The dynamic, cosmopolitan flavour of the city permeates through everything from the streets, to the shopping precincts to the many wonderful cafes, restaurants and bars. Here are our top reasons for visiting Melbourne for your next short romantic break…To eat and drink

Australia’s gourmet Mecca, Melbourne’s location means that is just a stone’s throw away from some of the most exciting food and wine producers in the world. If cheese is your thing, don’t miss some of Victoria’s finest dairy exponents Meredith Dairy, Piano Hill Cheeses and Tarago River Cheese Company.

And what’s cheese without a good wine, I hear you cry? Get amongst it with these stunning local producers and you’ll be in good company – Coldstream Hills, Domaine Chandon, Dalwhinnie, to name a few. Grab a bottle and a chunk of cheese and head towards the Botanical Gardens or The Tan for an impromptu picnic, what al lush way to spend a weekend afternoon.

For those with a sweet tooth head to Suga, in the Royal Arcade (Shop 20, 335 Bourke Street, City) a glossy Willy Wonka world of handmade candy dreams. And while in Melbourne don’t miss the opportunity to stock up on Haigh’s chocolates – these to-die-for, melt in the mouth luxuries are Australia’s answer to Swiss mega-choc Lindt.

To see and do

Melbourne has a non-stop calendar of arts, entertainment and sporting events to keep you occupied all year round. Here are some not-to-be missed dates for your diary…

Australian Open Tennis Championships

13 – 26 January 2003

Foster’s Australian Grand Prix

6 – 9 March 2003

The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival

28 March – 13 April 2003

Melbourne International Comedy Festival

27 March – 20 April 2003

Rip Curl Pro and SunSmart Classic

14 – 27 April 2003

To shop and be pampered

The Paris-end of Collins Street offers all there is in upmarket shopping, darling. If shoes are your thing you’ll find fancy footwear from Ferragamo, Jimmy Choo, Fendi, Dolce and Gabbana, Rudolphe Menudier and Versace.

Flinders Lane in the City has revealed hidden gems in recent times, most noteworthy are Alice Euphemia and the uber funky Genki for a range of imported and new-kids-on-the-block designs.

Douglas & Hope for funky fashion designed to fit real women labels include Immune and Gorman, plus luxury hand-made quilts and cushions using stunning patches of antique kimonos for the ultimate in shabby chic. Phone (03) 9417 0662 for store locations.

Oversea Designer Warehouse for heavily discounted international brands. Gucci, D&G, Armani at up to 60% off! But only until 5 January 2003. Phone (03) 9654 0158 for more information.

For more information about making Melbourne the destination for your next short break, check out www.visitmelbourne.com