Meet Melburnian Marnie Goding.

Marnie founded Elk with her husband Adam Koniaras in 2004. At the time, Adam was running his own small jewellery retail store but as their Scandinavian-inspired designs took off, the duo had to make a choice. Marnie finished her job managing events at Melbourne Zoo, and just over 10 years later, Elk’s signature wooden jewelery, ethereal clothing and classic leather bags are sold by more than 1000 stockists around the globe and the multi-million dollar business employs 45 people.
If Sydney is a place to party and get your bearings, Melbourne is a place to settle for awhile and immerse yourself in the laid-back Aussie lifestyle while enjoying the amazing diversity Melbourne celebrates daily. Home to street art, buzzing cafes and a cool bar scene, Australia’s second city is charged with creative energy. As Australia’s cultural and sporting capital, Melbourne is an arty powerhouse with a vibrant and multicultural soul and home to some of the Southern Hemisphere’s best art, food and music. From eclectic shops and all day donuts to zoos and fancy dining, Marnie has rounded up her favorite places to visit in Melbourne.

Favorite neighborhood 

Elwood Village is a great spot where the city meets the bay. There are amazing cafes, retail stores and the beach is just there to explore as well. It’s a really pretty, buzzy little hub.


Hippest neighborhood in town:

You can’t narrow it down to just one in Melbourne. There are so many great little spots. On my side of town though Fitzroy is on top of the list. It’s a melting pot of arts, food, music, small markets and design. You can shop high end stores like Left or visit independent stores stocking a great mix of Melbourne and other Australian labels. If you cant get an amazing coffee in Fitzroy you wont get one anywhere!

Favorite high-end restaurants:

With new establishments opening in Melbourne all the time we are spoilt for choice. However there are some stalwarts that have been open for a very long time and are consistent go to places for special occasions – old faithful’s!

Grossi Florentino for its consistently amazing, traditional fare. Its an easy go to.

Persimmon restaurant at the NGV. For some reason a lot of people don’t know about this. It is only open for lunch but it has been sating the appetites of gallery goers for decades and is one of constant go to places. The food is always great, the service impeccable and the views into the gallery gardens is very tranquil

Il Bacaro is small and almost like eating in someone’s private dining room. The traditional Italian fair and amazing cocktails makes this another favorite


Easy-on-the-wallet eateries:

South of Johnston, Tonka is right in the heart of the city and “typically Melbourne”. Its hidden down an alley and serves up modern Indian fare. It delicious!

Umberto is on my stomping ground. Based in Thornbury it is an un assuming hole in the wall that serves up uncomplicated food that is consistently yummy!

Best Hotel:

The Art Series Hotels offer a variety of accommodation and are the consistent recommendations for anyone visiting Melbourne. They are all in great locations and offer a balanced blend of boutique and large scale hotel experience. The art works on the walls are enough of a reason to visit.


Best Shops/Boutiques: 

Lulu in Balaclava is a small store offering mostly Australian and New Zealand independent labels. Owner Sally has a well trained eye and a highly eclectic way of presenting her curated finds.

Our Elk store is in the Northern suburbs and is our showcase store offering the full current collection as well as stockroom favourites. We have visitors from far and wide making the trip out to see us.

Kleins perfumery in Fitzroy is the go to spot for all things fragrant!

Big Dreams in Northcote is a wonderland for gifts and gear for kids

Mister Darcy is based in South Melbourne offering a great mix of fashion and accessories

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Best Museum:

The Melbourne Museum is amazing! It has the most incredible displays of ….. everything! My kids love it as much as I do. They are always dreaming up new exhibitions and shows and is a lovely day out.

Best Gallery:

The Heide Museum of Modern Art. On my side of town it is set amongst acres of beautiful gardens full of sculpture and features amazing modern architecture. It is also home to Café Vue – another of Shannon Bennett’s outposts and lunch is delicious!


Must-visit destinations:

Melbourne’s inner city laneways are crammed with food, fashion and art

The NGV not only for the exhibitions but the Gallery Store is brimming with great buys and one of the best selection of books on offer

If you have kids with you The Collingwood Children’s farm is a must visit destination

The Melbourne Zoo is also another must if you have small people in tow

The Shrine and Botanical Gardens are an inner city oasis


Hidden Gems:

All Day Donuts is only open two days a week and is not good for your waist line but so worth a visit

Akasiro is a yummy Japanese home-style eatery tucked down a Collingwood side street

Burch and Purchese for a Melbourne style Willy Wonka experience


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meghan o donnellMeghan O’Donnell