Melbourne on the run! What would you do if you had just 24hours in this wonderful city? Where would you stay? What should you see? Where would you eat?
Every time I visit Melbourne I seem to be on an unrealistic time schedule. On this trip my arrival into Melbourne was significantly weather delayed. I stumbled into the terminal at 12.30am and didn’t reach the hotel until 1.00am, leaving me with no better option than sleep… Glorious, restful, sleep… in a sumptuous, billowy bed.
At Winston suggestion we have chosen a hotel in St Kilda for the proximity to Chapel Street shops, Prahran Market, St Kilda Beach and the city.
The Blackman Art Series Hotel is our very contemporary, temporary St Kilda home. This boutique establishment is in partnership with the Rydges chain. The “Art Series” includes three hotels each, named after influential Australian artist. There is also “The Cullen” at Prahran and “The Olsen” South Yarra, each with very distinctive styling and significant displays of art.
The Blackman is welcoming, funky, modern and tasteful. On arrival the tone is immediately set with a huge display of the artists work hanging over the reception desk. A quirky display of books, lit with blue lights beckons quests as they walk past on the way to the lift. This is a very uniquely styled hotel where every space is in keeping with the arty feel.
A little background on the hotels namesake was provided in our compendium.
“Charles Blackman was born in Sydney in 1928, and spent his childhood in Queensland before leaving school at the age of thirteen to work as an illustrator and subeditors copyboy at the Sydney Sun newspaper. As an artist he was largely self taught, but did attend night classes at East Sydney Technical College from 1942 – 45. Charles Blackman is regarded as one of the most original and significant figurative painters in Australian art.”
… But, most importantly back to the bed! I am sure there is no bed more comfortable, that feeling of sinking in to the ultimate cushiony cuddly bed, fully supported and yet completely enveloped. The hotel beds have been custom made to ensure guest experience “sweet dreams” in the hotels Signature bed. It is no wonder the access key proudly proclaims that the beds, linen and pillows are all for sale. Although somehow I don’t think Tiger airways would allow me to squish a mattress and pillow into the overhead compartment on my return flight.
Arriving in our room, even at this late hour it was obvious we had glorious sweeping views over the Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay. The room itself was modern and quirky. The furniture was more than functional, each piece added to the decor and the emphasized the dedication to art unique.
I noted that we had a full kitchenette including cooktop, microwave and dishwasher should we decide to prepare a meal.
It was the little things that made the most difference. This cute little lollypop made me smile, such a nice touch. The complimentary tea provided was T2, and the mini bar was full of unique local fare. Should we have wanted to watch Tv the room had a 42 inch HD flat screen television positioned so that we would not have to move from our bed. Best of all, on the bedside table was an iPod docking station! No need to remember the iPhone charger!
I am still trying to work out how I can incorporate this wall into our own house??? This door leads though to the bathroom, but don’t worry… it is still private.
Whilst checking in to the hotel the receptionist mentioned that we had to make sure we tried “Fleur, Depot de Pain.” This is the hotels French patisserie café . Fleur is renowned for its fresh bread and decadent pastries. As the name suggests these are not baked on the premises but by their sister venue, the iconic French Fantasies Boulangerie Patisserie on Toorak Road, South Yarra. We are also told that in addition to amazing pastries the cafe also makes the most delicious French Toast. It is a fantastic recommendation but unfortunately we were on a very strict eating schedule and even at check in I doubted that we would have the pleasure of samplings the dishes on offer.
Classico is the”The Blackman Hotels” bar and restaurant. It is stylish and elegant, and dishes range from traditional Neapolitan 10-inch stonecrust pizzas to fresh egg pasta topped with rich tomato sugo and olive oil based sauces. If guest prefer there is also an open antipasti bar similiar to an Italian “Salumeria” where customers can choose from a selection of hanging prosciuttos, salami and Parma style ham which are carved fresh.
Whilst awaiting our late arrival friends Rachy & Mr Mounter dined at Classico. They had a thoroughly enjoyable meal in our absence and chose various antipasto plates from the blackboard menu and some Italian beer.
Next morning my suspicions were confirmed. The view was gorgeous! I also understood fully why the bed and linen was available for sale.
Our meeting place the next morning was Classico for a nice strong coffee (after only 5 hours sleep). I have to say the aroma was amazing and the service fantastic. I was tempted to grab a pastry as we walked past “Fleur,” but our plan was to eat our way though the Prahran markets so I needed to save some space.
With all this talk of food I should mention that The Blackman also has a Gym for those perfect people who keep up their fitness regime whilst traveling. Did you guess that I am not one of those people… so I am very sorry, but I can’t tell you anything at all about the gym.
As we exited the hotel I noticed that there are the cutest classic Kronan bikes available for guests to hire. I would have loved to hire one and go on a picnic. They had a basket to hold shopping and a bigger carrier which could hold a blanket. Once again I lament our lack of time to Mr GG. There are so many possibilities but so little time.
If I was tempted by the cute push bikes I think I nearly squealed when I saw the hotels fleet of vespers. “I want one” I say to Mr GG, like a spoiled child. Patiently he asks me. “Are you telling me you would like to buy a vesper, or is this just because of the paint job on this one?” Hmm, I think we all know the answer to that one… but it was so adorable… I still want one!
What do you think readers? Is this bike the cutest thing ever?
While we are talking about cute things. I was kind of hoping for rain so that I could use one of the hotel umbrella’s. They are also unbelievably cute! It really is the little things that make a huge difference at the Blackman.
It is a gorgeous, unique luxurious five-star experience for all the senses. (Even the elevator music was funky)
Art Series [The Blackman] Melbourne
452 St.Kilda Road (entry via Arthur Street),
Melbourne 3004 VIC
T: 03 9039 1444