The festive season is near. Yes, it’s only October, but if you want to out-do last year’s Christmas shindig, you need to book now. Whether it’s an intimate affair with your best friends or a party with all 150 of your workforce, our Christmas venue guide will help you find the right place to suit the occasion.


SIT DOWN

Saint Crispin, Collingwood
Scott Pickett’s restaurant has an opulent private dining room upstairs that’s ideal for a sit down for 10. Choose between a three-course feed or splurge with the chef’s tasting menu, which includes five or seven courses.

Chin Chin, CBD
For a Thai Christmas feast, groups of 10 to 14 people are able to book at Chin Chin’s chef’s table, and groups of eight or more can also book downstairs at GoGo Bar. Choose between two Feed Me Menus – the Classics or the Cookbook Feast, which features dishes from the restaurant’s latest book. Lunch and dinner seatings are both available, and while you’re there, pick up some last minute Christmas gifts at the store. (The sister Lucas Group restaurants will also be taking bookings in the Christmas period including Kisumé, Hawker Hall, Baby and Kong BBQ.)

Cumulus Up, CBD
Cumulus Up’s Wine Room is an intimate space with a faceted timber feature wall, bespoke Italian lighting and floor-to-ceiling glass doors. Share a banquet with up to 20 guests sitting together at one long table.

Supernormal Canteen, St Kilda
You can book the whole venue at Andrew McConnell’s Fitzroy Street restaurant, which also includes the outdoor area. For smaller parties, book the private wooden dining “cube”, which is perfect for groups of 12 to 14 people.

Ricky & Pinky, Fitzroy
In a colourful space with fish tanks and Lazy Susans you can have a sit-down feast for up to 150 guests. Head chef Archan Chan’s contemporary Chinese food is served as a share-style banquet lunch. It’s fun, and practical for large groups. Afterwards, continue the party with a beer or wine at the Builders Arms front bar.


STANDING SOIREES

Take Away Pizza, Preston
Dexter’s new pizza restaurant and bar opens in November. Up to 60 guests will get a customised menu, which may include American-style pizzas, corn dogs and other takes on Coney Island snacks. The bar closes at 1am, so you can enjoy a full night of dancing and Popcorn Coco Libres after the official party is over.

Village People Hawker Foodhall, Fitzroy
The middle storey of the building at 127 Brunswick Street is Village People Hawker Hall, and the entire space can be booked for 350 people. For smaller groups, you can book the indoor Sing Sing Room for up to 30 guests or the outdoor deck alone for up to 80 people. Other spaces include the top level Upside Rooftop Bar and bottom storey Ichi Ichi Nana. An in-house events team is on hand to customise all 127 Brunswick Street venue spaces to suit any theme or occasion. For example, you may choose to recreate a South East Asian hawker-style market with food stalls, karaoke and even knife sharpening demonstrations.

Cutler & Co., Fitzroy
During the week the restaurant is closed in daytime hours while staff prepare for the dinner service, but for special occasions, such as private Christmas parties, you can book the elegant Gertrude Street venue for up to 140 guests for a cocktail-style lunch event. A canapé menu may include a selection of Meatsmith charcuterie, curated cheese boards, oysters and seasonal seafood platters.

The Everleigh, Fitzroy
The Everleigh’s Starling Room is a dimly lit nook to the side of the main bar, which groups of seven to 15 can book privately. For larger cocktail-style events of up to 80 guests, The Elk Room – inspired by gentlemen’s lounges and 1930s old-world charm – is your best option. In addition to classic cocktails and canapés, a live jazz band can also be arranged.

QT Melbourne rooftop, CBD
You can take over the rooftop at QT Melbourne between Monday and Thursday. This is the spot for views overlooking Melbourne, summery cocktails and bubbly prosecco while lounging on plush designer lounges. The space fits up to 185 guests, or for smaller bookings of 12 to 50 people, there’s also a reserved area option.


PARTY TIME

Whitehart, CBD
This laneway bar, made out of shipping containers, can cater for up to 200 standing guests (and 110 sitting down.) The bar is open to external entertainment from DJs to live acts to magicians and the team can arrange for a few different food trucks to cater the event.

Church of Bang Bang Boogaloo, CBD
Behind Thousand Pound Bend on Little Lonsdale Street is a gallery space and a hidden chapel with a heritage façade. Combined, the two spaces are ideal for 150 guests or more to celebrate the end of the year. Staff will help you with styling, design and furniture hire to create a custom theme and atmosphere for your event.

Second Story Studios, Collingwood
This 450-square-metre warehouse space in the north fits 300-plus people and includes the indoor, open-plan party space, an outdoor area and a smaller side room. You can host any kind of Christmas party you wish here and the team has extensive event planning experience.

Bang Bang at the Rifle Club, Elsternwick
This rifle club turned tropical South East Asian restaurant can fit up to 280 people, with a large outdoor area and a nearby park to keep the kids entertained. Day and night functions can be booked for any night of the week and going into summer there’ll be live music acts on Friday and Saturday nights. Relax with a Cucumber Smash cocktail and celebrate the year that was.