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We Know Melbourne Your key to the city

SU M M e r


Contents Intro •• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 3 Melbourne CBD Guide• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 4 We Love Burgers • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 5 Unique Last Minute Christmas Gifts • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 7 Interview: Dolly Diamond• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 8 Art & Design Guide • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 10 Melbourne's Best Summer Events • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 11 Men's Shopping Guide •• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 12 Southside Guide • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 14 Melbourne Memories •• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 15 Interview: Melbourne Musical Theatre Festival• • • • • 16 How to Get the Most Out of Your Hotel • • • • • • • • • • • 18 Melbourne's Best Rooftop Bars • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 20 Summer Holiday Activities • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 22 Where to Stay •• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 23


From We Know Melbourne : Welcome to our fifth 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. Summer is in full gear and the options to enjoy the longer, warmer days are endless. With the days not getting dark until well after 7pm (thank you day light savings), there’s no better time to explore our city. Whether it’s visiting the night markets after work or whiling away the afternoon at a Sunday session, there’s no doubt that Melbourne truly comes to life during summer. In this issue we share the events that we are most looking forward to this summer, and we get you ready for the silly season with some last minute Christmas gift ideas and a men's shopping guide. We also chat to Midsumma Festival hero, Dolly Diamond, and Melbourne Musical Theatre Festival Director, Trevor Alexander. Finally, we wrap up some of our favourite memories of the year - which was our toughest job yet! With so many events, launches and openings throughout the year, 2016 was a year that will forever be etched in our minds as one of the best years yet. With that, we wish you a wonderful festive season and we look forward to seeing you in the new year. Have any questions, recommendations or tips? Send us an email at ask@weknowmelbourne.com.au


Melbourne CBD Guide

1. Sensory Lab | 297 Little Collins St In a city obsessed with coffee, Sensory Lab is one of our old time favourite coffee shops. This location is their new standalone cafe. 2. Tetsujin | Level 4, Emporium Melbourne Pick and choose your favourite type of sushi and sashimi as it glides past you on the sushi train or dine in the barbeque area where you can grill your own meat. 3. Embla | 122 Russell St A new favourite for the We Know Melbourne team, this wine bar is staffed by wine connoisseurs and their food menu is mind blowing. 4. Gazi | 2 Exhibition St Contemporary Greek food in a casual setting. This restaurant is run by celebrity Masterchef, George Calombaris. 5. City Wine Shop | 159 Spring St Retail wine shop/wine bar/cafe with a rustic food menu and extensive wine list. 6. Short Stop Coffee & Donuts | 12 Sutherland St All donuts are made fresh on site and their mouth watering flavours are rotated regularly. 7. Lucy Liu | 23 Oliver Lane A pan Asian eatery with a buzzing ambience. LATEST HOTSPOT 8. Higher Ground | 50 Little Bourke St Housed in a 19th century powerhouse, Higher Ground’s breakfasts and dinners are next level. For the full We Know Melbourne CBD Guide visit: weknowmelbourne.com.au/melbournecbdguide/


We Love Burgers The classic burger, once seen as a guilty late night snack at a fast-food chain, is now celebrated and revolutionised through various independent outlets who have taken the simple notion of the burger to new heights. We have selected 5 of our favourite burger joints to visit so you can experience the renaissance of the burger yourself.

1. The B.East | 80 Lygon Street, Brunswick East A place where urban vibes, art and beats all come together over the indulgence of flavorsome burgers, beer and wine. A true favourite for the local Brunswick community, you can either sit outside and soak in the action on Lygon Street or head inside and race a few friends on Mario Kart. Our pick: Red Eye Pulled Pork Burger. 2. Brother Burger and The Marvellous Brew | 560 Chapel Street, South Yarra | 413 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy One of the premier burger joints in Melbourne , serving 100% wagyu beef patties. Explore the limits of the wonderful world of the burger by either picking a tried and true favourite or an unique creation, such as a burger with peanut butter and wasabi (surprisingly good). They also have a great selection of local craft beers on tap - try the 6% chocolate porter. Our pick: Oh Brother Burger. 3. Mr Burger | 93 Therry Street, Melbourne | 320 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy | 364 Chapel Street, South Yarra Looking for a place that gets straight to the point of serving a delicious burger? Then Mr Burger is the perfect destination. They also offer ridiculously good milkshakes including their famous ginger-caramel cookie shake. Keep an eye out for the Mr Burger food trucks located throughout Melbourne and at events/ festivals. Our pick: Mr Hot Burger (what the name suggests).

4. Huxtaburger | 357 Collins Street, Melbourne | 106 Smith Street, Collingwood | 203 High Street, Prahran Huxtaburger brings the retro style burger diner back to Melbourne with checkerboard floors, chrome benches and red stools. Hot beef, cold beer is Huxtaburger's motto which maintains a simplistic but effective philosophy to follow and allows all its customers to experience the delights of great local hospitality. Add a cup of crinkle cut chips and a cold beer to your meal and you're all set to satisfy any craving. Our pick: ClairBurger (southern fried chicken). 5. Hello Sam | 760 Chapel Street, South Yarra Made from 100% Australian angus beef with brioche buns, their burger range will cover any taste or craving, including the B.A.D (Breakfast All Day) Burger (egg and bacon) and the Bean'N'Beet Burger (beans and beetroot) for the vegetarians. Enjoy dining in the restaurant on vintage leather stools and classic outdoor chairs. Our pick: Juicy Lucy (mozzarella stuffed beef).


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More than a hotel...

Urban St Leonards

More style. More comfort. More for you. Urban is more than a Hotel Group. We're strong on vision, designer style and modern comfort, and you'll discover that everything from our signature Urban Snorer bed to our tasty in-house fare is designed to suit you. Whether it's the leafy north shore of St Leonards, or the sweeping city views in balmy Brisbane, Urban will always offer you more.

To book visit hotelurban.com.au


Unique Last Minute Christmas Gifts Christmas is a magical time of year, filled with friends, family and plenty of pressies. But if you’re anything like us, come December you’ll be all too familiar with the feeling of the mad rush to buy last minute Christmas gifts. With the big day creeping closer and closer, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite Melbourne Christmas presents that require minimal effort but are sure to impress. 1. Gravity Float | www.gravityfloat.com.au Experience the feeling of weightlessness through this ultimate relaxation therapy. Each floater gets their own individual pod where they can bliss out, while the epsom salt soaked water works its magic on their bones and joints. If that wasn’t enough, floating also helps to improve sleep, relieve stress and decrease anxiety. Perfect for: Wellness enthusiasts. 2. Yarra Valley Hot Air Balloon | www.globalballooning.com.au/yarra-valley Soar high in the sky with a hot air balloon ride over the spectacular Yarra Valley. The Yarra Valley provides views of rolling hills, green landscapes and the chance to see some kangaroos feeding on breakfast as you fly over them during sunrise. The ultimate way to start a day out in the Yarra Valley. Perfect for: Vino lovers. 3. Dinner on The Colonial Tram Restaurant | www.tramrestaurant.com.au For a dinner with a difference, book in for a dinner on the first travelling Tramcar Restaurant in the world. You’ll be able to enjoy delicious seasonal menus, Australian wines or order from a fully stocked bar, all while rolling through the streets of Melbourne. Perfect for: History buffs. 4. Melbourne Food Tour | www.melbournefoodexperiences.com.au/events/melbournefood-tour-no-2--public Go on a food-filled walking tour to the latest and greatest of Melbourne’s restaurants, food stores and culinary icons. Foodies will enjoy gelato, cheese and Chinatown delights at some of Melbourne’s most loved hot-spots, before finishing the day at the award winning Cumulus Inc restaurant for a glass of wine and shared plates. Perfect for: Foodies (of course). 5. Shark Dive Xtreme | www.melbourneaquarium.com.au/experiences/shark-divextreme/ For an adrenaline rush like no other, book a Shark Dive Xtreme experience at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium. Divers will swim up close with huge sharks, stingrays and a whole lot of other marine life, inside a 2.2 million litre Oceanarium . Basic scuba training is provided so even novices can join in on the fun. Perfect for: Adventure junkies.


Interview with Dolly Diamond, Midsumma Festival Each January, Melbourne plays host to Midsumma Festival, a celebration of Victoria's premier queer arts and culture, for and by LGBTQIA+ communities for three glorious, festive weeks. Kicking off with Carnival Day and wrapping up with Pride March through the streets of St Kilda, the festival celebrates queer culture and supports local artists and performers, offering a fabulous line up of diverse, quality performances across venues in Melbourne city and surrounds. We took some time to chat to one of the stars of Midsumma Festival, recently awarded lifetime member, Dolly Diamond, to find out just why Midsumma continues to be one of Melbourne’s most popular festivals.

You've called Australia home since 2009, what is it about Melbourne you love the most? It has always felt like home from the moment I arrived. It's the people that make this city what it is, they're warm and welcoming. Whenever there's a festival on, and it feels like there's a new one happening every 20 minutes, this city turns it on big time.

In 2014 you were awarded a lifetime member of Midsumma Festival because of your longrunning involvement with the organisation – what are your favourite parts of this festival and what do you think keeps people coming back for more, supporting the festival in increasing numbers from year to year? My first Aussie gig was part of Midsumma at Chapel Off Chapel in 2003. The show was called "Songs that I Like and Shows that I Didn't Get" and the title was too long to print on the ticket. Midsumma have been really good to me over the years and I've enjoyed every show I've done with them. They're inclusive and diverse in what they present and I think people like that mixed bag of entertainment, I know I do.

With so many performing arts festivals in Melbourne (Comedy, Fringe, Cabaret and now the recently launched Melbourne Musical Theatre Festival to name a few) why do you think these festivals continue to improve in popularity? The standard of the productions and the performers in them is very high and that's what we appreciate. The moment the standard drops the audience just won't support it, as a producer and a performer I know my work must be of a certain standard. I see a lot of shows and I'm a great audience member. I'm always grateful to be there and I want to be entertained but if you serve up lazy, unimaginative dross then don't expect to do well. Melbourne audiences are honest and I like that.... they don't clap for crap.


You recently travelled with the LGBTI Equality Roadshow through Swan Hill, Shepparton and Mildura? What were some of the highlights for you and what sort of an impact do you believe this roadshow had on these regional communities? It was such a great week and I was thrilled to be asked. I think the Commissioner for Gender and Sexuality, Ro Allen and LGBTI advocate, Daniel Witthaus are inspiring in the work they do. There were a lot of highlights but the final night in Mildura was my favourite, a small group of four singers who guested during my show, called The Rainbow Pandacorns brought me to tears. So young, so brave. I've worked alongside a great number of performers but these were just teenagers who wanted to be accepted in their own community just for being different, it's not too much to ask really.

You've also been appointed as the Artistic Director of the 2017 Melbourne Cabaret Festival (congratulations), where do you see this festival going in 2017, how do you want to make your mark on this iconic event? Well I'd like it to be a financial success, that's really important or it won't be able to continue. I guess the best way for that to happen is to try and find new and interesting acts (I'm trawling the bars as we speak) and I also want to try and get some familiar names from the cabaret scene to break out of their comfort zone and try something new.

Midsumma Festival runs from 15 Jan to 5 Feb 2017 in and around Melbourne CBD. For more information, check out midsumma.org.au Dolly’s Midsumma show Bl*ankety Bl*nks runs from 20-28 Jan 2017 at Chapel off Chapel in Prahran. For details and ticket information check out dollydiamond.com.au

Can you describe your ideal way to get a full Midsumma Festival experience? I think it's the same with any festival, pick a few of your favorites and then take a stab in the dark...who doesn't like that every now and then. Tell us about your upcoming Midsumma show Bl*nkety Bl*nks? I've always been a fan of the show, you never know what you're going to get from the contestants or the various celebrities. I can think on my feet pretty quickly when it comes to improvising, so this is right up my alley. I'm so excited to reveal some of the famous/infamous names taking part but not yet....I'm hoping for a few brainless celebrity responses.


Art & Design Guide 1. National Gallery of Victoria | 180 St Kilda Rd A We Know Melbourne favourite, showcasing a plethora of international & local art. 2. ACMI | Federation Square A museum and gallery space that showcases film, television, games, new media and art. 3. Heide Museum of Modern Art | 7 Templestowe Rd, Bulleen A unique combination of art, architecture, social history and landscape located just twenty minutes from the Melbourne's CBD. 4. OutrÊ Gallery | 249 Elizabeth St Art that crosses over with design, pop and counterculture with regular exhibitions in store. 5. Nicholas Building | 21-47 Swanston St From buttons to poetry to vintage clothes, this is a treasure trove of eclectic shops and artist studios. 6. Metropolis | 3/252 Swanston St A unique bookstore that specialises in architecture, photography and graphic design. 7. Craft Victoria | 31 Flinders Lane Visit the Craft Victoria’s gift store to pick up a unique design piece from local makers, both emerging and established. 8. Third Drawer Down | 93 George St, Fitzroy A store, wholesaler and a design studio all wrapped in to one. The perfect spot for gift shopping. LATEST HOTSPOT 9. Modern Times | 311 Smith St, Fitzroy A vintage Danish and European design furniture store with regular art exhibitions. For the full art & design guide visit: https://weknowmelbourne.com.au/art-design-guide/


Melbourne's Best Summer Events Summer has officially arrived and with it comes plenty of fun outdoor markets, festivals and food events. Here’s our pick of the best summer events not to be missed.

1. So Frenchy So Chic | 15 January 2017 Escape the city to So Frenchy So Chic, a boutique 3. Rooftop Cinema | December - April 2017 French food and music festival at Werribee Mansion. Located on the top floor of Curtin House, the Rooftop Bring a picnic and get lost in the joie de vivre of French Cinema is the perfect spot for any romantic date night. style. Pull up a deck chair, order a drink from Rooftop Bar 2. Zoo Twilights | 27 January - 11 March 2017 and take in the views of the Melbourne CBD skyline. Enjoy live music at dusk on the lush lawns of the The cinema run from December through to April, Melbourne Zoo.The line up for 2017 includes a mix showcasing arthouse, classic and recent release films. of international and local artists such as The Rubens, 4. Laneway Festival | 28 January 2017 The Living End, Björn Again, and Hoodoo Gurus. A favourite for any festival goer, Laneway Festival brings together a fine list of local and international indie music acts.The festival has always been interested in finding what’s fresh and great and bringing it to unique settings and surrounds to be appreciated by music lovers.


Men's Shopping Guide By Styled by Sally

We all know Melbourne is Australia’s Fashion Capital, and it also boasts some of the most unique menswear retailers in the country. Like everything cool in Melbourne, most of these stores are located down laneways or hidden in iconic buildings. Here are Melbourne’s Stylist for Men, Sally Mackinnon's top 5 men’s retailers in Melbourne’s CBD. The Practical Man | Scott Alley, 237 Flinders Lane Tucked away in Scott Alley off Flinders Lane, The Practical Man is Melbourne’s destination for lovers of stylish men’s sportswear and lifestyle brands. You will find a carefully selected range of international brands exclusive to The Practical Man that reflect their progressive approach to performance wear, sports fashion, accessories, grooming and swimwear. Each piece of apparel is carefully chosen by the buying team who travel to Paris, Berlin, London and New York to seek brands who focus on technical excellence while retaining style, elegance and simplicity. Lord Coconut | Level 5, Mitchell House, corner Elizabeth and Lonsdale Streets Lord Coconut is Melbourne’s only retailer, gallery and online boutique selling handcrafted contemporary jewellery designed exclusively for men. Stocked with over 400 individual jewellery pieces including designer cufflinks and wedding rings, the store represents over forty Melbourne and interstate jewellers, artisans and designers, Lord Coconut is unique to say the very least. Located in the beautiful Mitchell House, walking into the store is like stepping back in time. A Melbourne shopping experience not to be missed.


124 Shoes | Shop 24 Russell Place, Melbourne 124 Shoes provide a unique artisanal experience for shoe lovers, with a hand selected collection of meticulously crafted footwear for men. Sourced from Italy's finest footwear manufacturing regions, 124’s philosophy is to offer quality original footwear in limited quantities, fitting between luxury brands and mass-market retailers. And it’s not just the shoes that will impress you; their customer service is supreme, hands on and personalised. My favourite store is their original home in Russell Place, itself full of Melbourne gems.

Somewhere | Level 2, Royal Arcade, 314 Little Collins Street Since 2005 the Somewhere store has cemented itself as a pioneering retailer of local and international fashion. With more than a slight inclination to all things Nordic by nature, the store brings together the cream of local talent with emerging and established designers from around the world. The beautiful and curated retail environment in the Royal Arcade includes a gallery supporting local visual artists. It is through this unique fusion of fashion and art that Somewhere have been able to create a space that is not simply a retail store, but a place to appreciate creativity in all its forms. Made to Measure I couldn’t write this article without mentioning some of the best places to get a made to measure suit from Melbourne’s best tailors. Perfect for the man wanting that little something extra for a special occasion or his day to day corporate wardrobe. Please note these are by appointment only. Carl Nave 2B/190 Bourke Street www.carlnave.com.au Oscar Hunt Level 3, 43 Hardware Lane www.oscarhunt.com.au

Sally Mackinnon is Melbourne’s leading men’s personal stylist, working in the fashion industry for over 10 years. Visit her website at www.styledbysally.com.au . To book a styling or personal shopping session with Sally contact sally@styledbysally.com.au or call 0416 184 997.


Southside Guide

1. Shrine of Remembrance | Birdwood Ave Immerse yourself in Australian history at the Shrine of Remembrance and browse through over 800 artworks, historical artefacts and personal effects. 2. KUU Café + Japanese Kitchen | 190 Park St, South Melbourne KUU serves quality coffee and authentic Japanese homemade food with a modern twist. Their ‘Japanese Brekkie Platter for the Hungry’ is a must try! 3. South Melbourne Markets | Cnr Cecil St and Coventry Sts These markets are known for their fresh produce and delicious delicatessen food. Stop by Clement Coffee for a fresh brew and don’t miss out on eating some freshly shucked $1 oysters at the Oyster Bar! 4. Honey Bar and Restaurant | 345 Clarendon St, South Melbourne Perfect for after-work drinks, Honey Bar is fitted out with a beautifully designed turquoise bar upstairs and timber finishings downstairs. On the weekends you can shake your booty to cranking tunes from the live DJs. 5. Chez Dre | 285-287 Coventry St, South Melbourne Located down a side alley in South Melbourne, Chez Dre offers French-inspired breakfasts with freshly baked artisan breads and some drool-worthy sweet pastries. 6. Filly’s Stable | 130 Birdport St West, Albert Park Shop for some designer outfits and beautiful accessories at this edgy, chic clothing store. Once you’ve found the perfect outfit, pop across the road to their shoe store, Le Hoof, where you can pick up a pair of handcrafted Italian leather shoes. 7. Nshry | 129A Beaconsfield Parade, Albert Park With beachside views, Nshry is a summer hot spot for many southsiders. The café serves an all day breakfast and lunch from noon. We recommend you try the Umami Burger! LATEST HOTSPOT 8. Happy Place | 116-136 Cecil St, South Melbourne Enjoy healthy on the go meals, snacks and smoothies at this trendy new juice bar and café. With a range of raw, vegan, dairy and glutenfree options, this spot proves that healthy doesn’t need to be boring. For the full Southside Guide visit: weknowmelbourne.com.au/southside-guide/


Melbourne Memories As 2016 draws to a close, it’s time to look back on the past twelve months and reflect on all the fabulous events that took place this year. We asked the team at The Swanston Hotel Grand Mercure to share their most memorable moment of the year. 1. Dancing to a rockabilly band at LuWow before it permanently closes and making random brand new lifelong friends. Kerstyn, Marketing Director 2. Getting up close with the lemurs at the Melbourne Zoo on my birthday. Ting, Graphic Designer 3. Meeting Cyndi Lauper at the Melbourne premiere of the broadway musical, Kinky Boots. Devi, Reception Supervisor 4. Finding my zen at the Mind, Body & Spirit Festival. Annie, Concierge/Reception 5. Taking my daughters to their first ever musical, Matilda the Musical and watching their faces light up during each song. Chris, Chief Concierge 6. Watching the Western Bulldogs win their first AFL Grand Final in 62 years. Josh, Sales & Marketing Coordinator 7. Getting my photos taken for Project 52, a not for profit project who’s mission it is to help the homeless in Melbourne. Alex, Operational Project Manager 8. It hasn’t happened yet, but it will be when my band, The Breadmakers plays on the closing day of the Meredith Music Festival to 12,500 people. It will be (by far!) the biggest crowd we’ve ever played to. Nick, Guest Relations Manager


Interview with Trevor Alexander, Melbourne Musical Theatre Festival Melbourne, a festival city, has always been an enormous supporter of the performing arts community with Fringe, Comedy and the Cabaret Festival, to name just a few of these events on her busy calendar. The Melbourne Musical Theatre Festival, debuting in Melbourne for the first time in January 2017, is the latest one of such events, and is set to entertain musical lovers with a classic line-up of well-loved family musical favourites, timeless adult productions and new Australian shows in the iconic Athenaeum Theatre. We spoke to the event’s Founder and Artist Director, Trevor Alexander about his vision for the event and his personal journey to bring this concept to creation.

This is the first year that musical theatre has been celebrated in Melbourne through a dedicated festival (a huge achievement). What was the journey like in the lead up to bringing this to life? Huge and long. I first had the idea back in 1984; it was a time when Melbourne was poised to become the next West End. But certain events happened and that concept was shelved. It raised its head in 2007 when I was asked to be the Chairperson of a proposed London Musical Theatre Festival. After doing all the leg work, setting up the dates, venues such as Covent Garden etc, I handed the 'blueprint' over to a 'Brit' who subsequently changed all the plans and instead applied for funding - hence why there is no London Musical Theatre Festival. Around the same time, I became close friends and associates with Chris Grady who was building Musical Matters in Edinburgh as part of the Edinburgh Fringe and we had a long discussion of what was needed, not just in London, but anywhere musical theatre played. Soon after that, in 2009, I was directing a workshop of a new musical by Bill Kotswinkle (ET fame) with lyrics and music by Lieber and Stoller for NYMF and took note of how NYMF operated. All the time it was all resurrecting my thoughts about a festival in Melbourne; we had the theatres, we had the population, and we had the musical theatre community. And there were others, some of whom I had mentored, who went off down the path of setting up such a festival, or of developing new Australian works, but they all failed to manifest. During this time I took 5 years off to write RED GRANITE, a book series on what is really below the sand in Egypt that we are not being told about (that's another story!). That completed, it seemed the time was right to set up the MMTF. Then it was a matter of selecting shows, theatres, performers and the usual production things.


How do you want people who attend the 2017 festival to walk away feeling? It depends on the show really, but engaged, amused, happy, that life is worth living and they got more than value for money. What do you love most about the musical theatre scene in Melbourne? Big question. Basically everything; its broad range of shows, it's vibrancy, it's spontaneity, its passion and it's accessibility. What is your all-time favourite musical and why? Easy - It's an opera - Turandot. Extraordinary score. As for a traditional 'musical' it's West Side Story. There are several landmark musicals that changed the face of musicals, Show Boat, Oklahoma, Les Miserables, and so on. But for me West Side Story has it all. It is such a powerful story and an extraordinary score. Having directed it twice I still cry even just thinking about the ending. THAT's what musical theatre is all about for me - moving an audience. Where do you see the Melbourne Musical Theatre Festival going in 2018? Well, we do have VERY big plans on the drawing board for 2018 and beyond which I would love to tell you about, but not just yet, lets crawl before we run. If the Melbourne public get behind this year's shows, and why wouldn't they, great shows, great casts and great prices, then the festival will grow quite rapidly and quickly become THE major musical theatre festival in the world. The Melbourne Musical Theatre Festival runs from 6-28 January 2017. For the full interview with Trevor Alexander visit: weknowmelbourne.com.au/2016/12/01/ interview-melbourne-musical-theatre-festivaldirector-trevor-alexander/


How to Get The Most Out of Your Hotel Recently our Guest Relations Manager, Nick Phillips and his wife enjoyed an idyllic three weeks in Vietnam. His work experience flipped—instead of looking after guests he was the one being looked after. We thought this might be a good time to get Nick’s thoughts on the top 5 ways to get the most out of any hotel stay. He told us it’s all about communication with the hotel staff. 1. My number one tip is to talk to the staff as much as possible and whenever possible. Hotel staff possess a treasure trove of local information with a huge range of life experiences and backgrounds. They have an incredible breadth of knowledge about the city they live in and also their specific local communities. Did you know that at The Swanston Grand Mercure Hotel we have employees from more than 20 different nationalities and ranging in age from their 60s to work experience students in their teens? What an amazing amount of life experiences and knowledge to tap into!

3. When you check in ask about the in-house specials. Are then any food and beverage promotions? What about Happy Hours? Does the hotel organise any free services such as booking tours, theatre tickets or restaurants? Do they have cooking classes, wine tastings, comedy nights etc? The list of possible activities is endless right within the hotel.

4. Let the hotel know if you are there for a special occasion. It might be an anniversary, birthday or honeymoon, but it might be something simpler like your first weekend away without the kids or a spontaneous overnight staycation. Staff at the hotel 2. Start talking to the hotel even before you arrive. When want you to enjoy your stay and will really try and you are making your booking try and let the hotel help you celebrate. know your preferences, requests and requirements 5. Make use of the Concierge Desk. Concierges know so they are noted on your booking and delivered to their city and employ tenacious fact-finding skills. If you during your stay. they can’t find you the answer straight away, they will soon unearth it through relentless sleuthing. The We Know Melbourne team pride ourselves on being able to tell you where to find the best “funky new bar with a roast and gravy” or “the juiciest Halal steaks in the CBD”. And both of these questions were just in the past two days! Lastly, Nick says to get out and explore. Melbourne and beyond is right on your doorstep. You can get a map from the Concierge or Reception Desks or you can try the hot new travel trend of ‘detouring’ where you deliberately wander around until you are lost. But whatever you do, enjoy the experience and keep talking to as many friendly Melburnians as possible.

Image Credit: Robert Blackburn



See you at Soul CafĂŠ... Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Breakfast : 7am - 2pm weekdays | 8am - 3pm weekends Lunch & Dinner : Served from 11:30am til late 195 Swanston St, Melbourne Victoria, Australia 3000


Melbourne's Best Rooftop Bars The arrival of summer can mean only one thing – cocktails and beers at our favourite rooftop bars! Take a front row seat at these rooftop bars and enjoy the incredible CBD skyline with a cocktail in one hand and a camera in the other.

6. Siglo | 161 Spring St, Melbourne A Melbourne institution, Siglo is a world-class rooftop bar offering the finest wines with European dishes and cheese platters. With a distinctly European vibe, this bar is the perfect venue to escape the bustling pace of the CBD below. 1. Easey's | 3/48 Easey St, Collingwood Enjoy killer views of the Melbourne city skyline, mouthwatering burgers and quality drinks from this burger train perched five stories high above Collingwood.

7. Rooftop Bar | 252 Swanston St, Melbourne Located in the heart of Melbourne, Rooftop Bar is looks down upon the CBD from the seventh floor. The bar is packed most days of the week and if you’re up for a film, make sure you check out the Rooftop Cinema program which runs through the summer.

2. Madame Brussels | 59 Bourke St, Melbourne Sip on fruity cocktails at this astro-turf rooftop bar. With waiters in tennis clad outfits, wicker sun lounges and garden chaises, Madame Brussels is the bar to go when you’re after Melbourne’s best garden party.

LATEST HOTSPOT 8. The Hills Rooftop | 1 Flanigan Ln An inner city, hidden gem. This temporary rooftop bar is all about the laid back vibes with great beer and wine at affordable prices. Stop by on Sunday afternoon for their weekly BBQ.

3. Naked in the Sky | 285 Brunswick St, Fitzroy While away the evening at Fitzroy’s best rooftop bar. Enjoy an Espresso Martini along with some Spanish influenced dishes such as slow cooked beef cheeks, empanadas and roasted piquillo peppers. 4. Captain Baxter | 10/18 Jacka Blvd, St Kilda This rooftop bar offers panoramic beach views, live music and some flavourful Asian Street food. Indulge in refined cocktails on their outdoor deck and breathe in the smell of the salty sea air. 5. The Emerson Rooftop | 143/145 Commercial Rd, South Yarra With an elegant yet casual vibe, the Emerson Rooftop is a favourite amongst South Yarra locals. This rooftop bar offers a dining menu filled with Australian dishes, delicious drinks and live music plus DJs.



Summer Holiday Activities With school holidays around the corner, it’s time to start planning how you’ll entertain the kids and keep them busy over the summer. From spending time with the monkeys at the zoo to watching circus acrobatics, we’ve rounded up some of the best family friendly activities around town so you’ll never have to hear “I’m bored” again.

2. C ollingwood Children’s Farm | Abbotsford Escape the hectic pace of the city at the Collingwood Children’s Farm. Kids can get up close with real farm animals while you enjoy a cuppa at The Farm Café. Let your kids learn how to milk a cow or even cuddle some furry guinea pigs. There’s also special school holiday programs designed for the young ones, where they can feed the animals, ride horses or work on the Farm.

1.M elbourne Zoo | Elliott Ave, Parkville Let the kids run wild at the Melbourne Zoo this summer. With over 320 incredible species from around the world, the zoo is the most amazing place to meet wildlife from Australia and beyond. The kids will never get bored with six different sections of the zoo to explore Trails of the Elephants, Australian Bush, Wild Sea, Gorilla Rainforest, Growing Wild and Reptiles.

3. A rtPlay | Birarrung Marr Let your children explore their creativity at ArtPlay. The only playground in the Melbourne CBD where kids will be able to have the time of their lives on the slides, sand pits, swinging hammocks, activity panels, rock and rope climbing features and balance beams. ArtPlay also run regular workshops and performances specifically designed for the little ones.

4. M SAC FlowRider | 1 Aughtie Dr, Albert Park Perfect for a hot summer afternoon the MSAC FlowRider combines techniques of surfing and bodyboarding with the ride of snowboarding and wakeboarding and the tricks of skateboarding - all atop a static wave of water. Get a Casual Rider pass for $30 and ride the waves all day long.


5. W onderland Spiegeltent | 101 Waterfront Way, Docklands Step into the magical world of the Wonderland Spiegeltent, located under the Melbourne Star. The whole family can enjoy world class performances including comedy, acrobatics, circus, music and dance. Big and little kids alike can also enjoy family friendly rides plus all the old classic favourites, such as the Dodgem cars and The Grand Carousel.

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 guest rooms 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/






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We Know Melbourne - Issue 5  

In this issue, we share the events that we are most looking forward to this summer, and we get you ready for the silly season with some last...

We Know Melbourne - Issue 5  

In this issue, we share the events that we are most looking forward to this summer, and we get you ready for the silly season with some last...