Time for a new boilersuit? Probably time to talk to Felicity Rodgers, then. She’s the co-founder and chief creative officer at Cargo Crew, a Melbourne-born business dressing everyone from Curtis Stone to the smart-lookin' bunch that served you at the World’s Longest Lunch and Brunch. From boreks at Preston Market to a couple of share plates by an open winter fire, here’s how she Melbournes.

My local is The Terminus Hotel, Fitzroy North. I like the traditional feel of the corner bar: classic and relaxed and perfect for a mid-week pub meal. Cinder restaurant next door is also a must when all you really want is a top-notch steak. 

I know I’m in Melbourne when I’m sitting inside Rod Laver catching a match at the Australian Open and soaking up the summer nights. In winter, I’m enjoying a seasonal meal in the cosy surrounds of Neighborhood Wine in Fitzroy North. There’s something so comforting and classically Melbourne about sitting down at the rustic tables with an open fire close by on those chilly winter nights.

In the mornings you’ll find me on my laptop early, making a start on the day ahead. This is closely followed by school drop off, then a coffee on the way to the Cargo Crew showroom in Bundoora. I’ll stop in at All Are Welcome for coffee and pick up some bread for lunch or I’ll go to Tyler’s Milkbar in Preston, which is always worth a sit-in. I love the little details, like the fabric napkins and home-style feel of the menu. Some of our production crew are from France, so I’ll sometimes detour to Lune on my way in and pick up croissants if we’ve got a big day working through designs. 

My defining food moment in Melbourne was… it would have to be just recently, bringing together Curtis Stone and Stefanino Panino for our first Cargo Crew presents event at Collingwood Yards. The guys collaborated on making the ultimate Italian-Australian dinner panini; it really couldn’t have been more Melbourne. I loved the hibachi-grilled kangaroo panino with gremolata, pickled fennel and provolone. 

My favourite place to stock up on supplies is Hinoki Japanese Pantry on Smith Street: a go-to for green tea selections, interesting snacks, quality frozen edamame and super-fresh sashimi salmon. While I’m there I also pop into Meatsmith. Besides the quality meat, I love stocking up on supplies like pickles and cornichons for a weekend cheese board. 

When I want to push the boat out on a meal, I think of what my grandfather would do and go somewhere where service and polished presentation is as important as the food itself. He was head waiter at the Savoy Hotel in London, hence my deep-rooted passion for presentation that led to the creation of Cargo Crew. 

When I want to dazzle friends from out of town, I like to have a long afternoon session at Gimlet. The grandness of the building, immersive atmosphere, and consistent quality of the food and experience turns moments into memories. It’s hard to beat.

When I want to drink something Victorian, my first choice is a Foxeys Hangout pinot noir from Mornington Peninsula.

There’s no better value in Melbourne than Preston Market for absolutely everything you need for the week. I love that I can get organic staples, fresh fish, bargain fruit and veg, and have a lovely chat about the best cheese in the shop with the ladies at the deli. The best part of course is having a snack while I’m there too, whether it’s a borek at Tammy’s or a Panino Mio. 

I also love Terra Madre in Westgarth for organics. The fruit and veg is always seasonal and they have good quality bone broth for my weekly soup making.

If I could change one thing about eating and drinking here it would be how hard it is to get a good coffee after 3pm; running a business requires caffeination at all sorts of random hours! 

But the one thing I hope never changes in Melbourne is our authentic style in both fashion and food, colliding with an extreme passion for sport; the combination is uniquely ours. The culture of our city thrives because of the deeply rooted appreciation for quality across all these pursuits.