Melbourne is a city steeped in secrets. These days hidden laneways, basement bars and underground restaurants are de rigueur. But what about what’s above the streets? There’s just as many hidden gems high above the city. Here’s a few you can’t afford to miss.
When you’re walking down Flinders Lane, it’s normal to peer down the laneways looking for bars and graffiti art, but what you should be doing is looking up. The Adelphi Hotel’s famous glass-bottomed pool juts out over the street for two metres. The rest of the long lap pool isn’t see through but swim all the way out to the edge and you can look down on the street below. Swimming laps has never been so interesting. The hotel’s pool deck is an astro-turf playground for big kids and is undergoing a revamp as part of the change in ownership. Last year the hotel was rebranded with a “dessert-theme”. Expect licorice allsorts carpet, a big glass bowl filled with sweet treats instead of a mini bar, and the constant smell of all things sugary in the common areas.
The queues for a table at Cumulus Inc are legendary. When Andrew McConnell opened a wine bar upstairs, the crowds just kept coming. Head upstairs to this urban space for wine by the glass and small dishes showcasing local produce. The duck skin waffle has a big foodie following and is just a few bites of decadence. Level 1, 45 Flinders Lane
A local institution, Madame Brussels is the grand dame of rooftop drinking dens in Melbourne. Her astro-turf garden, white whicker chairs, pink walls and preppy staff outfits set the scene for a fun afternoon tipple or two. Walk up the stairwell on Bourke St into a garden party. The homemade sausage rolls aren’t as dainty as the chicken sandwiches but they are delicious, especially with a Pimms cocktail. Level 3, 59-63 Bourke St