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Claire Hooper’s five favourite places in Melbourne

You may know her from The Great Australian Bake Off or Good News Week or one of her charming, smash-hit stand-up shows in the last decade. Back with a new Comedy Festival show All the Rage, Claire Hooper examines the funny side of one of our darkest emotions in a tale of grand moral outrage and small, daily furies.
To reset the balance, she’s given us the top five things that make her happy – and it’s a great list.

A woman laughing

Claire Hooper’s All the Rage is on until Sunday 22 April at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival

State Library of Victoria
I’ve got such a love of this building but I’ll be honest I reckon I’ve only been inside about three times.  I just love the lawn out front: how great to have a spot in the middle of the CBD where you can plop your ass down on some grass and watch busy people with real jobs. Pretend you’re a mature age student taking a break from researching their thesis topic rather than someone just killing time while the kids are in day care.
Melbourne Museum
Melbourne Museum in Carlton Gardens is one of the best places in the world.  They’ve got all the museum classics – dinosaur bones, taxidermy animals, chunks of meteorite – plus if you’re weighed down by 10-25kgs of toddler they can be worn out in an absolutely world class children’s section. And the coffee is excellent! If anyone from Melbourne Museum is reading this, my membership has expired and I will accept a free renewal.
Federation Square
Stop underestimating Fed Square, people. There’s always something happening; sports on the big screens outside, a market in the atrium, tai chi, food festivals, political rallies. There’s ACMI, where you can regularly see some great film-related exhibition. There are lots of great spots to have a coffee or a drink, and if you feel like peace and quiet you can duck down to the water to do the Birrarung Wilam River Walk.
I’m a frequent visitor to the Arts Centre and I’ve decided that Fatto is the best place for a pre-show snack or drink because the pizzas are quick and the views are great. It’s basically the first restaurant you hit after crossing the Yarra from Flinders St Station. You get to stare at the river and the city behind it as the sun goes down. And you’re only two minutes dash from the theatres when you realise your show’s about to start.
Cinema Nova
Five words for you: $7 tickets Mondays before 4pm.  Mic drop.
Claire Hooper’s All the Rage is on at the Melbourne Town Hall as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival until 22 April.