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The Lush Side of Melbourne: Venues of Greenery

by Hayley Coulter

Concrete jungles might be where dreams are made of, but we all end up craving an escape from them every now and then. We’ve found the best bars and restaurants in Melbourne for a lush escape into some greenery, even in the city! Get ready to lay back and relax in these slices of paradise.

Secret Garden
St Kilda

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Plucked from a fairy tale and tucked away on Fitzroy Street, Secret Garden Bar flourishes with greenery nestled everywhere. From jungle artworks, to garden beds that separate the open-air dining, to the iconic statement piece you cannot ignore. Step through the threshold and be greeted by an entire ceiling adorned with sunflowers that ripple with the breeze! It’s impossible not to be happy in this hidden wonderland.

Here, Secret Garden is heaven on earth for our cocktail enthusiasts! Choose from their jugs, session cocktails or drink your way through their five martini varieties. The lychee martini comes with a hoard of fans, with vodka, lychee liqueur, homemade lychee syrup and lemon juice creating an intoxicating refreshment that drives people crazy. If you’re not the cocktail type, bottle service is at the ready with your choice of spirits or wines!

While you relax in this hidden oasis, tuck into some enticing nibbles. Share some chips, light fried calamari or mac and cheese croquettes. If you’re feeling the hunger pains, you can also grab some wagyu beef or fried chicken sliders (the way to my heart). How could you say no?

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Flovie Florist Cafe


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Jumping from lush greens to fruitful florals, Flovie Florist Café brings the colour, the vibrancy, ANNNDDD it’s worthy of all your remaining storage space – so snap as many pictures as you can! Doubling as a functioning florist, the temptation to come away with a bunch for yourself is undeniable, especially since they sit right by the entrance. The floral motif carries all the way into the walls and ceilings, so allow yourself to relax and take in the beauty at this blossoming haven!

The drinks here are next level inventive and stunning. Sip a rose tea latte (yes, even the drinks are floral) with house brewed rose tea steamed with coconut milk and topped with roasted pistachio and rose petals! Alternately, there is the equally stunning butterfly latte with oat milk, condensed milk, butterfly pea tea and a shot of coffee. Just when you thought you’d never drink a blue coffee, Flovie is full of surprises and even more Instagram-worthy drinks.

On the topic of Instagram-worthy, Flovie is serving – in more ways than one – from breakfast to dinner! You’ve got the heavenly blue ocean granola for breakfast, to the dish that’s practically a celebrity in its own right: the hawaiian fondue cheese burger. Simply pluck the cylinder off the top and send an avalanche of delicious house-made cheese sauce over the whole burger! Yum.

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House of Plants


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Perhaps the cutest venue entrance in this edit, House of Plants is nestled between two brick walls and somehow still creates an idyllic and rustic getaway from reality. A blend between a native nursery and a bar, this venue focusses on highlighting Australian products and ingredients with each offering. Exposed brick, green seating and plants everywhere will have you feeling like you’ve escaped to a log cabin for the weekend.

House of Plants is home to some brilliant Australian botanical cocktails, which might be some of the most unique drinks you ever get to try! Sample a Wattleseed Espresso Martini, a Ningaloo Negroni or the House of Plants Sangria (with a house special secret recipe). If you’re just craving your classic beer, wine or spirits, you can order any of these with the bonus of knowing that they will be sourced from producers that are environmentally conscious and have sustainable production processes. It always feels good to do good!

If you’re after a snack with your drinks, House of Plants work with Thin Slizzy Pizzeria to make sure nobody has to go hungry! If you’re just a little peckish, they’re set with plenty of other little bites to get you through!

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Lickety Split


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A venue where it’s all in the name, you’ll want to be dashing to this open air venue Lickety Split! Dine amongst the gardens, or be welcomed into The Lickety Lounge with its neon lights and rustic charm. An evening adorned with fairy lights is always a good one (it’s just a rule), and Lickety Split promises to be one you’ll never forget.

Pizza is the name of the game here, with over fifteen different flavours to choose from! For our vegan or vegetarian mates, get prepared to be spoiled for choice as well with plenty of options across the menu. If you’re not up a pizza today, the pastas remain a failsafe option, particularly the iconic spaghetti bolognese that can appease even the pickiest eaters in your party!

Boasting a dog-friendly environment, you never have to be away from your fluffy best friend! Let’s face it, we’d all love to spend every waking hour with our fur-babies, and Lickety Split lets your pup explore gardens while you explore the delicious menu. Win-win!

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Moon Dog World


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A jungle paradise complete with a lagoon and a waterfall, all indoors? Moon Dog World is an icon of the brewery scene and ideal for those of us who are always chasing “somewhere different”. Set in a refurbished warehouse, step into this surprising hidden tropical retreat where you can dine or drink by the lagoon, on the deck or even in their large container if you’ve got 20-50 of your nearest and dearest with you.

As a brewery, Moon Dog World is the perfect spot for craft beer lovers chasing some variety, with 72 taps to choose from. Your hardest decision of the day will be whether to opt for a fizzer seltzer, a cooler cocktail spritz or a classic craft beer. Tough, right?

In a first for most people, you’ll have the opportunity to dig in to classic pub grub dishes as you lounge by the shore of this indoor beach. The delicious grazing options are the perfect opening act, with some notable bites being the potato, cheddar and jalapeno croquettes (for those who love a little spice) or the pulled pork tacos (a staple of ones diet). For the larger items, you’re spoiled for choice with burgers, salads and parmas galore. It might not be heaven, but it’s definitely paradise.

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Craving your next meal in a lush escape? Start exploring these venues just in time for Melbourne’s spring and summer! You’re welcome.

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