Wandering Wednesdays: Royal Arcade

It may have taken 6 months, but this write up is worth the wait.

The Royal Arcade is an iconic treasure of Melbourne that host the Hopetown High Tea – one of the most famous high teas in Melbourne. Period. If I’m correct, this might even be the first one to have ever opened up or the longest running one in Melbourne.
EDIT: Turns out I am wrong. Thanks to Tim for pointing this out to me. Hopetown High Tea is not in the Royal Arcade but in the Block Aracade.
As mentioned from their Hisotrical site and condensed from their Wikipedia article:

Designed by Charles Webb, who won a competition in 1868, the arcade features a high glass roof and rows of arched windows to the storerooms above each shop. At the south end is the arcade’s most famous feature, the carved mythical figures of Gog and Magog, flanking Gaunt’s clock, which triggers the arms of the figures to strike bells each hour,[4] while the north end features a figure of Father Time, all added in 1893.[5][6]

The arcade originally ended at the south with an entrance to a Turkish Bath, but was opened up to Little Collins Street in 1902, along with the creation of the large arched niche, the same year as the Elizabeth Street extension. The arcade changed little over the years except for the shopfronts, altered into bow fronted windows in 1890-1894, many then altered again over the years, various central kiosks, and the black and white chequered floor added in 1934.[7]

In 2002-04 a major refurbishment repaired and restored many historic features, including the recreation the 1894 shopfronts, bringing a consistency to the shopfronts once more.[2]

But that is masking the architectural beauty that is this location. Walking down the hallways you are given this amazing and historically preserved architecture. And nestled in there is some of the best hot chocolate and the best place to get your artistic creativity on with the local calligraphy shop. I know that Louis loved it and this was one of the many stops on the Domestic Traveller inaugural tours!
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2 thoughts on “Wandering Wednesdays: Royal Arcade

    • I think I did as part of my visit to Sydney last year and wrote up about the I’m Free tours over there. If not, that’s a good reminder for me to go and do it.


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