Long Shot has opened with its A grade game from the start launching with consistently brilliant coffee and surprisingly gourmet tasty cuisine. A crack team has assembled here with Josh Willis (above) ex Proud Mary as the head barista and the brilliant Shaun Quade behind the cuisine. Having been here about a dozen times I can vouch for exceptional coffee every time using St Ali coffee.
1806 is a standout bar in Melbourne that impresses with its classic decor, bar skills and an air of sophistication. We headed there recently after the epic Moon Under Water launch at Bennetts Lane Jazz Club. We were in celebration mode and our friends Elodie Sablier the talented French musician and Sydney artists were looking for a top notch Melbourne bar.
What I love about 1806 is its finery - I appreciate grungy bars but when looking to impress here in Melbourne I prefer the classic refinement of 1806. Why the name 1806 - because it was then that the word cocktail was first put in print.
The cocktails follow a timeline of some 200 years, and The World Loves Melbourne notes a trend in several bars around Melbounre to give a nod to the cocktails of yesteryear transporting them to today.
Neanderthal Cafe in Prahran is a breath of fresh air with its quirky features and serious coffee quality. We enjoyed the humour and engagement of the hands on owners, brothers Nicholas and Dax Byrne. This is not an austere cafe where you have to genuflect and avoid eye contact with the waiter - but rather a fun convivial destination. Foremost this place rocks when it comes to coffee. The coffee menu appears on a board and the coffee itself is highly impressive.
Mr Miyagi is a fun and eclectic Japanese restaurant in Windsor that is more playful than it is formal. Upon entering it at first seems like a club, with loudish music and funky wait staff traversing the floor attending a patronage of young and trendy. Mr Miyagi hums and sings. It needs to be understood for what it is - that is turning formal Japanses dining on its head and serving Japanses cuisine with a twist. The World Loves Melbourne was invited as guests of Mr Miyagi to sample its dinner menu. We enjoyed the concept of shared dishes presented artistically and full of flavour, technique and concern for texture and balance.
Most travellers, and even a few Melbournians, would only picture art galleries, kitsch alley-way bars and stylish cuisine when they think of the Victorian capital.
It’s true that Melbourne’s cultured and refined characteristics are definitely work checking out and give the city a reputation to be proud of, but did you know that Melbourne has its share of adrenaline and adventure too?
From the CBD to the suburbs, there’s something to get the blood flowing for all the adventurous types out there. Read on to find out about some of Melbourne’s more heart-pounding, exhilarating fair!
Hovering in a Helicopter
So we all know that Melbourne has some beautiful architecture and surrounds, and many travellers choose to see these aspects of the city by foot or by car. But, if going around in a tour bus seems a little mundane, why not try a helicopter ride that’ll give you a real eye-in-the-sky perspective of all Melbourne has to offer?
With travel and adventure companies such as Melbourne Joy Flights and RedBalloon offering helicopter packages to cover areas all around Melbourne, you can get that cinematic widescreen view of Melbourne and its suburbs firsthand. And of course, you get to go around at quick speed in a helicopter!
Victoria has long been known as a state of green pastures and verdant farmland, and the areas just outside of Melbourne are of course no exception.
Interestingly enough, it is in these beautiful rural areas that Melbourne’s blossoming skydiving scene can be found. Ride by plane through the Melbourne skies and plunge from heights of up to 14.000 feet for a fast-paced thrill. It’s quick, but boy will it leave you wanting more.
All activities are safe thanks to the efforts of the well-trained and professional staff working for Melbourne’s skydiving companies, but it would be a good idea to take out travel insurance just to be extra safe.
With dives happening in areas only an hour from Melbourne’s CBD, the city of refinement is sure to let you get your adrenal kicks in as well!
Of course, what list of adventures and thrills would be complete without a subtle nod to driving in a tank? If getting round in the old sedan or hatchback has never really satisfied you, perhaps its time to upgrade your hardware to something a little more…heavy duty.
Melbourne 4x4 offers those brave enough the opportunity to hop into a WWII era beast of a tank that weighs in at over 50 tonnes, is protected by 140mm of solid steel and uses a V12 engine to cart itself around.
If you’ve ever wanted the experience of assailing tough terrain like a hardened tank driver, you can have your wish by getting out to Werribee, which is only 30 minutes’ drive from Melbourne’s CBD.
For those who want something a little lighter to get from A to B, there are also plenty of tour companies who offer dune buggy, quad bike and dirt bike rentals to interested adventurers in farmland just outside of Melbourne’s centre. So no matter what your vehicular fix is, you’ll get it by coming to the hub of refinement and sheer action that is Melbourne city!
Whether you’re jumping out of a plane or flying around in a helicopter, remember to put your safety first. Don’t do anything you don’t feel comfortable with, and make sure to get travel insurance from a company like Southern Cross Travel Insurance. That way, you can experience adrenaline rushes with (relative) peace of mind!
Michael is a chronic adrenaline junkie. He wants to share his knowledge of Melbourne’s fast-paced secrets with all the travellers out there.
Bennett's Lane Jazz Club was the iconic scene for the launch of the exciting new album Moon Under Water from Andrew Hagger and friends. After the success of the Hope album last year which topped the classical charts, there was much anticipation from the packed out event as several of the artists from Moon Under Water performed. This album features some of Australia's most accomplished musicians and is the perfect album to purchase for Christmas. Indeed as an instrumental album it's superb to play at a dinner party or occasion.
George Orwell's 1946 essay "Moon Under Water" imagined the perfect place to gather. A fictitious place. Too good to be true. With incredible atmosphere. Friends and families connecting. Flowing conversations. Great food and drinking. And even a surprise garden to welcome all. Sound enticing?
On a stage that has seen the likes of Prince, Justin Timberlake and Harry Connick Junior perform, we enjoyed stellar performances from Andrew Hagger (who kicked off solo on piano), Elodie Sablier the young glamorous French pianist from Provence, Andrew Naylor and family, Robyn Payne (one of the Australia's finest producers, as well as a fine musician in her own right), and Michael Tortino (fabulous double bass player, Melbourne Jazz Festival Director and owner of Bennett's Lane Jazz Club).
Other guests on Moon Under Water include Tommy Emmanuel (arguably the world's greatest guitarist), David Hirschfelder (writes scores for Hollywood movies such as Strictly Ballroom (1992), Shine (1996), Sliding Doors (1998), Elizabeth (1998), Hanging Up (2000), Australia (2008), and Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole (2010), ex Little River Band and John Farnham Band), and Chong Lim (Dancing with the Stars, producer for the 2000 Olympic Games as well as for many albums and projects, and has toured with many big name artists) and David Holmes.
Gracebrook is an alluring winery destination in the mighty King valley region of Victoria. When I stake out winr regions I'm always wondering which wineries have the best restaurants. By that I mean the view has to be top notch, the general atmosphere classy but convivial, and the food up to scratch. I still like to know I'm getting value for money, even though I realise large wineries have plenty of overheads and have to recoup to make a profit.
(Credit for above photo and "platter" photos below from top Australian photographer Ewen Bell).
Gracebrook pretty much lives up to its name. Come here to a peaceful rustic setting where you can settle out on the deck under an umbrella and while the hours away with a gourmet platter and a Prosecco (or Gracebrook "Sunshine" or Sangiovese) or two. As we did on our Media/Blogger tour of King Valley (thanks to Squawk Media).
Another great night in this fantastic city was had last night, courtesy of the Citibank VIP area at the Melbourne Night Noodle Markets being run as part of the Melbourne Good Food Month. Breaking news - Night Noodle Markets will be back next year following unparalleled support by Melburnians! Melbourne is on track to surpass Sydney's attendances with over 300,000 (been going 12 years) - and this is just Melbourne's first year of Night Markets.
The Melbourne Night Noodle markets are being held for 2 weeks during November in the picturesque Alexandra Gardens, from November 18th through to the 30th. We were blessed with gorgeous weather last night, and the crowd sure turned up with over 20,000 attendee’s recorded. The range of cuisine to choose from was massive; Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Taiwanese, Nepalese, Filipino and Indian, and the noodle markets play host to Melbourne’s favourite asian eateries, including Chin Chin, Longrain, Mamak and the Izakaya Den.
Last night I attended the LuxBite Christmas Party combined with celebrations for their 3rd birthday – and what a treat it was, particularly for my insatiable sweet tooth!
Arriving at the store on Toorak Road, we were greeted with vibrant decorations, great music (care of the DJ spinning tracks from atop the macaron display cabinet, no less), an abundance of happy guests and colourful displays of macaron Christmas trees, lollipops & gorgeous cakes decorated to perfection.
Haigh's is an iconic chocolatier of note, and has inspired generations with its artisan chocolate creations for generations. It has some slick modern stores in Melbourne where presentation is as alluring as the product. The World Loves Melbourne has been impressed with Haigh's over many years - not just quality but their consistency and ability to change with the times.
Trunk Diner is dude food heaven and a compelling destination to enjoy cocktails and American style cuisine. It is my kind of place - unashamedly. Grab a first class cocktail and lean over a dripping juicy gourmet burger in a chic ambience. The World Loves Melbourne was recently at Trunk Diner to check out latest menu and renovation changes. The invitation was alluring - "escape the concrete jungle and celebrate the start of Spring and Trunks new designer cocktail list in their freshly redesigned urban courtyard". I've been to Trunk Diner before and have always enjoyed the experience.
- David's Prahran Beyond the Bund
- Touchwood Lighting Up Bridge Road
- Escoffier Dinner at Steer Bar and Grill
- Galliano Espresso Martinis A Hit at Taste of Melbourne
- Melbourne Central One Day Shopping Festival
- The Balvenie Pop Up at Zenith Interiors
- Thirsty Camel Beer O'Clock Party
- Third Wave Cafe in Prahran
- Pure South Restaurant A High Performer in Southgate
- Huxtaburger Opens in Prahran
- David Jones Sliders on Union
- Adelaide An Emerging Quirky Breakout City
- Town Mouse Not Quiet on Culinary Brilliance
- State of Grace Bar Charm on Collins
- Pick Your Own Cherries At Cherry Hill