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THE MINI MAG - ISSUE 4: SPRING 2016
Contents Intro •• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 3 Melbourne CBD Guide• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 4 10 Things We Love About Melbourne • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 5 Melbourne's Best Spring Events • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 6 Interview: Melbourne Festival• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 8 St Kilda Guide • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 10 Interview: We Know Melbourne • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 11 Melbourne's Best Brunch Spots • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 12 Carlton Guide • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 13 Places to Watch the Melbourne Cup • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 14 Community Work: Mirabel Foundation• • • • • • • • • • • • 17 Melbourne's Best Cocktails • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 18 A Day Trip out to the Yarra Valley • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 20 Interview: Dominique Portet Winery• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 21 8 Things to do on a Spring Day •• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 22 Where to Stay •• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 23
From We Know Melbourne : Welcome to our fourth edition of The Mini Mag, brought to you by the talented We Know Melbourne team at The Swanston Hotel, Grand Mercure and Mercure Welcome Melbourne. Spring is our favourite time of the year in Melbourne. The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming and the sun is always (well mostly), shining. To celebrate all that Spring has to offer, weâ€™ve shared our favourite Spring events, 10 things we love about Melbourne plus so much more. So pack away your woollen coats and get your sunnies out, itâ€™s time to fall in love with Melbourne all over again. Have any questions, recommendations or tips? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Melbourne CBD Guide
1. Arbory Bar & Eatery | Flinders Walk Melbourne’s longest bar, based on the banks of the Yarra River. They serve Espresso Martinis on tap. 2. Cookie | Level 1/252 Swanston St Delicious modern Thai food with an eclectic and popular bar. 3. Traveller | 2/14 Crossley St A city coffee bar from the same people that brought us the infamous, Seven Seeds. 4. Gingerboy | 27/29 Crossley St A modern, hip restaurant serving Asian hawker-style street market food to share. 5. Fratelli Fresh | 7 Alfred Pl A new comer to the Melbourne dining scene, expect simple but delicious Italian food. Order one of their fresh pasta dishes or a pizza from their state of the art woodfired pizza ovens. 6. Neapoli Wine Bar | 30 Russell Pl Part wine bar, part wine shop, part tasting room, Neapoli is our favourite secret little wine bar. 7. Pretty Mama | 201t/220 Spencer St A Caribbean themed restaurant that serves plenty of rum along with Caribbean favourites, like Jerk Chicken. 8. Grand Trailer Park Taverna | 87 Bourke St An American style diner serving burgers and spiked milkshakes inside old Airstream caravans. LATEST HOTSPOT 9. Garden State Hotel | 101 Flinders Lane | (03) 8396 5777 This four story pub is an inner city garden oasis. With both indoor and outdoor places to drink at, this is the place to be this summer. For the full We Know Melbourne CBD Guide visit: weknowmelbourne.com.au/melbournecbdguide/
10 Things We Love About Melbourne
1. We’ve just been voted the most liveable city in the world! 2. Laneways, rooftops and speakeasies - We’re never short of unique places to drink in Melbourne. 3. We’re just a short drive from some of the best wine regions in Australia. From the Yarra Valley to the Mornington Peninsula, wine tours and tastings are the perfect excuse for a day trip out to the country. 4. Our competitive spirit. As the world’s greatest sporting city, we’re home to some of the best sporting games of the nation - including the Australian Open, the AFL Grand Final, the F1 Grand Prix, the Melbourne Cup and the Boxing Day Test Match. 5. Melbourne’s food truck scene - street food has never been so delicious! 6. We can catch a movie under the stars on a balmy summer’s evening at over seven different Open Air Cinemas around town. 7. Our cafe and coffee culture. It’s part of our city’s DNA and we’re often quoted as having the best coffee in the world. 8. As the fashion capital of Australia, we have impeccable style. Our fashion forward style is unique, diverse and always sexy.
Image Credit: Josie Withers Photography
9. Festivals, festivals, festivals. From arts and film festivals, to music festivals and food festivals, on any given weekend you can guarantee that there’ll be some sort of festival on. 10. Melbourne trams. Quintessentially Melbourne, our tram network is the largest in the world and we’d choose to ride a tram over a bus or train any day of the week.
Melbourne's Best Spring Events Now that the chill of winter has gone, Melbourne welcomes the blossoming season of Spring. Here’s our pick of four events that you don't want to miss!
1. Melbourne Music Week | 11 – 19 Nov 2016 Celebrating the city’s dynamic and world-renowned music scene, MMW will feature over 110 dedicated music events, showcasing over 250 local and international artists across various locations in the city. If you are a lover of live, independent music, this is the perfect week to discover some new and inspiring sounds.
3. Taste of Melbourne | 10 – 13 Nov 2016 Located in the scenic Albert Park, Taste of Melbourne is a favourite annual event for all Melbourne foodies. The festival features over 80 artisan producers, craft beers, wine tastings, live music, inspiring talks and interactive masterclasses. Some of the restaurants you’ll find there this year include Mamasita, Hotel Jesus, Cumulus Inc, Supernormal, plus many more.
2. Melbourne Festival | 8 – 25 Oct 2016 An innovative festival highlighting the rich culture of the arts that exist within the Melbourne lifestyle. Various performances of dance, theatre, circus, music, visual arts, multimedia, as well as free outdoor events will be held across several venues across the city. First established in 1986, the festival was created to carry the transformational nature that exist within arts and culture and the positive change it has on individuals.
4. Melbourne Cup Carnival | 29 Oct – 5 Nov 2016 With the conclusion of the AFL season, Melburnians turns their focus onto another sporting love, horse racing. The Carnival consist of 4 racing meetings at the famous Flemington Racecourse - Victorian Derby Day, Melbourne Cup Day, Oaks Day and Stakes Day. Expect a sea of fashion, colour, champagne and ecstatic cheering all under the warm spring sun. The showcase event of the carnival is the legendary Melbourne Cup, the race that literally stops a nation.
Breakfast 6.30am â€“ 10.30am | Dinner 6pm â€“ 9.30pm 265 Little Bourke St, Melbourne Victoria, Australia 3000
Monday to Thursday : 7am til early evening Friday : 7am til 11pm Saturday 8am til 11pm Sunday 8am til early evening 195 Swanston St, Melbourne Victoria, Australia 3000
Interview with Jonathan Holloway Melbourne Festival Artistic Director Clear your calendars, the Melbourne Festival returns to town this October and it brings a jam-packed program to the table. Under the new artistic direction of Jonathan Holloway, the festival will celebrate our thriving arts and culture scene, taking over a number of Melbourne venues and institutions. We caught up with Jonathan, ahead of the event to discuss his direction for the festival and his personal highlights. Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background? My first "professional" experience of the arts was going with my dad to see classical concerts that he was reviewing. I enjoyed the concerts – although staying still and silent was pretty tough – but my favourite bit was afterwards, going with him to the newspaper office and watching him write the review. When I was a bit older I’d stay and watch a man called Bernard lay out the letters, then the presses would roll. That was when I realised that so much happens before and after a performance, and I was hooked. I sang in choirs, then bands, did a drama degree, was a stand-up comedian for a thankfully short time, then wrote and directed theatre, all the while finding and programming arts events that thrilled me. For the past decade I’ve run the city arts festivals in Norwich, Perth and now Melbourne. Each one is unique, each is deeply loved, each does a different job in the city. What inspires you about Melbourne? What’s your best kept secret about Melbourne? My best kept secret was how much I wanted to live here several years before I did – every time I visited it felt like a guilty pleasure. I’m inspired by the fact that it is a fearlessly independent city and intelligently complex. Melburnians are passionate and partisan about what they believe in, but also they move freely between sport and fashion, restaurants and the arts in a way that is rare globally.
Melbourne Festival is one of our favourite arts festivals on the Melbourne calendar. Can you tell us what makes it unique? For the past thirty years, Melbourne Festival has been constantly surprising, breaking new creative ground and attracting new generations of arts lovers. I love festivals; I love the way festivals work, I love the way they can genuinely transform people and places. I also like the fact that they can lift our game and lower our barriers. I particularly love citywide festivals that take on an entire place, all of the venues, and the way they leave us changed, uplifted, excited, enthralled, knackered and skint.
What are some of the highlights of the festival this year? If you had to pick three events not to miss, what would they be? I’m going to cheat and do two pairs, because I’m really excited by the extremes in this year’s program! The dance program will propel you into uncharted territory with the fabulous fusion of circus and dance in Triptyque, and then two weeks later you can see the greatest Flamenco dancer in the world, Sara Baras, with thirteen fellow dancers and musicians.
What do you hope Melbourne Festival 2016 will be remembered for? The festival team and I have worked to make it an immersive festival which appeals to all the senses, that puts us all at the centre of the experiences. We also wanted it to be a distinctly MELBOURNE Festival – about the city, exploring the city, weaving itself into the fabric of the city. It is a love letter to the city. Melbourne Festival runs from Oct 6 – Oct 23
The music program delves into an incredible tradition of Australian Indigenous country music inspired by Clinton Walker (Buried Country) just a week after almost 100 musicians from MSO perform the music of fifty years of Star Trek in front of the silver screen and under a starry sky. Two unmissables in theatre are 887, the autobiographical masterpiece from Robert Lepage, and Our Ladies Of Perpetual Succour from National Theatre of Scotland, which is a theatrical joyride you won’t forget.
For the full interview with Jonathan Holloway visit: weknowmelbourne.com.au/2016/09/14/meetjonathan-holloway-melbourne-festival-artistic-director
St Kilda Guide
1. Palais Theatre | Lower Esplanade 6. Uncle | 188 Carlisle St Opened in 1914, the art deco theatre This modern designer space with is a favourite venue for all St Kilda wooden décor serves the tasty delights residents to see great local and of Vietnam. The traditional Pho and international acts of theatre, ballet, live Banh Mi are a must. music, comedy and film. 7. St Kilda Sea Baths | 10/18 Jacka Blvd 2. Café Di Stasio | 31 Fitzroy St Oceanside icon of St Kilda. Revitalise Famous Italian restaurant serving the weary body by having a dip in the seasonal produce full of flavour - game, indoor saltwater pools or treat yourself truffles, seafood and freshly made to a remedial massage within the Spa pasta. Add a bottle of wine from their Dreamtime. fabulous list. 8. Linden Gallery | 26 Acland St 3. Babu Ji | 4 – 6 Grey St Located in a beautiful Victorian Traditional street-style Indian food with mansion dating back to 1855, a modern twist. Perfect location for a the gallery features exhibitions of casual night amongst friends with a contemporary art and host events that few sharing plates and drinks. detail the new ideas explored by leading artists. 4. Milk the Cow | 157 Fitzroy St A licenced fromagerie that exhibits LATEST HOTSPOT a country feel with over 150 artisan 9. St. Hotel | 54 Fitzroy St cheeses to sample. Check out their A St Kilda local full of life and character, range of hampers for any special offering contemporary European food occasion. with a great range of tap beers to 5. Claypots | 213 Barkly St choose from. Premium seafood haven. Ideal for a romantic dinner on a warm spring For the full St Kilda Guide visit: night. The freshest mussels, prawns, weknowmelbourne.com.au/st-kildaoysters and crabs in the area. guide/
Interview with Nick Phillips, We Know Melbourne A lifelong lover of Melbourne, Nick has worked at several landmark Melbourne institutions, including The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne University, and Carton and United’s Abbotsford brewery. He has even been employed by the drummer of iconic Melbourne rock band, Men at Work… you can’t get much more Melbourne than that! Now he loves working at The Swanston Hotel as a Guest Relations Manager and makes up part of the We Know Melbourne team to connect the dots between people, places and possible experiences. Can you please describe a typical day as a Guest Relations Manager? The best thing about my role is that there are no real typical days. There are some things I have to get done every day, but there is always a portion of time set aside to try and create some great guest experiences. Just yesterday a group of young Japanese guests asked me for a bottle opener which is obviously a pretty normal request, but when I went back to them I told them that the bottle opener I was giving them was actually a magic Australian bottle opener, that would talk to them and be their friend during their stay. They didn’t speak a lot of English and they looked at me like I was insane. But as soon as they touched the bottle opener onto the bottle cap a loud voice with an Australian accent said "G’day, let’s have a beer." The guests loved it and using Google Translator they asked me "How much to rent best friend bottle opener for our whole stay?" When I told them it was a present from the hotel, they loved it. So easy and such a simple thing to make someone’s day and in doing so make my day as well! What do you love most about your job? I love working in hotels. As a guest, hotels should be the perfect world where everyone is friendly to you and all the staff are there to make sure that you enjoy yourself. What’s the strangest request you’ve had? I get a lot of strange ones so I’ll just focus on this month and I’d say the strangest guest request was for a singing check-in, which of course we provided.
What would you spend your last $100 on? Funny you should ask, because I just spent my last $100 on a night out at my new favourite bar (and jaffle joint), Hard Rubbish, in Preston. It’s mainly furnished and set up with items recovered from curb side, hard rubbish collections. It’s op shop chic at its finest! Throw in some nice craft beers, smoky cola, vinyl record nights and the friendliest owners in town and it’s the perfect locals bar. Where is your favourite secret in Melbourne? I really like Campbell Arcade. It opened in 1955 to get ready for the crowds of the 1956 Melbourne Olympics and still has the original salmon pink tiles and art deco shop fronts. It has a vinyl record shop, several vintage clothes shops, the great hole in the wall, Cup of Truth coffee vendor, and the Sticky Institute which is dedicated to making and selling fanzines. Meet Nick and our We Know Melbourne team at the Concierge Desk at The Swanston Hotel, Grand Mercure.
Melbourne's Best Brunch Spots Nothing says weekend like a long, lazy brunch and if you know anything about Melbourne, you’ll know that we are a city obsessed with our eggs and coffee. But with so many cafes to choose from, it can be so hard to pick where to spend your morning. So to help you narrow down the choices we’ve asked the team at The Swanston Hotel to name their favourite spots, so you can start ticking off that list.
1. You can’t beat the Ricotta Hot Cakes and coffee at Proud Mary in Collingwood. The hot cakes come with freeze dried raspberries, caramelised mandarin and orange caramel - It’s my go-to in Melbourne! - Annie, Concierge/Reception 2. M anchester Press is my favourite brunch place in the city. They specialise in bagels and it’s only a short walk from the hotel! - Nick, Guest Relations Manager 3. W hen I have friends visiting from out of town, I take them to the Queen Vic Markets, then Seven Seeds after. I’m a huge fan of the chilli scrambled eggs there! - Daniel, F&B Supervisor 4. I f I had to pick just one, it would have to be Smith St Alimentari. They serve Mediterranean-inspired breakfasts and the flavours are always so fresh and tasty! - Katherine, Social Media Manager 5. I f you’re in need of Bloody Marys for breakfast, then Left Bank Southbank is where you want to go. The place is great for groups of any size and their Big Breakfast is always a good hangover cure. - Paul, HR Officer 6. H ardware Societe is an oldie but a goodie. There’s always a line on the weekends, but it’s worth the wait. My hot tip is to order the Lobster Eggs Benedict - it’s breakfast perfection! - Chris, Chief Concierge
1. Pidapipo | 299 Lygon St Authentic Italian artisan gelato with Nutella hot sauce on tap. 2. Assembly | 60/62 Pelham St A modern cafe for coffee fiends and tea enthusiasts. 3. The Town Mouse | 312 Drummond St A stylish and intimate European restaurant that will wow any date. 4. DOC | 295 Drummond St Fantastic homemade pizza using imported ingredients, and just a short walk from Lygon St. 5. Cinema Nova | 380 Lygon St Melbourneâ€™s home of quality arthouse and mainstream cinema. 6. Baker D. Chirico | 178 Faraday St These artisan bakers from St Kilda have brought their amazing produce to the streets of Carlton. 7. Readings Bookshop | 309 Lygon St Melbourneâ€™s best bookstore. LATEST HOTSPOT 8. Heartattack and Vine | 329 Lygon St This cicchetti bar is the perfect spot for a cheeky apertif after your film at Cinema Nova. For the full Carlton Guide visit: weknowmelbourne.com.au/lygon-st-guide/
Places to Watch the Melbourne Cup With its own dedicated public holiday, it would be rude not to partake in some Melbourne Cup festivities if you find yourself in the world’s most liveable city itself on Tuesday November 1. While the thought of hitting Flemington might not have everyone racing trackside, the good news is you can celebrate the cup at a number of venues in Melbourne without even leaving the city. Avoid sunken heels, the pleasure of portaloos and the tumultuous weather for which Melbourne is equally as famous and book yourself a lunch in town to celebrate cup day in style, and comfort. Naturally, frocks, suits and fabulous fascinators all have a place when you happen to be in Melbourne on cup day.
1. Fratelli Fresh | 7 Alfred Pl, Melbourne You’ll find this opulent Italian number in a heritage listed building down a laneway and towards the beautiful Paris end of Collins Street. A glass of prosecco on arrival, shared antipasto, a mains choice of lamb ragu penne, mushroom taglitelle or barramundi, plus a selection of homemade gelato while you watch the race, is $70pp. 2. Mr Mason | 10/530 Collins St, Melbourne If your scene is sophisticated style and you have a love for modern French cuisine, Melbourne Cup at the chic Mr Mason is for you. A glass of Mumm Rose champagne, a three course lunch, sweeps, live entertainment and prizes for the best dressed awaits, from 12noon for $75pp.
3. Sake – 121 Flinders Lane and Hamer Hall Famous for its contemporary Japanese and savvy style, Sake will be celebrating cup day at both of its Melbourne locations in 2016. City side offers a heartier menu with oysters, kingfish, charred lamb chops, popcorn shrimp, wagyu rump and a marvellous matcha tiramisu. For a more delicate dego by the Yarra, head to Sake Hamer Hall for sashimi moriwase, scampi tartare with scallop and caviar, grilled octopus with soft shell crab, pork belly and gomamomo to finish. Both are $95pp and come with a glass of Veuve Cliquot 4. The Wharf Hotel | 18-38 Siddeley St, Melbourne Looking for trackside atmosphere in the city? Then head riverside to The Wharf Hotel for a live and loud pub buzz with one massive screen, sweepstakes, full a la carte menu and bottles of Mumm Rose going for $90. Ask your hotel concierge to book your Melbourne Cup lunch. For other tips and tricks on where to go and what to see when you’re in Melbourne CBD, get in touch with city girl, Little Miss Melbourne, at email@example.com or visit www.littlemissmelbourne.com.
MELBOURNE SPRING FASHION PACKAGE $389* for 2 people ($350* Accor Plus Members) PACKAGE INCLUDES: 1 night at The Swanston Hotel, Grand Mercure Spring Fashion Shopping Tour with Melbourne Fashion Adventure 2 Cosmopolitan cocktails in Cocoon Bar
Please call 043 376 822 or email Nick Phillips - H3028-FO17@accor.com for more details *T&Câ€™s apply
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For more information about The Mirabel Foundation or to donate, visit www.mirabelfoundation.org.au
The Mirabel Foundation is an Australian children’s charity with a mission to break the destructive cycle of addiction. We talk to founder and CEO, Jane Rowe about Mirabel and how the community can get involved.
Tahana, 3 years old
Can you tell us a little bit more about Mirabel and how you started the foundation? The Mirabel Foundation assists children who have been orphaned or abandoned due to parental drug use and are now in the care of extended family (kinship) care. Mirabel believes that every child deserves a childhood. As a drug and alcohol counsellor in the 90’s, I witnessed a dramatic increase in heroin overdose fatalities. More often than not it was young mothers dying, leaving their children traumatised with no one to care for them. There was a dire need for an organisation to support and advocate on behalf of these children which is how Mirabel came about. Mirabel started as a small idea but due to the need and demand for our services we have continued to grow since we were established.
Can you tell us a little bit more about Mirabel and how you started the foundation? A sense of hope and belonging is critical for any child, particularly the children we work with who have experienced so much loss, trauma and grief in their young lives. All our programs connect the children with one another to lessen their feelings of social isolation and stigma, making them realise that they are not alone or to blame for mum or dad dying. Involving the community gives them a sense of connection and the realisation that people care about them. Some of the most effective therapy with children is done under the guise of play and all our programs are designed for them to experience a childhood and fun. You've been established for just under 20 years now, and you would have seen some of the kids complete the programs offered by Mirabel. What are some of these kids doing now? There are countless Mirabel young adults now leading empowered and fulfilling lives. From working overseas, completing university, doing youth work, studying nursing – they are going incredibly varied and wonderful careers. Many of them remain connected to Mirabel and are wonderful mentors for the younger children. They frequently say Mirabel has been the one constant throughout their lives and that they view us as family. That’s one of the most rewarding outcomes for us all at Mirabel. How can we support The Mirabel Foundation? As a charity we are reliant on the generosity and goodwill of the community and all donations go directly to our programs. We know that we can make a positive difference to this group of vulnerable children and the community’s interest and support of Mirabel means the world to us all.
Melbourne’s Best Cocktails Fancy yourself a cocktail connoisseur? Here are some of our personal favourite, tried and tested bars for Melbourne's best cocktails. Some you may know, some you may find a little surprising, but if you are looking for an overall experience as well as a ripper cocktail, you can't go past these top five beauties: 1. Polly Bar | 401 Brunswick St, Fitzroy Polly is the place we always take our out-of-town-friends when we want to show off Melbourne in all her fabulous glory. This place is known not just for it's incredible cocktail list and super knowledgeable staff, but also its extensive Absinthe offering and of course, it's stunning 1920 French boudoir inspired décor. We recommend the 'Bourbon Butter'. It's not on the menu, so it's our little secret.
3. Gin Palace | 10 Russell Pl, Melbourne Step through the doors, down into the old-world bar and you'll feel like you've stepped back in time a-la 'Midnight in Paris'. Gin Palace, as its name implies, boasts an impressive wall to wall stock of spirits from all the far corners of the globe. They serve wine here, but we don't recommend ordering it, it's all about lady Gin here. We recommend one of their signature Martinis.
2. Prudence | 368 Victoria St, North Melbourne Prudence is a cosy, whimsical, two story bar where hipsters sit alongside young professionals in perfect harmony. The playlist is psychedelic rock straight out of the 70's, the décor feels like you have stepped into an artistic, eccentric Grandmas home, the type who never throws anything out. The cocktails are not super extensive, but always fabulous. Grab the #57 tram on Elizabeth Street towards North Melbourne, it's only a few stops from the CBD. We recommend the 'Hunter S Thompson'. 4. Goldilocks | 264 Swanston St, Melbourne This little gem is an oldie but a goodie. The cocktails list is not as long as War and Peace, but the ones on offer are delicious, and like all of the bars on this list, Goldilocks has a brilliant vibe for imbibing with friends. Try to get to their rooftop just before sunset on a warm spring evening to witness the changing colours of the Melbourne sky and enjoy some Instagram-worthy selfie backdrops. A little hard to find, look for Noodle Kingdom, and grab the lift upstairs from there. We recommend the '1st Class Fizz'.
5. Murmur | 17 Warburton Lane, Melbourne Tucked away on a laneway off Little Bourke Street, Murmur is one of those bars that only locals know about. It’s in an upstairs loft, which makes you feel like you are in a cosy apartment, the play list is inspired by ‘American Grafitti’ and you will just simply, love it. The cocktail list is epic, but we recommend the ‘Zombie’ – it’s delicious, and comes with a glorious fire show. Grab a spot on a squishy brown couch and just dig the welcoming vibes.
Written by Kerstyn Dance
A Day Trip out to the Yarra Valley Spring is the perfect time for a road trip out to the winery regions and at just an hour’s drive from Melbourne, the Yarra Valley is our favourite excuse to hit the road.
Innocent Bystander You’ll need a big breakfast to prepare for your busy day ahead and Innocent Bystander is the perfect place for this. They roast and grind their own coffee, and all their bread is baked on site. Once you’ve finished your breakfast, it’s time to visit their cellar door for your first wine tasting of the day. An institution in the Yarra Valley.
Domaine Chandon A wine estate that needs no introduction, Domaine Chandon is known for their excellent range of sparkling wines, and their traditions hail from the grand Champagne house Moët & Chandon. While you’re there take a winery tour where you can learn all about the history of the winery and what makes them so special world wide.
Yarra Valley Dairy Whilst the Yarra Valley is predominantly known for its wineries, one ‘must-see’ is the Yarra Valley Dairy. Share one of their famous cheese plates with a coffee or a wine, or try a tasting. We dare you not to walk out with an armful of purchases from their shop. We recommend their goats cheese range for it’s light, fresh flavor.
Four Pillars Gin You’ll probably want a break from all that wine tasting by now, so stop by Four Pillars Gin for a spot of gin tasting. A small Australian distillery, Four Pillars Gin is housed in a repurposed timber warehouse, where you can pay $10 to enjoy a gin tasting which is redeemable on any full size bottle purchase.
Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery If you’ve still got room, the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery is your final pit stop for the day. The chocolaterie is made up of 7 dedicated chocolatiers from France and Belgium and they work with local businesses for supplies. With over 250 types of chocolates to try, it’s heaven for any sweet tooths.
Hot Air Balloon Start your Yarra Valley experience in the air with Global Ballooning. Take a sunrise balloon flight and float over the valley. See if you can spot all the places you’ll be visiting later that day.
Yering Station As the oldest winery in the Yarra Valley, Yering Station is a must on any wine tasting tour. Award-winning wines are complemented by breathtaking views and superb architecture, plus their gardens and art gallery are perfect for a post lunch stroll. Dominique Portet Enjoy delicious wines from this father and son team. The Portet family have been making wines for ten generations and their Fontaine Rose has long been rated as one of Australia's leading examples of Rosé. Enjoy a salumi plate if you’re feeling hungry and enjoy a game of Pétanque before your next stop.
Interview with Ben Portet, Dominique Portet Winery Ben Portet was always destined to be a winemaker. Growing up in the vineyards of his father, Dominique Portet, their long family tradition of winemaking dates all the way back to 1720 in Cognac, France. Completing four vintages while still at university, Ben has lived and worked all over the world before returning to Melbourne to head up the winemaking team at Dominique Portet Winery in Coldstream.
As a 10th generation winemaker, how have you seen the wine industry change over time? Well I guess the easiest analogy is that we work within a fashion industry so styles and regions come in and out of trend. Recently in Australia we have seen wines being produced that are made to drink now, they can be easy to drink at a young age and most importantly are fun to drink. Classics are always in style so that will never change, but I still see no match to opening an old bottle that you have aged yourself over many years and enjoy the secondary and more developed characters that come with it.
Living all over the world, including France, Napa Valley and now the Yarra Valley what do you love most about growing grapes and producing wine here in Victoria? What makes it unique? Diversity. Australia is huge however the most diverse state to make wine is Victoria. From world class sparkling wine right through to excellent Cabernet Sauvignon, Victoria offers something for everyone. There are so many different climates and soil types in the Yarra Valley that makes such an exciting region to be part of. How much would you spend on a good bottle of wine and do you have any other favourite vineyards around Victoria? Too much. But that’s my passion and I guess that’s how I justify each bottle. I have a soft spot for the Pyrenees as I grew up there and know the soils well. I think Gippsland Pinot Noir when done well, can be as good as anywhere in Australia. I’m drinking Yarra Valley Chardonnay and Cabernet at the moment.
Visit Dominique Portet Winery at What do you look for when making wine? 870-872 Maroondah Highway, Coldstream Elegance, concentration and finesse, but most importantly you need balance. What does a typical day look like for a winemaker? There’s never a typical day. One day we can be cleaning a barrel and tasting grapes in the vineyard, to the next being in the middle of Dubai hosting a wine dinner promoting Australian wine to the world. That’s why I love what I do, there is never a dull day, although we do clean a lot.
For the full interview with Ben Portet visit: weknowmelbourne.com.au/2016/09/18/interviewwith-ben-portet-dominique-portet-winery
Things To Do On A Spring Day Say goodbye to the cold, dark days as Spring has officially sprung! The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming and the warm weather is here to stay. So step out of hibernation with these 8 activities that will put an extra spring in your step. 1. Take a day trip out to the breathtaking Tesselaar Tulip Festival and breathe in the scent of over 100 varieties of tulips in bloom. 2. Go shopping for your Spring Racing outfit at Melbourneâ€™s stylish inner city boutiques 3. Take a trip up to the Eureka Skydeck to see the city skyline from the 88th floor 4. Pack a picnic and bask in the sun at the serene Royal Botanical Gardens. 5. Catch a breathtaking sunset, with an icecream in hand from the St Kilda pier. 6. V isit the galleries and stroll the sculpture gardens at Heide Museum of Modern Art. 7. G o on a scenic Sunday bike ride along the Capital City Bike Trail and see dozens of iconic Melbourne landmarks. 8. Hire a rowboat at Studley Park Boathouse and leisurely float down the Yarra River.
Image Credit: Roberto Seba
Where to Stay The Swanston Hotel, Grand Mercure 195 Swanston St | 1300 650 315 A 4.5 star hotel on Swanston Street in the very heart of Melbourne’s CBD. The Swanny, as it is more affectionately known, is surrounded by the city’s most popular business and shopping precincts, theatres, galleries, bars and restaurants. theswanstonhotel.com.au Mercure Welcome Melbourne 265 Little Bourke St | 1300 654 966 This modern 3.5 star hotel accommodation, provides guests with comfort, convenience, and great-value, budget rates that leave you more to spend on Melbourne city’s many attractions! mercurewelcome.com.au
ibis Melbourne Little Bourke St 600 Little Bourke St | (03) 9672 0000 Great value, great location and great service make ibis Melbourne, Little Bourke Street a very popular hotel choice. This 3 star hotel is clean and affordable with comfortable guestrooms and comes complete with amenities to ensure guests have a pleasant stay. facebook.com/ ibismelbournelittlebourkest Rydges St Kilda 35-37 Fitzroy St, St Kilda | 1300 884 373 This unique boutique-style hotel offers an inner Melbourne location with a beach town feel, plus all the features and amenities that come with a self rated 4.5-star Melbourne hotel. Located in the heart of Melbourne’s iconic St Kilda, Rydges Hotel is just a few steps from St Kilda Beach and Luna Park. rydges.com/accommodation/ melbourne-vic/st-kilda/
Welcome to our fourth edition of The Mini Mag, brought to you by the talented We Know Melbourne team at The Swanston Hotel, Grand Mercure an...
Published on Nov 16, 2016
Welcome to our fourth edition of The Mini Mag, brought to you by the talented We Know Melbourne team at The Swanston Hotel, Grand Mercure an...