Quirky Melbourne...

Blogger All Day Christmas Shopping Tour in Melbourne CBD

 

The World Loves Melbourne enjoyed a fabulous shopping tour of key Melbourne CBD retail precincts in a day that proved to us Melbourne is the shopping hub of Australia. We enjoyed a day with Melbourne Girl and The Plus Ones where we were given a privileged view of Melbourne retail, style and fashion.

We also learned Victoria’s shoppers have something to celebrate this Christmas with more than two extra days – or 54 hours – of hopping time in December, with trading hours extended to 9pm every night. Lord Mayor of Melbourne Robert Doyle officially announced these extended trading hours for major city retailers as part of a unified effort to reinforce Melbourne CBD as the leading destination for shopping this holiday season. Iconic shopping destinations QV Melbourne, The Strand Melbourne, Melbourne Central, Emporium Melbourne, H&M at Melbourne’s GPO, Myer and David Jones will all extend trading hours to 9pm throughout December and until 12 midnight on 19 December in the lead-up to Christmas, a first for Melbourne’s CBD.

Beginning in City Square we admired the Christmas Tree and display before beginning our shopping tour at iconic global sensation Kiehl's in Melbourne Central, for a skin consultation. This brand has seen tremendous growth in Australia and the Melbourne Central store has been a popular destination for skin care and beauty products. The Original Musk caused a sensation in America where it was originally banned for being "too sexy" as "love oil". Of course we all reached for the Tester once we learned of this. The manager of the store is incredibly knowlegeable and the service here is exceptional. Kiehl's are known to be generous with their samples. The World Loves Melbourne was attracted to their Mango Lip Balm for a summer solution.

Origins of Kiehl’s, says the website - “Since 1851, our New York apothecary has been dedicated to serving customers formulas for skin and hair made with efficacious, naturally derived ingredients. All of us at Kiehl’s Since 1851 would like to extend a heartfelt greeting to our customers everywhere! Although our products are available internationally, Kiehl’s is at its heart NEW YORK “BORN AND BRED”.

The original Kiehl’s Pharmacy is in New York City; a historical, family-founded store located on “Pear Tree Corner” at 109 Third Avenue in the East Village neighbourhood. Wherever we serve our patrons, we are committed to serving a QUALITY PRODUCT through the most outstanding service that we are able to provide. We wish for you to know that we are honoured at every opportunity to serve you and we hope to do so again soon. Meantime, we send greetings and best wishes from everyone at Kiehl’s.”

Product philosophy of Kiehl’s, says the website - “Ingredients are the single most important component of our products, and we at Kiehl’s have always proudly displayed ours.

Ingredients are not chosen on their aesthetic merit – only formulas with ingredients that are truly beneficial to the skin are selected. We use minimal preservatives in our formulations, just enough to give our products a shelf life. We select many naturally derived ingredients for use in our formulations, and we are committed to utilizing only the most gentle and efficacious formulas at Kiehl’s for maximum benefit and results in all of our products. We always formulate our products with the needs of sensitive skin in mind.”

kiehls

A short walk to MAC Cosmetics had us receiving a mini-makeover - or at least for my daughter and fellow bloggers on the tour.

MAC Cosmetics in Melbourne Central is a unique stand alone store where you can come for all your cosmetics needs, as well as book in for a session with a skilled make up artist. This store is proving hugely popular for those wanting an application before going out for a special event, or to pick up product.

 

The tour then moved to MOZI, a superb design store upstairs in Melbourne Central, for your accessories, kitchen, bathroom, living, outdoor and sleepwear needs to name a few. My family loves MOZI products and we have several pieces at home. It's one of those design stores where you are taken with several of the collections, and want to buy everything. We were taken by the 12 days of Christmas collection. It was a thrill to meet the Head of Design of the collection, Fleur Harris, and she was so engaging with the group. Talented designers are fundamental to the success of the business, and Fleur's ability to weave a fifties theme with modern colours through the collection is inspiring. MOZI has been getting retail traction and plans to expand its number of stores.

 

Here is Head of Design Fleur Harris pictured, surrounded by the chic MOZI range with diverse products and colours.

 

This is all hard work of course. Retail tours need constant refreshment, so it was off to Cupcake Central, a Melbourne based company. These cupcakes are outstanding and many rate them as the best in Melbourne. The World Loves Melbourne can't go past a red velvet cupcake, with all cupcakes baked fresh daily.

Cupcake Central on Urbanspoon

 

With a filter coffee from Plantation, this was top notch morning refreshment.

 

The tour then visited another standout retail location in The Strand Melbourne. Desigual is a popular fashion destination that has its own unique vibrant colour and pattern range. It's a place of positivity. 

At the young age of 20 Thomas Meyer, originally from Switzerland, envisaged a future in which people dressed in a different way, in clothes that helped generate positive feelings, affordable to all. And out of this dream Desigual was first born in 1984. Ever since, it has emanated positivism, commitment, tolerance, constant improvement, innovation and fun. 

Check out the vibrant designs and colours...

 

A short walk to funkis had us in a world of Scandinavian design. Clogs and sandals are a big seller, with funkis making clogs extremely fashionable. funkis is an Australian company based in Sydney. The World Loves Melbourne loved the almost minimalist design of the store and the awesome clogs. Bags, clothes and jewellery were also a hit, with us trying on the stylish glasses.

 

Nearby weekend by gorman was also another stylish joyful destination.

Wweekend by gorman is a summer lifestyle concept store which showcases the latest home time summer collection, as well as some extra surprises. We were taken by the large vibrant cushions, as well as the clothing and kitchen ranges.

Then it was on to Cacao Lab for their famous Iced Coffee and eclairs...

 

 

Cacao Lab offer a boutique experience, a place to relax and imbibe high class offerings.

Cacao Lab on Urbanspoon

 

The tour spent some time in H&M, where The World Loves Melbourne purchased a few pieces for my daughter. It's been some time now since its launch and H&M is always well patronised by enthusiastic customers.

 

The Emporium has changed the landscape of Australian retail. The party launch with Baz Luhrmann is the most lavish party I've ever attended. Just to have so many iconic brands in one location, with a high class fit out and spacious feel, is a wonderful retail experience for shoppers. Not to mention so many iconic restaurant and cafe brands on offer, is superb. We encountered this amazing arrangement where trolleys of fragrances and sweet treats were given out to appreciative customers. Thanks to Tanya Lunardon, Marketing Manager for showing us around The Emporium and for showing us the gift tag area where we received our own gift tag (they do vouchers with style).

 

A surprise awaited us in The Emporium Cafe area where a table had been reserved among the lunchtime masses. These chic boxes contained a legendary Jimmy Grants souvlaki, Pommery champagne, Charlie & Co burger, rice paper rolls from Pho Nom, water and health smoothie from Thr1ve. A sensational lunch! The World Loves Melbourne was taken by the long lines for iconic eateries such as Jimmy Grants. So many quality eateries striking a nerve with shoppers. 

Phở Nom on Urbanspoon

Jimmy Grants on Urbanspoon

Thr1ve on Urbanspoon

Charlie & Co Burgers on Urbanspoon

 

A pleasant surprise was the session we spent at DECLIC, chic Men's fashion store with a strong Melbourne history, where we were given colourful playful socks. DECLIC brings personality and pop along with style, and breaks the mould.

 

The World Loves Melbourne also checked out the Alto Events space for larger functions in Melbourne. The backdrop is iconic. We were given a tour by Clare Carlyon, Senior Marketing Manager Victoria Property and Asset Management.

 

One of the highlights for The World Loves Melbourne was our visit to Mamma's BUOI - a wonderful Vietnamese restaurant at the Melbourne GPO site. This restaurant impressed us with its service and hospitality from Nam, one of the owners. We were also taken by the Vietnamese flavours from dishes other than pho. While we love pho, we agree that other Vietnamese flavours should be on display!

Duck in pancakes was a winner...

As were these delicious fish cakes...

 

Cocktails were a highlight including a pho cocktail (not overpowering but subtle) that was refreshing and delicious. The World Loves Melbourne is keen to return to Mamma's BUOI.

Mama's Buoi on Urbanspoon

 

Then it was on to the Myer Christmas Windows where 1.2 million people line up to see the display...

 

Jade Rudder, Myer Fashion & Lifestyle PR Specialist took us to the 6th floor Giftorium, a brilliant new concept with your gift needs in one location. Myer has Gifticians to assist customers with gift advice and needs. Nearby we checked out Santaland, Santaland Express and the Christmas Trim Shop for festive finishes. 

 

Then it was off to David Jones, where we were hosted by one of the best in the business, Store Manager Vulcan Ozturk. Vulcan took us into the Personal Shopping Suite of David Jones where we were treated to Moet Champagne and gourmet platters. David Jones offers a premium shopping service with its Gift Gurus and Style Advisers.

The David Jones Personal Shopping service is available to customers and they don't set a minimal spend. The David Jones Personal Shopping Service is a luxurious service available by appointment only. Relax in a sumptuous private suite as expert personal shoppers create your bespoke edit, based on their knowledge of key brands and trends in fashion and home. Whether you’re seeking style advice for a complete wardrobe makeover or assistance with everyday requests, the Personal Shopping Service is the ultimate way to shop.

 

Some bloggers went to the Magic Cave on Level 5, while The World Loves Melbourne headed for the Foodhall. The David Jones Foodhall is legendary and a hub for foodies. All your gourmet needs. The Noodle Bar and Juice Bar offer great value for those needing their fix. Often there's demonstrations by famous foodies at David Jones Foodhall. We ran into French foodie legends Kate and Younes from Asterisk Kitchen, makers of fine French products.

David Jones Noodle Bar on Urbanspoon

 

Then it was on to QV Melbourne where we checked out specialist stores in Albert Coates Lane (such as Incu, Vanishing Elephant, A.P.C., M Dreams and Monsterthreads) and imbibed the Friday Twilight Markets with the hospitable Sarah Hynes, Marketing Manager, QV Melbourne. We enjoyed sitting at the tables and enjoying a cocktail from the pop up cocktail bar. 

Then it was off to sumptuous Red Spice Road for dinner. These guys are a prominent part of the QV dining scene and serve fresh modern Asian cuisine. I've written about the pork belly at Red Spice Road being one of Melbourne's best. 

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Red Spice QV on Urbanspoon

Special thanks to Katie Sheppet from Porter Novelli for a superb job in organising and hosting us. What a great day!

Tags: Food, Fashion