Insider Picks

Anna Lotfipour

Making the move to Melbourne two years ago, Anna Lotfipour promptly fell in love with the place. As a former Pacific Northwester she knows good coffee, and as current marketing guru for fashion label LIFEwithBIRD she’s dialed in on art and design, so we picked her brain on Australia’s unofficial cultural capital.

Cullen hotel Melbourne

LAY OF THE LAND

“The city is quite split in terms of north and south, and trust me, where you live does become quite the topic of conversation. The northside would be considered hipster-y; the southside more yuppie.” Hotels nearest to Anna’s favorite spots include The CullenThe Olsen, and Lyall Hotel and Spa between the Prahan and Cremorne-Richmond areas; Park Hyatt Melbourne bordering Fitzroy; and Crown Metropol on the South Bank close to galleries.

PARDON

“The boys are legends and the team makes the best coffee. But then again, we’re spoiled for choices.”

WHITE OAKS

“It’s a small, intimate American-inspired Southern bar on Greville Street. Owners Nick and Tom are brothers and both make amazing cocktails, particularly with tequila. I normally get a bourbon or tequila sour.”

SAINT CRISPIN

“Quaint and minimalist, it almost has a bistro feel. The staff really make it an experience. There’s a half-open kitchen so you can see what’s happening. The food is delicious, and always changing. Keep the party going in their upstairs bar after. It’s in Fitzroy—what I’d say is the culinary Mecca.”

JARDAN

“It’s a great place to grab a gift for someone who’s into design. Less than a year-old, they’re in tune with the latest without being overly expensive. It’s in Cremorne-Richmond where most of the design stores are located—that whole strip is cool.”

GALLERIES & MINI-GETAWAYS

“Catch the latest exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria or Australian Centre for the Moving Image. And head out of town; there are so many amazing wineries and little towns—Castlemaine, Harcourt, Avanel, Red Hill—down either coast.”