A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities

We pit two of Australia's most popular outposts against each other - find out which city has the edge


No longer playing second fiddle to its glamorous sibling sydney, Melbourne has become a cultural hot bed for all things alternative and artsy


An epic art-deco backdrop for movie night, the Astor Thearte is the last single-screen cinema of its kind, albeit with a huge screen and state-of-the-art sound system. The cinema still shows double features nearly every night of the week, running Hitchcock classics, MGM musicals and art house retrospective at high resolution for superb detail and clarity. astorthearte.net.au

At Vue de Monde, you can fine dine at dizzying heights on the 55th floor of  the famous Rialto Towers. The interior is inspired by Australia’s gold rush history. vuedemonde.com.au 

Melbourne is the coffee capital of Australia so expect nothing less than a perfect brew at Market Lane roastery, which has three branches in the city. Keen beans are encouraged to join its coffee club for a new, freshly roasted blend, delivered straight to your door every two weeks. marketlane.com.au

Clothing cornucopia American Rag handpicks and imports 20th-century vintage treasures all the way from the United States. 3 Southgate Avenue,Southbank, Vic 3006

The Australian Centre forContemporary Art building is every bit as jaw-dropping as the works inside it. accaonline.org.au


Its enduringly tempting sun, surf and shrimp-on-the-BBQ lifestyle aside, Sydney also offers up thriving culture, design, art and fashion, all on one very tasty plate

Eau de Vie's dimly lit speakeasy surroundings, laid-back jazz vibes and a specialist cocktail list to salivate over make this a don't miss destination.eaudevie.com.au

Australian FashionWeek was a spring-board for the likes of Sass & Bide and Alice McCall. Join the FROW in April to discover talent such as Kym Ellery.australia.mbfashionweek.com 

Spend a lazy Saturday strolling through award-winning Eveleigh Market in the heart of the city, in search of fresh, seasonal farmers’ and homemade produce.  On the first Sunday of every month the Eveleigh Artisan Market also offers up        indie-designed art and handcrafted gems. eveleighmarket.com.au

Gelato Messina’s epicurean approach to ice cream is a sensory overload in the form of experimental flavours and Blumenthal-esque visuals, with gelato disguised as other food. gelatomessina.com

Sydney hipster mag LoveWant’s dreamy fashion shoots are a lesson in cool with plenty of lithe-limbed models shot on grainy film. The gorgeous-looking glossy is published bi-annually to a hardcore global fanbase so hungry for a six-monthly fix that copies sell like hotcakes. Subscribe forthwith. lovewantmagazine.com 

Swing by the George Nelson Retrospective at the Powerhouse Museum to see some of his revolutionary interior designs and learn how the architect and visionary pioneered the concept of the modern family home. Until January 2014. powerhousemuseum.com