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Cassidy Knowlton

Cassidy Knowlton

Editorial Director, Time Out Australia

Cass Knowlton is the editorial director of Time Out. She covers events, the city and the built environment, public transport, things to do, travel, some restaurants and bars, some theatre and arts – all kinds of things! She grew up in New York City and spent five years in Dublin before moving to Melbourne in early 2007. She has a master's degree in journalism and spent seven years at Australian political publication Crikey. She plays roller derby, so if she's not out enjoying Melbourne's rich and diverse cultural life, she's probably putting wheels on her feet and smashing into people.

Reach her at cass.knowlton@timeout.com or connect with her on Twitter and Instagram: @Cassper_K

Articles (138)

26 Melbourne tourist attractions that don’t suck

26 Melbourne tourist attractions that don’t suck

When you live in a city, you tend to avoid the popular tourist traps and attractions in favour of things that are off the beaten path like hidden bars or secret gardens. But with lockdown forcing us into five or ten-kilometre bubbles, perhaps you've grown a newfound appreciation for those things that draw people to our city during normal times.  Let's be real, a lot of tourist attractions are simply money sinks. That's why we've rounded up 26 experiences that we think are actually worth your while and showcase the best that Melbourne has to offer.  For more inspiration in Melbourne, work out your bucket list with 101 things to do in Melbourne before you die, or munch your way through the city with the 50 best restaurants in Melbourne. 

The top 10 moments in Hamilton that make audiences absolutely lose their sh*t

The top 10 moments in Hamilton that make audiences absolutely lose their sh*t

It's difficult to overhype¬†Hamilton, the Pulitzer- and multi-Tony-winning musical now playing at Her Majesty's Theatre. Fans of the show (and there are many) have seen it dozens of times, and¬†hundreds of thousands¬†of people around the world can recite every word.¬† It's the kind of show that encourages and rewards obsessive fandom, and part of that is the numerous showstopping, fist-punching moments sprinkled throughout. There is something magical about sitting in a theatre when audiences lose their collective minds, releasing those¬†joyous whoops en masse. Here are the moments to look out for so you can¬†get ready to get excited.¬† 1. "Alexander Hamilton. My name is Alexander Hamilton." ‚Äď Hamilton, 'Alexander Hamilton'¬† The first "hell yeah!" moment happens 80 seconds into the show, and it's one of the biggest.¬†Hamilton opens with a rapid-fire¬†summary of its titular hero's life until the moment he left the British West Indies for New York at the age of 19. The first to speak is, fittingly, Hamilton's frenemy Aaron Burr, who is the other major character (or some might say the real protagonist) of this supreme two-hander. War hero and Hamilton confidante John Laurens has the next line, followed by fellow Founding Fathers Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.¬† And then... the man himself. Alexander Hamilton steps downstage into the spotlight to introduce himself to the crowd, who inevitably bring the show to a complete stop with wild applause. Jason Arrow, who plays Hamilton so brill

What it's like to join Australia's most ambitious one-woman show

What it's like to join Australia's most ambitious one-woman show

It's very difficult to overhype The Picture of Dorian Gray, which sold out its run at Sydney Theatre Company, then travelled to Adelaide, back to Sydney, then to Melbourne and is headed to Broadway. Critics have been unanimous (and effusive!) in their praise for the show, with five-star raves across the board.  The show, in case you've been living under a dramaturgical rock, is a one-woman production of Oscar Wilde's famous novella, created by STC artistic director Kip Williams. Its star, Eryn Jean Norvill, plays 26 characters, with giant screens featuring recorded material of her in various guises swooping all over the stage. Norvill is accompanied on stage by a team of adept (and very athletic) videographers, who record her live and then beam her into the screens, to fall in love with, fight, run from, run towards, dine alongside and even murder various versions of herself. Norvill is just jaw-dropping in the role, delivering the kind of performance for which the term 'tour de force' was devised. But with an exhausting national tour and the bright lights of the Great White Way beckoning, it became clear that expecting Norvill to perform eight shows a week ad infinitum might be a tall order.  The production approached Australian stage and screen star Nikki Shiels to double the size of the cast as an alternate performer, to understudy the role if Norvill couldn't go on and to give her the chance to catch her breath. Shiels is an extremely accomplished performer with dozens of

The 22 things you learn in your first year in Melbourne

The 22 things you learn in your first year in Melbourne

In a normal year (and yes, this is still not a normal year), some 70,000 new people make Melbourne their home. That's in addition to the 2.7 million who visit our gorgeous city. To all of you, we say: Welcome! We hope you love it here. But the city has some things you'll need to learn quicksmart to fit in.¬† 1. Where you live will define you forevermore.¬†Are you a northsider or a southsider? Do you love quinoa and tofu Buddha bowls or find them pretentious? The beach: too hot, too sandy, too salty, too crowded, or blissful escape from the summer heat? You're going to have to pick a side, and it will define the rest of your life in Melbourne. Sure, it's not illegal to move across the river, but we've never heard of anyone actually doing it. 2. You're going to need a footy team.¬†And no, we're not talking rugby or *shudder* soccer. AFL is big business in Melbourne, and opting out isn't really an option. You can pick a team for any reason ‚Äď you live in the suburb that nominally calls it home, you like the uniforms, you think the captain looks cute in those shorty shorts ‚Äď but once you have one, no take backsies (the exception is if you have been assigned a family team at birth ‚Äď in that case you are allowed to change teams ONCE). Don't be like Bill Shorten. 3. It's pronounced 'Pran'.¬†Yes, we know, it looks like Prah-RAHN, but trust us, it's Pran. And while we're at it, it's Bo Morris, no matter how French the name Beaumaris looks.¬† 4. You're not going to find 'Jeff's Shed' on a ma

How to rent those e-scooters you're seeing everywhere

How to rent those e-scooters you're seeing everywhere

Melbourne has always been a pedestrian-friendly city, and we have excellent public transport. Heck, trams are even free within the CBD. But public transport is old news, and walking is so passé. Suddenly everyone in Melbourne seems to be hopping aboard e-scooters and riding in style. But how do you get one of these prized rides? There are two companies participating in a trial of 1,500 e-scooters in Melbourne, Lime and Neuron. The lime scooters are white with green accents, and the Neuron are bright orange. To start scooting, you need to download the Lime app or the Neuron app (or both, which is probably the smart thing to do). When you find a scooter, scan the QR code with the in-app scanner. If the scooter is available and charged, it will then unhook the helmet for you and you can get on your way. You can use the Lime or Neuron apps to find available scooters near you, and you can reserve one for 15 minutes while you get to your ride. Both apps charge $1 to get them started and 45 cents per minute, or you can rent them for a day for $15. You can ride them anywhere in the municipalities of Melbourne, Yarra or Port Phillip, but the power will shut off if they go outside of those council areas.  I tried to get a scooter twice on the weekend, with mixed success. The first time was about 10pm on Friday night in Southbank, and while there were a lot of scooters littering the promenade, almost all had dead batteries and were unavailable. The map in both apps is imprecise at best,

Why these Hamilton fans can't get enough of this show

Why these Hamilton fans can't get enough of this show

It's kind of impossible to talk about the phenomenon that is Hamilton without talking in hyperbole. It's been seen by close to 15 million people. It won 11 Tony Awards and a Pulitzer Prize. The Mirror urged readers to "sell everything you own to get your hands on a ticket". The Telegraph agreed it was "the greatest show on Earth". Time Out Sydney (OK, it was me) said it was the "apotheosis of theatregoing".  But just what is it about the show that resonates so damn much?  "It was an artwork that fed almost every mental and emotional need that I had for about six months," says Hamilton fan Katherine Sivieng. She had the soundtrack on repeat, to the exclusion of any other music, for a solid six months after discovering it in 2016. "At that point in time, that obsessive period, Hamilton was the work of art that answered every need that I had. When I was sad and I wanted someone to relate to my sadness. It captured this beautiful sorrow. When I was sad and needed to be cheered up, it was something that I could get lost in the joyous music. When I needed escapism, it was a story to escape to. When I needed realism for life. It is a story that contains the human experience or many elements of the human experience. When I was feeling work frustrated and was writing a job application, it was captured ambition and was a great soundtrack to write a job application to. When I was in the office at 9pm at night trying to muddle through spreadsheets, it was a song to dance along to so that

101 things to do in Melbourne at least once in your life

101 things to do in Melbourne at least once in your life

Whether you're a first-time visitor to Melbourne or have lived here all your life, there are some absolute must-do Melbourne bucket list items. Yes, we may be biased in saying that Melbourne might be the greatest city on Earth ‚Äď although Melbourne has consistently ranked as among the world's most livable cities. But we reckon if you give a few of these experiences a whirl, you'll agree with us.¬† Melbourne's food, drink, coffee, art, theatre and sport culture are among the best in the world, and we reckon you should try to experience every single one of them at least once before you die.¬†So here is¬†our ultimate bucket list:¬†101 amazing¬†things to do in Melbourne right now, plus Melbourne attractions, great restaurants, bars, fun¬†festivals and everything in between. For a deeper look into two of our greatest pastimes ‚Äď eating and drinking ‚Äď browse our guides to Melbourne's best restaurants and best bars.

The best day trips from Melbourne

The best day trips from Melbourne

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. These one-day escapes are just what the doctor ordered, so get out there and explore Melbourne's beautiful backyard.   

The best flower delivery services in Melbourne

The best flower delivery services in Melbourne

We've all forgotten about an imminent birthday, anniversary or Valentine's Day present ‚Äď and we‚Äôre not proud of it. But, luckily, that's why same-day flower delivery services exist. Order from these florists and plant nurseries by around midday and they'll be delivered later that evening, and no one has to know that it was last minute.¬† For more gift ideas, see our guides to the¬†best florists in Melbourne, the¬†best chocolate shops in Melbourne¬†and the¬†best plant nurseries. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click¬†here. I'm looking for: FLOWER DELIVERY PLANT DELIVERY¬†

The best winter getaways from Melbourne

The best winter getaways from Melbourne

If you have a tendency to go into hibernation mode when winter rolls around, you're not alone. Melbourne's winters are cold, wet and painfully windy, and leaving your house can be a bit ask. But for the brave among us who are eager to embrace the cold, there are several amazing winter getaways worth bundling up for. Hit the slopes and then soak in mineral-rich hot springs, or hunker down in a cosy cabin fitted out with a roaring fire while sipping whisky and warming yourself up from the inside. Whatever kind of winter getaway you're after, here are our favourite spots for a cool-climate caper.  Looking to embrace the cold closer to home? Here are the best things to do in Melbourne this winter.   Please check with venues directly for opening hours.

Your guide to Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2022

Your guide to Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2022

There's something absolutely electric about Melbourne during the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. The festival takes over the city like no other, and you're guaranteed a good night, whether you book a big headliner or just take a punt of a name you see on a flyer at Town Hall. Our reviewers have been sussing out the best of the fest this year, from big names to newcomers to watch out for. Here are some of the best shows for MICF 2022. 

Hot springs you can soak in near Melbourne

Hot springs you can soak in near Melbourne

What could be more luxe and relaxing than soaking in blissful hot water? Whether you’re looking for a chilled-out day trip or a weekend away with friends, these hot and mineral spring havens are easily accessible from Melbourne. As well as the mineral spring resorts in Daylesford and the ultra-popular hot springs on the Mornington Peninsula, there are a smattering of hidden oases waiting to be explored across Victoria. Take a look at these great escapes and plan your next soak. Can't make it to the Mornington Peninsula? Here are some of the best spas and bath houses in and around Melbourne.

Listings and reviews (211)

Rhys Nicholson: Rhys! Rhys! Rhys!

Rhys Nicholson: Rhys! Rhys! Rhys!

5 out of 5 stars

After snapping up the awards for Best of the Fest at Sydney Comedy Festival and Most Outstanding Show at Melbourne International Comedy Festival earlier this year, Rhys Nicholson is coming back for seconds with two more shows at the Comedy Store on Thursday, July 7 and Friday, July 8. Check out our in-depth interview with Nicholson here and read on for our review of their new show: I had a moment of trepidation when perusing the program for this year’s Comedy Festival. Would the great Rhys Nicholson, missing from last year’s program and now a bona fide television star with both a Netflix special and a starring role as a judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, be too big to do a local show? But luckily for Aussie audiences, Nicholson is back, bringing their signature dry humour, arch sensibility and slightly oxymoronic combination of manic energy and world-weary ennui. This show both is and isn't about the pandemic and the past two years, as the neat praeteritio trick of "let's not talk about it, I don't want to talk about it, but..." lets Nicholson both respond to and ignore the lockdowns and attendant trauma. Like a lot of people, he used the lockdown to do some introspection and came to the conclusion that they were non-binary (Nicholson's preferred pronouns are either he or they). The show isn't really about that, but it is a jumping-off point for stories and jokes, including a side-splitting protracted bit about his childhood decision to lean into his own creepiness and c

Come from Away

Come from Away

5 out of 5 stars

When gloal hit musical¬†Come From Away touched down in¬†Melbourne last year, this big hearted show was an unexpected salve in the wake of lingering hard times. Now the show is set to recommence a national tour in 2022, landing at Comedy Theatre, Melbourne from August 27. Tickets for the¬†Melbourne season¬†are on sale soon, and you can sign up for the waitlist¬†here. Read on for our review from the 2021 season: There is something perfect about¬†Come From Away¬†being the¬†first¬†theatre back on Melbourne's main stages. The musical is set on 9/11 in the tiny town of Gander, Newfoundland,¬†to which 38 planes were diverted when United States airspace was closed in the wake of the terrorist attack. The almost 7,000 passengers on board, terrified, claustrophobic and desperate for news about what was happening, were taken in by the people of Gander and surrounding towns, nearly doubling the population for five days. The townsfolk gave them food, shelter and most importantly, kindness and comfort during the most horrific time in recent American history ‚Äď until 2020, of course.¬† The underlying message of kindness and compassion in the face of unspeakable horror is one that's sorely needed right now. When the planes begin to land, the women of Gander¬†start up a collection for donations, with a song that could have been penned last year: "Can I help? Is there something I need to do,¬†something to keep me from thinking of all the scenes on the¬†tube? I need something to do 'cause I can't watch the ne

Roller Disco Brunch

Roller Disco Brunch

At the Roller Disco Brunch you‚Äôll be partaking in just that: a brunch with intermittent twirls around a retro roller skating dancefloor. And this new party on wheels ticks off just about every¬†hipster Melburnian could want: booze, a retro theme and a similarly old-school sporty activity. They‚Äôll be pumping tracks from the ‚Äô80s ‚Äď the height of the roller skating era ‚Äď while you zoom around the arena. There's an 11am session and a 1pm session, and your¬†$60 ticket includes¬†his ticket includes entry, skate hire,¬†a drink on arrival¬†and a brunch dish. BYO knee pads, helmets and wrist guards ‚Äď they are not required, but safety! You can book online for any session, but they‚Äôre all reserved for those over 18. Be sure to pack your most spangly leotards and extra glitter to nab the best-dressed prizes ‚Äď perhaps forego the flares though, for your own safety.

Come from Away

Come from Away

5 out of 5 stars

When gloal hit musical¬†Come From Away touched down in Sydney last year, this big hearted show was an unexpected salve in the wake of lingering hard times. Now the show is set to recommence a national tour in 2022, landing at Theatre Royal Sydney from November 5. Tickets for the Sydney season are on sale from Tuesday, June 14, and you can sign up for the waitlist here. Read on for our review from the 2021 season: There is something perfect about¬†Come From Away¬†finally landing in Sydney.¬†The musical is set on 9/11 in the tiny town of Gander, Newfoundland,¬†to which 38 planes were diverted when United States airspace was closed in the wake of the terrorist attack. The almost 7,000 passengers on board, terrified, claustrophobic and desperate for news about what was happening, were taken in by the people of Gander and surrounding towns, nearly doubling the population for five days. The townsfolk gave them food, shelter and most importantly, kindness and comfort during the most horrific time in recent American history ‚Äď until 2020, of course.¬† The underlying message of kindness and compassion in the face of unspeakable horror is one that's sorely needed right now. When the planes begin to land, the women of Gander¬†start up a collection for donations, with a song that could have been penned last year: "Can I help? Is there something I need to do,¬†something to keep me from thinking of all the scenes on the¬†tube? I need something to do 'cause I can't watch the news, no I can't watch th

Back the Night side shows

Back the Night side shows

What's better than a Sunday sesh? A free Sunday sesh, of course.  On Sunday, May 29 venues around Sydney will host performances as part of Back the Night, an American Express-backed musical extravaganza for one day only.  Although the main headline event is sold out, there is also a series of side shows around the city that are completely free. DJ sets include the Delta Riggs and Taka Perry at the Colombian rooftop; and IMBI and Bec Sandridge at the Hyde Park House rooftop.  There will also be surprise pop-up street performances from some pretty big names at Taylor Square and Stanley Street, if you'd rather dance at street level.  If all that dancing has you hungry, Mrs Palmer Sandwich is being taken over for the day, with a limited-time menu just for the occasion.  See the venues' websites or the Back the Night website for details. If you'd like to go to the sold-out main event featuring Gang of Youths, Boy & Bear; Alex Lahey; Odette; Bakers Eddy; Bec Sandridge and heaps more, don't despair. Although all tickets have been allocated, you can buy a limited-edition NFT by Boy & Bear. Four gold NFTs are available, and they each come with a double pass to Back the Night. Or if you're a true fan, you can bid on the platinum NFT, which includes super-luxe Back the Night experience and a meet and greet with Boy & Bear themselves.

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber

One of the biggest names in music, Justin Bieber, is finally coming to Australia in November of 2022 ‚Äď and new tickets have just been released for his previously sold-out Melbourne show. It's going to be a pretty big year for Bieber, as his Australian dates¬†wrap up the end of a mammoth 52-date North American tour. It's his first world tour since 2016-17, when he played to more than 2.7 million fans.¬† The new tour is off the back of his successful latest album¬†Justice, which was certified gold in Australia and platinum in the United States. The album has been streamed nearly 9 billion times, and features his smash-hit singles ‚ÄėAnyone‚Äô, ‚ÄėLonely‚Äô, ‚ÄėHoly‚Äô, 'Stay' and 'Peaches'.¬† Bieber holds an astonishing 21 Billboard Music Awards, 2 Grammys, 2 BRIT Awards, 18 American Music Awards and 21 MTV Europe Music Awards. He will play Marvel Stadium on November 26, 2022. A new release of GA standing rear tickets for the Melbourne show go on sale Friday June 3 at midday.

Flight

Flight

4 out of 5 stars

You know the drill: check your boarding pass, find your assigned seat, stow your baggage in the overhead bin and fasten your seatbelt. Make sure your tray table is in the upright position, and make sure your window blind is open for takeoff. On a monitor in front of you, a flight attendant in a blue uniform details the safety features of this aircraft. She explains that you should take a minute to find your nearest exit, bearing in mind it might be behind you. As she adjusts her pink scarf, she... wait a minute, wasn't her uniform blue? The screen flickers and she's back to blue, and you wonder if you imagined the pink. And then the lights go out.  This is Flight, the latest immersive sound experience from Melbourne company Realscape Productions, the team behind the brilliantly scary Séance, which has had two successful runs in Melbourne. That experience was legitimately terrifying, conjuring up nefarious spirits inside a shipping container using nothing but cutting-edge 3D sound design and a few vibrations.  Flight is also in a shipping container, but inside it's been fitted out to look exactly like a plane, including overhead bins, real plane seats and real plane window blinds. If you find real planes uncomfortable, physically or mentally, you'll find this one uncomfortable. And that's before the plane plunges into complete, pitch-black darkness. And then the screaming begins. Those with anxiety about flying will find Flight a nightmarish recreation of their worst fears. Th

Séance

Séance

4 out of 5 stars

"It's only 20 minutes," I think to myself. "How scary could it get for 20 minutes?"¬† I'm sitting in a pitch-black shipping container with my hands on a table in front of me and noise-cancelling headphones over my ears. The headphones are the only sensory input I have ‚Äď for now, at least. And what they're telling me is pretty damn scary. S√©ance¬†is an immersive sound experience created by Brits Glen Neath and David Rosenberg, in collaboration with Melbourne team Realscape Productions. It relies on¬†psychology and our inclination towards superstition to alter guests‚Äô perception of reality, all while never leaving¬†the shipping container.¬† But boy howdy, it sure feels like you are in a real s√©ance. The host of the s√©ance goes around to each guest in turn, asking if they are alone, asking if they are believers, and giving instructions. The soundscape is exquisitely precise ‚Äď I could point with unerring accuracy to where in the room the host is at each moment, and I dread the time when he comes to ask me some hard questions.¬† And of course, as is usually the case with s√©ances in art, things don't go strictly to plan, and spirits don't stay contained in the places you'd hope. That's when things get really scary ‚Ästand 20 minutes will feel like a lot more.¬†¬† Read about three other Darkfield experiences in Melbourne this month.

Art After Dark

Art After Dark

There's something very exciting about being in museums or other cultural institutions well after closing time. That's what makes initiatives like NGV Friday Nights¬†and Rising¬†so exciting.¬†And although many European museums and galleries have special late-night sessions, Melbourne hasn't had a dedicated late-night cultural event ‚Äď until now.¬† The¬†inaugural Art After Dark kicks off¬†for two days only on Friday, May 13 and runs until Saturday, May 14, with a series of exciting events set to light up the city. Melbourne institutions like¬†the National Gallery of Victoria¬†(both NGV International and the Ian Potter Centre),¬†Arts Centre Melbourne,¬†Fed Square, ACMI, the State Library of Victoria and Melbourne Museum¬†will be open until 1am, so you can get your cultural fix till the wee hours.¬† State Library of Victoria's La Trobe Reading Room will¬†host a dreamy 360 light projection¬†called Midnight at Pink Lake, while¬†NGV International¬†opens for evening¬†sessions of their exhibitions, including¬†Queer.¬†Melbourne Museum will host Museum Universe, including late-night entry to their exhibitions, IMAX¬†screenings of¬†Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,¬†celestial cocktails, food trucks, and music under the night sky until 1am each night.

Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny

Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny

Here's one for the libertarians: is too much regulation really holding back human happiness? Should people be free to do literally whatever they want?¬† That's the premise of satirical opera¬†Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, written in German by¬†Kurt Weill¬†with a libretto by¬†Bertolt Brecht. The 1930s opera is set in the American Wild West (in this production transplanted, sort of, to Australia), where three crims on the lam decide to found a town in order to fleece its new inhabitants and make their fortune. Four Alaskan lumberjacks, led by our hero Jimmy McIntyre, are drawn to the town's promise and decide to settle there. Jimmy becomes bored with the town's restrictions and eventually suggests a new way of living: total lawlessness. The prospect excites the town's inhabitants, who embrace a completely hedonistic ethos. The results, as you might expect, are not unmitigated bliss. Melbourne Opera's production is sung in English, rather than the original German, and a projection screen at the back of the stage draws overt parallels between Weill and Brecht's original satire and our current world of fires, floods, MAGA hats and political indifference. For opera newbies, songs in English and a recognisable setting make this a good starting place for the genre. For old hands, there's plenty to like ‚Äď and the opportunity to face some uncomfortable truths.¬†

Lorna Café

Lorna Café

Sitting back with a coffee and fresh crumpets in an adorable caf√© in the heart of the Dandenong Ranges might well be the best way to start the day. Lorna Melbourne is the perfect brunch destination for Ferntree Gully locals and Melburnians on a jaunt to the Dandenongs, and it's only a ten-minute drive from the ever-popular 1,000 Steps.¬† The 90-seat caf√© caters to all kinds of tastes, from the kale and quinoa health bowl with dried cranberries, sweet potato hummus to the fried chicken with cheesy waffles, jalape√Īo sauce and gremolata.¬† There are also plenty of lunch options on the menu, like toasties, a Caesar salad and a Miami-style Cuban sandwich filled with roast pork shoulder and pickle relish, a nod to co-owner¬†Omar Viramontes's American heritage.¬†Viramontes co-owns the caf√© with his husband, Josh O'Brien, who have decades of hospitality experience between them. Executive chef Rob Hawke¬†says the menu has a real emphasis on local ingredients.¬†‚ÄúWith a strong focus on sourcing healthy, local ingredients like native Australian kosho and spirulina we‚Äôve ensured a well-rounded delicious and nutritious menu for all our customers‚ÄĚ he says, ‚ÄúThere‚Äôs also the always-favourite southern fried chicken waffles on the menu, because life‚Äôs all about that balance!‚ÄĚ O‚ÄôBrien and Viramontes¬†also own nearby Maria Caf√© in Upwey¬†and Nancy Eatery in Pakenham. They also have a wholesale bakery, Clementine Lane. O'Brien says, ‚ÄúWe just love what we do. We believe in great coffee, service and delici

Larry Dean: Fudnut

Larry Dean: Fudnut

4 out of 5 stars

There's a trend at this year's Melbourne International Comedy Festival that began during last year's weird, domestic-only festival. It's one of much shorter runs, with comedians doing shows for one or two weeks rather than the¬†traditional three and a half.¬† Brilliant Scottish comedian Larry Dean is one such comedian, with¬†just five shows scheduled at the tail end of the festival.¬†So you're going to have to fight even harder for tickets ‚Äď because Dean is definitely worth the scramble.¬† Dean is an absolute master of accents and voices and is able to change his face, posture and demeanour into a variety of characters, from posh lawyers to angry Australian men to a pretty spot-on Gollum. The¬†main¬†story of the show¬†chronicles¬†an experience about being detained by airport security, but that's just a jumping-off point for a frenetic set on everything from relationships to just why Australians speak the way we do. His central theme is one of love and joy, even in dark times, perfectly illustrated by his rapid-fire "sad jokes" set over jaunty music. There's a real poignancy and heart to this show, and even his chosen closing music ‚Äď playing after he'd left the stage and the audience filed out ‚Äď almost moved me to tears.¬† That's not to say this is a sad show, though¬†‚Äď quite the opposite. It's about the power of jokes, laughter and making the most of the time we have. So make the most of the few days left in the festival and book tickets to see Larry Dean.

News (271)

High-rise plan for Preston Market mooted

High-rise plan for Preston Market mooted

A proposal to redevelop the site of Preston Market threatens the character and possibly very existence of the market, with stallholders and shoppers concerned that the fresh food sellers could be squeezed out altogether. Developer Salta Properties plans to redevelop the market site and build 2,200 apartments across towers of 12, 16 and 20 storeys. Under the plans the market would remain, but most of the 120 stallholders would have to move to a new site during construction, though they will be able to continue to trade where they are until the new stalls are ready. The overall footprint of the market would not be reduced, but many stallholders and fans of the market fear the redevelopment would destroy the market's character. The Victorian Planning Authority is considering its submission for planning minister Richard Wynne about the proposal, so the plans are some way from being finalised. But local lobby group Save the Preston Market fears the worst. Unlike Queen Victoria Market and South Melbourne Market, which are run by local government, Preston Market is in private hands. The group is calling on the state and local government to compulsorily acquire the site and prevent the development from going ahead. It has suggested an alternative redevelopment plan that would be much lower rise to preserve the character of the area. Prefer a market for your fresh fruits and vegies? These are the best markets in Melbourne.        

Victoria records fewer than 10,000 cases, lowest hospitalisations in a month

Victoria records fewer than 10,000 cases, lowest hospitalisations in a month

The number of daily cases of Covid-19 in Victoria continues to fall, with the state recording fewer than 10,000 cases and the number of those in hospital dropping below 550.  A total of 9,908 new cases were announced today, from 6,281 rapid tests and 3,627 PCRs. On January 17, Victorian chief health officer Brett Sutton speculated that the state's Omicron peak had passed, as daily case numbers were on the way down. “There’s a lot of uncertainty, but I do think we are reasonably close to a peak if we’re not at a peak already," he said at the time. However, Sutton also warned that the number of people in hospital would continue to rise for some time, as hospitalisations usually trail daily cases by more than a week. The number of people in hospital with the virus has also dropped, from a peak of 1,229 on January 19 to 542 on February 9. About 93 per cent of Victorians over the age of 12 have received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, and 46 per cent of those over 18 have received their booster. Anyone who received their second vaccine on or before November 9, 2021 can now receive a booster dose. You can now get your booster vaccine three months after your second dose. 

After 2 years, Australia to reopen to tourists

After 2 years, Australia to reopen to tourists

Fully vaccinated visitors will be allowed into Australia from February 21. That is almost two years after prime minister Scott Morrison closed borders to international visitors on March 19, 2020.  Since then, only Australian citizens and residents have been permitted to re-enter the country, and until November 2021 even they had to spend two weeks in hotel quarantine upon arrival.  From February 21, tourists can return - provided they are fully vaccinated. "That's the rule," Morrison said. "Everyone is expected to abide by it, and it's very important that people understand that requirement if they're seeking to come to Australia. "If you're double-vaccinated, we look forward to welcoming you back to Australia, and I know the tourism industry will be looking forward to that." Rules differ by state, but at the moment international arrivals have to do either a PCR or rapid antigen test upon arrival in Victoria and NSW and must quarantine until they receive a negative result. For those who opt for the rapid antigen tests, that effectively means no quarantine, as results are ready within half an hour.  Remember when borders were slammed shut? Here's what's happened in Australia during the two years of Covid-19. 

You can rent retro '90s roller skates on St Kilda Beach

You can rent retro '90s roller skates on St Kilda Beach

It might well be a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll, but if you just want to roll, St Kilda Beach might be the perfect spot. Rolla Bae has set up a pastel pink skate hire pop-up on the foreshore so you can channel Heather Graham and get some seaside exercise.¬† Skate hire is $25 for an hour, $60 for a half day and $95 for a full day. These are not just any skates,¬†either ‚Äď they are cute AF Impala artistic skates with outdoor wheels (yes, outdoor wheels are different and yes, it matters) in a bunch of colours ‚Äď rose gold, peach, pink, black, classic white or holographic silver. To complete the look you can also hire bum bags and mini speakers. Safety is very important (believe me, I've seen enough "oh I didn't think I needed gear" horror shows to know), so you can also hire a helmet and knee and elbow pads. They'll even throw in wrist guards for free, and if you don't fancy the idea of typing with broken wrists, you should take advantage of that. I'm not your mum, but wear gear. Seriously. Wear. Gear.¬† Feel a bit unsteady on your feet? The crew at Roller Bae are also on hand to teach you a few tricks to get you rolling.¬† The pop-up is open from about noon until sunset Saturdays and Sundays¬†through summer. Get your skates on! Looking for other fitness ideas? Here are some free, outdoor activities for you to get fit all summer.

'Not an option': you might need 3 doses to be 'fully vaccinated' in Australia soon

'Not an option': you might need 3 doses to be 'fully vaccinated' in Australia soon

Australians might soon have to get a booster dose of a Covid-19 vaccine to be considered 'fully vaccinated', Victorian premier Dan Andrews has revealed.  At a January 19 media conference, Andrews confirmed national cabinet had been discussing making the booster dose mandatory for certain sectors, and that an announcement would be made 'very soon'.  "The health minister last Monday made a number of announcements for a number of different classes of worker... There’s every chance that we add to that list, for the best of reasons. We mandated a number of people, many people across many different sectors, a first and second dose, and I think you’ll see very soon, out of national processes, you’ll see the terminology and the recognition of the third dose be crystal clear." Andrews said a third dose was the best way to ensure protection against Covid-19 and that 'full vaccination' would soon mean a course of three shots. "This is not an option, not an add-on, not 'a good thing to have'," Andrews said. "I think we’re close to a change in policy that will simply reflect the fact that in order to be fully protected, you need three doses, not two plus an optional extra, to in fact be fully vaccinated. You need three. We can all be proud, as a Victorian community, that 93 per cent-plus of us have had two doses. We need to make sure the number of those with a third dose grows every day. It’s a common-sense thing. We need to make it easier for people to get that third dose, and I think Vi

Victorians can now get a booster 3 months after their second vaccine dose

Victorians can now get a booster 3 months after their second vaccine dose

Victorians can now get their booster dose of a Covid-19 vaccine just three months after their second dose, Premier Dan Andrews has announced. This brings the state into line with NSW, which also announced it was shortening the booster dose interval on January 19, as well as countries like the UK and Ireland.  "I’m pleased to announce that, effectively immediately, the dose interval will be reduced to three months across our state for your third dose. So if you’ve had your second dose within the last three months, then you will now be eligible," said Andrews. "That’s on the advice of our public health team, consistent with ATAGI’s broader statement. It’s safe. It’s effective. The total number of people eligible increases substantially by 2 million Victorians and it will help us get more people third-dose boosted quicker than would otherwise be the case." The changes mean that as of January 19, anyone who got their second dose of vaccine on or before October 19 can now get a booster dose, which will be either Pfizer or Moderna.  Coinciding with the reduced interval for boosters, the state has also announced a four-day 'booster blitz', with extended hours at vaccination centres and more walk-in clinics between Friday, January 21 and Monday, January 24. These changes mean the state will be able to offer a whopping 60,000 additional appointments over the weekend. The walk-in clinics include: Royal Exhibition Building (walk-up access available 8am to 8pm daily during the blitz) La

This new Melbourne restaurant will transport you around Victoria

This new Melbourne restaurant will transport you around Victoria

Not content with bringing the best of Gippsland to Melbourne through his 2021 restaurant Farmer's Daughters, executive chef Alejandro Saravia is now going to bring the rest of the state to Melbourne as well at a new 180-seat restaurant in partnership with Fed Square called Victoria by Farmer's Daughters. The menu will change constantly, highlighting produce and wine from a different part of our state¬†with each iteration. The menu will of course be seasonal, using the best possible ingredients from Victoria's farmers, fishers and winemakers.¬† ‚ÄúFarmer‚Äôs Daughters has become synonymous with showcasing a true farm to table experience through a philosophy of sustainability, seasonality and celebrating Victorian produce. Victoria by Farmer‚Äôs Daughters will be an extension of the team‚Äôs passion for regional Victoria, and Fed Square provides the perfect partner and location to bring this concept to life,‚ÄĚ says Saravia. Victoria by Farmer's Daughters is taking over Fed Square's Yarra Building, and¬†as part of a $20 million upgrade from the state government to Fed Square, diners will be able to sit outside overlooking the Yarra.¬† The restaurant will open in autumn 2022. Until then, you can dine at the original Famer's Daughters, which remains committed to showcasing the best of Gippsland. Try the soda bread, it just might change your life. Want to hit the road and experience Victoria's best food in person? Here are our favourite weekend getaways.

Australia leads the world in drunkenness: Global Drugs Survey

Australia leads the world in drunkenness: Global Drugs Survey

Illegal drug use dropped in Australia significantly in the past year, according to the 2021 Global Drug Survey. More than 32,000 people, including 1,663 Australians, answered the Global Drug Survey last year. The survey received research ethics approval from University College London, the University of Queenslandand RMIT University. Australians' rate of alcohol consumption stayed about the same from 2020 to 2021, according to the survey, with about 94 per cent of Australians surveyed reporting they had drunk alcohol in the previous 12 months both this year and last year. Cannabis dropped somewhat between 2020 and 2021, with 65 per cent of people saying they'd consumed cannabis in 2020 and 57 per cent saying the same in 2021. The most significant drop was in MDMA usage, which went from 38 per cent to 26 per cent between 2020 and 2021. The survey does not speculate as to the reason for the drop, but clubs being closed for significant portions of 2021 might play into that change. Australians drank an average of 106 drinks in the previous 12 months, which is significantly below leading country France, where an average of 132 drinks were consumed. Our neighbours across the Tasman also drank significantly more than we did, an average of 120 drinks a year. However, even though we did not drink nearly as many drinks as other countries, Australians reported feeling drunk more often than people in any other country. Australians reported feeling drunk about 27 times in the previous 12 m

You can get $150 back on your bill if you eat out in the CBD

You can get $150 back on your bill if you eat out in the CBD

If you're anything like us, you can't wait to get back into your favourite restaurants and favourite bars in Melbourne. And now the state government and the City of Melbourne are sweetening the deal further, with the return of Melbourne Money to make it even cheaper and easier.  When you spend between $50 and $500 at a hospo venue in the CBD between Monday and Thursday the government will pay 30 per cent of your bill, up to $150. This is even better savings than was offered the first time around, when the government was able to foot 20 per cent of the bill. Claim your Midweek Melbourne Money with these three steps: Pay for your meal in full and make sure you get an itemised receipt with the business name and ABN on it. Take a photo or scan a copy of your receipt and upload it with your contact information, bank details, date and total bill amount via our secure Melbourne Money website.  Your 30 per cent rebate will be credited to your nominated Australian bank account within five business days once your claim has been approved. Check the Melbourne Money website for further details. There is $5 million up for grabs, available at 200,000 venues across the CBD, Carlton, North Melbourne, Southbank, South Wharf and Docklands. There is also $10.4 million available for businesses to be able to offer outdoor trading and dining, as well as infrastructure to support night-time trade. Where should you spend the government's cash? Here are our 60 favourite restaurants in Melbourne.

Three of the elephants at Melbourne Zoo are pregnant

Three of the elephants at Melbourne Zoo are pregnant

Melbourne, prepare yourself for a huge baby boom. And we mean huge. Three of Melbourne Zoo's Asian elephants,¬†Mali, Dokkoon and Num Oi, are all pregnant. And if you thought nine months of pregnancy was uncomfortable, spare a thought for elephants, which are pregnant for a full 22 months before giving birth. Mali, Dokkoon and Num Oi are due to give birth at the end of next year at Melbourne Zoo, and their calves will be half-siblings, as all three are pregnant by Luk Chai, the first elephant ever to be born at Sydney's Taronga Zoo. Luk Chai arrived at Melbourne Zoo in December 2020.¬† ‚ÄúHaving three elephant calves growing up together is ideal for their social development, as a closely bonded herd¬†is so important for elephants' welfare," says¬†Melbourne Zoo Trail of the Elephants life sciences manager Erin Gardiner "This will further strengthen the already wonderful bonds within our elephant herd.‚ÄĚ Photograph: Melbourne ZooAn ultrasound for one of the elephant calves Although the babies will be born at Melbourne Zoo, they won't stay there for long, as Melbourne Zoo's entire herd of elephants will be moved to Werribee Open Range Zoo in 2024¬†when an¬†$84 million extension of their habitat is finished. You can visit the new calves next year and come see proud mamas right now. Now is a particularly good time to visit the zoo, as kids under 16 are free on weekends, school holidays and public holidays.¬† Want more cuties in your life? Here's where to see cute animals in Melbourne. ¬†

Melbourne distillery Craft and Co has created a gingerbread gin

Melbourne distillery Craft and Co has created a gingerbread gin

We're of the opinion that you can't improve on perfection, but the gin-loving folks at¬†Collingwood's¬†Craft and Co have found a way to make gin even better. The distillery has created a Gingerbread Gin, which was one of Australia's best-selling independent gins in 2019 and has won medals in¬†Germany, London, China and Australia. Now the warmly spiced gin is back, tasting of Christmas and ready for sipping neat or mixed into a cocktail.¬† You can order Gingerbread Gin directly from the distillery, or you can get it at retailers like Dan Murphy's. In it you'll taste macerated ginger root, nutmeg, cinnamon and tonka beans, which may bring to mind the warmth of Christmas puddings, holiday candles and of course, the eponymous treat. It comes in a pretty gift box, so it's the perfect gift for anyone on your Christmas list ‚Äď or for yourself.¬† Craft and Co recommends putting the Gingerbread Gin in a Gin Alexander¬†cocktail, with cream and creme de cacao or in Gingerbread Egg Nog, with milk, cream, egg yolks and nutmeg. Or if you want a summery sipper that's more refreshment than straight Christmas, try a Gingerbread¬†Sunset,¬†with Aperol, ginger beer and lime.¬† Want some Christmas spirit to go with your Christmas spirits? Here's to find the most festive Christmas lights in Melbourne.

'Lockdown will end': Victoria announces roadmap out of lockdown

'Lockdown will end': Victoria announces roadmap out of lockdown

Victorian premier Dan Andrews has unveiled the long-awaited 'roadmap out of lockdown', detailing when Victoria will be able to open schools, businesses and entertainment venues. And he said once things opened, they would stay open. "There will be no turning back. We have to normalise this. We have to pass through and pass on from this pandemic," said Andrews.  Once 70 per cent of Victorians have received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine (on October 22) Lockdown will end in Melbourne. People will be able to leave their homes for any reason, at any time. Ten people will be able to visit a home, and community sport can resume outdoors, with restrictions and capacity limits.  Pubs, clubs and entertainment venues can open for 50 vaccinated patrons outdoors and 20 vaccinated patrons indoors. Weddings and funerals can open for 50 fully vaccinated people outdoors and 20 indoors. In regional Victoria, 30 fully vaccinated people will be able to dine indoors. Once 80 per cent of Victorians have received two doses (On October 29 at 6pm) Regional and metropolitan Melbourne will be on the same set of rules. Up to ten people will be able to visit your home per day. Most indoor settings (gyms, hair salons, retail, restaurants etc) can open with no patron caps, provided there is sufficient space for one person per four square metres. Most outdoor settings will allow one person per two square metres, up to 500 people. Those density limits will apply to things like weddings, funerals and events