The best tattoo parlours in Melbourne
In recent years, tattoos have become increasingly common, with people from all walks of life investing in the art. But it’s as important as ever to take the time to investigate the many parlours and artists that are around to discover which ones suit your unique tastes and needs. Here, we take a look at some of Melbourne’s best tattoo shops and some of the inspiration behind the work. Appreciate good art? Take a gander at our guide to the best street art in Melbourne.
The best Russian delis in Melbourne
Melbourne has a thriving Eastern European community, thanks to the wave of migrants who arrived in the 1970s and '80s. As a result, we can find plenty of locals stocking up on familiar flavours at a variety of delis in Melbourne's south-eastern suburbs. Russian cuisine is typically hearty and comforting due to the long winters. The cooking tends to feature starch heavily, coupled with pickles, cured meats, beetroot and cabbage. So whether you're an experienced cook or like taking culinary adventures, these Russian delis will provide ingredients for a Russian feast. Shop on at the best markets in Melbourne and find more of Melbourne's best restaurants while you're at it.
Flower delivery services in Melbourne
These online florists (and local flower shops with easy online ordering options) have you covered for same-day deliveries of beautiful flowers. If you'd rather send something longer lasting, there are plant delivery services too. For more gift ideas, see our guides to the best florists in Melbourne, best chocolate shops in Melbourne and the best plant nurseries.
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The top five winter experiences to have in Ballarat
We’re just going to say it: Ballarat is made for winter. The city seems to welcome the cold with a big open-armed hug, offering new kinds of experiences, exciting adventures and even after dark festivals filled with awe-inspiring light projections. If you’re planning a weekend away to Ballarat this winter, be sure to plan it around one of these great experiences. Head to a magical Christmas in July festival Throughout winter, Sovereign Hill is hosting Winter Wonderlights (Jun 29-Jul 21) a Christmas in July festival where punters can taste limited edition treats, frolic in faux snow showers and gaze starry-eyed at more than 15 kilometres of fairy light displays. The dark midwinter nights at Sovereign Hill will also be lit up by large-scale light projections that will be shown on 25 different buildings. There will even be a new “light tunnel” to walk through and a European-style street market. Have an adventure in Ballarat’s city centre The City of Ballarat is presenting a bunch of fun experiences over winter including the Ballarat Activated ArtWalk that lets you bring artworks across the city to life using your smartphone. Speaking of tech, the Ballarat Mining Exchange will be hosting the Winteractive Arcade (Jun 29-30 & Jul 13-14), where you’ll be able to take part in a multiplayer game of Snake and try augmented reality (AR). Plus, get your skates on for a pop-up ice skating rink, which lands next to Ballarat Town Hall from June 29 to July 21. See Sumatran tigers at
Melbourne’s Great Architectural Baking Competition
To celebrate 150 years of built environment education, the University of Melbourne is hosting a Great British Bake Off style competition. The brief: to recreate Melbourne’s architectural icons in baked form. The competition is open to the public, so if you’ve got what it takes to whip up a gingerbread Flinders Street Station or a Black Forest Federation Square, register online before Monday, 22 July to be in the running. If you're in it to win it, there are cash prizes up for grabs across three categories: general public ($2500), student ($1000) and People’s Choice ($500). Final judging will take place on Sunday, August 18, when the public is invited to view and vote on the best buttercream building or sponge skyscraper, alongside a panel of food, design and architecture experts. Visit the competition website for more information, and start drawing up plans for your meringue masterpiece.
Score a footy lover’s feast every MCG match day at the Cliveden
There’s no escaping the fact that in Melbourne the footy season means winter, and winter means cold, blustery days at the MCG. But locals embrace the chilly match days with gusto, rugged up in footy scarves and half-heartedly eating soggy yet scaldingly hot meat pies. As it turns out though, your match day dining need not be restricted to overpriced, oversalted tuckshop food. Just over the road from the MCG lies the Pullman Hotel, and boy does its restaurant and bar know how to whip up a footy lovers' feast. Every day that there’s a game on at the ‘G, in-house bar and restaurant the Cliveden hosts a feast that’s perfect for fueling up pre or post-match. You’ll want to loosen your belt a few notches before you get started on this mighty menu created by executive chef David Albert. The Cliveden's winter feast features gourmet sausages, grilled chicken thighs, slow-cooked meatballs with passata and a roast beef carvery complete with homemade gravy, mustards and condiments. Footy fans on their way to or from a match at the 'G will also get plenty of sides, including jacket potato wedges, freshly baked rolls (plus herb and garlic bread), three types of soups and new potato salad. There’s even something for the footy-loving veggo with a vegetarian pasta and pizza (you can also grab a slice of supreme or pepperoni pizza too). And just like at the MCG, the Cliveden offers fresh doughnuts (jam-filled or iced) as a sweet snack. The footy lover’s feast at the Cliveden Bar and Dini
The ultimate winter weekend in Ballarat
The autumn leaves have fallen, the fireplaces are roaring and Ballarat is ready to be explored. You may not have realised this, but Ballarat does winter exceedingly well. Think mulled wine, hearty meals, ice skating and even a bonanza winter festival filled with faux snow showers and 15-kilometre fairy light displays. Don’t know where to begin? Give this handy itinerary a crack. Saturday morning First things first, check yourself into your accommodation for the weekend. Our pick? The newly refurbished Provincial Hotel on Lydiard Street. This heritage listed hotel received a polished makeover in 2018 and it’s looking as sleek as ever. Think Aesop bath products, mish-mashed art, velvet armchairs, freshly cut flowers and super comfy beds. Saturday noon Now it’s time for a hearty lunch. Winner Winner is a new addition to the Ballarat food scene and they’re serving American-style fried chicken by the barrel load. The menu lets you choose your meat (tenders, dark meat, wings, fried tofu and crumbed mushroom) which comes with a choice of side (go for the mac and cheese with herb crumb) plus sauce, a pickle and white bread. Saturday afternoon After lunch, head out for some shopping around Ballarat town. There’s plenty of beautiful homewares stores (try Provincial Home Living and Wen & Ware Living), clothing (Studio GAS Ballarat) and gifting (fragrance boutique Sweet Fern is a must). Then settle into the bar at Mitchell Harris Wines for a toast to the weekend. Saturday e