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.

 

 

 

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.

 

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.

Melbourne Skyline

Another rainy Melbourne day!

Sharing a cold beer or nice wine with mates on a warm Melbourne summer afternoon is one of our favourite past times. Especially if you can get an outdoor bar, and extra special if it is on the river. We have visited all the 250 or so bars and pubs in Melbourne CBD, Docklands and South Bank and here are three of the best for relaxing on the Yarra, drinking outdoors.

 

To find these bars and many more easily, download our Melbourne Pubs & Bars iPhone app – walk around Melbourne CBD and be guided not only by our reviews, but also which venues people have “Liked” the most. In our app when you visit a bar you can tick you “Like” it, and that you have visited it too – so when next looking for a bar you haven’t been to you can see them on your iPhone quickly.

 

Transit Lounge

Transit in Federation Square

Cool views over Melbourne CBD

A hidden Melbourne rooftop bar, you will find this gem above Taxi restaurant – which itself is above Transport, on Swanston Street in the corner of Federation Square touching Princes Bridge. The bar isn’t very big, but with the rooftop area added in you can fit in a good crew here if you are looking to impress out-of-town mates. With gorgeous chesterfield chairs and couches this bar has been decked out tastefully.

 

See more on Transit.

 

 

 

Riverland

Image of Riverland their website

On the river and great on a warm balmy night

A very popular bar on a sunny day, this Melbourne riverside bar has a lot of outdoor space. Perfect for Pimms in a cool summer breeze, pretend you are in London (or atop Madame Brussels – another of our favourite, and quirky Melbourne bars).

 

After a large sporting event at the MCG, Rod Laver Arena or ??? this bar is usually packed, as it is the closest “cool” bar to these grounds. So check for major events before trying to sample this top Melbourne bar.

See more on Riverland.

 

Ponyfish Island

Ponyfish Island

The closest you can get to the Yarra without a boat!

We’re saving the best til last. In such an innocuous spot, this brilliant little bar is on the Yarra underneath the pedestrian footbridge from Flinders Street Station to South Bank. About halfway across the bridge from the Flinders Street Station side, look to your right for some stairs and wander down. You will see a unique bar literally on the Yarra River.

 

In summer this bar rocks on, the music is funky and it can often get crowded by late afternoon on the weekend – so get in early and perch yourself with a drink overlooking the river and Melbourne skyline.

 

See more about Ponyfish Island on Facebook.

Flinders Street StationMelbourne is famous for its multitude of bars, pubs and clubs with perhaps the main attraction being those hidden lane way bars that always seem so elusive. Then there is the attraction of the gorgeous rooftop bars with views over the city and the experience of the night wrapping itself around you whilst you savour a refreshing drink. But now there is even more to Melbourne.

 

Melbourne’s Waterfront Bars and Pubs

 

The Wharf Hotel

Ahhhh! Beer and Water!

Over the years the spotlight has turned a little with some fabulous venues opening up right on the Yarra River. Many bars have been around for a long time, such as Riverland, nestled between the banks of the Yarra River and Federation Square.  But in the past few years some new venues have graced the waterway with Pony Fish Island opening on the pier for the pedestrian walkway from Flinders Street to Southbank. Two new pubs have also opened, The Boatbuilders Yard and The Wharf Hotel further downstream towards Docklands.

 

Beer and Water is always a good combination

 

 

Troy and Jonno recently ventured down the river to seek out the Boatbuilders Yard and The Wharf Hotel. Sadly the images on the internet of the Boatbuilders Yard make the place look quite awesome, so I was a little disappointed when I got there. It is a little more expensive than other Melbourne bars too.

It was however, a glorious evening walking over the bridge to Southbank from where my taxi driver dropped me off. (Note to Taxi drivers – buy yourself Best Melbourne Pubs and Bars app – it will make you look good!).

Boatbuilders on the YarraSo what could be better on a summers evening than heading down to the water for a nice refreshing beer?

Having your mate buy you a beer when you arrive!