Staycation at Hotel Urban

Happy Holidays to you BusiChic, if you’re in one of the Australian cities enjoying Labour Day Holiday today! To the rest of you, hard at work, I hope that this post gives you inspiration to book in some R&R very soon ūüėČ

Regular BusiChics will know that I’ve been busy in the last three months preparing my book and exhibition, currently on show at Melbourne Central as part of LMFF 2013. It was a really busy time as I continued to work my day job and manage other regular life things like turning 30, attending engagement parties, meeting new babies and seeing my own family and friends.

So you can imagine how pretty darn excited I was when I was invited to do a staycation at Hotel Urban, situated in St Kilda in my own city of Melbourne. What a perfect way to get some chillax time, without having to handle the fuss of getting to Tullamarine (I love Melbourne but gosh our airport is far away when compared with other cities, like Sydney) or go for a very big drive. Minimal travel for optimal holiday-time, it sounded almost too good to be true!

Then darn it, BusiChic, things got even better.

I was also invited to dine at Mirka at Tolarno, a Guy Grossi restaurant, just metres away from Hotel Urban!

On my way to dine at Mirka at Tolarno in St Kilda - a Guy Grossi restaurant

On my way to dine at Mirka at Tolarno in St Kilda – a Guy Grossi restaurant

Mirka at Tolarno

Artist Mirka Mora looking like Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday!

Artist Mirka Mora looking like Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday!

I could do a whole blog post solely about my admiration for artist¬†Mirka Mora. I remember hearing her talk at my highschool. She had (has!) such great spirit and spoke so candidly about love, life and work – all delivered with this great humour and¬†mischievousness¬†that I can tell you I’ve reflected upon her words in the years since. At the risk of sounding even more twee, I felt that she had a great truth that I’m working towards finding for myself so coming to dine in this wonderful space adorned with murals of her work, at a point in time that I’m trying to¬†get my ass everywhere, was rather poignant.

OMG and the FOOD!

Naturally I have a bunch of iPhone snaps of the tasty morsels that my boyfriend, Tim, and I dined on. Whilst I missed out on snapping the complimentary polenta chips that we enjoyed whilst our eyes devoured the menu, I do have pics of the¬†rabbit rillette that was the fanciest presentation of this preserved meat treat I’ve ever enjoyed as well as the¬†spiced lamb pastries. I also took photos of his¬†beef short rib and my pork neck but to be honest, I really believe that you need to see and experience the magic for yourselves. Maybe we’ll see you there the next time we go, I’m determined to leave some space for some of the desserts that our fellow diners appeared to enjoy immensely!

Tim at Mirka at Tolarno

Wait staff are dressed in Leona Edmiston Ruby frocks in an Emerald Green hue that matches Mirka's mural, also Panetone's Colour of the Year!

Fashionable fact: Mirka at Tolarno ¬†staff are dressed in Leona Edmiston Ruby frocks in an Emerald Green hue that matches Mirka’s mural, also Panetone’s Colour of the Year!

My only regret with Mirka’s is that we didn’t bring friends along so that we could try more of the menu – everything that came out of the kitchen looked amazing. However fortuitously for our waistlines we were side-tracked because in a funny co-incidence, Tim had won tickets to see Donny Frankenreiter play at The Prince as part of his Corona tour. So off we rolled!

Donny Frankenreiter at The Prince as part of Corona's

Donny Frankenreiter at The Prince as part of Corona’s La Casa tour.

After the gig, we walked back the few metres back to Hotel Urban. I was surprised by how quiet our room was considering the proximity to the bustle of Fitzroy street – a perfect getaway!

Getaway at Hotel Urban in St Kilda

Getaway at Hotel Urban in St Kilda

The stylish getaway at Hotel Urban

Our stylish getaway at Hotel Urban

I’ve used the hotel’s own images here as they are far better than my own. Also rather than featuring my own snaps, I’ll tell you that the hotel minibar completely rocks- being filled with a respectable representation of local wines, juices and beers that had us impressed. Also I will save you the photos I took of Tim reading out the copy on the evo products that had us tickled and smelling stellar for our stay.

I’m also going to let you know something that I probably shouldn’t because it’s a little bit cheeky. Guests of Hotel Urban get a complimentary pass to visit the St Kilda Sea Baths. While we didn’t have time to visit the sea baths during our stay, Melbourne was in the middle of a heatwave and we’re so grateful that the hotel staff let us use our passes after our stay – yet another bonus of the staycation and being close enough to go back and pick up our passes!


The morning after, a fresh start at Hub cafe

I cannot believe that we missed out on trying these crumpets at Hotel Urban's in-house cafe.

I cannot believe that we missed out on trying these crumpets, ¬†a specialty at Hotel Urban’s in-house, Hub cafe.

The next morning, I had to dash off to the Sustainable Living Festival to do an interview on the 3CR YarraBUG radio program as part of my duties as judge for Bikefest Best in Show competition. However not without stopping at Hub cafe, attached to Hotel Urban, for a breakfast of ocean trout, avocado and poached egg on toasted sourdough – delicious! We were feeling a little dusty, so freshly-squeezed juices rounded out our meal and honestly we were so impressed with the food and ambience that we’ve talked about popping in again as this whole operation isn’t too far from where we live!

In conclusion, I highly recommend taking a staycation in your own city РHotel Urban has stylish premises in Sydney and Brisbane. Being busy people, it would have been hard for us to have squeezed in a holiday any other way! Hotel Urban offers some sweet packages, making it pretty affordable to have a holiday with your sweetheart with minimal fuss.



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