STREET OF STYLE

EN­JOY COLLINS STREET’S STUN­NING AR­CHI­TEC­TURE, AND FAS­CI­NAT­ING HIS­TORY, AS YOU SNAP UP STYLISH BAR­GAINS AND TER­RIFIC TREATS.

Where Melbourne - - Precincts Collins Street -

COLLINS STREET ex­udes style and glam­our. It's a boule­vard of chic de­signer shop­ping, five-star ho­tels, ex­clu­sive jewellers, grand her­itage build­ings, churches, the­atres and pri­vate clubs. It's Melbourne's premier com­mer­cial streetscape with a num­ber of Aus­tralia's largest cor­po­ra­tions call­ing Collins Street home and it has also been the set­ting for some of Aus­tralia's best known paint­ings.

While there have been many changes over the years with the con­struc­tion of a num­ber of mod­ern build­ings, its fine nine­teenth-cen­tury her­itage is still strongly ev­i­dent. Then there are the won­der­ful plane trees, which line the street look­ing par­tic­u­larly stun­ning at night un­der lights.

One of the rea­sons for Collins Street's con­tin­ual ap­peal is its abil­ity to change with the times. Since 1837 it has been re­built sev­eral times. It's also been ex­tended—the last oc­cur­ring with the con­tin­u­a­tion of the street across Spencer Street rail­way lines and into Dock­lands.

How­ever what hasn't changed is the street's ap­peal as both a busi­ness and leisure hub. A Collins Street ad­dress is still cov­eted by ma­jor busi­nesses and pro­fes­sion­als. The Re­gent and Athenaeum The­atres con­tinue to at­tract the­atre­go­ers from around the world while wor­ship­pers flock to its three his­toric churches— the Collins Street Bap­tist Church, St Michael's Unit­ing Church and Scots' Church.

Given the qual­ity of their neigh­bours, sev­eral lux­ury ho­tels fit per­fectly in the mix in­clud­ing Novo­tel Melbourne on Collins, Sof­i­tel Melbourne on Collins, Grand Hy­att Melbourne and The Westin Melbourne.

De­li­cious food is on of­fer on Collins Street. For pra­lines, ge­lato, gateaux and choco­late, you won’t go past Gâ­nache Choco­late Lounge. With its Euro­pean am­bi­ence and im­pec­ca­ble ser­vice, they have the widest range of hand­made choco­late prod­ucts in Melbourne. The sec­tion be­tween Swanston and El­iz­a­beth Streets fea­tures a num­ber of his­toric and more re­cently built ar­cades which are home to a huge se­lec­tion of chain and con­cept stores sell­ing cloth­ing and home­wares. Here you’ll also find the Block Ar­cade. This ar­cade be­tween Collins and El­iz­a­beth Streets has been one of the places to go shop­ping since it was built back in the 1890s.

It comes as no sur­prise to dis­cover the Block is clas­si­fied by the National Trust and is on the reg­is­ter of the National Es­tate. There’s so much in­ter­est in the Ar­cade that guided his­toric tours are on of­fer.

The Block is also home to one of Melbourne’s most his­toric tea­rooms. Lady Hopetoun, haughty wife of the pop­u­lar Vic­to­rian gov­er­nor Lord Hopetoun, founded a Vic­to­rian Ladies’

Melbourne Town Hall, Collins Street. Photo: Josie Withers Photography/visit Victoria.

Left to right: Hand-blown glass beads by He­len Zitviceus, enamel and fine sil­ver rings from a se­lec­tion by Deb­bie Sheezel, and a hand-crafted old-cut di­a­mond clus­ter ring set in plat­inum by Gray Reid Gallery.

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