The Yarra Valley is renowned for its abundance of wineries, local produce and stunning views and with so many places to visit it’s no wonder the Yarra Valley is a favourite destination for so many.
It all started quite humbly 22 years ago (with a program of only a dozen events) as the brainchild of advertising veteran, Peter Clemenger, who had recognised that Melbourne was in dire need of reinvigoration. Fast forward and those events have grown exponentially in festival history to over 200 annually.
Continue reading “Melbourne Food & Wine Festival (27 Feb to 15 Mar 2015)”
Take a little break from what you’re doing right now and join me in getting to know some of Melbourne’s funky inner suburbs.
These inner city suburbs I’m about to introduce you to are a stone’s throw from Melbourne CBD making it so easy to access by public transport, on foot, by bicycle and of course, by car if you have it available to you.
Continue reading “Hop, Skip, Jump from Melbourne CBD: Get to know our “inner side”!”
Hang on; Valentine’s Day is this Friday!? For those not romantically inclined, this popular day for celebrating love can seem to creep up way too soon after Christmas and New Year’s Eve. With limited time to sort something out or for those who need ideas for next time, here are some suggestions on what to do together on Valentine’s Day in Australia’s city of love: Melbourne.
Melbourne is bursting at the seams with new food and drink hangouts amongst old favourites. Enjoy afternoon cocktails at Naked in the Sky; the rooftop bar is very popular due to its massive range of infused vodkas and fancy cocktails, trendy atmosphere and spectacular unspoilt views of the city. Afterwards there are plenty of eateries along Brunswick Street in Fitzroy, for something not too fancy but still absolutely delicious, try the oriental delights at Rice Queen. However, Valentine’s Day is a day to spoil your loved one somewhere small, intimate, quiet, special and has exceptional food and wine. You then can’t go past Zio’s Restaurant in East Melbourne, set in a small terraced building; Zio’s has a range of food to cater for all tastes in the perfect setting for a romantic dinner, if it’s cold there’s even a few wooden fireplaces. There’s no better way to spoil the one you love than to get them Zio’s famous chocolate soufflé for dessert, it’s heavenly.
Valentine’s Day luckily falls on a Friday, so why not spread the romance over the rest of the weekend! If the weather is nice, Melbourne is scattered with many parks and gardens to explore. The Cranbourne Botanic Gardens, around an hour out of the city is a huge park showcasing Australia’s large variety of beautiful native plants; the park is perfect as a lunch spot and a walk. Your traditionally romantic English-style gardens such as the Fitzroy Gardens and the Royal Botanic Gardens provide stunning settings for picnics, there are plenty of paths to walk around and the lush green grass is perfect to lie on for a bit of relaxation.
Melbourne is only a few hours’ drive to the rolling green pastures of the Yarra Valley, an area synonymous with romance. A day in the Yarra Valley region can easily be done by car and at your own pace. To impress your loved one on Valentine’s Day you can’t go past tasting fine wines at the Dominique Portet cellar door set in a romantic French style building. The Yarra Valley Dairy cannot be missed for their award winning marinated fetta, perhaps take a cheese platter and sit out on their deck taking in the serene views of the valley. A few hours can also easily be spent at Hedgend Maze, hidden down a dirt track; this delightful hedge maze is great fun. You are given a list of clues and you need to match the clues with various objects you find in the maze to be able to solve the mystery. There’s also mini golf, Frisbee golf or relax in the beautifully manicured gardens with an ice cream.
Melbourne is known for being a food-lover’s paradise and the Victorian capital has more than its fair share of cutting-edge restaurants. However, there is one particular team of chefs and restauranteurs that is dominating the food scene in Melbourne. They are Adam D’Sylva, Mykal Bartholomew and Kate Bartholomew, and between them they run the two hatted restaurants, Coda and Tonka.
D’Sylva, co-owner and head chef of Coda and Tonka, is an awarding-winning chef with extensive experience in the industry. Influenced by his mother, who was a passionate chef, D’Sylva says that food was at the core of his Indian and Italian upbringing.