A shipping-container bar in a lush apple orchard; a breezy French pop-up (with free-flowing wine); and a soaring, prismatic art installation. As well as the restaurants, bars and cafes reopening. Here’s what Broadsheet Melbourne editor Tomas Telegramma thinks you should check out in November.
The great outdoors
Is outdoors the new indoors? With al fresco dining appearing all over town, add these six snazzy set-ups to your hit list.
The usually standing-room-only Bar Americano has spilled out into Presgrave Place for Naples-style boozing; Jessi Singh’s South Melbourne mega-pub Mr Brownie has a makeshift, 50-seat beer garden; and a European-inspired patio is in full swing at Fitzroy’s Poodle Bar & Bistro.
Plus, there’s beautifully curated on-street dining at St Ali, a very French arrangement at Entrecote (with free-flowing rose and a cheesy set menu), and a schmick new rooftop at Richmond pub Harlow, following a $1.3 million refurb.
In the inner north, find Italo-Japanese sangas, Cubanos with smoky pork belly, and “dirty but fresh” Chilean hotdogs behind a bright-blue roller door. And the first resident at Moon Dog World’s new pop-up restaurant is Bluebonnet – go for Texas-style barbeque and hard seltzer.
And in the CBD, Shane Delia has transformed Maha’s laneway into an airy, laid-back Middle Eastern bar and restaurant; City Wine Shop has opened a “schnitzel window”; and a soaring, prismatic art installation (with an important backstory) has emerged on Birrarung Marr, right next to Fed Square.
Get out of town
Be gone, “ring of steel” and 25-kilometre lockdown radius. It’s time to travel.
On the Mornington Peninsula, the ultra-luxe Jackalope Hotel has just reopened, Hotel Sorrento has added a brand-new beer garden (with a stunning view, of course), and Jerry Mai’s Vietnamese beer hall Bia Hoi is doing a residency at Ocean Eight winery.
In the Yarra Valley, an idyllic 85-acre property is opening for pick-your-own-cherry sessions, Tarrawarra Estate has added lavish picnic hampers to its repertoire, and a shipping-container bar has landed in the middle of a lush apple orchard (with plenty of booze made from the surrounding fruit).
Meanwhile, the team from refined Vietnamese diner Anchovy has headed to Sutton Grange Winery, just south of Bendigo, for a regional pop-up.
Extreme post-lockdown escapes
If lockdown’s left you feeling trapped, here are three out-of-the-box ways to break free. Firstly, you could jump into a wind tunnel – powered by four 450-horsepower fans – at this newly reopened indoor-skydiving facility. Too much? How about hurling an axe at the intensely named Maniax Axe Throwing (it’s just like dart-throwing, I’m told)? Or carving up a man-made wave at a notably inland location?
Hit the gym
Prefer to get your endorphins a more traditional way? Luckily, gyms are back. Try this California-inspired pilates studio (it’s now doing rooftop classes); a full-body spin workout in a near-soundproof chamber, with music at “nightclub level”; or this low-impact fitness studio where the rowing-slash-reformer workouts will “absolutely destroy you”.