Two weeks ago I spent the weekend in Melbourne with my two older sisters. This is the third year in a row we’ve done this trip. It’s all about getting away from our normal lives for 48 hours of selfish bliss. We shop where we want to shop for as long as we like. We eat fancy food that someone else has prepared. We drink champagne. We sleep in. We talk. We laugh. With no interruptions!!
So after three years of perfecting this girls weekend away, I thought I’d share the key ingredients to what makes it seriously good.
We chose the Crown Towers for the third year in a row. For us it’s about location, a bit of luxury and a goooood breakfast. We stay in a studio room which has a king bed and a foldout single. Fine for sisters or close friends. The room is not huge but it’s got a massive bathroom which allows easy and private multi-tasking i.e. someone can be in the shower and someone else can be doing their make-up at the mirror. We also had a lovely view of the river and CBD which was great for planning our walking routes into the shops. We mentioned to the hotel that this was the 3rd anniversary of our sister weekend in Melbourne and what do you know – a bottle of champagne appears in our room
2. Breakfast (so good it needs its own section)
If you’re going to shop all day, you need energy. The breakfast at Crown Towers is the BEST EVER. It’s the most beautiful, expansive buffet you could imagine. And the location is divine with the conservatory looking out over the river. With no kids to worry about, we each enjoyed three or four courses, multiple cups of tea and chatted about our shopping plans with no interruptions (have I mentioned that already). And they have a chocolate fountain. Make that four of them.
We plan our trip for May / June each year because that’s the time we enjoy shopping for winter clothes and Melbourne does winter clothes better than Sydney (there I said it). We have found the mid season sales are also in full swing at this time which is a massive bonus. A few tips to help you reach shopping success:
- It’s ok to split up and lose each other in the big department stores. It’s just not efficient to follow each other and wait in changing rooms while a sister tries on her 12th pair of jeans. We went our separate ways and if we needed advice or got lost, we just called each other. Simples.
- Take regular breaks. We went hard for 3 hours but by 1pm we all needed food, a rest and a plan for the next phase.
- Always check that security tags have been removed because beeping everywhere you go is tres annoying.
- Make a wishlist / shopping list before the trip. With so much retail stimulation it’s easy to get sidetracked by every pretty thing that you encounter. Having a few goals helped us stay focussed.
4. Dinner plans
We planned and booked (sorry – my eldest sis planned and booked) our two dinners before we went. The beauty of staying at the Crown is that there are multiple restaurants within the complex so we didn’t need to get a cab anywhere or take a coat! The first night we ate at Rosetta (beautiful Italian) and the second night we had a 6 course degustation at The Atlantic (where it’s all about seafood). It worked because we had discussed our budget and preferences beforehand and were all happy with these selections.
5. Free time
Save some time for doing nothing. We tend to plan a big day of shopping for the Saturday but often find we’re done by 3pm. This year we stopped for a drink at the Arbory on our way back to our hotel. Last year we just hung out in our room for a few hours, drinking champagne and showing off our new purchases. The year before we went for a swim in the hotel pool. We also keep the Friday afternoon free and just wander into the city for a browse, a few drinks in one of the laneway bars and a chat about our plans for the weekend ahead. Bliss.
6. What to pack
After three trips, I’m getting better at planning what to take. This year, I actually made a list of each outfit I’d need e.g. Friday, Friday night dinner, Saturday shopping outfit, Sat night dinner and Sunday. I managed to take just two pairs of boots and used those across the five outfits. I wore my dark jeggings multiple times and I took one coat. I probably didn’t need a separate outfit for the Friday night but I don’t get dressed up much and the extra sparkly top didn’t take up much space
I can’t recommend this style of girls weekend highly enough. It’s such a great thing to do to get away from your everyday responsibilities and think about yourself for a few days.
Have you been on a girls weekend away recently? What did you love most?