Meeting new and inspiring people has got the be one of my favourite parts to this gig. My last visit to Melbourne led me to Melbournian artist Miranda Skoczek’s St Kilda studio. I’m a big BIG fan of her work and how she mixes colour - in both her paintings and also her style - which is always a little unexpected but works oh so well.I photographed her one winter morning - greeting me with cozy creams (an amazing cashmere/wool blend blanket scarf from her last visit to Byron Bay), navy leather, Chloe boots and of course her thick cat eye specs. I asked her to share her favourite things to do in Melbourne with you and I. So, if you ever find yourself on the south side of Melbourne here are her local Melbourne tips, along with a few of her other favourites around town.Related: Top 10 things to do in MelbourneThings to do in Melbourne: Miranda Scokzek's Melbourne Favourites / the love assembly This side of town, to me, is about nature, as opposed to the North side, where I get my gallery/cultural fix. Summer time and even in Winter I like to head for a walk along the bay with my son, or stroll through the St Kilda Botanical Gardens.My spare time revolves around my 3 year old, so a lot of activities involve the great outdoors, I enjoy seeing him run amok at the St Kilda Adventure Playground, with a coffee and treats picked up at another coffee haunt - Miss Jackson (2/19 Grey Street, St Kilda, Melbourne). We also love to eat our way through South Melbourne Market (322-326 Coventry St, South Melbourne).Beaver's Tail Social Club (160 Barkly St, St Kilda, Melbourne) is a 90second walk from my studio in St Kilda. There is a great casualness to this place, and I am rather partial to their music selection - old school rap, hip hop or jazz. The coffee is always great, and I love the occasional menu surprises, most notably in the cake department. I struggle to go past the pork belly sandwich or homemade baked beans. I love the familiar faces that congregate there, and the owners Kim and Jeremy are so lovely and fun. 


Batch (320 Carlisle St, Balaclava, Melbourne) and their other cafe Plenty (78 Chapel St, Windsor, Melbourne) - great coffee, great food and good atmosphere. A must is also Lune Croissanterie (29 Scott Street, Elwood, Melbourne). It's only open Fri-Sun and if you're not there by 7.30/7.45a.m you can forget walking away with artery clogging goodness. Three words - Chocolate Eclair Cruffins.Related: 6 mouth watering desserts you need to try in Melbourne 


I love a long lunch at Coda in the CBD (141 Flinders Lane, Melbourne), it's great for dinner too, another trusty favourite is Izakaya Den (14 Russell Street, Melbourne) whenever I eat at the bar I feel like I'm in New York, it's a fantastic underground space. 

A local drink

My absolute, hands down favourite is the Cafe di Stasio Bar (31 Fitzroy St, St Kilda, Melbourne), its minimal interior, white jacket clad barmen and killer Negronis are a must, it's very intimate however, don't go as a group. The restaurant is right next door, and is probably my favourite in the whole of Melbourne. It's an institution, dark, moody, sophisticated and the food never fails to delight. 


My favourite galleries are spread around Melbourne:NKN Gallery - 79 Stephenson Street, CremorneSophie Gannon - 2 Albert Street, RichmondHelen Gory - 108-110 Gertrude Street, FitzroyUtopian Slumps - Ground Floor, 33 Guildford Lane, Melbourne 


Grace (595 Malvern Rd, Toorak) and Marais (314 Little Collins Street, Melbourne), but I get just as excited in St Luke (32 Smith Street, Collingwood) for the most superior art supplies, it's dangerously good.The other retail store that blows my mind with its beautiful wares is Loom (575 High Street, Prahran), and I adore Trove for the most gorgeous edit of vintage concrete pots, antique French mirrors, and tribal jewellery. I've always loved Tarlo and Graham (60 Chapel Street, Windsor / 202 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy), and Manon (568 Malvern Rd, Hawksburn) and the newest of this list - Franque (High St, Prahran). Oh and Nyary (137 Victoria Ave, Albert Park) too, there are always unique treasures to be found. 


My absolute favourite place to wander through is the Royal Botanic Gardens (Birdwood Ave, South Yarra). When my son was born, and until he was about 6 months old I would walk him through there daily. From there I wonder down to the National Gallery of Victoria (180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne) and check out a show or just re-visit a permanent exhibit. Strolling down Gertrude and Smith St is always fun, I love the grittiness coupled with high end fashion, designer bikes, galleries and great cafes.Read more: Our travel guide to Melbourne, Australia Shop Miranda’s look & discover more of Melbourne, here. [show_shopthepost_widget id="203043"] Photo and handwriting illustration: Aubrey Daquinag for The Love Assembly