With the week’s rainfall behind us and the weekend upon us, it’s time to dust off your mallets and get down to Birrarung Marr. The Royal Croquet Club opens at 5pm tonight, transforming the banks of the Yarra into a summer wonderland of croquet, music, drinks and of course, food.

“You’ll see serious restaurant kitchens on site delivering the experiences that Melburnians are accustomed to,” says Grant Smillie, festival director.

There’ll be fresh lobster rolls from Mr Claws, never-before-seen Messina flavours and countless more creations from Misschu, D.O.C and Meatmother. To wash it down you’ll find plenty to drink, including the perfect croquet accompaniment: Pimms.

Look to the water and you’ll see the Royal Croquet Club VIP boat ferrying people down the river from Ponyfish Island – something you and seven friends could experience, too.

Back on land, festoon lights will guide you towards the fun. There’s a giant croquet lawn, screens on which to watch the tennis and music from the likes of Agent 86 and The Kite String Tangle. “Finally, see if you can find Miss Lee’s Laundry,” says Smillie with a hint of mystery. “It’s the late-night alleyway of fun.”

The Royal Croquet Club opens at 5pm this evening and runs until 1am. There’ll be food until late so whether you’ve got a family or you’re a hospo cat, a nine to fiver or a visitor to Melbourne, there’s always a great time to go.

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The Broadsheet Summer Barbeque at the Royal Croquet Club will run from January 16 to February 1, 2015 at Birrarung Marr.