The best gay bars in Melbourne
You would think what with the fanfare surrounding Sydney's annual Mardi Gras festival that the harbour city was the clear ringleader of Australia's gay scene, but Melbourne certainly gives its sibling some decent rivalry. After you're all partied out (for tonight), tick off our five ways to show your pride in Melbourne, or up your 'extra-curricular' game by visiting our top five sex shops.
Sex on premises venues in Melbourne
Guys, looking to get some action without navigating Grindr? You can always go to an SOPV. Here are Melbourne’s top five gay saunas and cruise lounges – remember to play safe. While you're at it, check out our list of top gay bars and pick-up bars.
The best outdoor queer-friendly bars in Melbourne
Summer’s the perfect time for birds of a feather to preen themselves, particularly if you're already out and about getting your Midsumma fix. We've found four outdoor bars for al fresco drinking and perving. Looking to push on? Check out the best gay bars and karaoke spots in Melbourne.
Hares & Hyenas
Having been in operation for over 20 years, you’d expect Hares & Hyenas to be a well-oiled machine… but this humble-looking bookshop is more like a super power-packing transformer. Bookshelves stuffed with fiction, biographies, humour, photography, erotica, religion, gender, coming out, fanzines, health and educational tomes can be wheeled away so that the room is adapted into a venue with theatre seating, a stage, and a lighting and sound system. Whatever mode it’s in, there’s a fully licensed bar and café, and an exhibition lining the walls at all times. Hares & Hyenas is the project of Rowland Thomson and Crusader Hillis, who met at Melbourne University in 1975 and became partners a few years later. In the 1980s, Hillis owned an art-house video shop in Elwood, while Thomson co-owned Dizzy Spinners on Brunswick Street – an early incarnation of the current Polyester Records. In 1991 they joined forces to open Hares & Hyenas, which moved all over Melbourne before settling in Johnston Street’s Spanish quarter, where they’ve been made to feel welcome. “The changes in 20 years are fairly staggering,” notes Thomson. “People only used to come in wearing sunglasses.” It’s now become a hub for not only the queer community, but anyone interested in socialising in a literary setting. Hares & Hyenas plays host to two book groups, a stitch’n’bitch, ButchFemmeTrans, Rainbow Girls and Rainbow Guys, to name but a few regular meet-ups, and has put on 350 spoken word events. “We also did
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Say it with sandwiches
Everyone loves a good sandwich, so show a mate how much you care about them by sending them a limited edition Helga's sandwich from August 29 to September 2. Helga's 'Say it with Sandwiches' sees them team up with TV food personality Justine Schofield to create five delicious limited edition sandwiches that will be handmade and delivered within 10 kilometres of the Melbourne CBD. Each sandwich costs $6 and all proceeds will be donated to Foodbank – just $6 allows the charity to provide over 10 meals to people in need. In all, 'Say it with Sandwiches' aims to provide over 10,000 meals for people doing it tough. Hungry yet? Here's your delicious sandwich line-up: Monday August 29Thanks a grain: Salami, ricotta, eggplant, and semi-sundried tomatoes sandwich with Helga's Mixed Grain Tuesday August 30Have a whole meal on me: Roast pumpkin, onion jam, and provolone sandwich with Helga's Traditional Wholemeal. Wednesday August 31Gift wrapped for you: Smoked salmon, horseradish cream, radish and rocket sandwich with Helga's Mixed Grain Wraps. Thursday September 1Let me rye you lunch: Miso pulled pork, miso mayo, and crunchy cabbage salad sandwich with Helga's Light Rye. Friday September 2For your great white appetite: Chicken schnitzel sandwich with Helga's Traditional White. Order now to send a sandwich to a buddy or loved one. Last chance to order your preferred sandwich is noon the day before your chosen delivery date. Orders will be delivered by a Helga's scooter and
Thailand Ladyboy Superstars
If you’ve been to Thailand, then no doubt you encountered the country’s obsession with cabaret performers known as ladyboys: Thai beauty queens, singers and dancers dressed head to toe in intricate costumes dripping in diamantes, feathers and sequins. This September, more than 20 of Thailand’s most highly regarded performers from some of the country’s most prestigious cabaret shows will make their way to St Kilda for a show that is hilarious and filled with talent. While the show isn’t vulgar and there is no nudity, this one’s adults-only for its cheeky, sexy performances and jokes. They’ll be performing under the Big Top in St Kilda on the St Kilda Triangle in the Lower Esplanade. Tickets are now on sale and start from $49 – get on it now!
The best places to host your Christmas party
Always wanted to host your Christmas party at a beautiful venue in a central location? The Melbourne Venue Company look after some of the city's most sought-after event spaces, from pubs to restaurants.
The best Sunday roasts in Melbourne
Melbourne pubs do long, weekend lunches very well, especially when hearty roast meals are involved. We've rounded up some of the best around town, from classic dishes with all the trimmings to gastropub takes on old favourites.