It’s truly incredible what one man can achieve with a touch of sequin, a lot of pizazz and a set of lungs that support such badass pipes for a whole two hours. Trevor Ashley is one of, if not, the best drag queen performer this divine country has ever had. And yes Dame Edna Everage that includes you.
As I entered the Arts Centre’s State Theatre with a hoard of people old and young, I could imagine a time long past where the magicians, illusionists, and freaks of the world held centre stage as they shocked and tantalised their audiences worldwide. A time without t.v or internet, where the prime form of entertainment stood in front of you in all their grandeur. ‘The Illusionists 1903’ propelled us back into an era where magic and mystique hung thick in the air, and nothing was quite as it seemed.
Hidden to the side of Federation Square away from the hustle and bustle of Melbourne CBD is Pilgrim Bar – one of the city’s best-kept afternoon-session secrets. Its entrance is located on Federation Wharf, just off the well-trodden path of Flinders Street. Situated just next to the Yarra River, this bar and eatery attracts both locals and travelers alike with its beautiful, all-weather section the perfect vantage point for watching all of the action below.
The fun starts as soon as you arrive at Lady Carolina and step through the large turquoise wooden doors that open onto the moody dining area. Complete with neon signs illuminating walls of exposed brick, the casual eatery exudes an air of cool that almost understates the clever, innovative food that is on offer. With warmer weather gracing our city, what you’ll really want to do is pass through the indoor seating to the outside, where you will find Lady Carolina’s Latin Street Kitchen – a vibrant courtyard dedicated to the celebration of Latin street food in all its boldness and glory.
The warmer weather has seen Melbournians taking to Birrarung Marr for a little reprieve, where the fancy Royal Croquet Club (RCC) has returned this year with its smooth green lawns beneath beautiful blue skies. While it may already be a week in, there’s still time to style yourself croquet chic and get in quick to try some of the best culinary experiences that the event has to offer.
‘Friends of STREAT’, the new cookbook by Melbourne-based social enterprise, STREAT, recently launched at QV’s Meat Fish Wine. To celebrate, guests were treated to an abundance of espresso martinis, bubbles and canapés. With 45 top Australian chefs chipping in to share some of their favourite recipes, this hefty 320+ page hardcover offering is dedicated to the many hundreds of young people that have participated in the STREAT program thus far.
Meatworks could soon become the best thing to ever happen in South Melbourne's food scene. Housed in a renovated old 1930’s panel-beating garage, this warehouse turned pleasure palace for carnivores will be opening its doors in four stages across the next few months. Grass-fed meat is the name of the game and with influences from both the East and the West, the brand new eatery will surely not disappoint.
Perched atop the crown of Melbourne’s oldest pub, The Duke of Wellington, is a glamorous Manhattan-inspired dining lounge by the name of Dutchess. Despite its location across the road from Federation Square, the restaurant feels miles away from downtown Melbourne, evoking the signature vogue style of nightlife in New York City.
For those who love their dumplings, stepping into Din Tai Fung creates the same childlike, wondrous glee that you’d get from walking into a chocolate factory. The awe is almost palpable as diners press their noses against the glass walls of the kitchen, catching a glimpse of the masters creating the world’s tastiest dumpling fresh in front of their eyes. That’s right, the restaurant is home to the famous xiao long bao, so you can imagine our excitement when we were invited along to participate in an exclusive Dumpling Masterclass last week.