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The Modern Connoisseur’s Melbourne picks: January

The Modern Connoisseur would like to officially welcome 2015. The start of the new year allows to hit the reset button, set new goals and – most importantly – spending your fun time the right way. Whether 2014 was given the thumbs up or gracefully ‘flipped the bird’, 2015 is all about new experiences and revisiting old favourites. With the hope of promising weather to arrive, there is plenty of unique events to attend over the month of January.


Royal Croquet Club

Ask any Melbournian what’s their favourite sport to watch during January and the majority will enthusiastically say TENNIS! There will be a number of different venues offering their take in delivering the Tennis action, but many will find it tough to match the Tennis fever at Royal Croquet Club. For the duration of the Australian Open (including the Australia Day Long Weekend) the Royal Croquet Club will be setting up its Croquet course at Birrarung Marr.

While some may catch the fever of smashing balls around the course with a traditional ‘mallet’, others can enjoy a range of food offerings – curated by Broadsheet – or sip on a refreshing beverage as the sun sets over the Melbourne CBD. Not only is the Tennis being broadcast live but there is a number of live music acts on offer.


WHERE: Birrarung Marr (Yalumba Container)
WHEN: 16 Jan – 1 Feb

Monday – Thursday: 4pm -11pm
Friday: 4pm – 1am
Saturday: 12pm – 1am
Sunday: 12pm – 11pm

Extended Trading hours for the Australia day Long Weekend & Closing Weekend:
Sunday 25th: 12pm – 12am
Monday 26th: 12pm – 12am
Closing Night Sunday 1st Feb: 12pm – 12am


Tarp and Water = Slide.Melbourne & Slidestreet

The end of 2014 and start of 2015 was greeted with some terrific news for Melbourne’s summer action. While most believe in the mantra of ‘pens down’ during the holiday period, the social media channels were buzzing with news of two giant watersides coming to Melbourne. For those that are very familiar with the classic backyard tarp and water combination, then prepare to bring your A game.

Photo by Mac1Photography

On 24 January, Slidestreet brings its buckets of water and 315 metres of tarp to Fitzroy Garden. The event is more than just having a slippery time, with food trucks out-and-about, live music and pop-up bars. Following this, on 15 February, Slide.Melbourne aims to deliver a world record by offering the worlds longest water slide – coming in at an impressive 400 metres.

This once backyard summer entertainment has seriously up the stakes and Melbourne is going to be spoilt for choice.


WHERE: Lansdowne Street, Fitzroy Gardens
WHEN: 24 January 2015
TIME: 12am – 7pm. Please click here for further information
PRICE: Starting at $15

WHERE: Lansdowne Street, Fitzroy Gardens
WHEN: 15 February 2015
TIME: 10am – 4pm. Please click here for further information
PRICE: Starting at $40 plus booking fee


From 23 January to 21 February, Southgate on Southbank embraces the summer with music, dance, circus, theatre and art as it introduces its new festival – SummerSalt. SummerSalt is an outdoor arts festival that is set to entertain passersby and guests on the banks of the Yarra. The festival will include interactive theatre, puppetry, storytelling and giant art installations.

One exhibition to look out for is Born in a Taxi, a collection of three physical theatre installations all located at Southgate Pedestrian Bridge. The ensemble includes: a beached whale were participants can enter into it’s stomach to discover the mysteries of the deep (Something Fishy); observing the glory days of black and white gangsters, with plenty of slapstick comedy thrown in (Sharpshooters); and, experiencing a mischievous world were chess pieces take a life of their own and are ruled by a very bossy queen (The Curious Game).

The festival leans itself to entertain people who are passing by with 20 minutes or so to spare rather than those that are particularly interested in seeing a collection of art forms. Don’t forget there are some impressive restaurant and bars offered by Southgate to refresh and recoup from the excitement of SummerSalt.


WHERE: Southgate Promenade, on the banks of the Yarra River
WHEN: 23 Jan – 21 Feb
TIME: Dependent on schedule

Art & Performance

Bohemian Melbourne

Labelled by many names throughout their time (rebel, artist, misfits and hippies) the bohemian lifestyle is filled with no social expectation or structure to follow. By strict definition, they are considered to have an ‘unconventional lifestyle, often in the company of like-minded people’ and have left a mark on Melbourne and its outer suburbs.

The Keith Murdoch Gallery at the State Library Victoria, takes visitors on the journey of the Melbourne Bohemian. Starting from the glory days of 1860s – a time when Melbourne was very young and bathed in wealth from the gold rush – to the current day; the bohemian still remains strong but also evolved in many ways.

The exhibition examines pop culture and its various past and current influences, including the likes of Marcus Clarke, Albert Tucker, Mirka Mora, Barry Humphries, Vali Myers and Nick Cave.


WHERE: Keith Murdoch Gallery – State Library Victoria
WHEN: 12 December 2014 – 22 February 2015
TIME: 10am – 5pm (until 9pm Thursday)


Visiting a traditional gallery, requires oneself to have a certain etiquette. The usual include no eating, no nuisance, no photography and certainly no touching. However, the exhibition Play – Pose – Post encourages interaction, formation and sharing via social media. The coastals models were inspired by the artist recent trip to Dubai and her day job as a Marketer. With always thinking of new and innovative strategies to share positive stories within the community, her thoughts turned to art, and more specifically breaking down the traditional boundaries of interacting with Art.

This exhibition allows visitors to interact with the costals in any format, shape or configuration they see fit. The costals are stable enough to endure the touching, but also having a certain weight to acknowledge its importance to the totality of the piece. Once the user is settle with the configuration, they are encourage to share their experience on social media with the hastag #gaintsjacks.


WHERE: Rubicon ARI – Lvl 1/309 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne
WHEN: 14 – 31 January
TIME: Wednesday to Saturday: 12pm – 5pm


Code Black – North Melbourne

Code Black has taken a more lighter and warmer decor to their latest cafe opening on Howard Street, North Melbourne. Whilst originally meant to be their first location to introduce the Code Black Cofffee and its take on brunch, a difficult build and other teething issues have seen the Brunswick store as its home of operation.

It’s a cafe to look out for in 2015 and is certainly a strong rival to Auction Room, Twenty Six Espresso and Di Bella neighbours.

Corn Bread, refined beans, pork belly and fried egg


WHERE: 119 Howard Street, North Melbourne
TIME: Sunday – Saturday: 7am – 5pm
OCCASION: Brunch, Coffee


Axil Coffee Roasters – Nitro Brew

The hot months of the year doesn’t make a long black or a latte the most attractive beverage. While being stimulated is one of the important factors to push through the day; staying cool is just as important. Introducing the Nitro Brew – original crafted by Proud Mary – which essential is a cold filtered brew that has been nitrogen and stored in a keg.

The taste is an unusual one with a defining and strong fizzy taste to the coffee – which can initially be odd on the palate. However, the refreshing and crispy notes from the cold brew is evident and the intensity of the black coffee isn’t overpowering.


WHERE: 76 Flinders Lane Melbourne
PRICE: $5.50 (Iced Black Coffee or Iced latte)

Food in pictures

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