment dwelling is an increasingly popular and sustainable way of living that offers huge opportunities for rich community engagement. Living close to where you work and play literally adds hours to your day – meaning that you have the chance to pack more adventure, learning (and possibly Netflix) into your life. Our verdict on the ’10 Minute Suburb’ of South Yarra? 10 out of 10!