Although some may chastise and call it a cliché, sitting in a cafe solo, journal in one hand and coffee in the other, is a uniquely gratifying experience. How delightfully poetic the look of a pensive soul deep in his/her inky scrawls, brow furrowed, only pausing to sip at their coffee or eye the pretty barista (a muse, surely). It's too romantic for words. But your masterpiece or magnificent musings cannot be written on any old scrap; no siree. Thus, for your writing pleasure, we've rounded up Melbourne's best stationery shops (or miscellaneous stores that have great papery selections), plus their neighbouring cafes.
Perched on the third floor of the teeter tottering Curtin House is Metropolis Books, home to one of the greatest selections of coffee table books – covering everything from 1920s fashion and contemporary art, to tattoo art and erotica. For journals, we recommend the Hato Press Mini Risograph Notebook, retailing at only $5. Buy ten!
Metropolis Bookshop | 3/252 Swanston Street in Melbourne
BOWERY TO WILLIAMSBURG
After picking up your new journal from Metropolis, it's time to find your cafe. Bowery to Williamsburg is the perfect destination for some writing, what with the legions of cool cats and corporates alike floating in and out for a caffeine fix. They've got Padre beans and 5&Dime bagels on offer, so expect to get a good amount of work done, carbs smashed and caffeine punished.
Bowery to Williamsburg | 16 Oliver Lane in Melbourne
Coined as a mobile homewares emporium, The SuperCool's collection of quirky bits and bobs has taken over the Melbourne design scene. With two permanent locations and a pop-up store always just around the corner, as well some of the best stationery in Melbourne, there's kids toys, art and decorations galore, making the SuperCool well, super cool.
The SuperCool | SO:ME Space in the South Melbourne Market
Image Credit: The SuperCool Facebook
CLEMENT COFFEE ROASTERS
Next door to SuperCool is Clement, and though it is pocket sized, they seem to be able to fit the alphabet of coffee collectibles inside. Choose from a daily rotation of special blends, and on to your very own brewing method – from Aeropress to plunger to "just normal plz". Grab a takeaway and plonk yourself at one of the tables in the market, there's plenty of people watching to be had.
Clement Coffee Roasters | South Melbourne Market
Possibly the most beautiful treasure trove on Brunswick Street, Zetta Florence is without doubt Melbourne's best loved stationery store. The selection of journals here is astounding, from leather bound books that you'll never want to leave your side, to flimsy little scratch pads perfect for a sudden thought. If you're in the market for something special, don't leave without your own personalised wax sealing kit, complete with stamp, wax and letters. Bliss.
Zetta Florence | 197 Brunswick Street in Fitzroy
Cute, quaint and perfect for plonking down and writing about the world passing you by. There's a great little menu featuring brekky and lunch, as well as their street-famous home-made sausage rolls. It's only a hop skip and a jump from Zetta Florence, so perfect for a post-journal-purchase rush of inspiration, and caffeine.
Slowpoke Espresso | 157 Brunswick Street in Fitzroy
Any homewares store worth their salt knows that the Woodsfolk is the competition when it comes to good products. Browse their adorable store in Hawthorn to select your very own leather bound book crafted by the hands of ingenious local and international binders – good God they smell good.
Woodsfolk | 39 Church Street in Hawthorn
A quick car ride away is Knead Bakers, a quaint little bakery that smells of fresh dough and is signposted by happy faces. It's a homely and warm space, with many fresh loaves, pastries, muffins and other sweet treats, all baked daily on the premises. Grab a coffee, a bite to eat, and write to your heart's content.
Knead Bakers | 296 Burwood Road in Hawthorn
Image Credit: Emma Forster / The Urban List
A perfectly curated bookstore that specialises in art books, magazines and one-off editions. Embodying a very Scandinavian look – light wooden interior and wide shelves perfect for browsing – it's a great place to stop by if you're the sort of person who values good design in a journal, and wouldn't be seen with anything less than a Rhodia.
Motto Melbourne | 27-29 Johnston Street in Collingwood
This eclectic warehouse space that's half designer store, half cafe is perfect for losing hours in a good writing session. Communal tables are made for spreading your stuff out and they are lined with big, coffee table books that are perfect for a quick burst of inspiration.
CIBI | 45 Keele Street in Collingwood
Smith Street's latest little book nook is also chock-a-block full of journals, and all of them are made from locals! Whether you're a big pages, no lines kind of gal, or a meticulous, graph paper sort of man, there's plenty to choose from, and you won't be able to stop yourself picking up a new book on the way out.
Happy Valley | 249 Smith Street in Collingwood
SMITH STREET ALIMENTARI
If you can score a table outside, there's barely a better place in Collingwood to sip lattes and write in your journal. If you find yourself peckish, snack away on some of their awesome salads (rotated daily), sandwiches or even an almond croissant.
Smith Street Alimentari | 302 Smith Street in Collingwood
Main Image Credit: Etsy