MELBOURNE | Melbourne Festival has been showcasing some of the best local and international arts experiences to Melbourne for 30 years and between 8-25 October this year, people have the chance to once more get involved. It’s a festival that covers a wide range of things that people love about the cultural side of this city – theatre, music, dance, film, visual arts and design. To check out what events are on, take a look at the official programme.
The home base for the Melbourne Festival is the Foxtel Festival Hub, which is a riverfront lounge, al fresco cafe, beer and cider bar and a live music venue located on the banks of the Yarra between Princes Bridge and the boat sheds. It’s open throughout the Festival and is a great option for anyone looking for a snack, a drink or just a place to chill out or dance – a range of local and international musicians will be playing a variety of tunes at the Hub.
Naturally, people will be hungry (and thirsty!) before and after the events they attend and this year Melbourne Festival has teamed up with some of Melbourne’s top restaurants, cafes and bars to provide a range of food and drink options for festival goers.
The City Lane was invited to preview offerings from a few of the Festival food partners and of course gladly accepted the chance to go on a little food and drink walk through the CBD.
Mesa Verde is a Mexican inspired saloon style bar and offers a range of authentic Mexican food. Their tacos are outstanding, and one of the highlights is actually the vegetarian black bean option. They’re running a special offer for festival goers of a free cocktail of choice from the $10 SHOPPE menu with the purchase of any cocktail from the Mesa Verde Menu.
La Vita Buona
La Vita Buono is an Italian Enoteca, which is basically a bar and shop in one. There’s a very nice range of food and drinks on offer, and almost all of the products that are used by the venue can be purchased to take home. Their barrel aged negronis are delicious and the quality of produce is top notch. The festival offer here is a complimentary glass of wine with any main meal purchased over the value of $25.00 after 4pm.
Pastuso is a modern Peruvian grill, cevicheria and pisco bar that provides diners with the chance to sample authentic Peruvian food that makes the most of seasonal, fresh Australian produce. The grilled swordfish is a must order dish – it’s beautifully marinated, charred and super tender. Festival goers have an option of going for a chef’s platter set menu with a complimentary pot of Kirin beer for $49.00.
Arbory is on of our favourite bars in the city. It offers great drinks and food in an unbeatable location right on the Yarra River overlooking Southbank. The espresso martinis on tap are always a good idea and for hungry festival goers, there’s the option of a softshell crab burger and a glass of selected wine or beer for $18.00.
Fresh Japanese food and creative Japanese inspired cocktails are what Sake is all about – the tempura is a real highlight here. The Melbourne Festival offer at Sake is for a complimentary matched sake taster when dining on the pre-theatre menu.
State of Grace
State of Grace is located in an 1889 heritage building with a secret. On street level is a modern European restaurant but go the back and press on the bookcase and you’ll find a set of stairs that leads down to a New York style speakeasy bar. The salted caramels are particularly indulgent and if you’re a festival goer you can get a complementary dessert or signature cocktail with any main meal or grill purchase.
Take a look here for a full list of participating Melbourne Festival food and drink partners, and remember to tag your Festival food and drink photos on social media with #festivalfeasts for a chance to win a dinner for 2.
When: Thu 8 to Sun 25 October
Tickets: Varies by event
Where: Melbourne CBD & Southbank