The Hopetoun tea rooms are a bit of a Melbourne institution and probably have one of the most photographed windows in the city. Its not hard to see why as they put all of their elaborately decorated cakes on display in the window.
Located near the entrance of The Block Arcade l you cant miss this little cafe, mainly because there will be a queue of people standing outside of it waiting to get inside. If you want to miss the queue its probably best to come on a weekday and quite early to beat the crowds. On the plus side you can spend the time you are waiting in the queue to pick what cakes you want from their window display.
So is it worth all of the hype? Well to be honest its worth a visit, your not going to be blown away by the best cakes and food you have ever had, but its more about the whole experience. Its a wonderfully decorated and historic cafe, and you really get this feeling while eating there. Its a small place so expect to be squeezed in with lots of other people.
They do offer more than just the cakes in the window with full cooked meals. During busy times you can expect to wait quite a while for these, so I would generally just get a cake or two! I have tried many of the cakes that they offer and they are all pretty decent. Their offerings do change fairly frequently so if you were to visit more than once you will get a change.
The Block Arcade itself is also quite an interesting little example of the shopping experience available in Melbourne. Its full of lots of little quirky shops and is always pretty busy with tourists. All of the window displays there are exquisitely done, with such vibrant colours like this spice shop pictured below. If your in Melbourne just for a day its well worth going to have a look.