Help me Doctor!: Where can I find the best cocktails in the city in a laidback, relaxed setting? – Su

Your prescription: When I first to moved to Melbourne to start my first real job, I was given an induction pack. Along with the OHS policy and superannuation forms, an unofficial yet highly essential document was circulated – a bar guide to the Melbourne CBD.

So here’s a very truncated list of some of my old favourites and new places, all chilled out bars that serve superb cocktails:

 The Emerald Peacock – manages to make a large space seem intimate. Try their eponymous cocktail. 233 Lonsdale Street +61 3 9654 2266

The Red Hummingbird – the other little birdie in town with a fabulous rooftop, from the same owners as Emerald Peacock. 1/246 Russell Street +61 3 9654 2266

Manchuria – it’s so dark inside it could be midnight all the time. The Asian-themed bar where I first fell in love with Luigi Bormioli glassesware (what? Round on the bottom, oval on top?). 7 Waratah Pl +61 3 9663 1997

Golden Monkey– Another glamorous Shanghaiese opium den. 389 Lonsdale Street +61 3 9602 2055

Rooftop Bar – you can’t get any more chilled out lounging on a deck chair on a balmy summer’s night (I’ve been known to fall asleep in one of them). Level 7, 252 Swanston St +61 3 9654 5394

Spice Market – a vast harem’s den that’s sexy, spicy and a little bit flashy.   Beaney Lane off Russell Street (Grand Hyatt) +61 3 9660 3777 

Gin Palace – like Granny’s front parlour, but funkier. Apparently a favourite haunt of comedian Arj Barker when he’s in town. 190 Little Collins St +61 9654 0533    

Canary Club– beautiful Spanish tilework outside and a sophisticated double-level bar inside. More intimate than the buzzing Hairy Canary, especially in the upstairs couches. 6 Melbourne Pl +61 3 9663 1983

Madame Brussels – a little bit of pink fluffy boudoir naughtiness on a rooftop in Bourke St. Lvl 3, 59-63 Bourke St, Melbourne, +61 3 9662 2775‎

The Order of Melbourne– another high-ceilinged warehouse space which still manages to feel intimate if you can snag a booth. Five pages of cocktails too! Level 2, 401 Swanston St +61 3 9663 6707

 The Toff in Town– it doesn’t get much cosier than the Toff, where you can hide away from the world behind the screens of your private first-class train carriage. 2/252 Swanston St, Melbourne +61 3 9639 8770

Transit cocktail lounge– I love this bar enough to feature it in my upcoming wedding. Avoid the beer-sodden crowds at Transport and head upstairs for cosy whisky-bar leather couches, sweeping sunset views of the Yarra from the terrace and delicious cocktails. Federation Square +61 3 9654 8808