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.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

 A lazy Melbourne Pub Crawl!

The east side of Melbourne’s CBD is a little quieter with fewer shops and more offices. During the weekend this area becomes very quiet and many visitors find that most of the night life opportunities are closed.  It is a little sad really as there are a few hotel options in this locality and travellers can be left wondering why did I come here.? But hidden away in some of the back streets and major roads that become quiet at the weekend, are some great pubs and bars. Here is our pick of some great bars to explore if you are in the east end of Melbourne’s CBD.

The Deck

Located off King Street, just north of Flinders Street and hidden down a back alley behind the pub, is a small rooftop bar called the Deck. This is an interesting little bar, although actually it is not that little, with a view out over the railway track to South Melbourne. Our first visit here was in the rain (so typical of Melbourne) so its appeal was not that great. But you cannot let a bit of rain mar your view on a bar!  So a few days later we returned to bask in glorious sunshine.

 

Highlander

Highlander bar was a nice surprise when we stumbled upon its doors. Meeting the rather lovely lady owner, we chatted about her plans and the ambience of the bar. She told us about the proposed plans to create a rooftop bar, which last time we visited had not started. This is a sumptuous and sassy bar and is certainly a good place to take a first date!

 

 

The Mint

The Mint is a little bit more up market than many of the bars in the east end of Melbourne’s CBD and is handy to Flagstaff Gardens. Adjacent to a rather ornate historic building, there is a nice atmosphere to this place and a sort of a view over the tarmac to the adjacent building.

 

 

All these bars can be found easily in the Best Melbourne Pubs and Bars 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.

 

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.