Hugs & Kisses
22 Sutherland Street, Melbourne
0422 440 741
This place offers a seamless transition from an intimate cocktail to a fully fledged dance-floor experience. Available for bookings with standing room for up to 220 (curtained booths available). Contact the venue for extended opening hours and headline acts.
125 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
(03) 8663 2000
Enjoy the city’s most popular South East Asian fare and drinks in the lavish GoGo Bar. You can book for groups from eight to 150 people and enjoy either a sit-down or stand-up menu from Chin Chin’s kitchen.
37 Little Collins Street, Melbourne
(03) 9663 7890
Headed by chef Matt McConnell, this Spanish restaurant at the top of Collins Street offers private sit-down dining for groups of up to 35, or cocktail parties for up to 60.
180 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
(03) 9650 8688
There's no better bonding experience than karaoke, especially when you're a few drinks in. Andrew McConnell's Supernormal offers hire of an intimate private dining room for up to 40 guests seated, or 60 for cocktails. Includes access to the private karaoke room.
328 Swanston Street, Melbourne
(03) 8664 7291
The State Library offers a variety of spaces ranging from the 19th-century interior of Queen's Hall to the entire La Trobe reading room. Catering provided.
68 Little Collins Street, Melbourne
(03) 9663 8268
The youngest member of the Revolver/Toff/Cookie family. Eat downstairs then head up to dance. Flexible bookings available for up to 50 people downstairs.
Level 6, 252 Swanston Street, Melbourne
(03) 9654 4417
With a list of more than 200 types of tequila and mezcal, this Mexican restaurant and bar at the top of Curtin House guarantees a good time. Bookings for 10 to 200. Sit down or stand for casual cocktails, book a table or the whole venue.
Old Melbourne Gaol
377 Russell Street, Melbourne
(03) 9656 9815
The Old Melbourne Gaol offers a couple of options for venue hire: there is the jail itself, and then the watch house (a building next to the jail). A quirky option is a guest appearance from Ned Kelly and/or some “ye olde jail sergeants”. In-house catering only, seats up to 120 guests, cocktails up to 400.
Melbourne Town Hall
90–120 Swanston Street, Melbourne
(03) 9658 9779
The Melbourne Town Hall is the embodiment of holiday cheer – the Portico balcony is currently wrapped up like a giant gift. There is a variety of function spaces that can cater for 10 to 2000 people with in-house catering provided by Epicure.
72 Flinders Street, Melbourne
(03) 9677 9677
George Calombaris’ recently reopened restaurant offers reservations for up to 40 people with a set lunch or dinner menu, with the option to hire the entire venue. Neighbouring experimental kitchen, Press Club Projects can be hired as a smaller private room and can cater to up to 10 people with a set-menu degustation.
2 Exhibition Street, Melbourne
(03) 9207 7444
For something more casual, hop over to Calombaris’ other city restaurant, Gazi, for souvlaki and fun Greek share plates. Bookings for up to 100 people.
20 Meyers Place, Melbourne
(03) 9650 8609
If you want to go somewhere with heart, head to Melbourne’s first late-night laneway bar, which has been a favourite spot since 1993. Bookings for up to 63 people, with staff happy to recommend caterers or for you to arrange your own.
275 Exhibition Street, Melbourne
(03) 9663 7994
Three different spaces are on offer, depending on the size of your guest list. Book out one of the smaller rooms with seating for up to 40 people (and access to the private honey garden) or go all out with the full venue for up to 400 people.
2/161 Spring Street, Melbourne
(03) 9654 6300
Slick cocktails on a rooftop with views onto Spring Street. Bookings for functions during the day only.
36 Manchester Ln, Melbourne
(03) 9650 6931
As a new social enterprise, Shebeen is a novel idea as far as drinking establishments go. Just as importantly, though, it’s proven itself as damn-fine drinking establishment independent of the fact 100% of its profits go to the developing world. Over the Christmas period, Shebeen is offering functions beginning at $40 per person. It’s also boasting a new summer cocktail menu.
106-122 Hardware Street, Melbourne
(03) 9602 2111
Hire the downstairs section of the split-level city venue and share a couple rounds of Christmas cocktails. Open until late, this is the spot to kick on into the night.
SOUTHBANK / DOCKLANDS
Wharf 9, Central Pier, Docklands
(03) 9499 9371
There a limited places remaining on the annual “Bonza” Christmas cruises aboard Lady Cutler. Tickets are all inclusive of a four-hour cruise, live band and DJ, drinks, dinner, dessert and coffee as well as a guest appearance by Santa.
Shed 14, Docklands
(03) 8623 9650
Jutting 350 metres out into the Victoria harbour, this unique spot may be known to some as the venue for Animals Dancing’s New Year’s parties. Extensive catering options available.
2A Clarendon Street, Melbourne
(03) 9656 9815
Polly is available for day and night events, a popular venue for up to 200 people, a group of caterers can be recommended according to your budget. The two levels of the ship is entirely yours including the museum, theatrette and wharf. You can even get a food truck onto the wharf. Pirates are available upon request.
727 Collins Street, Melbourne
(03) 9252 7999
The Spanish bar and restaurant in Docklands offers bookings for up to 60 seated or 120 standing. Options include an extensive sharing menu or a more casual tapas selection.
Marquis of Lorne
411 George Street, Fitzroy
(03) 9417 5001
Having just re-opened its doors in the hands of some capable new owners, the Marquis of Lorne offers a traditional pub setting with a range of progressive dining options. A private dining room can accommodate up to 12 while many more can spread out on the roof terrace. Enquire for special Christmas consideration.
Rosina Function Space, Abbotsford Convent
1 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford
(03) 9417 7771
Within the convent grounds there are a couple of exceptional venues available for hire. The Rosina Function Space is spread across both an indoor and outdoor setting. It can seat 280 or host about double that standing. Timber floors and high ceiling will form the backdrop of a Christmas package which includes festive cocktails and bon bons.
CERES Community Environment Park
Corner of Roberts and Stewart Streets, Brunswick
(03) 9389 0188
The CERES park is 4.5 hectares of reclaimed land on the Merri Creek in Brunswick. Several venues are available here, the largest being The Village Green which caters to anything between 50–400. In-house catering is available – the organic produce is sourced from within 100 kilometress (some coming from the local neighbourhood).
129 Lygon Street, Brunswick East
(03) 9387 0188
Atticus currently has eight-month-old, barrel-aged Negroni in stock and offers in-house cooking, a private backroom, a backyard and no minimum spend during the week. There is a rotating, extensive list of wines, beers and cocktails.
421 Rathdowne Street, Carlton
(03) 9347 8171
Not a traditional Christmas venue, but expect the staff to inject some fun into your party. It can tailor packages for small groups or for up to 400 people.
Kumo Izakaya & Sake Bar
152 Lygon Street, Brunswick East
(03) 9388 1505
An Izakaya is a place to drink in Japan where the emphasis on food and booze is equal. Kumo Izakaya & Sake Bar has a range of function options available for the Christmas reveller. For privacy, up to 10 people can be accommodated in the tatami room, while the whole venue, mezzanine or main dining room are available for exclusive bookings. The Christmas bookings are already mounting at Kumo so call now to avoid disappointment.
434 Lygon Street, Brunswick East
(03) 9381 1222
A great option for a Greek feast. Private dining for up to 16, semi-private Spartan’s table for up to 19 and a special Christmas menu available New Year’s Day (Christmas Day is booked out).
815 Nicholson Street, Carlton North
(03) 9380 5499
Surrounded by open parkland, this is a classy spot to share Spanish share plates and excellent cocktails. The dining room can host 100 for a cocktail, or can hold up to 140 seated across the whole venue. The piano in the corner could provide a perfect soundtrack for the evening.
211 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
(03) 9417 7700
If you’re looking for a special place with refined elegance, you can’t go past the newly unveiled function room within The Builders Arms Hotel. It can accommodate up to 70 guests seated or 90 for cocktails. The menu designed by Andrew McConnell and Builders chef Josh Murphy is exquisite.
Lazerpig Pizza Parlour
9/11 Peel Street, Collingwood
(03) 9417 1177
A pub-meets-quality pizza parlour with a stable of impressive guest DJs. Private or public dining for groups of up to 50.
19 Lincoln Square South, Carlton
(03) 9347 1138
Kaprica is an unpretentious and exceptional Italian restaurant facing Lincoln Square. You can book to sit down for up to 50 or reserve the whole place for a party for 50–70.
132 Lygon Street, Brunswick East
(03) 9380 5339
A renowned traditional Sicilian-inspired restaurant with a private dining room upstairs for 10–16 people, or book the whole place for something extra special.
Level 1, 150–156 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
Surrounded by dark leather, mounted taxidermy and flickering candles, there’s no better place to swill Old-Fashioneds than The Everleigh’s back room bar, The Elk Room. Available seven days a week for up to 80 people.
The Stables, Como House and Gardens
Lechlade Avenue, South Yarra
(03) 9656 9815
A fully catered pavillion in the gardens is available for hire with sit-down canapes, picnics, games and a lemonade stand (that can be converted into a champagne or Pimms stand). Up to 60 standing, up to 40 seated.
2 Duke Street, Windsor
(03) 9939 5181
This is Hanoi Hannah’s sophisticated older sister in Windsor. Saigon Sally will be opening for lunch on Thursdays and Fridays in December leading up to Christmas.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Birdwood Avenue, South Yarra
(03) 9021 2111
The Jardin Tan (of the Vue empire) boasts an arcadia-esque setting – several indoor spaces lead to a beer garden from which you can wander out into the Botanic Gardens. A range of catering options is available.
2 Manor Grove, Caulfield North
(03) 9656 9815
Labassa is a fairly unknown, 19th-century ornate mansion with its original interior. It’s been popular for commercial filming and only recently opened for private events. Sit down for up to 60 or cocktails for up to 100.
Colonel Tan's (Revolver)
229 Chapel Street, Prahran
(03) 9521 5985
Another from the chef behind Cookie and The Toff. Traditional Thai served in an iconic Melbourne nightspot with American, diner-style decor. Bookings can be made for groups from 10–40.
192 Hotham Street, Elsternwick
(03) 9656 9815
Enjoy 14 acres of gardens and a ballroom that opens to a pool area. Old-fashioned games are available and food trucks can be organised to visit the grounds.
Milk the Cow
157 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda
(03) 9537 2225
The original St Kilda venue (a sister has just opened in Carlton) offers a comfortable, large communal table set-up, at the back which is perfect for casual gatherings of up to 20 people. Take your pick from tasting plates, shared cheeseboards or even a fondue party.
615 Balcombe Road, Black Rock
(03) 9598 3235
Ebenezer is taking bookings for private dining on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday evenings throughout the Christmas period. On offer is individually tailored menus with matched wines.
Luxembourg Bar & Bistro
2/157 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda
(03) 9525 4488
A casual European-style bistro taking bookings for up to 18 (non-private), or enquire to book the whole venue. Chef's selection menus are available as are a range of other options upon enquiry.
Sebastian’s Food & Wine
303 Hampton Street, Hampton
(03) 9533 4755 Sebastian’s is a daytime eatery which leaves the evenings wide open for function bookings. Choose between three spaces: the courtyard, the Marble Bar and the Monsteria Room or book the whole joint. The focus here is on seasonal and local produce.
Footscray Community Arts Centre
45 Moreland Street, Footscray
(03) 9362 8866
An outdoor amphitheatre located on the banks of the Maribyrnong River is available for Christmas parties among other spaces within the arts centre. Performances and workshops are ongoing so these could be incorporated too.
Flagstaff Gardens Bowls Club
Dudley Street, West Melbourne
(03) 9328 3462
Lawn bowls makes for a classic Christmas party. The capacity here is 120 seated, 200 standing. (There are only a handful of openings remaining for Christmas bookings).
The Plough Hotel
333 Barkly Street, Footscray
(03) 9687 2878
Bookings for up to 50 people are available for a two-course or three-course Christmas menu. Choose from the formal dining room for up to 14, a communal table for up to 20 people, high tables for stand-up cocktails or the courtyard for balmy evenings.
Studley Park Boathouse
1 Boathouse Road, Kew
(03) 9853 1828
Two areas are available here both with balconies overlooking the Yarra River. Rowboats, canoes and kayaks are available for hire. Sit down for up to 80 people, standing for cocktails for 150 people. In-house catering available.
Café Vue at Heide
7 Templestowe Road, Bulleen VIC
(03) 9691 3888
This cafe is in the majestic Heide grounds and the dedicated events concierge from Vue will help you organise your bespoke event.
352 Canterbury Road, Ringwood 3134
(03) 8822 4174
Mister Fox overlooks the golf course which gives revellers the chance to mix a bit of sport into a shindig. Available for Christmas functions, after hours it can accommodate up to 200. For either stand-up cocktails or sit-down dinner, a variety of packages are available.