Food, Arts

Melbourne Arts Centre & Time Out Melbourne Present ‘The Barre’

The Melbourne Arts Centre is an iconic venue known for bringing exceptional quality arts and entertainment to the people of Melbourne. Their latest project involves a partnership with Time Out Melbourne to create The Barre; a modern and vibrant dining experience, where seasonal produce, wines, cocktails and ales meet arts and entertainment. The World Loves Melbourne was recently invited to see the new venue and celebrate the venture. 

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Walking into The Barre reveals an immediate connection to the broader Arts Centre experience. The floors have been laid using wood from one of the old Centre stages, the walls are lined with photographs from Paul Dunn’s Tenderness and Risk collection, and the atmosphere is lively and festive. Displays featuring Four Pillars, Stomping Ground and Yering Station reinforce the words of Arts Melbourne CEO Claire Spencer who shares about the Centre’s love for collaboration. 

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Guests are treated to a selection of beverages; Yering Station Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sparkling, Stomping Ground ‘Gipps St’ American-style pale ale and the Four Pillars Gin & Tonic. The Centre Stage Spritz puts on a colourful display, with a gentle blend of Four Pillars gin, rose water with a splash of dry vermouth, lemon myrtle and cassia syrup, with Persian fairy floss on top. The fresh and fragrant cocktail is a timely reminder of the changing season and springtime warmth. 

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Freshly shucked Coffin Bay Oysters with Four Pillars gin and tonic emulation and finger lime pearls are a unique flavour combination, while the pistachio crumbed tofu with onion jam is as interesting to taste as it is to look at. Mini pulled pork sliders are clearly a crowd favourite, with boards emptying as quickly as they can be filled. 

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During the evening guests are invited to go on guided tours of Stage Presence, an insightful exhibition showcasing highlights from the Australian Performing Arts Collection. It includes sketches and models created by some of Australia’s most prolific set and costume designers.  

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Back in The Barre, dessert is served; white chocolate and basil panna cotta with coconut gel. Gelato artisans, Billy Van Creamy are scooping vanilla gin ice-cream (a Four Pillars collaboration) and salted caramel crumb into mini cones for a fun conclusion.

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The purpose of The Barre is “to bring people together to have truly remarkable experiences” (Arts Melbourne CEO, Claire Spencer). It’s a venue where show-goers can share intelligent conversations about the latest performances while sipping on Yarra Valley wine, indulging in deliciously fresh produce and marvelling at the creative heart of Melbourne.

Rachel Mason


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