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Melbourne’s secret rooftop terraceMelbourne, Australia

With an address on Exploration Lane it’s no surprise Fraser Place Melbourne makes for a choice home base while you delve into Melbourne's finest wares. After all, sampling expertly roasted coffee in Degraves Street, lining for Chin Chin’s exquisite sashimi and clinking icy beers at Rooftop Bar – all a short stroll away through the city’s famous laneways – make for time very well spent.

So you might be surprised if someone suggested you grab a bottle of plonk and hole up at said serviced apartments instead.

But that’s exactly what you should do.

Gracing the top floor of one of Fraser Place’s two high-rise towers is a rooftop terrace that no one seems to have noticed. Not even Melburnians, who love nothing more than to hangout on the summits of buildings before anyone else beats them there. Especially if the entrance is down an alleyway.

Decked out with tables and comfy chairs, potted succulents and planters flush with fresh herbs, this terrace offers prime cityscape viewing reserved solely for apartment guests. And with its orientation – poised on the structure’s western-facing front – it’s just where you want to be when sunset spills between the skyscrapers, sending golden light to dance upon the glass, giving off tones of peach, silver and aquamarine.

From here, it doesn’t take much navigating to find the Queen Victoria Market, less than a 20-minute walk away. Stock up on fresh fruit, vegetables and fine cuts of meat to prepare in the apartment’s kitchen. But you’ll find the market’s real treasure trove is the Art Deco deli hall. You should emerge with parcels of spicy salami, garlic-laced olives, a Tasmanian cheddar or a Gippsland blue – the makings of a superb terrace picnic.

For the accompanying wine, though, there’s nothing better than buying a bottle direct from the source. And some of Victoria’s best grapes ripen on vines in the Yarra Valley, just an hour’s drive away. So Fraser Place has teamed up with Autopia Tours to transport guests wishing to indulge in some of life’s finest pastimes (read: imbibing wine, feasting on exquisite cuisine and savouring morsels of silky chocolate) out to this picturesque region.

On this small group day trip you’ll watch the city awaken yet still be sipping Yarra Valley strawberry liqueur by 9.30am over platters of cheese and relish. You’ll let loose on wines at three vineyards, as well as a cider house and brewery, try your hand at pétanque (winner takes home a bottle) and sample bite after bite of rocky road at a chocolaterie, where flavours range from maple candy bacon and Golden Gaytime to ginger and lemon myrtle and matcha tea.

This is the type of destination that shows off each season, so be sure to peer beyond your glass throughout the wine-soaked journey. In autumn the leaves turn brilliant merlot-red and egg-yolk yellow and mobs of kangaroos thump around the vines. Winter brings mist to cloak the valley, while roaring wood fires in tasting rooms warm chilly limbs and glasses of award-winning pinot take care of mouths and bellies. Spring promises sprightly new leaves. And in summer: endless blue skies.

After unearthing a bounty of liquid gold, your pioneering team will return you to Fraser Place Melbourne, just in time for a sunset drink on your very own VIP terrace.

  • rooftop terrace
  • air-con
  • wi-fi
  • kitchenette
  •  washer and dryer (in some rooms)
  • microwave
  • gym
  • buffet breakfast available

Apartments from US$180 per night.

Fraser Place Melbourne
melbourne.frasershospitality.com

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Tags: australia, melbourne, melbourne hotel

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