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.

 

 

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AFL Finals are almost here

On August 25, 2013, in CBD, by Jonno

The footy seasons is getting the the very pointy end of the competition and with just a few rounds left, the top spots could be strongly contested. And what better way to enjoy the end of winter than with a weekend in Melbourne catching a few footy games.

 Dukes Hotel reopens

The great news is, that the Dukes Hotel on the corner of Exhibition Street and Flinders Street has reopened. Sadly on our footy trip we actually missed this bar which is so handy for the MCG and Rod Laver Arena. The bar has a more functional feel to it with a clean and contemporary finish. Large TV’s in the front bar make a great spot to watch the game (if you cannot get a ticket). With a healthy selection of beers, including a few craft beers on tap, this is a great additional to the Melbourne’s bar scene. To the back is what might be called a lounge bar. It’s a little nicer in decoration and accesses an alfresco area fronting Exhibition Street. Again there is a great selection of beers on tap, so the Duke can cater for the more discerning beer drinker as well as locals. Being close to the MCG you can expect that the Duke will become a popular pre and post game pub. They plan to open a restaurant upstairs away from the crowds and the noise, so that will also be worth looking into next time we are in town.

Like an old friend coming home

Like an old friend coming home

 

A few bars have also closed and will be removed from our app in the next update. The odd bar Maitai has closed, but was never a nice place anyway. A bit too clinical for our liking and the owner was a bit strange too! No great loss as far as we are concerned.

 

New Melbourne Bars

 

If you know of a new bar that has opened or is due to open, drop us a line at info@appenism.com or use the contact us feature in the app.

Yes it’s Good Beer Week in Melbourne and to celebrate we have discounted Best Melbourne Pubs and Bars to just 99c.

BEST MELBOURNE PUBS AND BARS

BUY THE APP FOR 99C 

18 – 26 MAY 2013

If the price is not shown as 99c – go to our Home Page and email us and let us know.

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.

 

 

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.

 

It’s spring carnival time in Melbourne…

Horses at the Melbourne Cup

 

and that means horses, horses and yes, more horses. A day at the races is a great day out in Melbourne and what better race than heading to Flemington to watch the Melbourne Cup.

 

 

 The race that stops the nation!

Ladies dressed fro the Melbourne Cup

Ready to watch those fillies

The Melbourne Cup was started in 1861 and has now been running for 151 years.  The race covers a staggering 3.2km (3,200 metres) and starts at 3pm on the first Tuesday of November. It has been labelled as the race that stops a nation, but in reality it just stops Victoria as with the different time zones across Australia many people are at work! It is however, the richest two-mile handicap horse race in the world and is said to be one of the richest turf events.

One of the lovely things about race day is how wonderful many of the ladies look. The Sydney Morning Herald has a review on this years fashions.

 

The greatest winners

Phar Lap

The horse with a big heart

Perhaps the most famous horse to win the Melbourne Cup was Phar Lap in 1930 as the odds were 8-11 making it the shortest-priced favourite in Cup history. Racing Victoria website has some more facts on this horse. However Phar Lap is not the fastest horse to complete the Cup, winning in 3:27:75.

The fastest horse to win the Melbourne Cup was Kingston Rule winning in 3:16:30 in 1990.

 

winner of the Melbourne Cup 2003, 2004 and 2005The best performing horse was Makybe Diva winning the Cup in 2003, 2004 and 2005.

Surprisingly the first and last wins were in a similar time at 3:19, but her second win was a time of 3:28, showing what a significant difference the weather and track conditions can make.

 

Where to celebrate that win!

If you are one of the lucky one’s and get all dressed up for a fabulous day of racing, you will be thinking to yourself, where shall we go after the races?

Our friends at the Martini bar let us know that they are open from 5pm (in the Westin Hotel) and we thought that would be a great place to head after the races. Another great bar is the Gin Palace -  currently the number one “liked” bar in Best Melbourne Pubs and Bars.  Scrolling through all the most “liked” bars is a great way to find an excellent venue after the Melbourne Cup. If you cannot decide where to go, then why not try our lucky dip? This great feature in our Best Melbourne Pubs and Bars app will select a local venue for you.  Don’t fancy that venue – well, pick again and again and again – until you find a bar that tempts you! The app will guide you there effortlessly.

 

Can’t make it to Flemmington?

If you are stuck in the city and cannot get to the race track, then our friends at the Westin Hotel have a great alternative:

Westin Hotel Collins StreetWatch the race that stops the nation at The Westin Melbourne’s Lobby Lounge. Treat yourself with our Contemporary High Tea. A modern twist on the traditional and includes an aromatic coffee or Jing tea herbal infusion, savoury delights, sweet temptations and of course, the classic scone. A wholesome experience on Melbourne Cup Day…nothing can beat it.  From $49 per person or $59 per person including a glass of Chandon NV Brut.

Booking is essential, please call 03 9635 2222 or email hightea@westin.com

 

 

 

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.

 

 

CITY CIRCLE TRAM PUB TOUR

On September 17, 2012, in CBD, Docklands, by Jonno

All Aboard – It’s Free!!!

City circle tram – free pub crawl!

Our business is reliant on the sale of our app for the iPhone, which many will know, will guide you to almost every pub and bar in Melbourne’s CBD, Docklands and Southbank. We think we have em all, but, hey even we can miss one or two! Every now and again it’s great to share some of our in- depth research with our followers. So this month we have pulled together a great little tour around the city with 4 great pubs / bars for you to visit and some interesting things to look at on the way. When the sun is out and the mercury rises above 20 degrees, what better way to pass an afternoon, than by wandering the streets of Melbourne?

 

Great Pubs and a Free Tram Ride

Firstly, we must point out that being drunk on the tram is not acceptable – so take it easy!

The city circle tram does bog laps (as my other half would say) around Melbourne CBD every day between 8am and 6pm. It’s a great way to see the city and get familiar with where you are and where everything is. It is also a great way to explore some of Melbourne’s interesting bars and attractions. The great thing is – it’s free!

This great little tour takes you to the four edges of Melbourne, starting in the north and ending in the west. As its using the tram you can go in any order you like, but we think the order we have selected fits an afternoon session rather nicely.

Head to Flagstaff, where a very short walk will get you the The Mint. Located in an old house, this is a bit of a posh sort of place, but the al-fresco area is nice and secluded and over looks a great historic building. The food here is pretty good too as we often come here for a burger and a beer to discuss business when in Melbourne. Having a good feed is always a good way to start a session we find.

 

Jump back on the tram and head to Parliament. Well, it was many years ago when Melbournians thought they ruled the country (some in Collingwood still think they do!).  True to political form, the pollies egos became too big and they needed their own state, Canberra. On the bright side, it’s handy for porn and drugs we hear (never been there). My favourite quote on Canberra is from Bill Bryson. Canberra – slightly better than breaking a leg.

 

Siglo rooftop barThere are a few options in the Parliament area, so we have 2 choices. For those wanting to have a “posh” drink, it is hard to go past Siglo. Their rooftop area is gorgeous overlooking the street tree canopy with hints of the Parliament building popping through. It’s table service here and the wine list makes it worth it. If a pub is more your thing, then the Cricketers in the Windsor hotel will satisfy that thirst for a beer. This bar has become quite famous in Melbourne, not sure why as it really is nothing special. It has recently been refurbished, but it’s really just a different colour.

 

Back on the circle route, head down to Federation Square. This place was so controversial when it was built. The architecture upset lots of people, but I reckon it was a bold and impressive decision not to develop this area in a normal office box layout. The sandstone paving is fabulous and every time we are here it’s normally packed. So a good indication that a lot of people like it! There are two great options here, actually there are more than that but we are losing the point! For a “posh” drink head to Transit, the rooftop bar in the Transport building. Great views over the river out to Albert Park and the city. Want something more beery, well delve deep into the heart of Federation Square to Beer Deluxe. It has everything the label suggests!!!!

It’s hard to leave Federation Square, but our final destination is down in Docklands by the water. The Woolshed pub is a converted warehouse and has a great selection of beers, wines and even some fancy cocktails. The staff were really good here when we visited and being off the CBD circuit I think that they get a more regular office crowd. And friendliness is what we love in our pubs!

 

Enjoy this tour and please don’t get trashed and upset the tram driver, you’ll spoil it for every one. We reckon a pint in each bar is more than enough, before you settle in at the Woolshed.

 

 

 

Explore Melbourne’s Historic Lanes and Bars

Melbourne is a very historic city as far as history goes for cities in Australia. Thankfully it’s history is actually celebrated and much of the fabulous architecture that made Melbourne a capital city has been retained. A walk around Melbourne can be a great day out for people who love cities and old buildings.  Because of this old architectural way of creating space and dealing with what was required, Melbourne has some elegantly planted wide streets and fantastic lane ways shadowed by marvellous warehouses. It is in these great hidden lanes that Melbournians and visitors alike can explore and find some great cafes and bars.

Hardware Lane

Starting at the bottom of Hardware Lane, by McDonalds and the car park you will find the excellent Campari. This is a great venue with a nice cafe style restaurant on the ground level, a venue-cum-function room in the middle and a superb rooftop bar nestled in between the high rise offices of the CBD. This is one of the bars I head to when heading into Melbourne CBD as it offers so much variety and I must confess to have a a liking for roof top bars!

 

A little further up the lane over Little Bourke Street, you’ll be immersed in restaurants and spruickers plying for trade. Technically this “spruicking” is illegal under the Melbourne by-laws, but this makes it less intense and a more friendly approach to tempt you to one of their tables. It is what makes Melbourne a great city in which to eat. Generations of migrant families have worked these streets and this is how they have always worked. Think of it more as a tradition (and one that is fiercely protected up in Lygon Sreet). For those looking for a quieter, more intimate drinking experience, there are two bars located in the restaurants.  Amigos downstairs is very intimate and has that club feel to it. Next door you will find Charleys, a first floor level bar and again a nice intimate bar. Both these places are great for a romantic date or a quieter evening.

 

For those looking for something that little more noisy, at the end of Hardware Lane is the  Golden Monkey. A subterranean bar with some great sounds to help you party the night away.

 

 

Further along, once you cross over Lonsdale Street, you’ll come across Pug Mohones, a great Irish pub hidden from passer by on the busy Melbourne Streets. This is a nice place to hang with a pint of the famous black stuff. Located in an old warehouse, this pub gives you a bit of a feel for old Melbourne.

 

As always, the best way to find all these great bars is to download Best Melbourne Pubs and Bars.

Will the real James Squire Please Stand Up?

On August 20, 2012, in CBD, by Jonno

 

The James Squire brewhouse

The James Squire Brewhouse is known all over Australia and there is probably not a major town without one (Canberra doesn’t count as far as we are concerned). But there is something strange about the James Squire Brewhouuse in Melbourne. There are two and it is alleged that they have nothing in common! Customers to the Portland Hotel on Exhibition Street will recognise the James Squire signature and branding about the place. You may also notice the beer vats in the corner which brew a local drop only sold in the Portland Hotel.

 Where is the James Squire Brewhouse?

 

The beer taps reflect the standard James Squire range in the Portland Hotel, so anyone would think that is was just a James Squire Brewhouse. Catch a tram down to Docklands where a new James Squire Brewhouse has been built.  This James Squire Brewhouse looks nothing like the Portland Hotel, but is a modern tavern with some rather splendid water views. The tavern itself is nothing special with common pub style furniture in a commercial shell that could have been a supermarket. But on a warm summers night, there are not too many better places to be sipping a cold beer, than overlooking Docklands harbour. Although as nice as the location is, during the day Docklands is quite dead and uninviting. It’s a pity really as Docklands is an area that should be buzzing, not dying.

 

The other James Squire

So back to the Portland Hotel that resembles a more traditional English style pub, with stripped wood floors and a more intimate atmosphere. Oh and home brewed beer, which on my visit was the called “Craic”. Located close to the centre of the CBD, the Portland Hotel is a good pub to meet with friends. Its easy to find in Best Melbourne Pubs and Bars.