One-off picnic snacks from Embla, Smith & Daughters, Hector’s Deli and more; a new destination fish’n’chippery by the beach; a powerful art show documenting the lives of survivors of the Soviet regime; and bottomless Southern American brunches (with unlimited Mimosas). Here’s what Broadsheet Melbourne editor Ellen Fraser is checking out this month.

Broadsheet’s Bushfire Relief Twilight Picnic at the NGV is almost sold out. Get delicious one-off snacks and drinks from a stacked line-up of Melbourne's best including Embla, Vue de Monde, Hector’s Deli, Smith & Daughters, Old Palm Liquor and more to a backdrop of tunes by Shannon Martinez and Attica’s Ben Shwery. Everyone involved is donating time and produce, and 100 per cent of proceeds will go to the cause.

If you’re hitting the beach this month, make a stop at Fish by Moonlite, a descendant of popular Angelsea diner Captain Moonlite over the road. Order locally-caught, ethically-sourced seafood in vodka batter and a big serve of crisp, salty chips, then head over the road to the beach and fight the seagulls for your haul.

Ever get to a BYO restaurant and realise you have nothing interesting to drink? Same. Punchin’ Bottles is solving that problem – at least until July, when the lease is up. Expect responsibly produced drops that run the gamut from fresh and fizzy, to fun and funky.

One for cocktail diehards: Melbourne Cocktail Festival makes its debut this month. It’s from the team behind Worksmith, a co-working space for the hospitality industry, and curated by 2018 World Class Global Bartender of the Year Orlando Marzo. The Breezer Block Party will be a hit – it’s by beverage buffs at Fancy Free, who’ll be serving odes to the Bacardi beverage that bested us all in our early 20s.

In other cocktail news, influential NYC bar Death & Co is coming to Melbourne for two nights only. There’ll be mixed drinks matched to dishes, and shots – such as a coffee-coconut Cortado – served with a lamington Magnum for dessert.

Melbourne-based documentary photographer Alex Schoelcher zooms in on Brutalist apartment buildings and the people who live in them at Concrete Citizens. The architectural style is characterised by massive, monolithic and “blocky” structures, and is often associated with the Soviet Union. Each portrait depicts someone who has survived – or is living in the wake of – the Soviet regime. This is a powerful series.

Nutella cannoli, Nutella croissants, Nutella waffles, Nutella crepes and vegan Nutella smoothie bowls – it must be World Nutella Day. Whether or not you consider it an official holiday, head along to Preston Market on the 9th and celebrate.

If you put a holiday on hold for fire season, now’s the time to look at scheduling it back in again. Many Aussie towns, even those far from the fires, are seeing drop-offs in visitors. Here’s how you can holiday helpfully – from beautiful places to stay and a new online hub listing areas safe to visit, to stocking up at local provedores and visiting wildlife sanctuaries.

Every Saturday and Sunday this month, Le Bon Ton in Collingwood is putting on a New Orleans feast. For $55, you’ll get breakfast burritos filled with pit-smoked beef brisket and scrambled eggs, Wagyu and bacon cheeseburgers, smoked chicken wings with hot sauce and bottomless Mimosas.

Japanese artist and composer Ryoji Ikeda is known for his spectacular audio-visual installations and performances, such as spectra, a giant sabre-like work at Dark Mofo in 2013 that signalled the winter solstice and dissected the sky. Now he’s headed to Hamer Hall for datamatics ver. 2.0, where sequences of patterns from hard-drive errors will create a 55-minute electronic soundscape where the overall effect is of being shrunk and trapped in circuitry.

Sibling bars Bimbo and Lucky Coq are known for their cheap pizzas, but for two hours on February 9 you can get them for free. There’s a limit of one per person, and you’ll want to arrive early.

Chef-yogi Paolo Arlotta’s (Vue de Monde, Tipo 00, Kinfolk) Herbivorous Nights is happening over four nights this month. The intimate vegetarian feast is all about the seasonal and the sustainable, presented in unexpected ways. Past dishes included endive with caramelised buttermilk and shiitake essence, and eggplant tiramisu with cardamom.

New Zealand-born label Kowtow is known for its effortless, minimalist style, and its pop-up in Fitzroy is ending this month. Shop up to 80 per cent off thoughtful, sustainable pieces that have made the label a go-to for conscious shoppers. There’ll be new-season items, archive pieces and sample stock.