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Melbourne Restaurants - 4 restaurants in Melbourne providing a unique Melbourne experience

By Rebecca Greg

Melbourne restaurants are known as some of the finest in the world. If you are planning a trip to Melbourne and looking for a "uniquely Melbourne experience, visit one of the following Melbourne restaurants for more than a dining delight.

1.The Colonial Tramcar Restaurant

Cruise the scenic streets of Melbourne aboard a converted 1927 tram that is the first traveling tramcar restaurant in the world. Enjoy first class cuisine and the very best of Australian wines as you take a journey into a little piece of Victoria's history. The Colonial Tramcar Restaurant has become one of Melbourne's star attractions since its inception in 1983. Expect all the comforts of a top Melbourne restaurant - air-conditioning, piped music, plush burgundy carpets, velvet covered seats, stately brass fittings and fresh flowers - all creating a cosy atmosphere reflective of the colonial period.

Enjoy a three, four or five course meal while gliding through the streets of Melbourne with all food prepared on the tram. The set price is inclusive of all food and beverages from the fully stocked bar. Tempt your taste buds with one of the delicious menus including grilled kangaroo fillet, Prime eye fillet of beef, a selection of Australian cheeses, and mouth watering desserts.

Luncheon is a four course meal and the tour is from 1pm-3pm. You can decide between an early dinner - 3 courses from 5:45pm-7:15pm or a full 5 course dinner from 8:35pm-11:30pm. The maximum party size is 108 people (36 people per tram) and the restaurant operates 7 days per week. It is advisable to book well in advance.

2.The Spirit of Melbourne Cruising Restaurant

If you are looking for the perfect romantic experience, what better place than aboard the Spirit of Melbourne, right in the heart of our vibrant river city? Savour the ever-changing city background reflecting the cosmopolitan culture that is Melbourne. Enjoy a luxurious dining experience while cruising the magnificent Yarra River. The Spirit of Melbourne caters for only 40 guests and the setting is intimate, yet relaxed with personalized service and attention to detail.

Delight in the fusion of international dishes and fine Australian wines. The extensive six course meal is freshly prepared on board by the gourmet chefs. All beverages, including Australian wines, beers, spirits, cognac and liqueurs are included. The Spirit of Melbourne is fully enclosed with air-conditioning and heating or enjoy a breath of fresh air on the alfresco deck.

The Spirit of Melbourne departs from berth no. 6, Southbank Lower Promenade at 7:30pm every Friday and Saturday evening and returns at 10:30pm. Bookings are essential.

3.Caf 55, Melbourne Observation Deck

Caf 55 is on the observation deck of Rialto Towers - the Southern Hemisphere's tallest office structure and Melbourne's most recognized building. The Rialto is 253m tall and was opened in July 1994. Climb the 1254 stairs to level 55 (or take the speedy lift) and spend time appreciating this amazing city. The birdseye view over Melbourne from the observation deck is breathtaking with a 360 degree outlook over the city and beyond.

Enjoy a meal and drink from the fully licensed bar at caf 55 and make the most of this unique experience. Caf 55 is open daily for lunch and dinner.

4.Chateau Yering Historic House Hotel

The famous Yarra Valley was originally settled at the current location of Yering by the Ryrie brothers in 1837. Grapevines were planted resulting in Victoria's first vintage being produced in 1845. The original chateau at Yering was built in 1854 with hand made bricks made on site and extravagant fittings transported from Melbourne by bullock. Paul de Castella and Baron van Mueller (a world-renowned botanist) were responsible for the extensive gardens including the magnificent Chilean Wine Palm and two Bunya Pines. Both the house and the garden are listed for protection by Heritage Victoria.

Today, Chateau Yering is a country house hotel. Conveniently located only 1 hours drive north east of Melbourne, it is on 250 acres of land with 2.7km of river frontage onto the Yarra River. There are spectacular views across the Yarra Valley to the Great Dividing Range. The interior design or the Chateau Yering reflects its heritage and the new building blending seamlessly with the existing structures. All the bedrooms have been individually decorated with antique furniture, works of art and fine fabrics.

The original dining room has been extended and now houses Eleonore's Restaurant. The elegant high back chairs, ornate cornices and ceilings and luxury fittings reflect the history and the vista from the restaurant is one of the finest in Victoria. Enjoy a comprehensive selection of Yarra Valley wines complementing the contemporary cuisine.

For a less formal setting, enjoy a more leisurely lunch or a coffee and cake at the Sweetwater Café. The Sweetwater Café is a lovely atrium connecting the old mansion with the new wing with outdoor views to the gardens.

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