Food, Lifestyle

Best Summer Things to do in Melbourne

Summer is here and the mood of Melbourne lifts. Here are some of our favourite summer pics...

South Melbourne Night Markets (Jan 5 - Feb 23)

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One of Victoria’s oldest and most popular institutions, South Melbourne Market, is preparing to celebrate its 150th birthday with an exciting calendar of events and activities planned for 2017.

Celebratory activities will include an exhibition featuring memorabilia and memories collected over 150 years; a birthday barbecue street party on Saturday May 6; heritage and school tours; a public art project with well-known Melbourne street artists; and a consumer promotion with italktravel giving away the trip of a lifetime to markets in London and Italy.

The Market is also “bringing back the bell” whose deep-throated toll rang more than a century ago to herald the start and end of daily trade. The tradition will be reinstated on January 4, 2017 when a new bell is installed to signal the opening and closure of the Market. Members of the public are currently being invited to submit anecdotes, photos, drawings, memories, experiences, funny encounters and memorabilia of the Market and traders in the ‘My Market Story’ campaign – with submissions being collected online https://southmelbournemarket.com.au/150-years/my-market-story/, at the Market office, or by post.

South Melbourne Market will publish a hand-picked collection of these stories online and in their “My Market Story” exhibition that will run throughout May.

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The exhibition will showcase the Market’s long and colourful history through the eyes of those who have known it best – the traders, shoppers and local residents. A selection of exhibits also will be curated into a digital time capsule for future generations to enjoy.

2017 also brings exciting regular events, including the South Melbourne Night Market, a cultural feast of street food, market stalls and free entertainment and music on balmy Thursday nights throughout January and February. The Port Phillip Mussel & Jazz Festival seafood street party is also returning over the long weekend Saturday March 11 and Sunday March 12. Both events are designed to bring the community together and great opportunities for people to gather to celebrate good food, cultural diversity and live music. South Melbourne Market is home to almost 150 stalls selling great quality fresh produce, seriously good coffee and tea, and a vibrant restaurant precinct.

As well as the foodstuffs from land to sea, there’s a fabulous collection of independent traders offering everything from homewares to jewellery, eyebrow threading, pet food and vintage books. Address: South Melbourne Market, corner Coventry and Cecil Streets.


Royal Croquet Club (Dec 8-23)

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Royal Croquet Club is truly a great set up bigger and better than ever before with delicious food, Pimms, performances, music acts and of course croquet pitches for you to have a swing. 

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Visit Merricks Creek Winery on the Mornington Peninsula (every day until Jan 6 then weekends)

Merricks Creek Winery has become one of our favourites as a compelling Cellar Door visit on a weekend. It's well worth the one hour drive from Melbourne. We describe Merricks Creek as "magical" with superb views, standout Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, a passionate family business, and gourmet affordable dishes. If you're looking for somewhere to unwind from the hurly burly of city life this is the palce. Just looking out at the views is a kind of therapy; with the high quality wine and food also a joy.

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Roll up to the stylish Cellar Door and you will be impressed by the fashionable textures and decor of the Cellar Door, the Monet-inspired gardens and the panoramic vistas. You feel like you are practically in the vineyards (Peter Parker says "just enough room to turn a tractor). You will also be impressed by Peter Parker and son Sam who guide you through a fascinating tasting. Is there anyone more passionate about Pinot Noir. For groups by arrangement you may enjoy a bespoke barrel tasting with Peter Parker.

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When its summer the staff at Merricks Creek can open up the bifold doors for an open and airy feel to the cellar door - check out the raised timber deck supported by old telephone polls. (Of course they have airconditioning as well).

Merricks Creek is a popular destination for groups of friends wanting a fun weekend catch up, couples and families (the expanse of lawn and menu makes it family friendly). Some of the dishes are famous including the above pictured Decontructed Tiramisu.

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Perfect for friends' catch ups with long tables available. Merricks Creek do take bookings.

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Peter Parker is a consulting clinical psychologist by day as well as a fabulous winemaker (as is Sam Parker). They've been making Pinot Noir in the French tradition, taking the methods of Burgundy to produce intense Pinot Noir from close-planted vines.

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Check out eclectic Lulu Cafe and Gallery in North Melbourne (Wed-Sun)

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LULU Cafe and Gallery is an eclectic and compelling gem in charming Queenberry Street North Melbourne and has become a favourite. This is a place to relax where you are not rushed, simply imbibe the hospitality and rewarding menu. Sit at the French style seats and tables on beautiful Queenberry St, dine inside in th elight airy cafe with large windows, large bar and quirky artwork on the walls, or explore the other elements of LULU such as the galley and courtyard.

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LULU is not your "formulaic" cafe and dining experience - rather there's a strong sense of spontaneity, innovation and creativity at every level. Not only is LULU a great cafe where you can get excellent brunch and lunch dishes and superb coffee, but also it becomes a compelling dining space at night. It's a hub for locals both day and night; you could literally visit several times during the day.

Not only that but the gallery space is compelling with fascinating top notch exhibitions that are among the best in Melbourne. At times LULU combines the exhibition with the food for a unique match. LULU is also popular for bespoke functions and the hire of their gallery rooms. 

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Also to mention LULU has one of the most appealing courtyards in Melbourne with overhanging plant cover and long solid timber table with ability to seat 30 diners. This space has been popular for hire by interest groups and the like. 

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Owners Roger and Pan are creatives and foodies who thrive on hospitality and creating something unique in Melbourne. They want diners to leave well satisfied with the foodie offerings and the value for money. We were surprised at the quality of the breakfast and lunch menu, and the level of sophistication of the dinner menu dishes. LULU turned out to be one of our best dining experiences of 2016 in terms of dinner, and for the money it was a steal.


Burn City Smokers

Melbourne’s roving duo of BBQ boys are back this Summer, with a Pop-Up ‘BBQ Beach Boutique’ on Mornington’s Esplanade, taking over the iconic Counting House restaurant and serving up their renowned smoky flavour.

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Launching on Friday the 16th of December, the Burn City Smokers boys will open their doors to locals, holiday makers & beach goers alike, offering up a custom Southern style BBQ menu for a Summer affair. Co-founders, Steve Kimonides and Raphael Guthrie, will be packing up their American smoker trailer, hunks of beef & sexy salt rubs, and heading down to the Peninsula to serve up the best slow cooked beef found on the coastline this summer.

Burn City Smoker co-founder, Raphael Guthrie believes a good BBQ fits in beautifully with a hot Australian summer day by the beach and is excited to share the refreshed and inspired pop up menu with the Mornington crowd. “Mornington is the Summer escape hotspot for Melbournite’s, so we wanted to bring our City Smokers philosophy to the coast & offer holiday goers a unique street cook-out experience, with food for the whole family” he said.

Passer’s by on the Esplanade will be drawn in by the sight of smoke and smell of slow cooking, with the Counting House laneway transformed into an old school ‘American BBQ’, complete with the monster smoker, piles of freshly chopped wood and a canopy of vintage string lights.

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Hero menu items include their classic Beef Short Rib ($25.00), paired with the Elgee Park Cabernet, or the Brisket Burger ($15.00) with a glass of house Quealy Rose. Other crowd favourites for summer are the Chopped Whole Hog Roll ($12.00), Mac N’ Cheese and Grilled Corn (both $8.00) and a fresh Passionfruit Tart with mint & cream ($12.00) as a palette cleanser to finish. Keeping it local, the boys have sourced a majority of their wine & beverage from the Mornington area, supporting labels such as Mornington Brewery, Quealy Wines, Port Phillip Estate and Crittenden Wines. Offering the best of both worlds, the BBQ Beach Boutique at Mornington’s historic Counting House will have indoor seating to escape the heat, outdoor deck dining to bask in the sunshine & takeaway dining options across their entire menu, including daily specials and a kids menu.


Visit a Rooftop Bar

Melbourne loves its rooftop bars are there's plenty to choose from.

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Transit Rooftop Bar offers Sunday Grazing, and with Melbourne’s best views who can imagine a better way to spend the afternoon.

The World Loves Melbourne was invited along to experience the stunning offerings from executive chef, Tony Twitchett and the team and sip on Dal Zotto Prosecco.

Some of the stunning dishes included crispy spring onion and turnuip pancakes with ginger dipping sauce, lamb and hoisin steamed buns Szechuan cucumber, and oysters with crab salad and fried shallots.

“We wanted to offer something that we see as special that you can enjoy every Sunday on our rooftop,” said Exec Chef Tony Twitchett. “We have so much beautiful produce at our finger tips and being able to prepare that for Sunday grazing, with some beautiful King Valley Prosecco from Dal Zotto means you can have something special, and affordable, every week.”

Vegetarians and vegans are covered with their own menus available and if Prosecco doesn’t take your fancy, they have a list of exclusively Victorian wines. With relaxing tunes playing in the background it makes for a perfect Sunday.

Sunday Graze is every Sunday from 11am – 3pm and is supported by Dal Zotto.

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Landmark Melbourne pub and live music institution The Corner reopened its rooftop following substantial renovations. The historic venue has stood on the corner of Swan Street, Richmond, since the nineteenth century and has been a popular live music venue since the 1940s. Remodelled and developed by Tim Northeast and Mathew Everett in 1995, the venue has since played host to some of the most prestigious names in music, both locally and internationally. Now, just in time for its 20th anniversary under current ownership, The Corner reveals its spacious new rooftop, with an indoor dining area, outdoor courtyard and private function spaces, plus an impressive new menu and bar offering. The Corner’s rooftop redevelopment is grounded in its ongoing commitment to loyal patrons as well as to future generations. Designed to produce the best experience for all patrons, the new rooftop is a reinvestment in the next 20 years of great food, drinks, service and music at The Corner.


Beaches (of course!)

Melbourne has great beaches! Here are some of our favourites. 

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St Kilda and Elwood (South, near CBD) - St Kilda is Melbourne's most popular Port Phillip Bay beach with tourists and locals with proximity to the Melbourne CBD (6km) and so many options nearby. We visit here regularly because it's full of vibe and action. St Kilda beach is a wide sandy and tranquil beach, and surrounds a top notch recreation space. St Kilda beach offers much in terms of combining a day at the beach with cafes, restaurants, and shopping. Check out nearby Acland St for cakes and casual dining or Fitzroy Street for some of Melbourne's most popular restaurants. Elwood nearby is a great beach, also popular for swimming, sailing and boating.

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Brighton (South) - One of Australia's most iconic beaches. You won't find big waves here but enjoy the sandy beach and the iconic colourful Bathing Huts. Brighton beach brings a great ambience in an upmarket part of town which is not "touristy". Nearby cafes and restaurants add to the experience. The World Loves Melbourne's favourite beach, although we're not surfers. You can spot the city from further down the beach, with spectacular Melbourne skyline. Image Credit Tumblr - everyonesayhitonmelissa.

 

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