Harley Davidsons, Queen Victoria Market and Vintage Shopping *OR* A Perfect Day in Melbourne

indie mick and nine

There’s nothing like a Harley ride to wake a girl up in the morn.  And now I know that from experience.

At 8.45 on our second morning in Melbourne, we were met in our hotel by two lovely gents and their chariots: John and Mick and their beautiful Harleys.  We were kitted out with helmets, gloves, and biker jackets.  Up we hopped on the back of the bikes and off we rumbled through the streets of Melbourne.

I was travelling with Mick, and as we rode through the city centre on to the outskirts and towards St Kilda beach, he shouted back tidbits of Melbourne history and local trivia.  We passed The Shrine of Remembrance, around the Albert Park lake which is the site for the Australian Grand Prix, we passed some iconic Melbourne joints like The Espy, and we roared across the West Gate Bridge.  It was brilliant.

mick and john with aoife

Mick and John dropped us off at The Foodies’ Dream Tour meeting point in the fantastic Queen Victoria Market, which is the largest market of its kind in The Southern Hemisphere.  The Foodies’ Dream Tour is a two hour guided walk throughout the entire food part of the market.  It’s an excellent way of getting your bearings, as the place is huge.

Having a knowledgable guide meant that not only did we get to see the food market in its full glory, but we were given some inside information on the workings of the market, we were pointed in the direction of the best stalls, and of course, we got to taste loads of yummy treats on the way!

Here is a tiny bit of the food market in pictures (there were too many things to take photos of so I’ll just give you a basic idea!):

A sample of the Meat, Fish, Fruit and Vegetables…

meat counteroysters
orangespear and apple
colourful fruitamazing carrots
carrots leeks squashtomatoes and fennel
corn on the cobsilver beet
chilli starsweird plant and strawberries

The Deli Hall…oh yeahhhh…!

shopfrontcute ladies

kangaroo sausiescroc sausie

octopus and salmonartichoke


pasta tastingwine tasting

recycle wine signrecycle wine bottle

queue for donutsq for donuts

Queue for the famous Queen Victoria Market donuts.  Dedication.


Goodness. You’re rather nice, aren’t you?!

After polishing off that delicious looking bun, accompanied by a  beautiful coffee from one of the many cafes in the food hall part of the market, myself and Niall headed back to our hotel room where we were due to be picked up by Betty & Miss Shirley for our Vintage Outing!

In fact, it wasn’t Betty & Miss Shirley but the lovely Lyn and the delightful Danielle who greeted us warmly in our hotel foyer and took us outside to meet Florence, their 1960s Fiat 1500!  After we had tipped our hats to our chauffeur Derek, we squeezed into Florence and off we went.

lyn aoife and danielle

Florence the Fiat, Lyn, me, Danielle (with the bride and groom in the background).

The idea of the Vintage Outing is to sample as many of the wonderful little vintage boutiques that Melbourne has to offer.  We were doing a shorter version of the usual 4 hour trip, but none the less Lyn and Danielle gave us the full package.  The first thing we were given was The Vintage Outing Handbook, a little booklet featuring Betty & Miss Shirley on the front cover.  Lyn & Danielle said that a few times they’ve been asked ‘So who’s Betty and who’s Miss Shirley?’  They explained that it wasn’t about alter-egos, in fact the whole outing was just inspired by two girls going for a shop.

In the little booklet they gave us was details of all the shops that one would visit on a full Vintage Outing as well as the story of Betty & Miss Shirley’s shopping adventures.  Most importantly, at the back of the booklet are a few 50s recipes for, among others, rock buns, macaroon tarts and  and maid-of-honour cheese cakes.  I promised the ladies that I’d try at least one of the recipes with one of my Empire Vintage purchases….(see below).

We got very cute little polka dot shopping bags, a little booklet about the tour with a little pencil and in each shop we went to we were presented with little gifts from the shop owners.

The whole thing was just so deliciously kitsch and cute and lovely.

We visited the delightful Empire Vintage specialising in new and old beautiful things as well as lovely vintage frocks:

empire vintage exteriorempire vintage interior
empire vintage platesempire vintage glasses

The lovely Empire Vintage. There were sooo many beauitful things in this shop but obviously, I got stuck in to the kitchen ware pretty quick!

We moved on to the beautiful Izzi & Popo (specialising in antiques entirely sourced from Belgium), and then to the really cute Arthur’s Circus, a vintage toy shop named after the owners’ son Arthur:

arthurs circus cardsarthurs circus dog toys
arthurs circus fire hoseelvis cards

After the lovely Arthur’s Circus visit, with our cute polka dot bags getting heavier and heavier, it was to The Junk Company next.  While Arthur’s Circus won “The Cutest Shop in the World” prize, The Junk Company won the “I Could Spend Five Hours in Here” award.  Just incredible.  I’m a bric-a-brac mis-matching plates kinda gal so I was in heaven.

junk interiorniall with vinyl
junk furniturejunk furniture too
junk company jugsjunk company kitchen stuff
junk company chinajunk company blue plates
junk company bricabracjunk company paisley shirts

That’s right, paisley shirts! Amazing.

Industria was our last shop stop and was full of found pieces from hospitals as well as vintage clothes, weird postcards and sculptures/furniture made by the owner.

industria interiorindustria legs
industria numbersindustria jugs

We ended our day in the fantastic Madame Brussels, a tea parlour close to the city centre.  We were presented with our last gift of the day by Lyn and Danielle: an extremely cute packed lunch wrapped up in a special Vintage Outing towel, just like a 50s picnic!  Divine.

madame brussels

Here are the fruits of my labour.  The apple is a little sauce pot, the Heidi book is a recycled notebook, the pack of cards will from now on be my cigarette box case, the little blue badge says “Feed Me”, the postcards are just brilliant, the plates are for eating, the wooden spoons are for cooking, and the blue apron is for baking.  The vinyl without a case is Joe Dolce ‘Shaddupyaface’ (if you saw that at a flea market/vintage shop/charity shop, would you have been able to resist??  No!) The vinyl on the left of the photo belongs to Niall, and yes, it’s Eye of The Tiger by Survivor.  Awesome.

what i bought

This tour is unmissable.  Lyn and Danielle are wonderful company and driving around in Florence the Fiat is an experience in itself.  If you’re in Melbourne and have a penchant for collecting stuff or fancy a vintage frock, these are your girls.  Essential time spent if you’re visiting Melbourne.

My goodness.  What a day, what a day.  And that’s only the first half of the day!!! :)

Categories: Blog Trips Tags: , ,


  1. Oh wow. Wow wow! Trawling vintage shops for the day?! Heaven! Sounds like ye’re having an absolute ball there you lucky mites!! And some great purchases made too ;)

  2. …and that was only part one? My oh my!

  3. Hi Aoife – seriously, it was the most fun ever. I just wish I could have bought more stuff!

    Hi Spud – it was a serious morning all right! So much fun.

  4. ahhh aoife wish i’d been on that tour!! looks amazing, vintage heaven! x

  5. Hi Ciara – thanks for commenting! This trip was so much fun, you would’ve loved it!

  6. Pingback: Australia: A Digestif « I Can Has Cook?

  7. Asking questions are really good thing if you are
    not understanding anything entirely, however this post offers fastidious understanding even.

  8. I have learn some just right stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking for revisiting.
    I surprise how much effort you place to make such a
    great informative web site.