Life in Toorak is one of exclusivity. As the postcode of choice for Melbourne’s elite, it’s a suburb without compromise. It features designer shopping strips, private schools and a plethora of fine dining restaurants, ticking all the boxes for well-heeled locals. Toorak’s proudest boasts are its magnificent homes, hilly and curved streets canopied by luscious trees, and spacious parks just a stone’s throw away. With the finer things in life within easy reach, this storybook suburb offers an appealing glimpse into how the other half live.
Meander down Toorak Road and you’ll be spoiled for choice with a number of lush cafes and restaurants. Behind the historic Toorak Uniting Church in the manse of Kinross House you’ll discover the Manse Gallery Cafe. Answering the prayers of locals looking for delicious homemade food with soul, it’s ran by friends Ashley De’Hartman and Rick Kersley to celebrate good food shared with good company. Taking inspiration from the local community and seasonal food, the menu is shaped by what’s available at the morning market. A “fresh fruit exchange” sees locals trade produce from their own backyard, regular community events and exhibitions draw crowds in the hundreds, and the hidden garden is a favourite for those walking prams and pups. All denominations welcome here, including those with four pours.
While your evening may begin on the busy streets of Toorak, you can’t miss retreating through the doors of Bistro Thierry to the glowing boulevards of Paris. This grand escape is thanks to owner Thierry Cornevin and chef Frederic Naud, who have lovingly created a restaurant that offers an authentic French bistro experience in Melbourne’s south. Make sure to order the famous Le Steak-Frites or Pan Seared Fois Gras on your visit.
To complete your journey to La France, Grace offers a boutique experience for women who feel at home in Paris’ Le Marais. Luxury items are sourced from around the world, with a long list of designer brands on displace – including Alexander Wang, Balmain, Rag & Bone and Victoria Beckham. Grace’s selection of runway, prêt-a-porter and accessory collections, along with a number of special lifestyle pieces, create a chic destination for the suburb’s fashionable locals.
Even your weekly grocery shop is a delight for the senses in Toorak, with an abundance of artisanal produce stores on hand. Donninis Pasta has been feeding the community for almost 30 years, and its high quality fresh pasta and sauces have developed a cult-like following. Butcher Peter Bouchier is another institution, alongside quality fruiterers Toscanos – currently being run by the third generation of the Toscano family. While the rare and exotic fruit and vegetables might draw you there, it’s the beautiful bouquets of fresh flowers you’ll want to take home.
There’s no doubt about it – the Toorak life is one that people aspire to. The streets are lined with Melbourne’s most magnificent homes and a never-ending list of prestigious addresses, making it real estate fame at its best. From stately mansions to elegant family homes to neat terrace houses, you can be sure to find the finest properties Victoria has to offer. With a long-established community of locals, many who’ve been there for generations, Toorak is the suburb of choice for Melbourne’s affluent set. Like them, you’ll never want to leave.