Now that we have well and truly slipped into the depths of Winter, and it feels like the weather here hates us, it may feel like it’s time to become a hermit, permanently stationed in front of the fire, cuddled up with Netflix and an endless supply of hot choccy. However in this great city of ours, this is never the only option. Although it’s in a temperate climate and has temperamental weather, Melbourne never sleeps (or hibernates). Not even in this dismal weather.

Bombay Sapphire Project Botanicals Pop-Up Bar

To kick off and get you out and about, the much-anticipated the Bombay Sapphire Project Botanicals Pop-Up Bar will be invigorating Melburnian taste buds. From June 24 – July 11, Melbourne will again host a pop-up bar and dining experience centred around booze. Some of our creative bartenders have collaborated with Bombay Sapphire and chef Gary Mehigan to craft ten botanically inspired cocktails paired with ten exotic dishes. Tickets are $45, and each ticket includes two cocktails and two paired dishes. Almond Blossom Martini anyone? Or perhaps a Juniper Sublime G & T? One of everything please.

For more information, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/BombaySapphireAustralia

Bridge Road Film Festival

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If you really really feel like cuddling up and watching a movie, why not do it socially? The Bridge Road Film Festival runs through autumn and winter, screening classic films in a classic old building – the Richmond town hall. The iconic building was was built in the 1890s and had its interior renovated in the 1930s, giving it a luxurious art deco vibe. You can kick off at 5:30, start your night off with a classic, before wandering around Richmond discovering some of Melbourne’s best bars and restaurants. Best thing is, it’s free! So you have more money for cocktails later.

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com.au

Wool and Wine Knitting Nights

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Need a scarf for those chilly nights in Richmond? Try making your own! What coud be more “Winter in Melbourne” than knitting classes in a cafe? Running Thursday nights and Saturday afternoons throughout July, August and September, knitting-enthusiasts at Classie are hosting cosy 3-hour wool and wine sessions, where you’ll be treated to classes for learning the knitting basics or to fine-tune your already forged skills. You’ll get bamboo needles and yarn for your first project, as well as a drink included.

For more information, please visit: http://classie.com.au/knitting-class-melbourne/?t2=1&t3=4&ti=2&ref=wntext

International Food Festival 

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Perhaps after all that alcohol, a nice weekend family outing is in order. On August 16, the festival grounds at the Werribee Racecourse will turn into a playground for food and culture for its International Food Festival. With dishes from over 30 different cuisines simmering away, Werribee Racecourse will have a large heated food court celebrating culinary delights from all corners of the world. Always been dying to try Ethiopian food? Here’s your chance. The festival will not only serve up exotic food, but you can also try your hand at pottery, or perhaps try your liver at wine-tasting while the kids go for a camel ride.

For more information, please visit: http://festivalsofsouthasia.org.au

“David Bowie Is” at ACMI 

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Time to return to the city. Prepare to have your mind blown by ACMI’s upcoming “David Bowie Is” exhibition, straight from London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. The exhibition tells the story of the boy from Brixton who became an international cultural icon, giving patrons exclusive access to the Bowie Archive. It includes legendary costumes, original stage set designs, handwritten lyric sheets, album artwork, rare photographs, interviews with collaborators; the list goes on. This is the exhibition’s only Australasian venue so you wouldn’t want to miss this one!

For more information, please visit: http://www.acmi.net.au/exhibitions/bowie/

“Unplugged Live” at the NGV

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If your musical palate is more for the new and up and coming, rather than acquired to the past greats, Unplugged Live may be to your taste. One could potentially hibernate at the NGV this winter seeing as they have a plethora of unmissable upcoming events. From July 5 – August 9, The Ian Potter Centre will be hosting some of Australia’s best musicians and songwriters such as Megan Washington, Oh Mercy, Olympia and Thelma Plum, for an intimate performance and conversation program, celebrating the the creative intersections between art-making and music. “Unplugged Live” will showcase six emerging and established musicians over six weeks through a conversation and short live performance. This event is breaking the barrier between us everyday folks and the greats of the Australian music industry. And the best part: these events are free.

For more information, please visit: https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/program/unplugged-live-7/?dateNo=0

“The Masterpieces from the Hermitage: The Legacy of Catherine the Great” at the NGV. 

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For a more traditional museum experience, flex your art history muscle at “The Masterpieces from the Hermitage” exhibition at the NGV. With the “A Golden Age of China” and “Shifting Gear” exhibitions soon coming to a close, the NGV is about to turn it up for the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series. Opening July 31, this new exhibition features over 400 works from the personal collection of Catherine the Great. For those who aren’t aware, Catherine the Great (reigned 1762-1796) was the Peggy Guggenheim, or Yoko Ono of the 18th Century, collecting as well as commissioning an enormous number of artworks from illustrious artists such as Rembrandt and Velasquez. Not only this, but she was fiercely passionate about education, and was a powerful woman of innovation and reform. If had to describe what I hope to get from this exhibition in a word: inspiration.

For more information, please visit: http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/exhibition/masterpieces-from-the-hermitage/

David Zhou’s Wine + Yum Cha 

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Finishing off with food of course, warm up with steamed dumplings and a wine jacket. David’s Restaurant is almost synonymous with Melbourne multiculturalism and Chinese cuisine, and Australia is almost synonymous with good wine. Established in 1989, David knows what he’s doing. Over three nights in winter, June 23, July 4 and August 1, David’s Restaurant in Prahran will be hosting three wining dining events centred around the combination of Chinese cuisine and Australian wine. Red or white? From Shanghai Chardonnay Dinner to Pinot Noir Yum Cha, take your pick. In Cantonese, “yum cha” translates to “drink tea,” but David’s team will potentially improve the glorious yum cha by swapping the tea for wine.

Tickets for the first dining event at: http://blog.winetastingevents.com.au/shanghai-chardonnay-dinner-2/

Keep warm with a Hot Chilli Chocolate at Beer Deluxe

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Melbourne’s favourite pub Beer DeLuxe is known for its craft and international brews, but for a limited time only the iconic Melbourne beer haunt is now serving Chilli Hot Chocolate.
Serving all throughout winter, this delicious dark chocolate beverage is spiced lightly with chilli and features an almighty chilli garnish – perfect for those dare devils who like their drinks with a kick.
Beer Deluxe is at Federation Square, Melbourne. Visit www.beerdeluxe.com.au for more information.
Cirque Africa visits Melbourne
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Cirque Africa brings the world’s best circus acts from Africa to the Australian stage for the very first time. Cirque Africa is a world-renowned acrobatic circus performance that is unparalleled in its energy and excitement. Having toured the globe, it is coming to Australia for the first time in 2015 and is sure to impress those who appreciate theatre, music and African culture. The show is a combination of acrobatics, theatre, song and dance. Cirque Africa is a celebration of African culture, both new and old and has been described as the ‘greatest show from Africa’.

The highly-skilled cast is made up of 38 of Africa’s finest aerial artists, jugglers, stilt dancers, contortionists, clowns and more. While the core of the cast hail from Tanzania, the show draws influence from the musical cultures of Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, Gambia and Zimbabwe. The cast will be dressed in over 200 one-of-a-kind African costumes and will be joined by an eight piece live band.

For more information on the show and how to book tickets please visit www.cirqueafrica.com.au. Ticket prices vary depending on seating area.

Truffle Melbourne

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The world’s tastiest game of hide and seek returns to Melbourne. Once again, truffle enthusiasts, growers, Melbourne foodies and the just plain curious will gather at the gates of Truffle Melbourne, all with the same aim – to taste and enjoy one of Australia’s secret food industries – Truffles.
Attracting some of Australia’s biggest names in food, the event will host the likes of global cooking sensation Guy Grossi, renowned French truffle master Chef Philippe Mouchel and Masterchef favourite Sam Gant, among many others leading the live truffle cooking demonstrations in an amazing art-deco heritage venue that is The Centre, Ivanhoe on July 11 & 12.
For more information and tickets visit www.trufflemelbourne.com.au

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