Sandra Chipchase - CEO Melbourne
After the meeting in Melbourne 
Sandra Chipchase, CEO Melbourne Convention Bureau
w w w. mcvb. com. au
My favourite spots in Melbourne:
Top three favourite restaurants
In Melbourne, you are really spoilt for choice, which makes it really hard to choose only three restaurants; however, for first time visitors to Melbourne I would suggest The Stokehouse (upstairs) in St Kilda. I love the spectacular views overlooking the Port Phillip Bay foreshore. Diners can sit back, relax and enjoy the delicious menu crafted by Executive Chef Anthony Mussara and Head Chef Oliver Gould. Their wine list, which features a number of my favourite Victorian wines, is excellent.
At Silks restaurant, at the Crown Entertainment Complex, Head Chef Wai Lim Chan puts unique twists on traditional Cantonese specialities utilising local produce. The lobster and beef dishes are outstanding.
For something different, the Collins Kitchen at the Grand Hyatt on Collins Street allows you to get up close and personal with the chefs through its innovative “open show” kitchen. It is a great way to interact with the staff and nothing is ever too much trouble! You can choose from five different dining concepts – Sushi, Deli, Grill, Wok and Patisserie.
Top three favourite bars
Alumbra, located in one of the Docklands’ famous converted sheds, is one of Melbourne’s premier destinations on the water. While this venue is only a short walk or tram ride from the Central Business District (CBD), you feel like you are getting away from it all when you enter this waterfront location that’s always fun.
I love Madame Brussels, located on Bourke Street, for its quirkiness. A step inside the door and you are instantly transformed into your own little garden party complete with Pimms or punch and poached chicken sandwiches or lemon sponge cupcakes with hot pink icing. Everything is themed here including the bar staff and the bathrooms!
For hidden enclaves, you know you are somewhere special when you have to enter via an unmarked wooden door. If you head up several flights of stairs past The Supper Club and The European you will come across Siglo. I love this roof top bar as it epitomises Melbourne’s style, flair and charm.
Top three favourite hotspots
Crown’s latest nightclub offering, Co., is the perfect place to dance the night away. With a host of local and international DJs playing every Friday and Saturday night, you are always guaranteed a good time whether you choose to take to the dance floor or catch up with friends in the lounge area.
Silk Road located on Collins Street really has the ‘wow’ factor. This place is magnificently decked out with extraordinary chandeliers and golden dragons. The idea is to depict the story of the historic trade route which linked traders, merchants, pilgrims and travellers through regions of the Asian continent and the Mediterranean Sea. It is a must see!
One place you must visit if you are in Melbourne on a Sunday is The Esplanade Market in St Kilda. Over 150 stallholders line The Esplanade, overlooking Port Phillip Bay, which connects trendy Fitzroy Street to buzzing Acland Street. From jewellery to photography, you will be sure to find a gift for your loved ones at home.