Best things to do in Melbourne in October
Initially launched to celebrate the NGV’s Escher exhibition Between Two Worlds from last summer, Sofitel Melbourne on Collins has decided to continue running its successful black and white afternoon tea experience. The Monochromatic High Tea is running at Sofitel’s first-floor café Sofi’s Lounge. Punters can enjoy sweet treats inspired by MC Escher’s black and white works, including black sesame waffle cones with salted caramel, passionfruit and coconut chiboust filling, flourless vanilla opera cake with blackened coffee gel, ash profiteroles filled with lime meringue, and a "Black Rose" raspberry sponge with blueberry jelly, raspberry, rose and white chocolate mousse on a hazelnut dacquoise base. All dishes are served on custom-made high tea stands, so you can tuck into charcoal scones and an assortment of finger sandwiches in true Escher style. Each dish has been crafted by Sofitel’s pastry chef David Hann. Guests will also receive a glass of sparkling wine, Madame Flavour loose leaf teas and espresso coffee for $55 per person. You can also up the ante by signing up for free-flowing sparkling for $65, or replenished sweets and savoury dishes for $70, or high tea with Taittinger Champagne for $85 per person. Monochromatic High Tea is available on weekdays until October 31 with two sessions at noon and 3pm.
If you weren’t trotted along to dance classes as a kid then the prospect of lighting up the dancefloor might seem a little intimidating. But much like painting, singing or filing a tax return, dancing is something that anyone can learn given the right instruction. And you can find that instruction at Footscray Community Arts Centre. FCAC wants to get you off the couch and into the dance studio with it’s Let’s Dance workshop series. Want to have the best moves at Revs? Sign up for a hip hop class with Hena Mimishi of not-for-profit L2R Dance. With a background in not just hip hop, but jazz and contemporary dance too, Mimishi will get even those with two left feet kicking it to a soundtrack of ‘90s and ‘00s hip hop and R’n’B hits. For something you can really let loose to, try an Afro-Colombian dance class with Karen Bravo. Set to the rhythmic sounds of drums, marimbas and shakers, Bravo will teach you the style of dance favoured by Pacific and Carribbean people of Colombia. This dynamic class is guaranteed to work up a sweat. Live out your Billy Elliot fantasies with a contemporary ballet lesson. Jasmine Dwyer from the Australian Ballet Education team will take dancers through warm ups before teaching a series of movements inspired by both ballet and contemporary dance. Or perhaps you crave the glitz and glamour of Bollywood? In that case join Joshinder Chaggar’s Bollywood dance workshop and learn routines straight out of Mumbai. At FCAC you can also learn dancehall – a
Some exhibitions bring you joy. They lift your spirits by capturing the sublime beauty of the world, the whimsy of nature and the base altruism of humanity. This is not one of those exhibitions. Hope Dies Last self-identifies as “one of the most depressing events of the year,” promising to leave audiences emotionally crippled and wracked with negativity. It puts the dead in deadpan, examining our own mortality, suffering and failure through the lens of gallows humour. The exhibition (which is coming to Gertrude Contemporary and Margaret Lawrence Gallery as part of Melbourne Festival) picks away the final threads of hope that stop you from spiralling into the void. Hope Dies Here features works like Tony Garifalakis’s ‘Fucking Optimism’; a large black and red felt banner overlaid with ‘so much for my Fucking Optimism’ in a gothic typeface that serves as a fairly unsubtle metaphor for the entire exhibition. Unsurprisingly Hope Dies Last contains adult themes so be mindful it may be unsettling. Bring a pal along for emotional support if you must but as Hope Dies Last ominously states, “we all arrive at the final exit alone.” Hope Dies Last is on at Gertrude Contemporary from Oct 5-Nov 9, and at Margaret Lawrence Gallery from Oct 18-Nov 14. Discover more, less disheartening events to check out at this year’s Melbourne Festival.
One of Melbourne’s largest and most delicious markets is now running tasting tours. Preston Market has launched Saturday morning food tours that curates some of the tastiest products on offer at this northside food hall. The 2.5-hour tour walks guests through the market, introducing them to traders who will talk them through what they have on offer and how best to use their products in their own kitchens. As well as getting to try organic produce, fresh seafood, deli items and Preston Market’s winning paella, guests on the tour will also get to try more unusual foodie finds like crocodile meat (which we’re informed can be cooked easily on a sandwich press if you want to jazz up your sad office lunch). The Flavourhood tours run roughly twice a month, are $20 per person and include a progressive breakfast, coffee, Preston Market eco bag and a $5 market voucher. Tours are limited to ten people per tour and you can book online to secure your place.
It's the end of the festival as we know it. Starting next year, Melbourne Festival is joining with White Night to create an as-yet-unnamed mega winter festival, which will run from August 2020. But director Jonathan Holloway is ensuring this iteration of Melbourne Festival goes out with a bang, with a spectacular and eclectic program. For theatre lovers, there's a new international work starring Maxine Peake as the enigmatic Nico and Anthem, and a new collaboration between some of Australia's leading creatives. Music fans will lap up gigs from the Flaming Lips and Joan As Police Woman, while Japan's legendary TeamLab will be showing three new video works in a free exhibition. See our highlights from the 2019 line-up.
Melbourne’s coolest summer music and arts festival, Sugar Mountain, didn't get a run this January, with the month coming and going without a single sweet note. But just as the Village People famously sang, you can't stop the music, and Sugar Mountain will ride again this spring. On Saturday, October 26 Sugar Mountain returns to Melbourne with a eight-hour booty-bopping festival at the Melbourne Arts Precinct. While line-up details are still sketchy, we do know for certain that the famously fantastic Boiler Room 360-degree DJ stage will be making a comeback. Boiler Room was brought to Australia from the UK by Sugar Mountain back in 2013 and quickly became a fan favourite thanks to wild sets by the likes of Honey Dijon, Gerd Janson and Beppe Loda. This year the Boiler Room stage has promised the same calibre of international and local artists with the line-up to be revealed soon. And as usual, the whole set will be broadcast live around the world. Keen festival-goers can nab tickets to Sugar Mountain before the line-up drops, with early bird tix on sale now.
It’s been almost a decade since soft-rock supergroup Seeker Lover Keeper released their self-titled debut album. The trio is the brainchild of three of Sydney’s most prominent singer-songwriters: Sarah Blasko, Holly Throsby and Sally Seltmann. After years of solo tours, the threesome are back with their new album Wild Seeds, which they co-wrote and stripped back vocally to make room for bigger lyrics and harmonious melody that’s sure to seep into their upcoming performances around the city this spring. Seeker Lover Keeper will be playing two shows in Melbourne: one at the Corner Hotel in Richmond and one at Sooki Lounge in Belgrave (so those in the outer burbs need not worry about having to schlep into the city). The trio will also be playing a regional show at Theatre Royal in Castlemaine.
Some come to the Show for the rides, others come to marvel at award-winning cakes, the incredible woodchoppers, the pavilions filled with baby animals and champion dogs… or maybe we’re all just united in a mutual love of show bags. Running from Saturday, September 21 until Tuesday, October 1, this year’s Royal Melbourne Show is set to take the annual festival to new heights with the promise of dinosaurs, parades and even robots. Let's start with the animals, the original stars of the show. You can get up close and personal with cows, sheep, poultry, dogs and even alpacas or rock up to one of the shows to see if you can pick the winning animal. For those just looking to cuddle a lamb or baby chicken, the petting zoo is usually heaving with families (and everyone else) looking for a dose of cute. This year, guests can visit the brand-new Jurassic Creatures pavilion where you can bring out your inner paleontologist and meet some friendly animatronic dinosaurs. There’s also the Future Pavilion where you can learn about (and play with) fun new technologies like virtual reality as well as enjoy robot demonstrations, a gaming precinct and a digital shopping experience. Foodies at the show are also well catered for. Sure, you could go for the traditional dagwood dog or cloud of fairy floss, but the Show has far more gourmet options awaiting in the food pavilions. Watch which stalls the crowds are drawn to – it's a great way to find some tasty (and often local) nosh. The show
One of the most talked-about installations during the NGV's blockbuster Triennial exhibition was a room in which a whirlpool was projected on the floor. If you walked into the room, the virtual water would eddy around your feet, creating a mini-whirlpool where you stood. Join others in the room, and you create mini aquatic patterns of virtual water flowing, whirling and reforming, interacting with everyone in the room and their space and movements. It was mesmerising, brought people together and was downright fun. In fact, during one afternoon, all of the people in the room decided to circle the room, as if dancing the hora, creating one giant whirlpool. The creative enterprise behind that installation is Japan's TeamLab, an art collective whose members include mathematicians, architects, CG animators and engineers. Everything they do is cutting edge but also community-oriented, driven by the latest in technology but a very human need for connection. Virtual flowers bloom in visitors' hands, a moving garden of real orchids reacts to the presence of those who stroll its paths, and projected koi flit around people's ankles, able to be scooped up and held before diving back into the water in the floor. During one show in a prestigious gallery in London, one team member who had been up for two days straight finishing the installation fell asleep on the floor two hours before the art-loving crowd came in. Being English, they didn't want to disturb the exhausted man, or perhaps
One of the world's most famous illusionists, Scott Silven has sold out shows around the world. He's also a mentalist, able to read minds (or at least simulate reading them very effectively) and predict the future. The site for his show is, fittingly, the Spiegeltent, which seems an apt space for feats of telepathic prowess and sleight of hand. The show promises to be jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring and full of old-school grace and charm. The Scottish mentalist has a way with words, weaving a clever patter into his magic act. A natural raconteur, Silven is as charming as he is skilled. Wonders is 'an intimate walk through the corridors of the mind', with plenty of jaw-dropping moments and 'how'd he do that?'s. If you can't get enough of the mentalist, you can also book in for an intimate three-course dinner with him, during which he will read diners' minds and dazzle the small audience with his mental acuity. It's pretty expensive – $400 – but how do you put a price on magic?
More things to do in Melbourne this month
Find all the best art exhibitions in Melbourne over the next few weeks.
If the chill isn't enough reason to take your culture indoors, then something below should take your fancy. There are a stack of musicals, plays and ballets opening in Melbourne this June. We're particularly looking forward to Malthouse's fresh, one-woman take on Wake in Fright and Melbourne Theatre Company's lavish staging of Storm Boy.
Guess what? Not everything in Melbourne costs a bunch of money. From art shows to coffee tastings, there are a bunch of things to do in this fine city that you can do for free – here are our favourites.
These are the best places to eat in this city right now: the freshest, most inventive and memorable venues, ranked by our expert local editors.
Here is Melbourne viewed through the bottom of a glass: from its world-beating cocktail lounges to its down-and-divey saloons. These bars represent the pinnacle of Melbourne drinking.
Borrow your nanna's tartan shopping trolley and venture out to one of Melbourne's best markets for farm-fresh produce, designer homewares, vintage fashions and tasty street food.
From food to laneways, drinking to ghosts, these tours are the best way to get to know a different side of Melbourne.
We've scoped out the best activities Melbourne has to offer kids of all ages, and even a few that will keep the whole family entertained.
If you're looking for a break from the inner-city grid, there's no better cure than a day trip from Melbourne. The state of Victoria is full of friendly neighbourhood towns, whether you're in the mood for a winery tour, a road trip or a national park to explore.
Looking for a movie to see this week in Melbourne? Check out the latest releases in Australian cinemas, all reviewed by Time Out critics.