When spring rolls around after the doldrums of desk-bound winter eating, it’s time to unfurl a little during your lunch hour. After thorough research, we’ve found that lunch is infinitely improved by the feeling of grass underfoot and sunshine on the back of your neck rather than by sitting in front of a computer screen, even if it’s only for a stolen 20 minutes or so on your own. If, like us, you are the types to keep a picnic rug and some plastic cups stashed under your desks at all times, poised for the first signs of a sunny day, we thought you might appreciate a little direction in the way of parkside eats. Four corners of the CBD – from the top of the city in Treasury Gardens to that spot just over the Yarra near the boat houses in Queen Victoria Gardens, a green patch over in Flagstaff Gardens and the stately Carlton Gardens – are harbouring some lunchtime gems nearby, dishing up interesting sandwiches, salads, sweet things and cold drinks, all easy to pack in a basket. Slip off your shoes and tuck something good to read under your arm: Melbourne, it’s picnic time.

Flagstaff Gardens
Corner of Dudley St and King St Melbourne

In Our Hamper
Nicoise salad with anchovy and lemon dressing

Poached chicken sandwich

Ginger ale

Chocolate yoyos

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Junie Moon
511 Spencer St, West Melbourne

Treasury Gardens
Corner of Spring St and Wellington Pde Melbourne

In Our Hamper
Crispy skin free-range pork belly sandwich, apple and fennel coleslaw, silverbeet

Super food salad, broccoli and almond slivers

Crisp fried potatoes, rosemary, salt

Rhubarb friand

Daylesford and Hepburn Mineral Springs Co. mineral water, blood orange

Earl Canteen
45 Collins Pl, Melbourne

Carlton Gardens
The Carlton end along Carlton St, Carlton

In Our Hamper
Finger sandwiches:
Beef with sweet mustard pickles, cheese, purple onion; curried egg.
Ham, cheese, cucumber, mayonnaise and mustard
Chicken with herbs and mayonnaise

Royal potato salad with peas, green beans, parmigiano and a lemon olive oil dressing

Fig jam slice


subject to daily changing menu

Bezela Foodstore
105 Elgin St, Carlton

Queen Victoria Gardens
Corner St Kilda Rd and Yarra Bank Hwy, Melbourne

In Our Hamper
Prosciutto, brie, fig jam, baby spinach baguette

Orange and poppy seed cake

Chocolate chip biscuit


Little King
4/209 Flinders Lne, Melbourne

Styling credits:

Linen hand screen-printed napkins by Bonnie and Neil. Orange picnic throw (in basket) by Gorman.