Thursday, February 21, 2008

South Melbourne Shopping Guide

This project has been a while in coming... and quite labour intensive! Anyway hope you enjoy this shopping guide to my favourite shops in South Melbourne. I have been inspired by the fantastic shopping guides Bloesem and DesignSponge have posted in the past... I have plans for many more guides... all in good time!

Still struggling with the size of my images... sorry if the map is illegible. I am a bit limited with my layout... can't seem to get the image big enough. What a shame! Perhaps it's best to double-click on it for a larger view in a new window.

1) St Ali - 12 Yarra Place, South Melbourne
My favourite coffee/lunch spot in South Melbourne. Actually it's one of my favourite cafes anywhere in Melbourne. It's a fantastic industrial space and the food is great and inexpensive. They also roast a variety of coffees on the premises which you can buy for home.

St Ali industrial interior

mmm peach and prosciutto salad....

2) Kikki K - Shop G-07/ 245-267 Clarendon St, South Melbourne
Yeah I know it's a chain store... but I couldn't resist. Kikki K have just opened in South Melbourne... gorgeous interior... beautiful products... and you can never have too much stationary.

stationary heaven

3) Macphee's - 249 Coventry st, South Melbourne
Macphees is a relatively new store dedicated to the wine enthusiast.. BUT before you move on hear me out! This shop is actually beautifully designed and the stock is very carefully selected. It stocks some of the most beautiful decanters, trays, wine racks, books and other high end home accesories. I rarely drink wine and even I found myself browsing the shelves with interest! Next time you're stuck gift-shopping for the men in your life (Dad, boyfriend, brother, husband?) remember Macphees... you're sure to find something here.

4) Gas - 253 Coventry st, South Melbourne
Gas is a great cafe for salads, sandwiches and baguettes. They're seriously good. Especially the baguettes. There's a fantastic selection and everything is super tasty. Apparently it's run by the three daughters of Armadale's Tartine guru Jan Maskiell. That makes sense.

5) Made in Japan - 276-278 Coventry st, South Melbourne
Yes, I know... another obvious choice. But Made in Japan does have a great selection of ceramic gifts and Japanese furniture... yes it is kinda overpriced... so why not head nextdoor to the warehouse instead? Here you can pick up a kimono for as little as $30, other fabric remnants for as little as $5, and a wide range of ceramics and furniture that for whatever reason didn't make it to the showroom floor.

6) Cafe Sweethearts - 263 Coventry st, South Melbourne
Another lovely South Melbourne eatery... more of a sit-down and order from the menu affair. Not quite as fun as St Ali - it's a little more formal - but Sweethearts does have a great menu... and is a little more quiet and calm. Good for a lunch meeting with your boss or a breakfast date with your sweetheart.

7) Coventry Bookstore - 265 Coventry st, South Melbourne
This is a great little bookstore with a fantastic range of design and interiors books. The staff are lovely and the shop has a really warm, friendly feeling. This is one of my favourite bookshops in Melbourne... (I feel a 'Top 5 Bookshops' post coming on...)

8) RG Madden - 269 Coventry st, South Melbourne
Another chain store? Yeah... sorry. RG Madden isn't exactly an inspired choice but they do have a good range - especially if you're gift-shopping. They've also got a good selection of pieces at a reasonable pricepoint... in addition, or course, to that stunning $2000 bike that's been in their window all summer. Seriously. It's gorgeous but who is going to buy that bike?

9) Household Linens - 279 Coventry st, South Melbourne
Household Linens are a New Zealand based company, specialising in the most beautiful, simple, crisp bedlinens. Mostly whites and creams - and all natural fibres (cotton or linen). The quality here is second to none - with pricetags to match! I admit in the past I have been guilty of buying cheap bedlinen... but in the last year or so I have started to feel just a little more 'grown up' and I think perhaps along with this I have become an advocate for posh bedlinen! Not fancy, patterned, coloured bedlinen... no no... just clean white, simple sheets and doona cover... but the quality of the fabric is important! You truly can feel (and see) the difference.

10) Fragile - 285-287 Coventry st, South Melbourne
Fragile touts itself as 'Australia's leading maternity wear and children's wear store'. It certainly has a beautiful range of clothes for kids... stunning fabrics and prints. There are pieces so cute you'll wish they came in your size - and, accordingly, the prices are closer to what you'd spend on yourself (rather than on your 2 yr old). Still... super cute stuff... plus designer baby bits and pieces like cots, prams, blah blah. I don't know about the functionality of these things but they sure look good :)

11) Nest - 289 Coventry st, South Melbourne
Nest is a South Melbourne institution... they stock the beautiful range of natural skincare products by Aesop, bedlinen and artworks by well known Australian screenprinting outfit Spacecraft, and assorted other gorgeous things. Lovely space, friendly staff... check it out.

12) Let Them Eat Cake - 147 - 149 Cecil st, South Melbourne
Let Them Eat Cake create gorgeous cakes for any event... they have lots of their work on display in their store, and photographs you can sift through too... but you can also design your own decadent dessert and they'll make it exactly to your specifications. There's also a selection of ready-made masterpieces if you're running behind time and want to pick something up off the shelf. ps) also the building these guys are in is beautiful - a lovely big old warehousey-type space...

13) Izzi and Popo - 258 Ferrars st, South Melbourne
Izzi and Popo have a gorgeous selection of European antique furniture and homewares... I now read on their website that they have buyers in Belgium, and have also ties in Amsterdam... so... not sure why I thought it was mainly French stuff. Anyway... details aside, Izzi and Popo are a treasure trove of gorgeous furniture and knick knacks... beautiful French table linens are a favourite.. and currently they have a great collection of old letterpress pieces for sale individually (picture below). There's always something different... worth a browse if you like the traditional, French (Belgian/Dutch?) provincial look.


  1. Congrats on a fab tour of South Melb. One of my favourite haunts too...but what about Pomegranate in Coventry Street?? An absolutely gorgeous interiors store, I'm surprised it didn't get a mention. Your photos are fantastic too.

  2. Thanks for a great overview of South Melb. No wonder we love it so much! My partner Kristina & I started kikki.K as one little gorgeous boutique in Melb - and people have loved it so much we've opened more. Never thought of ourselves as a chain store... to us it's still our little passion - we're just sharing it with more people... But i hear you. Glad you were still inspired to share it's where-abouts with others. So many gorgeous things coming in for ppl to discover. Love your Blog - well done. paul

  3. Thanks so much for your comments! :)

    Lee- Pomegranate was so close to making it in! I went in and had a rummage in their fabric remnants out the back.. but then they wouldn't sell me any (apparently they're not for sale?) so I got a bit annoyed and lost my enthusiasm for adding them to the shopping guide! :( oh well. It is a great little shop. I love their stripey deckchairs out the front.

    Paul - Thanks so much for your comment... It's exciting to hear from you! I didn't mean 'chain store' to sound quite so condescending! I guess I just meant that Kikki K is no secret! Anyway I am huge Kikki K fan and between you and me I'm just glad you weren't too fussed about me using photos of your store!! If you and Kristina would be interested in doing an interview by email I would love to profile Kikki K in more detail... maybe I'll shoot you an email about that. thanks again!

  4. wow, thank you so much! I will surely take this with me whenever I get a change to visit this beautiful city!
    Very helpful!

  5. Thanks Irene! I was inspired by your Amsterdam guides a long time ago... I still want to visit Amsterdam because of you :) This round-up took a lot of effort but I'm so glad it has been of interest to lots of people :) I need to create a new one soon... Lucy x

  6. HI Lucy, you are amazing! - this shopping guide a great thing to do . We hope your readers will venture a bit further down Clarendon street to see us at number 155 - we are Melbournestyle and we specialise in Beautiful, Original, Meaningful Melburniana.
    We don't want to show off, but we are sure any visitor will love what they find here. Come and see our newest collection - The Melbourne Scarves - luxurious, enormous silk scarves featuring famous Melbourne Women, Melbourne parks and Gardens, Melbourne architecture of course, and lots more.
    We'd love to see your clever readers! Can I add a link too?