Get us in your inbox

Jay Smiles

Jay Smiles

Articles (1)

Events in regional Victoria this summer

Events in regional Victoria this summer

There's life beyond the Melbourne bubble. Regional Victoria is packed with events - beer festivals, parties and more - that offer a welcome escape from the big city. We've also sorted your accomodation: if you're on a budget, check out our list of the top camping spots in Victoria or if you've got a bit more cash to splash, consider our favourite spots for glamping in Victoria. 

Listings and reviews (5)

Sum Of Us Studio

Sum Of Us Studio

Wellness studio Sum of Us is a holistic centre for health and wellbeing offering services from reformer pilates, yoga and guided meditation, to physiotherapy, massage and podiatry.  Chris and Brigid Jellis, the husband-and-wife team who founded Sum of Us, are hoping to put a stop to fitness fads with their holistic approach.  “Some other places make you feel nervous and intimidated by the environment… we wanted to create a place where everyone feels welcome: whether you’re older, younger, have a child or never exercised before,” Brigid says.   Classes are run in individual sessions and classes of less than ten, allowing watchful instructors to challenge and properly guide participants through their practice. Regulars rave over reformer Pilates classes held in the loft. Behind the top-quality equipment and stylish yet minimalist fit-out design is a fully considered approach to living a healthy daily life. Participants leave exercise classes feeling rejuvenated whilst also taking a few tips to be more mindful as they go about their day. For those coming back from injury, the studio offers treatment sessions from in-house physiotherapists, myotherapists, a podiatrist and masseuses. But once your workout is over, there are plenty of reasons to stay put. A tucked away green courtyard is the perfect spot to catch up with your workout buddies and snack on the grab-and-go style meals, which embrace wholesome food with satisfying breakfast jars, salads, wraps and spreads. The in-house

Girls and Boys

Girls and Boys

Girls and Boys creators Laki Papadopoulos and Mark Price are no strangers to creating vegan magic. Their two plant-based restaurants, Vegie Bar and her newer, higher-end cousin Transformer have changed the game when it comes to vegetarian and vegan dining. Now, the've welcomed a new addition to the family: Girls and Boys.  This take-away spot will provide plant-based treats: we're talking soft serve, gelato and cakes, plus maca fudge bars, matcha almond tarts and bounty bites. On the drinks menu, you'll find spiced mylks, cold pressed juices, smoothies and thick shakes (all vegan, of course). The best part? Girls and Boys is right next door to Vegie Bar, which means you can grab the perfect after-dinner sweet treat after feasting on hearty vego meals.

Horse on Heels

Horse on Heels

While waffles aren't new to Melbourne's brunch landscape, fans of doughy, punctuated pancakes have been crying out for a dedicated waffle establishment for some time. Finally, there's Horse on Heels – a Fitzroy café that aims to fill that void, providing our sweet and savoury brunch favourites on a base of delicious, fresh waffle. The café's forefather is The Waffle Club at Queen Vic Market; but here at Horse on Heels, waffles also appear as savoury and healthy menu items. Savoury options include popcorn chicken, and egg and sausage; and for those with dietary requirements, there are healthy vegan, gluten and dairy-free waffles.  Of course, the masterminds behind Horse on Heels have not forgotten to keep traditional sweet selections on the menu. For all-out deliciousness, don’t miss the matcha white chocolate ice cream (waffle) sandwich. A cleverly designed dining area gives you an opportunity to sit down, savour and waffle on about your new favourite all-day dessert spot. An outdoor area with an open-facing kitchen will keep the magic alive as you watch your favourite combinations being created.

Amigos: Hardware Lane

Amigos: Hardware Lane

Feel like a night of tequila and nachos but can’t be bothered leaving your home and lining up at a no-bookings tacqueria? Well, hola, Amigos in Hardware Lane will deliver anything from their Mexican menu and range of tequila, sangria, margaritas, beers and wine. The restaurant has been serving up authentic, family-style food since 1981 in Melbourne and continues to provide Mexican favourites a step above the rest. Their menu stretches from quesadillas with a modern sizzle to traditionally crafted burritos and a tequila list which even challenges the amount of food on offer.    

Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery

Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery

After becoming a landmark stop-over for families traipsing through the Yarra Valley, passionate chocolatiers have opened a new location along another popular holiday route. The Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery indulges kids and adults alike with more than 250 creamy European delights for sample and purchase.   Along with chocolates and truffles, there can be nothing more refreshing during a hot summer road trip than a homemade ice cream. While the free samples are enough reason to visit, school holidays provide wannabe junior chefs with chocolate-making classes so they can recreate their favourite desserts at home. The café is also worth stopping by, which uses garden produce to provide meal options with a fondue, hot chocolate or ice cream to finish. 

News (5)

Queensland's favourite burger joint has just opened in Melbourne

Queensland's favourite burger joint has just opened in Melbourne

Betty’s Burgers, much-loved in Queensland from the Gold Coast to Noosa – has just joined the big league in Melbourne. After establishing three diners along the sunny Queensland coast, Betty’s Burgers is rugging up and heading south with succulent burgers and frozen custard ice creams. The ’50s-style diner with a beachy twist has never left the sunshine state before, but has big plans to take over Melbourne as a serious burger competitor. Earlier this year, Betty’s won Best Burgers on the Gold Coast with its Betty’s Classic; a delicious combo of Angus beef, lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese and Betty’s special sauce. Patties are hard pressed onto the grill to lock in natural juices by creating a thick crust on the outside. In other words, these guys mean business. On top of that, diners can opt for the lighter Bare Betty, as well as pork belly, crispy chicken and mushroom varieties. Don’t make the mistake of filling up before dessert. Betty’s is also famous for its ‘Concretes’; ice creams made from frozen custard with sweet treats mixed in. We’re talking honeycomb and orange, and hot fudge doughnut. Alternatively, you can design your own and choose between dozens of add-ons, including meringue, peanut brittle, New York cheesecake or Persian fairy floss. Photograph: Carmen Zammit Betty’s Burgers and Concrete Co. is now open on 97 Elizabeth St, Melbourne. Open daily 10am-late. Love burgers? Get both hands around the 11 best burgers in Melbourne.

A live choose-your-own adventure game is happening in Melbourne this summer

A live choose-your-own adventure game is happening in Melbourne this summer

Several months ago, Melburnians laced up their running shoes and raced across the city on a scavenger hunt based on Carmen Sandiego. It was just one of the many immersive live games created by Melbourne-based crew Pop-Up Playground, and this summer, they’re back with an even bigger concept that will get you out of the house, meeting new people and madly searching for clues. Outside: The Cloud is a street adventure set to plunge you into a dystopian Melbourne CBD where it is up to you to save the day. Mad scientists have been secretly testing weapons in the city and their prototypes need to be hunted down and destroyed. Over two months, it is up to you and your team to find codes, complete missions and work with other gamers to beat the baddies using both your street smarts and smartphone. This is live gaming taken up a notch. Weekly episodes will allow gamers to choose the adventure’s direction, and the narrative will pick up momentum – complete with hidden videos, documents and passcodes – as things heat up over the eight weeks. It’s a great opportunity over summer to work your brain and body; and conveniently, can be played any time of the day or night. There is serious hype surrounding the January debut of Outside: The Cloud with a huge number of registrations already. Live entertainment with character appearances will bring the cloud community together for sections of the game which require careful collaboration as you suss out clues and conundrums. Get your mind buzzing

Australia's Ginger Pride Rally back in Melbourne redder than ever

Australia's Ginger Pride Rally back in Melbourne redder than ever

If you’re a redhead, bluey or ginger, it’s almost time again to take to the streets and paint the town red at Melbourne’s 2017 Australian Ginger Pride Rally at Federation Square. Appropriately hosted by Buderim Ginger, it's a day for fiery friends to gather and outnumber the rest of the non-ranga population. This year the inaugural Ginger Pride Rally drew over 1,000 loud and proud gingers along with their biggest fans, friends and family. As Melbourne gets voted in as host city for the second time, we will get to celebrate the most recessive hair colour once again. It is also a day for shouting out and supporting so-called 'ginger issues' which exist in Australia. The Red and Nearly Ginger Association (yes, the acronym is R.A.N.G.A) is a special interest body for the flaming red and strawberry blonde, who have partnered with the rally to help identify the issues which matter most, such as anti-bullying and skin cancer.  No doubt next year's turn out of copper-toppers will be bigger next year, so show your support and lock in 29 April 2017 in your calendars to really celebrate our carrot-topped friends. See what else is happening around Melbourne this week.

Pierre Roelofs' Dessert Evenings are ending this year

Pierre Roelofs' Dessert Evenings are ending this year

He's been your go-to man for dessert degustations, but it's almost time to say goodbye to pastry chef Pierre Roelofs' Dessert Evenings after six years. The final sessions at the event's current home in Milkwood Café in East Brunswick is set to take place on Thursday, December 29 and Friday, December 30. When Roelofs began his dessert evenings in 2010, he always knew that it was going to be a long-term project, though it didn't stop people from calling the long-running event a 'pop-up'. Most first heard of Roelofs through his once-weekly Dessert Evenings in the now-defunct Café Rosamond in Fitzroy, where the chef showcased a new dessert degustation menu every week for the first two years. There were usually three plated desserts and one in a tube, and no dish was ever repeated, which meant over six years Roelofs has created more than 800 unique desserts. Following five years in Café Rosamond, Roelofs migrated to Adriano Zumbo's Fancy Nance, followed by a move to East Brunswick's Milkwood this year, where Dessert Evenings was accompanied by a new project titled Dessert Studies. The latest project saw Roelofs collaborate with Melbourne creatives including designer Beci Orpin, jeweller Julia deVille, and architect Andrew Maynard. Catch his current Dessert Studies collaboration with weaver Maryanne Moody on November 24. Pierre Roelofs' career has seen him apprentice in tiny bakeries in the Swiss Alps, spin sugar in St Moritz and create Michelin star desserts at the world’s top re

Food Truck Park opens on Collins Street this summer

Food Truck Park opens on Collins Street this summer

Food Truck Park have heard calls from hard working and hungry CBD workers who can’t wait for the Preston food truck muster to get into gear every weekend to dig into some street food. In response, they have opened an exciting new pop-up food hub at the top end of Collins street. Not only will food trucks be ready to fill the stomachs of Melbourne’s nine to fiver’s every single weekday, but they will be armed with food trucks serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. The summer rotations will include the likes of Greek Street Food, Smokin’ Barry’s and Real Burgers. Just a few minutes’ walk from the Treasury Gardens, it’s also the perfect rest stop for those doing their Christmas shopping and taking in Melbourne during its most glorious season. As Collins Street's top end transforms into a foodie's dream lunch break spot, it is just another reason to make sure you get away from the desk and pick up a bite from Melbourne’s most popular truck windows. While Food Truck Park's Preston’s home will continue to run every weekend, the city edition is only a limited seasonal affair, offering a short but sweet break from your lunch routine.  Hungry yet? Here are just some of the mid-week meals you can pick up from the new food hub:    A photo posted by Smokin Barrys Slow Cooked BBQ (@smokinbarrysbbq) on Sep 12, 2016 at 7:55pm PDT   A photo posted by Greek Street Food (@greekstreetfood) on Oct 24, 2016 at 7:04pm PDT   The Collins Street Food Truck Park is open Monday to Wednesd