How To Live a French Lifestyle in Melbourne

If you’re craving a slice of Parisian life but can’t get to Europe right now, why not channel all things French the next time you’re in Melbourne’s CBD.

SHOP: Trudon, The Royal Arcade, Melbourne.

A Melbourne flagship boutique for Trudon has arrived in The Royal Arcade. A Parisian olfactory heart soother that fans of this heritage brand have been waiting for. A curated menagerie of scented candles, diffusers for the home and Trudon Eau de Parfum in a travel size that lingers on pulse points for hours on end. The concept store is an elegant fit-out combining wood and royal blue tones, accented by brass and captures the 400-year history of this iconic candle house which was started by Claude Trudon in Paris in 1643.

Cire Trudon’s bestseller Ernesto [Che Guevara’s real name] is dedicated to the revolutionary Cuban – think lashings of cigar and wood with hints of rich tobacco spicing its rebellious core. It can be purchased as a candle or fragrance here.

The Trudon Company famously supplied the court of Louis XIV, as well as almost all the large churches in France, and lit the Palace of Versailles with candles until the very end of the Monarchy in 1793. They were known for customising candles for Marie-Antoinette too.

It was during the 18th century that King Louis XIV’s public execution by guillotine took place, and nine months later, his wife Marie Antoinette formerly the Queen of France, met her own death by guillotine, at the same location in Paris as her husband. Trudon survived the French Revolution and upheaval of the time.

It was filmmaker Sofia Coppola who also embraced the Cire Trudon candles with gusto when making a film about the former Queen Marie-Antoinette in Versailles in 2006. The French house also dabbles in fashion collaborations – working on projects for Dior and Paco Rabanne with whom they create a limited edition range.

STAY: The Royce Hotel 379 St Kilda Road, Melbourne.

The Royce is a boutique luxury hotel on St Kilda Road, Toorak that combines the best of the French in this charming and discreet spot for a chic stay.

The newly renovated hotel five-star gem is where actress Cate Blanchett stayed when in Melbourne promoting The New Boy with First Nations director and friend Warwick Thornton.

The rooms are lavishly appointed and embrace all the glory of 1920s chic. A one-bedroom suite facing St Kilda Road is fitted with French doors that open onto a generously sized bathroom with double basins and a large bath tub, while the lounge comes with the comfiest of couches, wallpapered accents for a nod to the deco inspired era, and lamps for added warmth and perfect for tucking into a book to read.

The bedroom is separated from the lounge and TV area- again those fabulous French doors make you feel like you’re in a sprawling apartment rather than a hotel.

A large king-sized bed delivers a comfy sleep – and who doesn’t love a wardrobe you can walk in and hang up all your fabulous fashion pieces.

The Showroom Bar is where art-deco is cranked to optimal show pony level – there’s a grand staircase, a massive chandelier you immediately notice, and velvet dining banquettes which mean you’re here for a long time and a good time. The luxe European menu offering hits the spot – think slow-braised beef cheeks, stilton polenta and celeriac while the cheddar and jalapeno croquettes and grilled scallops were also a highlight. The Conservatory is where you go to enjoy le petit-déjeuner the following morning. We love the fact the undercover outdoor bistro chic fit-out comes with heated floors too.

DRINK: Bar Margaux. Basement 111 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne.

This is French bistro via New York basement cool and proudly made in Melbourne. We’re sure it’s one of the chicest spots to have a good time the old-fashioned way. Bar Margaux is perfect for that late-night where do we go now feeling, to let’s start the night here with a quality pitstop we won’t regret. The menu is defiantly French – think steak frites and escargots but come and stay for the drinks. We especially adore the Petit range – from Martini to Manhattan and Martinez to the Tipperary. Or channel the red, white and blue with a French 75.

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