Suburb spotlight: North Melbourne
No matter where you venture, Melbourne is bursting with an array of eclectic and energetic delights. With a little forward-planning, and the right local knowledge (which we’ll let you in on), heading outside the CBD will open you up to even more insights of this beautiful city. Here are our must-dos of North Melbourne – just a quick skip from your Docklands serviced apartment.
Auction Rooms Cafe is almost always at the top of the recommendations list for not only North Melbourne, but the city as a whole. Start with a Small Batch coffee, and mull over the sweet and savoury menu as you take in the industrial chic interior. Our tip: the corned beef hash (slow cooked beef, potato, shredded cabbage, leek, poached eggs, pita bread, Sriracha hollandaise) is a real tummy pleaser this time of year. Or, if you’re looking for an old school pub with heart, you can’t go past The North Melbourne Hotel. Don’t be intimidated by the black glass chandeliers – this one boasts European cuisine and flair without the high price tag.
There’s that distinct feeling of being right at home (at Grandma’s house) at funky drinking hole, Prudence. Dimly-lit vintage lamps, mismatched furniture and epic timber panelling is complemented by spinning records and well-read books. Perch yourself in the front room with a cocktail and watch the Queen Victoria Market unfold below. Speaking of cocktails, Joe Taylor is another exceptional stop on your nightlife list. They’ve got two pages of concoctions that change each week.
Satisfy your cultural cravings with a visit to Arts House. This special centre is Melbourne’s contemporary space for performance and interactive art-forms. The program is split across two venues: the North Melbourne Town Hall and the Meat Market. You’ll be treated to a unique line-up of entertainment, ranging from theatre and dance, to live art, digital and visual art. This month we’re eyeing off We All Know What’s Happening. Part school musical, part history lesson and part political probe, the 19-22 July show follows people too young to vote confront power, complacency, children’s rights and the future.
See the July schedule at artshouse.com.au
Francophiles, rejoice! France is coming to your (North Melbourne) doorstep. Pencil July 15-17 in your diary and make your way to the Meat Market for a buzzing Bastille Day celebration.
Among the gems will be delicious food and drinks, exhibitions, live performances, a kids area and exceptional prizes. A host of workshops can help you fine tune your knowledge, including learning how to make authentic French pastry, and an Armagnac Vs Whisky masterclass.
Check out the full program at bastilledaymelbourne.com
We’ll make excuses for a chocolate fix any day of the year, but especially in winter. Beeline to Mork Chocolate Brew House, where the team is serving up quality chocolate creations with an impressive cacao count. The concept store is intimate, with only 18 seats for you to slowly sip your Campfire Chocolate (a stemless glass filled with smoke, a beaker of chocolate, smoked salt and toasted marshmallow) or Chocolate Soda (single-origin Madagascan milk chocolate with bubbles and a straw). Coffee lovers, beware: you won’t find any beans here.
Find it at 150 Errol Street, North Melbourne.
From Docklands, North Melbourne is an easy 10-minute drive via hire car, or a half hour walk or tram ride. Alternatively, you should get change from a $20 note in an Uber or Taxi.