Category Archives: Melbourne Australia

Donovans – St Kilda, Melbourne

Every now and then, my husband and I treat ourselves to a meal at a “nice” restaurant.  You know, the type of restaurant where the rich and famous probably eat without blinking an eyelid, but where the everyday person reserves for special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, and so forth.  I call these types of restaurants an “event” restaurant, because the experience stands out in the memory.

We were looking for a restaurant to celebrate our anniversary lunch in, and having read the reviews for restaurants in the area, we decided that Donovans was the place for us.   Such a treat – located right on the beach, with views out over St Kilda beach and the ocean beyond.

The restaurant is exquisitely decorated with a beach house theme, which is perfectly captured, even in the restrooms, and the relaxed atmosphere was felt from the moment we entered.  We chose a lunch time seating so we could see the water while we were having our meal, and we were very impressed.

I nervously asked the waiter about gluten free options, and he said that most of the offerings on the menu could be modified to be gluten free – I only had to ask. Fantastic!  I couldn’t believe how easy that made it.  There was a wide variety of choices offered on the menu, including a comprehensive wine list.  The food was beautiful, not just to taste, but also to look at.

I chose the scallops for an entree and the salmon for a main. I would recommend these! They even bought me a fresh baked, still hot, gluten free roll to start – the nicest gluten free bread I’ve tasted!

The only thing that was missing was almond milk for my coffee, but I can concede that not everyone has this on offer, so I enjoyed my nice coffee black this time!

The staff were incredibly welcoming and helped to make our visit very pleasant.

Thank you! We will be back.


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St Kilda, Melbourne – A Short Stay

I visited St Kilda with my husband earlier this year for a short 3 day stay.  The beachside suburb boasts an eclectic collection of entertainment, relaxation, and dining choices.  Conveniently located just a short tram ride from the CBD in Melbourne, coming via the 96 from Bourke St.  (Nothing says “you are in Melbourne” better than tapping on with your Myki card for a ride on the tram network.)

We made our way from the airport to Southern Cross station using the SkyBus service, and from there caught the #96 tram out to Adina Apartments on Fitzroy St in St Kilda.  We were a little disappointed with the house keeping for our stay this time, but the location was perfect for us, sitting between two different tram lines, the 16 and the 96.

Fitzroy and Acland streets offer numerous selections of fast food, boutique restaurants, and pub dining.  Decisions, decisions….  After dinner each night, we walked along the foreshore paths and out onto the iconic pier, past sailboats waiting patiently in the marina and kite-surfers rocketing along across the water and jumping waves with style as they go.

Here’s a quick video of the kite-boarder in action

St Kilda highlights

  • Out at the very end of the pier there is a breakwater wall which is home to a colony of little penguins – Eudyptula minor.  The penguins arrive home from their days fishing after sunset to scrabble over the rocks, making a fair amount of noise in the process, as they make their way back to their home.  They are gorgeous to see, but not so easy to get a good photo of in the dark (“no flash please, it hurts our eyes”) . Each night a crew of patient Earth Care volunteers act as penguin guides


  • Melbourne’s Luna Park has been open since 1912 and can be found in St Kilda on the Esplanade, just near the beach overlooking Port Philip Bay,  with a tram stop at the door.  The park boasts the world’s oldest continuously operated wooden roller coaster, and is the only one of its kind with a standing breakman controlling speed from the break station in the middle of the two carriages.

St Kilda Luna Park

  • Every Sunday the Esplanade Markets  come to life, complete with food trucks and many interesting stalls displaying their wares.
  • Another market that is also within reach is the South Melbourne Markets on tram route 96 between the CBD and St Kilda.  Get off at South Melbourne, Stop 127.  I could easily have spent a full day here wandering around.  A section of the market is set up as a food court, where you can sit down for a coffee, or grab a bite to eat.  There are also many fresh seafood places with trays of oyster shots on offer  –  very popular with the market goers!
  • Also of interest coming up soon in May is the St Kilda Film Festival – Australia’s longest running short film festival which has been showcasing Australian Short Films since 1983.  The film festival is held in the Palais Theatre St Kilda (next to Luna Park)  with a capacity of 2896 people, it is the largest seated theatre in Australia, presently used for concerts, theatre, and cinema.

St Kilda Pier

With all that there is to see and do, what will you choose when you are next in St Kilda? can help you find a place to stay while you are there.

If you’ve got some other suggestions for readers interested in visiting St Kilda, please make a note in the comments below.