Strolling along the wide, quiet, leafy streets of Middle Park, you’d never believe you were a mere 12 minute lightrail journey from Melbourne’s CBD. Locals are spoiled for choice by a perfect blend of inner city convenience and beachside living. Weekends are a relaxed affair, filled with walks along the palm-tree lined beach or around nearby Albert Park Lake, and long, lazy brunches at cosy cafes. The many long-term residents have built up a friendly community, welcoming to newcomers keen to share in this enviable lifestyle. It’s no wonder locals find it hard to leave.
No matter the weather, charming and trendy Armstrong Street’s Hot Honey has you covered with an open fire and streetside seating. Partly named for the owner’s father’s cold extracted honey – the liquid gold is featured in various dishes, or buy a jar to take home. Try the house made corn bread with smashed avocado and egg – you won’t be disappointed.
Stepping into the the cosy Middle Park Hotel really is like stepping back in time. Built in 1889 and exquisitely refitted this century, this is not your typical local pub – features like the polished brass kick-rail in the front bar to the wood-panelling in the dining room make this place stand apart. The menu features hearty British pub classic such as fish and chips and five different types of steak.
After a busy working week, reconnect with yourself at ‘school of mindful living’ Madam Heap. Mindfulness is at the centre of all the practices at this wellness studio – whether that’s meditation, yoga or even personal training. But don’t let that scare you away – here they’re all about making mindfulness accessible, fun and meaningful for everyone.
Even shopping for groceries is a pleasant experience in this idyllic enclave. The Gum Tree Good Food caters to all your culinary needs, whether you’re after fresh produce, fabulous cheeses, handcrafted treats, deli goods or condiments. There’s also a selection of fine wines and freshly baked loaves of bread.
For the ladies of Middle Park, Empress Clothing is a favourite local boutique. Friendly and warm, owner Mariana knows 90 percent of her customers and offers them great customer service – because she knows what they love to wear. For the men, Armstrong Barber Co is where passionate and legendary Irish barber Aidan plies his trade – assisted by his friendly pooch Modra. The classic old-style barber shop is popular with locals, including some football players.
When the sun comes out, Middle Park really shines. Locals cycle along bike paths that curve their way along the bay, take a dip in the bracing waters of Port Phillip Bay, or head to the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre to play an array of sports from badminton and basketball, to volleyball and squash.
Alternatively, Middle Park Bowling Club offers a relaxed and social afternoon, with fun ‘summer night lights’ events in the warmer months offering live music, food trucks and barefoot bowls. Established in 1903, it’s one of Melbourne’s oldest clubs.
Quaint Middle Park is known for its picturesque and immaculately kept Victorian terraces that ooze sophisticated elegance. Then there are the luxurious Edwardian family homes, and modern renovated apartments. With its classic architecture, beautiful natural surrounds, laidback vibe, and contemporary style, life in Middle Park is pretty sweet.