bah humbug again

On January 2, 2014, in CBD, by Jonno

Looking at the Calender on the wall it is hard to believe how quickly the year has gone. It’s just four weeks until Christmas and we are not ready. Well, to be honest we have never been ready and who really is? But of course the time of year does means going out for drinks and Melbourne has a lot of great venues to visit.

As Christmas falls in summer here (much to the disgust of the Poms) some of the best places to visit are outdoors. down on the banks of the Yarra River there is now a nice selection of pubs and bars. A great evening can be head starting off at the Riverside bar just over the road from Flinders Street station. Set on the banks of the river with granite steps up to the actual bar, the added end height give some nice aspects of the water. Follow the river downstream keeping to the city side and you’ll pass under the traffic bridge and be on the river side of flinders street station. Ahead you’ll see a footbridge crossing the river and on this bridge you will find the very nice Pony Fish Island.

Pony Fish Island is located on one of the bridge piers and is a narrow bar, but is right on the water. This is a great spot to pick up a cooling breeze off the river on a hot summers night. The bars has a younger feel and the stairs tend to keep the oldies away! Crossing the river to Southbank, there are a multiple of bars and cafes. Most of these venues are restaurants with bars and so often you may feel as though you should be having a meal. One of the more popular bars here is World (received quite a few “likes” in Best Melbourne Pubs and Bars).

If restaurant orientated bars is not what you fancy, then keep walking downstream and you’ll come across the Pop-Up bar. As its name suggests, this is not a permanent fixture and the bar expands on to the promenade of Southbank for the summer. With fake grass and a selection of seating, this is an odd bar, but one that is well worth the wander.

Further downstream you will find the Boatbuilders Yard, which is more of a pub style venue. We were not that impressed by this bar when we visited and even through it is nicely located on the edge of the river, it have few likes in Best Melbourne Pubs and Bars. Interestingly the most popular pub in this location is PJ O’Briens. Having often frequented this Irish pub, We can see why. The manager we met was gorgeous and charming and if her professional attitude extends to the staff, then the service will be excellent and the beer, well, the Irish are known for it – we don’t need to say anymore!

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Blimey It’s almost Christmas

On November 15, 2013, in CBD, by Jonno

Maybe that should be Crickey! But the feeling is still the same, Christmas is only just over 5 weeks away!

Yes Christmas is only 5 weeks away!!

holiday-cheer-christmas-tree

If you have not organised your Christmas party, then perhaps you had better start thinking about it. And what could be better for a Christmas get together, than wandering through Melbourne and enjoying some of its great bars. For blokes a walk through the city streets is a mic way to “get some air” as it is often referred to (sober up a little!). But for girls, particularly those with lovely high heels, wandering through Melbourne’s back streets can be a little bit awkward – if not actually dangerous.

So where are the best places to have a Christmas party inMelbourne?

There is no simple answer as we like different things. Some may say Crown Casino is a great spot, although it’s not a good place to socialise (they only want your cash!) so selecting a nice pub or bar is better.  One of the small bars we rather like is Highlander, located in Highlander Lane (down the Aquarium end of town). This is a nice seductive bar and last time we were in town they were planning a roof top bar.

Over in Docklands the Woolshed is a big barn of a pub, but it’s pretty cool and makes a great spot for a larger crowd. The nightclub Alumbra is close by too, so a great option to keep things going into the wee small hours.

Finally, if you want to impress the girls in the office take them down to Madame Brussels. This is a great rooftop bar with a classy atmosphere and a more elegant setting.

 

You can find all these and over 250 more in the Best Melbourne Pubs and Bars app for iPhone.

 

 

Other locations

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Melbourne Cup and a great night out

On October 28, 2013, in CBD, by Jonno

Horses at the Melbourne CupIt’s that time of year again, the race that stops a nation is on. Melbourne Cup is Australia’s premier horse racing carnival and attracts a high gathering both on and off track. Unlike many horse racing tracks around the world, Flemington is very easy to reach from the CBD of Melbourne and so makes a fabulous day out for any visitor. If you are in Melbourne during the cup, then you will experience an erie calm over the CBD whilst that race is being run. Indeed you might find the same in every Australia capital city (except Canberra, which has that erie silence at most times).

Melbourne cup mayhem

Everything you want to know about Melbourne Cup

Once all the racing is over, then you’ll probably fancy having a few nice drinks and Melbourne CBD has some great options. Here is our pick for post Melbourne Cup drinks.

Siglo.

Located a short stroll from Parliament is the lovely rooftop bar of Siglo. This can be a little hard to find as its entry is a doorway and often you can walk straight past! (Our app will show you exactly where it is). Siglo has an airs of exclusivity about it and with table service it is not for those on a budget. This is an excellent location to grab a nice bottle of wine (their list is very good) sit back and enjoy the ambience.

79 Madame Brussels  (3)Madame Brussels

also a short stroll from Parliamemt is another rather hard rooftop bar to find. Madame Brussellscould be considered as a Melbourne institution as whilst it may be hard to find! it is rarely empty! There is an eclectic mix of style here which we can only describe as French provincial meets Wimbledon. They provide a nice range of drinks, including some nice boutique bottled beers. This is. To the sort of place you’ll want to rock in scruffy jeans to!

Carlton Hotel.

One of the more popular pubs in Melbourne located to the east of the CBD. the Carlton extends over a few floors and has a plush bar with smoking terrace over the street. Up a few flights and you will reach the rooftop bar, great on a warm balmy evening. This is a great all-round pub with a casual vibe.

Gorgeous rooftop bat in the heart of Melbourne's CBD

Campari.

Located in hardware lane,Campari is three floors of dining and imbibing. Head straight to the rooftop bar for a great vibe and a few rooftop views. with a nice choice of beer on tap this is a more casual bar and is a great all-rounder.

You can all of these bars, plus a few hundred more in our Best Melbourne Pubs and Bars app on the iPhone.

 

 

 

Your personal bar guide, essential for any stay in Melbourne’s CBD.

 

 

 

Best Melbourne Pubs and Bars App now on iOS 7

On September 20, 2013, in CBD, by Jonno

With a few changes, the Best Melbourne Pubs and Bars app for iPhone has been updated for iOS 7.

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You have just got to love the way Melbourne keeps coming up trumps with food and beverage festivals and events. We keep trying to get there to experience these great events, such as Good Beer Week, starting on the 18th May. Now in its second years, this event is going from strength to strength. Showcasing great craft beers from around the country and overseas, this surely has to be one of those “must do” events.

Beer Week in Melbourne 18 – 26 May 2013

As we have previously blogged, the event is centred in Fitzroy, with several pubs in the suburbs of Melbourne taking part. To celebrate this great event we are offering our Best Melbourne Pubs and Bars app for just 99c. This is a significant cost saving over the normal non – Good Beer Week price. So if you are in Melbourne, download and be guided to the best bars and pubs in Melbourne’s CBD. Sorry, but our app does not cover all the pubs holding Good Beer Week as we only cover Melbourne CBD. Although this maybe something we do next year, organisers permitting.

Bars in theCBD that are included as venues for Good Beer Week include:

  • Beer Deluxe
  • James Squire Brewhouse (CBD)
  • Young and Jacksons
  • 1806
  • Section 8
  • Penny Blue
  • Trunk
  • Dejavu

and you will find these in Best Melbourne Pubs and Bars.

But while you are passing the time waiting for the pubs to open, what can you do? Well, why not head out and sample some of Melbourne’s fantastic cafes?

 

Melbourne has some of Australia’s best cafes too!

Melbourne is one of Australia’s top cities when it comes to coffee with some of the best baristas in the world creating coffees with such passion, you’ll keep wanting another. But it can be hard as a tourist to track down those coffee shop that you want to try. The are so many cafes and coffee shops that you can easily walk into one thinking this will do, only to find that it looks good but the coffee is rubbish. If you want to find the best coffee shops in Melbourne’s CBD, then grab Best Cafes in Melbourne.

 

 

As summer is now becoming a memory we need something to keep us entertained and what can be better than a nice pint of beer. Between May 16 and 26, Melbourne is hosting Good Beer Week and that is exactly what it will be!

This year the HQ of Good Beer Week is located at the Terminus Hotel in North Fitzroy, so this is perhaps not an ideal location for out of towners, but for the locals, it’s a pretty good spot. There are trams, trains and buses to get you there and during Good Beer Week, a local luxury car company Uber are offering 50% off their fare to and from the Terminus Hotel (head to Uber.com to sign up for this deal). Although I am sure they will not take kindly to the “have you got room for a slab and pizza” gag.

 

Good Beer Week will showcase some of Australia finest beers and more importantly, the best craft beers from around the country. the Pint of Origin showcase will be at different pubs for each state, except for NT (but Tassie is included). you can sample the following State beers here:

  • Victoria –  Great Britain Hotel – 447 Church St, Richmond.
  • Western Australia – The Royston Hotel – 12 River St, Richmond.
  • Queensland – Dejavu – 525 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne (find it in Best Melbourne pubs and bars app)
  • South Australia – The Tramway Hotel – 165 Rae St, North Fitzroy.
  • New South Wales – Rainbow Hotel – 27 St David St, Fitzroy.
  • Tasmania – The Gertrude Hotel – 148 Gertrude St, Fitzroy.
  • ACT – The Courthouse Hotel – 86-90 Errol St, North Melbourne.

Good Beer Week is also hosting other events throughout the week to inform and enhance on the beer experience. Beer Novice is being held at the Terminus Hotel on Sunday 19 May to educate those wanting appreciate more about beer. The event costs $45 and features 10 enlightening beers and three food pairings as well as 3 informative talks.

And once you have finished at Good Beer Week, where to? Well, our Best Melbourne Pubs and Bars app will guide you over 200 venues in the CBD where you can enjoy another beer, cocktail or just the ambience of a rooftop bar.

Exciting new bars in Melbourne

On February 15, 2013, in CBD, by Jonno

During our recent research trip through the streets of Melbourne we have noticed a few changes in the bar scene.

Softbelly is now Du Nord

Du Nord

Du Nord – Better than a trip to Ikea

The great bar Softbelly has sadly closed its doors to be refurbished as Du Nord. Inspiring a French character, Du Nord is actually a Swedish bar run by a very friendly Swedish couple ( as you may have guessed). The interior is stripped wood hinting at a Swedish sauna styling with just that hint of Ikea. It’s minimalist appearance is a refreshing change in these days of faux leather and crushed velvet. It’s got a nice atmosphere and is so close to the CBD offices, it will make a pleasant stop on cooler evenings (on warm nights Campari around the corner will lure you).

 

 

 

LaLaLand has reopened

La La Land

The reopened cool bar

La La Land has also reopened its doors after the fire a while ago. Sporting a new interior with large comfy sofas in white and a plush red interior. it almost feels like walking into a dream! It’s has a nice chic attitude and this will appeal to ladies and girls with a bit of flair. This is a far cry from Pug Mahones over the alleyway!

 

 

 

 

Match is now Fathers Office

Fatjers Office

An excuse for the missus!

Also, a new addition is the refurbishment of the Match bar and grill that closer rather quickly a while ago. Overlooking Swanston street is Melbourne’s latest edition, Fathers Office. Many wives will be somewhat annoyed at this, as now there will be too many Melbournites staying late “at the office”. It’s a large venue ideal for corporate events and large gatherings. The deck over the street is a great alfresco area and great on a warm sunny evening.

 

 

 

Miss Libertine is now the Captain Melville

Sadly Miss Libertine closed its doors and has now emerged as the Captain Melville.  We have only looked at their web site and the uber trendy atmosphere of Miss Libertine is nowhere to be seen. The website bleats on about the food, so this is probably a restaurant now and we will drop it from Best Melbourne Pubs and Bars app.  Maybe they will answer our emails and tell us they are a bar?

 

Oddfellows Hotel is now The Fringe

FingeOddfellows hotel has changed to The Fringe.  It still looks similar, but there have been a few changes here and there. They still do pizza’s so a good feed will still await! It’s a bit out of the way for many, but this is not a bad place if you are this end of town. The website shows some funky deckchairs on the roof, so could be an interesting place for a beer after work.

 

 

Blac, Pony and Bridie O’Reillys have closed

Blac, which was located up on La Trobe Street was closed when we last passed by. Sadly this bar was located off the main strip and is in one of those “odd” areas. The bar was more of a corporate attractor in our view, so probably didn’t become the iconic venue its locations demands for it to survive.

Pony – they have now closed too. Not sure if they will re-open under a new name. We heard that this has been on the cards for a while.

Bridie O’Reilly’s has also closed its doors, which is surprising as it has always been quite busy during our visits.

 

This means we will be updating our app next month to include these bars. But if we have missed one, let us know.

 You don’t have to wait for a new version of Best Melbourne Pubs and Bars. All changes automatically load once you have purchased the app.

 

The best boys weekend ever! A Day Out in Melbourne

On November 30, 2012, in CBD, by Jonno

 

Yeah! don’t even think about going out for a beer with your mates!

My mate is becoming a dad in a few weeks and as one last hurrah we are trying to get a boys weekend to Melbourne going. It’s tough as a lot of our friends have children and wives. The children are the excuse the wives use to temper our enthusiasm for going away. Yeah we have all been there, some say “Yeah, course you can go” but you know it’s gonna be a long time before that debt is paid.  Some are just adamant that you cannot go! The underlying concern is one of trust and the expectation that you’ll have a few beers and shag every 18 year old in the city. Well, that only happens in our dreams!!!!!

 

So if you do manage to get that elusive leave pass, where do you go?

 

Well a good choice is always one of the capital cities and to be honest, Melbourne would have to be the best choice. Sydney is OK, but its more spread out and there are not as many great bars to check out. The best thing about Melbourne is being able to jump on a tram to get from one side to the other. And, hey, it’s not that far to walk anyway!

 

So getting your flight is an Internet search as is the hotel. But where to stay? Melbourne has lots of hotel options, but you need to get as central to the CBD as possible. That makes it easy to get around and stumble home! However, that will be determined by how much you can afford. Those with unlimited cash reserves should head to the Westin, perhaps the best hotel in the CBD, but at $600 a night, it’s pretty pricey. Check out Agoda or one of the other last minute hotel sites.

 

If its footy season then you got to get yourself some tickets to watch a game at the MCG. (click here to see a virtual tour of the ground).  Sadly it will probably be a Collingwood game, but then it’s always great to watch them lose. I love the way when they are behind their fans go home at three quarter time, bless em!  If there is no sport, then your options are perhaps bar related (honestly are you going on a boys weekend to go to the museum???). If the weather is good, then get down to the Yarra river and Ponyfish Island. Right in the heart of the river, this is a great open air bar and a good afternoon starter. From here you can just wander back into the CBD and drop into one of the bars in Federation Square – Beer Deluxe or the Transport / Transit bars are always a great choice.

 

From Federation Square head up to the Carlton Hotel on Bourke Street. It’s very popular and you’ll see why with a sumptuous lounge bar and a great roof top terrace.  They have security, so if you have been hard at it for the afternoon, you may be declined entry. Another alternative is Miss Libertine on Franklin Street. This has more of a club pub feel, but a cracking pub none-the-less.

 

Whatever your choice of bar is, our Best Melbourne Pubs and Bars app will guide you effortlessly to all that Melbourne has to offer and what is better, if you get split up, our in app SMS feature makes letting your mates know where you are so simple.

 

 

 

 

An evening with the Madame

On November 15, 2012, in CBD, by Jonno

Melbourne.

It’s 5pm and the sun has been out for most of the afternoon now. The mercury has risen to a warm 26 degrees and the backpackers are undressing in Federation Square. The deckchair commandeered for my afternoon nap has drifted into the sun giving me a rosy glow. Students behind me shelter in the shade of what was my umbrella and are talking non-stop. Their conversation is banal and I am forced to reconsider my position.

Pulling out my iPhone I look at this months latest most liked bars and notice that Gin Palace is still listed at the top, but wait. What’s this the Madame has jumped up to be equal in her likes. Well, game on and where better on a warm afternoon than in the garden of our favourite Madame – Madame Brussels.

 

Gin Palace and Madame Brussels are the top “liked” bars in Melbourne

 

The madame attends to her guests needs

 

I am lucky to get a spot at the balcony looking over the Main Street and giving me a panorama of the whole alfresco area. The sun is warm, but I have some shade. A beautiful woman beside me is in full sun and is seen to be under duress. The staff bring out a pale green parasol for which she can protect her beautiful skin. She smiles at everyone who is watching. Sexy and sassy the Madame knows how to treat her guests.

 

With cold beer and a pleasant outlook, Madame Brussels has to be one of the best bars in Melbourne’s CBD.

 

There are so many bars in Melbourne that it can be a hard decision where to go. In our Best Melbourne Pubs and Bars app for iPhone, we have selected some great places as our favourites. Great bars that we are comfortable to recommend to our friends when heading to Melbourne. But in our app we have a “Like this Bar” button that allows you to say which bars you like.

 

Use the app to vote for your favourite bar

 

As of 1 October 2012 the 5 most “Liked” bars are:

Interior of Gin Palace1.Gin Palace

The name says it all really as this is a bar specialising in gin. Fabulous decor in a plush gin palace style. One might expect Al Capone to be sitting in the corner. And there is something special here too, but you’ll have to ask!

 

 

Carlton Hotel2.Carlton Hotel

This is said to be one of Melbourne’s best pubs with a sumptuous lounge bar and a cool rooftop bar. A visit here is likely to make you linger longer than you expect.

 

 

 Madame Brussells3.Madame Brussels

Think France, think Melbourne rooftop, think Madame Brussels. Once you know where this place is, you will want to keep it to yourself. Foreign beers, wines and cocktails are the order here and this feels like one of those more “special” bars. The roof terrace is awesome with a hint of Wimbledon meets French chateau. Take the lift at the end of the corridor next to the restaurant. At the third floor you may be surprised at what you find!

 

 

Cookie4.Cookie

On the first floor of Curtin House is this grand high-ceilinged bar. Ornate features with a blend of industrial give this place a very chic feel. Great array of beers and other drinks and serves food too, so a great all round bar for any night out. One of Melbourne’s popular spots.

 

 

 

The Croft Institute

5. The Croft Institute

Set in the middle of Chinatown is this rather odd nightclub-cum-bar. An experience for sure. This one didn’t make our favourites list as not all of us have been here. We can see it will become a favourite.

 

 

 

With such a great response from our app customers, you can be pretty certain that visiting one of the above top 5 Melbourne bars will be a great experience. If your favourite bar or pub is not in the top 5 Melbourne bars, download Best Melbourne Pubs and bars and “Like”your favourite pubs and bars and let everyone know Melbourne’s top pubs and bars.

Liking pubs and bars is easy in the Best Melbourne Pubs and Bars app for iPhone.