The best places to host your Christmas party
We've (almost) made it! The end of the year is near, the silly season is upon us and you can practically smell the joy of the summer holidays. Before saying goodbye to your colleagues for a few sweet days or weeks of freedom, let your hair down together and celebrate getting through another year of the nine-to-five office grind with a Christmas party to remember. By this time of the year though, you're bound to be hanging on by a thread, so we've done the hard work for you. Don't waste your last precious drops of energy scrambling to find a venue for your Christmas event, use our round-up below to find the perfect spot to have a glass of bubbly together, and perhaps share too much personal information. Hey, at least you've got the summer break to try and recover from any hangxiety-induced embarrassment! Too many spots on this list booked out already? Check out Old Palm Liquor, Luci, Yugen Dining or Maha North. The lovely folks at CherryHill Orchards are also offering corporate packages this year.
Is this new build-to-rent development the accommodation option you've been searching for?
Perhaps it's because we spent too much money on avo toast, or more likely because the cost of living has risen exponentially in recent times, but the good ol' Australian dream of owning your own home is looking less likely for many Aussies, both young and old. But the challenging housing landscape has also given rise to many new models attempting to provide more realistic and accessible housing solutions – and one of those new initiatives growing quickly in popularity is build-to-rent developments. LIV Munro, located next to Queen Victoria Market, is a pre-eminent example of a build-to-rent development that's attempting to deliver a 'third housing option' by offering the security of owning a home as well as the flexibility of renting, with very few strings attached. The lease is drawn up on the renter's terms with the option to stay for as long as possible. There is no bond required, and there is flexibility to customise and personalise your apartment as you please. And if that wasn't enough, pets are not only allowed, but encouraged. There is also a resident service team, Wi-Fi and white goods are included (with 24-hour maintenance and replacements). Picture a day as a resident at LIV Munro: you start at the health and wellness centre, utilising the lap pool, spa, sauna, gym and yoga studio. You then head downstairs for a coffee at Market Lane, and stock up on fresh produce from market vendors such as Ripe Cheese, Garden Organics and Woodfrog Bakery. You may even pick up
Is the fall of Deliveroo the beginning of the end for delivery services?
Earlier this week, Deliveroo made the shock announcement that it was ceasing operations in Australia, effective immediately. Citing "challenging economic conditions", Deliveroo stated that "achieving a sustainable position of leadership in the market is not possible without a disproportionate level of investment which would have highly uncertain returns." While the announcement sent shock waves across the city, with many customers left disappointed and employees left in the lurch, something Melburnian's didn't suspect was that this sudden closure could signal the beginning of the end for delivery services as we know them. One of Melbourne's hospitality giants, Chris Lucas, has announced that Lucas restaurants have "ceased all relationships with third-party delivery apps and are bringing [its] much-loved takeaway offerings at Baby Pizza and Hawker Hall in-house. This means we can give our crew more shifts and more hours, and we can better control the experience you have at home when you order with us. For those wanting to get their Baby or Hawker Hall fix, you can give us a call or jump on our website." And it's not just Mr Lucas standing up for the hospo industry; Mr Miyagi, the Windsor favourite, has posted an announcement on Instagram overnight, calling out "'blue jacket wearing cyclist' workers" to work for the restaurant group. Mr Miyagi called out the "'blue company'" for leaving 15,000 riders without work: "As the hospitality industry continues to be impacted by a lab
Would you let a robot make your coffee?
When we were young, we thought by 2022 we would have flying cars and all be taking trips to the moon. While it seems advanced technology has been geared towards more important things (can't blame them), Melbourne has just got a taste of the shiny future, with the arrival of a robotic barista. Rovii the robot is the 24/7 robot barista who has taken up residence at Westfield Doncaster. Set to cause a stir in the hospitality industry, Rovii's owners (parents? leaders?), Ilona Liu and Wilson Wang, are setting out to combat systemic labour shortages by establishing an 'always-on' service to Melburnians whom they allege each drinks 203 coffees on average a year (we honestly thought that would be higher?). Ilona says that Rovii has arrived at a crucial time. “Since the pandemic, the challenges felt across the hospitality and quick service industry have been significant," she says. "Staffing is an issue across all areas of hospitality, and Rovii is a solution for this. People in Melbourne have a high standard when it comes to coffee, and Rovii does a great job of exceeding expectations.” Almost all stakeholders in the hospitality industry have suffered from the crushing blow of the last few pandemic years. Countless people lost their jobs during years of endless lockdowns. Many businesses went under as they struggled to make ends meet. Employees faced the harsh reality of losing foreign staff, as well as the nightmare that was rostering staff during forced isolation and quarantin
PSA: Moon Dog is releasing a line of low-sugar, high-ABV summer bevs
Just in time for warm summer evenings, hot and sweaty day parties, beach sessions and all other kinds of summer fun, Moon Dog Brewery is set to release its latest thirst-quenching and ice-cold ready-to-drink (RTD) range: Razzler Alcoholic Disco Nectar. The tasty bevs are set to make a splash not only because of the range of fruity flavours but also because they are low in sugar, making them a healthier option for your summer indulgences. The Disco Nectars contain at least 30 per cent less sugar, calories and carbs than a regular RTD. You are sure to be a popular party guest when you next show up with a pack of Razzlers in hand. Choose between passionfruit, orange-mango, lemon-lime, watermelon or apple-blackcurrant. All five flavours will be available in a mixed ten-pack, and the passionfruit and orange-mango flavours will be available in a four-pack. The creative minds at Moon Dog have managed to lower the sugar without compromising on flavour. Unlike alcoholic seltzers which are a clear liquid with not much flavour or sweetness, Razzlers are colourful, naturally sweetened and still pack a juicy punch. Look out for the Razzler Alcoholic Disco Nectar range launching on October 24, 2022. They will be stocked in independent bottle-os and on Moon Dog's online store. Getting in the summer spirit? Check out Melbourne's best beaches here.
This iconic Melbourne pub is up for grabs – is this your sign for a career change?
The dark days of lockdown may be behind us, but the after-effects of the pandemic are still being felt across the hospitality industry. In sad news, the owners of the Tote Hotel have announced that due to financial struggles, they have made the difficult decision to sell the business. It's a story that unfortunately is not unique, with other late-night Melbourne establishments such as Colours closing its doors in recent months. The Tote needs no introduction. A stalwart of the Melbourne live music scene, it's been a grungy, rowdy party palace for rock and rollers for longer than most can remember. It's the kind of place that has never done things quietly – you may recall the full-scale protest that erupted back in 2010, when licensing laws threatened to shut the place down. And again, it looks like this old dog is not going to go down without a fight – there has already been a strong interest in the land and building since it hit the market just a few days ago. With expressions of interest open until April 6, you've still got time to have a long, hard think about whether you may be the next saviour of this Melbourne institution. Perhaps you have always been keen to crack into the hospitality business, are looking for an investment or are just passionate about owning a slice of Melbourne's history and taking it into its next stage of life. The Tote will continue to host gigs for now until new owners have been secured, and we're intrigued to see what the next proprietors will
These are the most random Guinness World Records held by Melburnians
The Guinness World Records are the global authority on anything, and everything, record-breaking, with official judges who are tasked with verifying records across all corners of the world. And it appears the adjudicators have been busy in Melbourne over the decades, with many Melburnians breaking some impressive, and random, records. From record numbers of fish and chips to gatherings of tall people and the quickest underwear pull-ons, it is fair to say we have an eclectic and rather unusual track record of accomplishments. And hey, we couldn't be more proud. Here are the most random Guinness World Records held by Melburnians: 1. The most swimming goggles put on in one minute In 2018, Shane Crawford (a real jack of all trades...) put on 32 swimming goggles in one minute to crack this record. 2. The largest gathering of Abba impersonators To celebrate Guinness World Records Day in 2011, 368 students, teachers and parents of Kew Primary School in Melbourne gathered to impersonate Abba, singing their way through Waterloo to break the record. 3. The most underpants pulled on in one minute How do you figure out that you are good at something this niche? In 2011, Sheena Reyes broke the record for the most underpants pulled on in one minute when she piled on a whopping 36 pairs on the set of Sunrise. This record was equalled in Japan in 2014. 4. The most people star-jumping This record was broken by Kayla Itsines and her BBG Community in 2016, with 2,192 people star-jump
Treat yo' self: flights to the Northern Territory have just dropped for as little as $84
Book in your annual leave, pack your bags and get ready to make the most of these dazzling deals: Jetstar has just released bargain tickets to the Northern Territory from Melbourne (and other major Australian cities), from just $84. You'll want to get in quick though, as the Treat Yourself deal only runs until 11.59pm on Saturday, February 25. The unmissable offer is available for select fares and travel periods between May and June 2023, which not only happens to be the dry season, but also coincides with a number of exciting events and installations across the Top End and Red Centre including two new experiences: Wintjiri Wiru and Light Towers. Wintjiri Wiru is a spectacular laser light and sound show featuring more than 1,000 drones set against the stunning backdrop of Uluru. The immersive experience combines ancient Anangu storytelling with modern technology, and it will be the first time a drone and laser experience of this magnitude is performed on a regular basis anywhere in the world. Bruce Munro’s much anticipated Light Towers installation at Kings Canyon (just a few hours' drive from Uluru) launches on April 1 and is set to take visitors on an all-encapsulating aural and visual journey. The artist behind the highly acclaimed Field of Light exhibition is sure to wow again with 69 two-metre towers that reflect different colours in response to music. Make the most of these incredible deals and jam-pack as many of the Northern Territory's must-do experiences into yo
Here's your dose of daily cuteness: two baby zebras have just been born in Melbourne
Cute alert! Werribee Open Range Zoo has welcomed two new pint-sized residents: Mamello and Zuka, two zebra foals who were born within just a few days of each other. Zuka, a larger female foal, whose name means to appear suddenly in Swahili, sports the expected black and white stripes. Mamello, a male foal whose name means patience in Sotho and who is on the smaller side has surprised some with his brown and white stripes. Savannah keeper Sharlina Burns said that brown and white stripes can be common for foals as “they still have their little baby fluff. They’ll generally grow into those black and white stripes once they lose their baby fluff.” It appears the pair have been settling into their new home well while sticking close to their mums for safety and comfort. Not only are these little fluffy friends bringing a whole lot of cuteness to the zoo, but they are also playing an important role in conservation efforts. Plains zebras are native to Africa, and sadly, they're categorised as near-threatened in the wild. The population of 250,000 is in decline from threats such as hunting, war, droughts caused by climate change and competition with agriculture. Little Mamello and Zuka, along with their fellow zebra companions at Werribee Open Range Zoo, form part of a regional breeding program designed to maintain a genetically diverse herd. The hope is that this can ultimately support the conservation of wild zebra populations. Those wanting a glimpse of the unique brown and white
Pack your bags: You can fly to Uluru from Sydney for just $99
Book in your annual leave, pack your bags and get ready to make the most of these dazzling deals: Jetstar has just released bargain tickets to the Northern Territory from Sydney (and other major Australian cities), from just $99. You'll want to get in quick though, as the Treat Yourself deal only runs until 11.59pm on Saturday, February 25. The unmissable offer is available for select fares and travel periods between May and June 2023, which not only happens to be the dry season, but also coincides with a number of exciting events and installations across the Top End and Red Centre including two new experiences: Wintjiri Wiru and Light Towers. Wintjiri Wiru is a spectacular laser light and sound show featuring more than 1,000 drones set against the stunning backdrop of Uluru. The immersive experience combines ancient Anangu storytelling with modern technology, and it will be the first time a drone and laser experience of this magnitude is performed on a regular basis anywhere in the world. Bruce Munro’s much anticipated Light Towers installation at Kings Canyon (just a few hours' drive from Uluru) launches on April 1 and is set to take visitors on an all-encapsulating aural and visual journey. The artist behind the highly acclaimed Field of Light exhibition is sure to wow again with 69 two-metre towers that reflect different colours in response to music. Make the most of these incredible deals and jam-pack as many of the Northern Territory's must-do experiences into your tr
The new five dollar banknote is set to honour the culture and history of First Nations people
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are advised that the article below includes the names of some people who are now deceased. The Reserve Bank of Australia has just announced what will replace the portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the new $5 banknote... and it's not going to be King Charles III. Following consultation with the Australian government, the RBA has confirmed that the next iteration of the banknote design will instead honour the culture and history of First Nations people. The RBA will undertake a consultation process with First Nations people to design the banknote, which will then take a number of years to be fine-tuned and printed. So don't throw out your purple fivers just yet (or ever, actually – they will still be fit for use after the new banknote is issued). The decision follows a number of other notable inclusions of First Nations people and culture on Australian banknotes. For example, in 1966, the first $1 note included a design based on the bark painting by David Malangi Daymirringu, depicting imagery of Indigenous rock paintings and carvings. And the $50 banknote in current circulation features David Unaipon, a proud Ngarrindjeri man from South Australia, known for being an activist, author, musician, preacher and inventor. We can't wait to see the new design. Got a few fivers lying around? Check out the best cheap things to do in Melbourne.
Guide Dogs Australia is seeking Puppy Rasiers for their first baby labradors for 2023
Here's some adorable news to brighten your day: Guide Dogs Australia has welcomed its first litter of pups for 2023. A labrador named Febe has given birth to six healthy lab pups: two male and four female, three black and three yellow. The first litter for the year is always an extra special one, with Leah Willet of Guide Dogs Australia commenting that "there’s just something about the first litter of the year – they remind us we’ve got another beautiful year ahead of working with these amazing dogs to help them take on a life-changing role in our community". Generally, the names of each litter of pups would begin with the same letter, with the Guide Dogs team cycling through the alphabet as each new bundle of joy arrives. For example, a recent 'C' litter featured the names Casper, Connie, Cassie and Cara. But given the next letter up was 'X', and no working pooch can have the same name (Xanthe and Xia were already taken), an exception was made and staff members were tasked with naming each pup whatever they wanted. So, without further ado, meet your first official Guide Dogs Australia labrador pups for 2023: Soda, Honey, Joyce, Rocket, Jina and Beau (we're not crying, you're crying). So what's in store for these puparoos now? The little labs will spend their first two months with mum Febe, before being welcomed into the homes of volunteer Puppy Raisers for 12 months. These Puppy Raisers will provide caring environments and play a crucial role in transforming these pups int
Want to do something good in 2023? Become a volunteer Puppy Raiser for Guide Dogs Australia
Here's some adorable news to brighten your day: Guide Dogs Australia has welcomed its first litter of pups for 2023. Across New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, while the rest of us were out celebrating the end of 2022, goodest girl Febe was giving birth to six healthy labrador pups: two male and four female, three black and three yellow. The first litter for the year is always an extra special one, with Leah Willet of Guide Dogs Australia commenting that "there’s just something about the first litter of the year – they remind us we’ve got another beautiful year ahead of working with these amazing dogs to help them take on a life-changing role in our community." Generally, the names of each litter of pups would begin with the same letter, with the Guide Dogs team cycling through the alphabet as each new bundle of joy arrives. For example, a recent 'C' litter featured the names Casper, Connie, Cassie and Cara. But given the next letter up was 'X', and no working pooch can have the same name (Xanthe and Xia were already taken), an exception was made and staff members were tasked with naming each pup. So, without further ado, meet your first official Guide Dogs Australia labrador pups for 2023: Soda, Honey, Joyce, Rocket, Jina and Beau (I'm not crying, you're crying). So what's in store for these puparoos now? The little labs will spend their first two months with mum Febe, before being welcomed into the homes of volunteer Puppy Raisers for 12 months, who will provide a loving and
Watch this space: 1800 Lasagne is slated to open two new venues in 2023
It seems that one brick-and-mortar storefront was not enough for Joey Kellock, the lasagne fanatic behind 1800 Lasagne, with plans in place for not just one, but two more Northcote venues to open in 2023. The popular lasagne joint is expanding its horizons with a sandwich shop and a wine bar, both slated to open later this year. 1800 La-Sanga, the aptly named new sandwich joint coming to High Street, is set to sell stuffed ciabattas spilling at the seams with savoury delights such as porchetta, cotoletta and lasagne, of course. And just a few doors up will be Dopolavoro – the details may be scant at this stage, but word on the street is that the former watchmaker's store will be transformed into a dynamic and easy-going after-work wine bar. Given the success of 1800 Lasagne, we suspect that whatever Joey's bechamel-coated hands touch, will definitely turn to gold (or at the least, a golden lasagne crust). Watch this space for further details, but we expect 1800 La-Sanga to pop up at 555 High Street in Northcote in the coming months, with Dopolavoro to follow a few months later at 567-569 High Street. Hungry now? Check out the 50 best restaurants in Melbourne. On a budget? Explore the 50 best cheap eats in Melbourne.
Hell yeah! Melbourne has just been named one of the top five drinking cities for 2023
Well how 'bout it Melbourne. We have just been named as one of the top five drinking cities worth travelling to in 2023. Punch, a James Beard Award-winning media brand focused on drinks and drinking culture, was given the unenviable task of choosing the world's top five travel-worthy drinking destinations. And boy does it feel good to be listed among such worthy company, with Buenos Aires in Argentina, Lisbon in Portugal, Madison in the United States and Osaka in Japan rounding out the rest of the list. Punch has determined that Melbourne's must-drink cocktails are the New York Sazerac (made here with a 50:50 split of rye and brandy), the Espresso Martini (an easy drinking, much-loved favourite) and the Japanese Slipper, which is allegedly Melbourne's only true classic cocktail, having been invented in the 1980s by a French expat bartender. Fred Siggins for Punch says that "it’s Melbourne’s cultural diversity that makes it a truly world-class drinking city. Joining long-standing Italian and Greek populations who have left their mark on the city’s dining and drinking scene, more recent waves of immigration from across Asia have spurred a late-night culture that spans everything from karaoke to soju bars". While we know that we know how to drink, this recognition makes us more proud than ever of the impeccable bar scene in Melbourne. Whether it's rooftop bars, beer gardens, late-night bars, cocktail bars, wine bars or just the good ol' corner pub, our fair city certainly ha
Cute alert: these adorable puppies are graduating from guide dog training
Life is hard. The world is a scary place. It has been a rough year for many. But there are always puppies. Puppies to brighten your day and to remind you of the good in the world. And these are no ordinary puppies (is there such a thing as an ordinary puppy? They are all extraordinary, really). These are smart, selfless, and obedient puppies – the goodest bois going around. And they just happen to be graduating from guide dog school. In total there are 81 dogs graduating in the class of 2022, and they will go on to help Victorians in a number of heroic ways as qualified guide dogs, therapy dogs, companion dogs, ambassador dogs and more. The pups who managed to complete the training program will soon fulfill the invaluable role of providing support and care to people living with low vision or blindness, such as Antony Rako. Antony has been paired with Brett, a guide dog who he credits for helping him achieve confidence and independence. “I believe that Brett has given me the freedom to be independent and travel around unfamiliar places again,” says Antony. “As I embark on the final chapter of my studies and look to get a new job when I graduate, I will feel very confident with Brett by my side. His presence has been truly life-changing, and I am so very grateful for the wonderful work guide dogs do.” And even those little labs who may not have got as far as Brett did in his training will still go on to play crucially important roles in their lives, providing comfort, emotiona
Mad about Middle Earth? Don't miss this once-in-a-lifetime deal to stay in Hobbiton
Before we start, set your alarms for 8am AEST (10am NZDT) on December 14, 2022. For any Tolkien fans, this is one date you do not want to miss because for the first time ever, guests will have the opportunity to book a stay at the original Hobbiton movie set through Airbnb, as featured in the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies. What's the catch you ask? Perhaps it's exorbitantly expensive? Not at all. Property owner Russell Alexander is offering up the property for just $10 a night. However, there are only three, two-night stays up for grabs. Hence, the urgency not to miss the booking opening time. In celebration of the 10th anniversary of The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey, those crazed fans lucky enough to secure a booking will gain access to 44 permanently constructed Hobbit Holes and other fantastical locations in the Shire. Overnight accommodation will be in the Millhouse, a two-bedroom Hobbit-inspired home with decor curated by the trilogies’ creative director Brian Massey himself. The experience will also include private access to a personal Hobbit Hole, set up for memorable moments of preciousss relaxation and afternoon tea; an evening feast in the Green Dragon Inn with a magical meal of beef and ale stew, whole roast chickens, and plenty of ale; as well as second breakfast and elevenses served daily. And the stay wouldn't be complete without a private behind-the-scenes tour of the Hobbiton movie set to explore all the fanciful makings of the world-famo