The Block Arcade
With mosaic-tile flooring, a glass canopy and carved stone, the Block Arcade is one of the finest examples of a 19th-century shopping arcade on the planet. Connecting Collins Street to Little Collins and Elizabeth streets, the heritage shopping arcade was built between 1891 and 1893, its design modelled on Milan's grand Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. The boutiques and cafes taking up residence in the Block have retained the arcade’s richly decorated uniform design, ensuring a seamless shopping experience from the colour-coordinated plant holders and paintwork to the heritage lighting and translucent glass ceiling. The arcade's most popular residents include the Hopetoun Tea Rooms, whose windows filled with delicious cakes are as beloved by photographers as by gourmands, and Haigh's Chocolates, one of Australia's premier chocolatiers. The Block is a regular fixture on foodie tours, and leads to the flurry of tightly squeezed cafes lining Block Place. Go behind the scenes of the Block on one of the twice-weekly guided tours, held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1pm and meeting in front of the Hopetoun Tea Rooms.