Discovering Beauty in Melbourne

We have just spent five days in Melbourne where we caught up with friends from Brisbane and Armidale and saw the Cats beat the Blues at Etihad Stadium. As always, Melbourne was alive with people and we didn't mind navigating our way through them as we walked to Flinders Street Station, Southbank or Etihad, or just wandered the streets looking for somewhere to eat and drink.

One day we caught a train from the city out to North Brighton and spent a couple of hours at a huge model train shop. Jim was blown away by the stock and impressed by Noel, the proprietor, who took time to answer his many questions. Another day we caught a tram to Camberwell and spent a couple of hours wandering through fantastic second-hand markets. There we had a delicious lunch at a delightful French patisserie and boulangerie. And at other times we dined at the Dragon Boat in Chinatown and Margo's at the Casino, amongst others.

But my favourite place is Young and Jacksons Hotel on the corner of Flinders and Swanston Streets. We've been there many times for drinks or a light lunch in the downstairs cafĂ© and bar. But our friends from Brisbane - on what was a rare visit to Melbourne - informed us of Chloe's Bar, upstairs at the hotel.

Not only is the bar a comfortable place to have a refreshing glass of pinot noir, but the centrepiece is a stunning work of art, a nude portrait of Chloe, a model originally from Paris. What a discovery!