HOT: The Age Good Food Guide 2012 Winners!

GFG2012 HOT: The Age Good Food Guide 2012 Winners!

The winners of The Age Good Food Guide 2012 Awards were announced last night. Here is the complete list of winners, some with my previous reviews – congratulations!

Vittoria Coffee Restaurant of the Year – Attica

Citibank Chef of the Year – Dan Hunter, Royal Mail Hotel

Regional Restaurant of the year – Loam

Best New Regional Restaurant – Mr Carsisi

Plumm Wine Glasses Best New Restaurant – Golden Fields

The Age Young Chef of the Year – Josh Murphy, Cumulus Inc

Champagne Louis Roederer Sommelier of the Year – Bengt Baumgartner, The European

Virgin Australia Service Excellence Award – Jason Lui, Flower Drum

Professional Excellence – Neil Perry

Dimmi Award for Innovation – TOYS Collective

Epicure Sustainability Award –  Maurice Esposito, Esposito at Toofey’s and Saint Peter’s

Donlevy Fitzpatrick Award – Gerald’s Bar

Dan Murphy’s BYO Restaurant of the Year – Osteria La Passione

Samsung Diners’ Choice Award – Cutler & Co

Vittoria Coffee Legend Award – Philippe Mouchel, PM 24

Best Short Wine List – Merricote

Regional Wine List of the Year – Lake House, Daylesford

Brown Brothers Wine List of the Year – Spice Temple

Lucky Beer Dish of the Year –  Barbecue Spare Ribs, Dandelion

The book, apps (from Samsung apps and iTunes) and goodguides.com.au website will be available from 30 August.

Here’s the list of 2011’s winners.

HOT List: Bike-friendly cafes in Melbourne

IMG 4964 605x948 HOT List: Bike friendly cafes in Melbourne

How are you enjoying the beautiful weather this week? I’m going to ride my bike and enjoy some lunch.

The Wheeler, a quarterly magazine about cycling culture in Melbourne, recently compiled a comprehensive list of bike-friendly cafes in Melbourne. Being a cycling and cafe fan (though not of the road racing lycra-clad variety), I thought I’d reproduce the list here with a bit of value-add – links to previous reviews. Happy cycling!

CITY

Berth Restaurant Bar Café, 45 New Quay Prm, Docklands, 03 9670 0199

Brunetti City Square Café, 214 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, 03 9663 8085

Coffea, 519 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, 03 9326 7388

Jasper Café, 489 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, 03 8327 2777

Limonetto, 35 New Quay Prm, Docklands, 03 9642 5001

Little Mule Co., 19 Somerset Pl, Melbourne, 03 9670 4904

Liquid, 50 New Quay Prm, Docklands, 03 9642 4242

Medici Café Bar, 36 New Quay Prm, Docklands, 03 9600 4160

Soul Kitchen, Arts Centre, St Kilda Rd

Team Degani Cycling Café, 833 Collins St, Docklands, 03 9620 7007

The Belgian Beer Café, 557 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne, 03 9529 2899

Time Out Café, Federation Square, Melbourne, 03 9671 3855

EAST

Café Bliss, 1393 Toorak Rd, Camberwell, 03 9889 9600

Cog Bike Café, 4 Clancy Rd, Mount Evelyn, 03 9736 4999

Mountain Goat Beer, Cnr North & Clarke Streets, Richmond, 03 9428 1180

Olmecs Café, Bar & Bakery, 410 Bridge Road, Richmond, 03 9482 5995

Provenance Food & Wine Co, 288 Smith Street, Collingwood, 03 8415 0700

Richmond Rush Café, 4 Stewart St, Richmond, 03 9421 0070

Rocket Fast & Fresh Café, 125 Burgundy St, Heidelberg, 03 9459 8570

St Andrews General Store, Main Rd, St Andrews, 03 9710 1200

Studley Park Boathouse, Boathouse Rd, Kew, 03 9853 1828

Studley Park Boulevard Café, 121 Studley Park Road, Kew, 03 9852 8144

The Maling Room, 206 Canterbury Rd, Canterbury, 03 9836 9889

NORTH

Arcadia, 193 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, 03 9416 1055

Bean Counter Café, 15 Railway Place, Fairfield, 03 9482 1170

Bike n Bean Café, 797 Plenty Road, South Morang, 03 9347 8501

Brunetti Café, 204 Faraday St, Carlton, 03 9347 2801

Ceres Café, Cnr Roberts and Stewart streets, Brunswick East, 03 9389 0100

Convent Bakery, 1 Saint Heliers St, Abbotsford, 1300 447 697

Don Vincenzo, 301 Brunswick St, Fitzroy, 03 9419 6204

Gertrude Street Enoteca, 229 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, 03 9415 8262

Human Powered Café, 562 High St, Thornbury, 03 9480 0848 

Loafer Bread, 146 Scotchmer St, North Fitzroy, 03 9489 0766

Little Creatures Dining Hall, 222 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, 03 9417 5500

Penny Farthing Espresso, 206 High St, Northcote, 03 9482 2246

Red Box Café, 317 Sydney Rd, Brunswick, 03 9387 8699

Seven Seeds, 106 Berkeley St, Carlton, 03 9347 8664

Threshermans, 221 Faraday St, Carlton, 03 9349 2319

Tweek Café, 266 Bridge Rd, Richmond, 03 9428 7193

*NEW* Carolina, 11 Nicholson St, East Brunswick

SOUTH

Brown Cow Café, 382 Hampton St, Hampton, 03 9521 0547

Café de Cuba, 69 Glenhuntly Road, Elwood, 03 9531 0033

Café Nacional, 36 Mills St, Albert Park, 03 9645 0977

Café Odo, Shop 1/1 Bluff Rd, Black Rock, 03 9589 1991

Café Panette, 144 Cecil Street, South Melbourne, 03 9690 2803

Café Racer, 15 Marine Pde, St Kilda, 03 9534 9988

Café Velocino, 304 Beach Rd, Black Rock, 03 8516 2233

Café Zappa, 206 Bank Street, South Melbourne, 03 9699 9333

Cerberus Beach House, Boat Shed 212, Half Moon Bay, Black Rock, 03 9533 4028

Caféteria, 36 Bluff Rd, Black Rock, 03 9589 2200

Dalmatino Café, 280 Bay St, Port Melbourne, 03 9645 6584

Degani@Port Melbourne, Cnr Salmon & Phillip St, Port Melbourne, 03 9681 9996

Dr Jekyll, 107–13 Grey Street, St Kilda, 03 9525 5999

Hahndorf’s Chocolates, 81 Bluff Rd, Black Rock, 03 9533 1575

Harper’s Kitchen, 78 Inkerman St, St Kilda, 03 9537 0450

Hot Honey, 40 Armstrong St, Middle Park, 03 9696 1900

Il Fornaio Bakery Café, 2 Acland St, St Kilda, 03 9534 2922

isit Café, 11 Izett Street, Prahran, 03 9533 2904

Kanteen, 154 Alexander Ave, South Yarra, 03 9827 0488

Mt Eliza Deli, 104 Mt Eliza Way, Mt Eliza, 03 9787 2521

North Point, 2B North Rd, Brighton, 03 9596 9196

Parkdale Beach Café, 6a Beach Rd, Parkdale, 03 9580 3377

Pod Espresso, 305 Bay St, Nth Brighton, 0433 578 149

Salford Lads Club, 1 Fennell St (Cnr Bridge St), Port Melbourne, 03 9900 1234

Seed Café, 9 Centreway, Mordiallic, 03 9587 5766

Soulmama, 10 Jacka Blvd, St Kilda, 03 9525 3338

Stokehouse, 30 Jacka Blvd, St Kilda, 03 9525 5445

The Baths Café & Bar, 251 The Esplanade, Brighton, 03 9539 7000

The Little Ox, 452 New St, Brighton, 03 9607 8558

The Pantry, 1 Church St, Brighton, 03 9591 0393

Tour de Café, 1 Pier Rd, Mordialloc, 03 9587 4144

Urban Hotel, 37 Fitzroy St, St Kilda, 03 8530 8888

Vuelta Café, 92 Inkerman St, St Kilda, 03 9525 5431

Wall Two 80, Rear 280 Carlisle St, Balaclava, 03 9593 8280

Wild Organic Café, 122 Ormond Rd, Elwood, 03 9537 7333

WEST

Café Cirino, 33 Nelson Place, Williamstown, 03 9387 5452

Degani@Point Cook, Shop K-2, 5 Main St, Point Cook, 03 9395 5991

Ferguson Street Provisions, 62 Ferguson St, Williamstown, 03 9399 9955

Gravy Train, 83 Gamon St, Yarraville, 03 9687 9866

Le Chien, 5 Gamon St, Seddon, 03 9362 7333

Melissa’s Cakes, 34 Pier St, Altona, 03 9390 8898

Nosh@Newport, 24 Hall St, Newport, 03 9391 6404

Image thanks to Cheryl Lin at Business Chic.

Ask the Doctor: Melbourne Top 10

istock 000001152942xsmall Ask the Doctor: Melbourne Top 10

One of the most oft-asked questions for the doctor is a list of must-dos for a weekend trip to Melbourne.

When answering, I assume that most visitors are either aware of or have done the usual ‘touristy’ stuff. So here are my Melbourne Top 10 to do/eat/see suggestions which are slightly more hidden, in no particular order. Most of them I’ve reviewed before so you can find further info on the site.

1. Eat at Italy 1, MoVida Aqui, Cutler & Co, Grossi Florentino Grill, The European. You may need to book…

2. Wander down Centre Place, between Flinders Lane and Collins St then Degraves St. I recommend the almond chicken baguettes and crepes at Aix, the lunch food at Jungle Juice, Hell’s Kitchen for drinks, Body for subtle, Melbourne-esque clothing. Further on try Journal Cafe at the City Library or Journal Canteen (Rosa’s Kitchen) next door. Oh, and have a waffle at Waffle On for dessert.

3. Do the Characters and Spaces free guided walk, which covers a similar area to 2. You’ll appreciate new views of Melbourne that even the locals miss.

4. Do a free guided tour at NGV International. Guildford Lane has 2 independent galleries worth checking out – Utopian Slumps and Guildford Lane Gallery.

5. Shop at GPO, Flinders Lane, Lt Collins St, Brunswick St, Smith St, Gertrude St.

6. Walk in any of the parks. My favourite is Fawkner Park in South Yarra.

7. Poke around Queen Vic Markets (or any of Melbourne’s food markets), maybe buy some food for a night in.

8. See a movie at old-fashioned Astor in Windsor or The Sun in Yarraville. Lots of shopping/eating around those areas too – Windsor end of Chapel St in particular has great vintage and designer shops.

9. Have dinner one night along Southbank and ask for a table with a river view. I recommend Walter’s Wine Bar, Tutto Bene, Rockpool, Nobu, The Brasserie and Number 8. Also heard Bistro Guillaume is very good.

10. Lunch at St Kilda on a Sunday…Donovans and The Stokehouse are institutions by the water. Otherwise head to St Kilda East which is very cool and an eclectic Eastern European/Jewish area.

There’s so much more! What are your Melbourne must-dos for visitors?

HOT Spots Winter 2010

P1050628v1 200x300 HOT Spots Winter 2010Once again the City of Melbourne have produced a free pocket-sized booklet full of lots of ideas to inspire you to get out of the house and enjoy winter in Melbourne. This is a post to bookmark!

I sat down with a cup of tea and flicked through the booklet, which you can pick up at many inner city shops, cafes and bars, as well as the Melbourne Visitors Centre, NGV and ACMI. It covers new places and old classics split up into five geographical sections, some of which have been reviewed on the blog before and some of which I’ve earmarked for a visit. Here are my highlights:

Central

The Wheeler Centre. The new heart for Melbourne’s literary culture, the Wheeler Centre holds frequent author’s talks, some of them free. I’m going to hear Ayaan Hirsi Ali speak on Thursday 29 July.

Melbourne International Film Festival. I look forward to MIFF every year – for three weeks I get to hibernate in the city’s cinemas and feast on great films. Last year I managed to get to fifteen of them!

Previously blogged Izakaya Den, Tessuti Fabrics and Movida Aqui get a mention and I’m aiming to hit pizza specialists Barbagallo, new bar 24 Moons and hot new Mexican eatery Mamasita (again, with better lighting).

Northside

The North Melbourne Market has become a regular event held every two months. So many new options for me here – cheese galore at La Latteria, take home cassoulet at La Parisienne Pates, authentic Indian food at the Classic Curry Co, browsing vintage furniture and bric-a-brac at The Junk Company and having a pub lunch at Hotel Lincoln.

Cultural

I’m not going to see Mary Poppins the Musical because I saw it recently in London, and it was one of the most magical, fun and joyous theatrical events I’ve ever been to. When Mary Poppins flew into the air the whole crowd spontaneously broke out into cheers! Highly recommended.

And I’m definitely going to try Tsindos, a 30-year old stalwart of Little Greece in Lonsdale Street and I’m told home to great mezethes.

Westside

I was excited to hear about Urban Reforestation, a community garden, eco shop and educational centre in the middle of concrete-and-glass Docklands. Their aim is to inspire urban farming for sustainability and food security (they’re currently investigating the possibility of rooftop farms!) through consultation with corporates and for helping individuals with gardening lessons and cooking classes.

I think I’ll combine a visit to Urban Reforestation with a stroll around the Docklands Sunday Market and maybe a late lunch as part of Slow Sundays, where you get a $15 tasting plate with beer or wine between 2-6pm every Sunday from 20 June – 29 August.

Southside

I’ve just renewed by NGV membership so I will be heading to NGV’s Winter Masterpieces 2010 European Masters: Stadel Museum 19-20th Century between 19 June – 10 October.

ACMI is hosting a huge Tim Burton exhibition direct from New York’s MOMA from 24 June – 10 October which I’m quite excited about.

State of Design, Victoria’s design festival, is happening between 14-25 July and once again I’ll be immersing myself in all things design for two weeks. As part of the festival Melbourne Open House is on 24-25 July where lots of heritage buildings will be open to the public – a great way to learn some of the stories and history behind the city.

Last but not least, Melbourne Design Market is happening at Federation Square carpark again on Sunday 11 July. This year will be extra special for me because the lovely Kath and Ben from Jellybean Bikes and my new cycling clothing and accessories business CycleStyle will be setting up a cycle-licious stall at the market! Come and say hi.

For details and more winter ideas, check out That’s Melbourne.

Happy blog birthday and thank you!

Exactly one year ago today I welcomed the first few readers to MEL: HOT OR NOT. Since then, the site has grown and grown and grown, with many new people reading, commenting, agreeing and disagreeing over the past 12 months.

If you weren’t here for MEL: HOT OR NOT’s modest beginnings, join me for a journey down memory lane:

DSC05251 200x300 Happy blog birthday and thank you!March. I return to Melbourne after two years in London. The city feels the same, yet different. I wonder where I’ll live, where I’ll work and whether I’ll be able to make new friends. I eat at Becco, horrified by the prices, and Mess Hall, horrified with what they’ve done to their muesli recipe.

April. I get engaged via Kitchenaid. I make the most out of being unemployed by acting as a lady of leisure – going to my hairdresser Steliosgetting Aesop facials and setting up house with items from Chapel Street Bazaar and Lost and Found Market. Unemployment also forces me to try out various gyms for free on a trial basis.

May. Still unemployed and now residing in Collingwood, I discover the joys of twice-a-week yoga classes at Action School of Yoga. I also do a little day-trip to foodie-heaven North Fitzroy, visiting in one go Natural Tucker BakeryCanals Seafood Appreciation CentreMaria’s PastaMilawa Cheese ShopDench BakersLoafer Breadand Corner Store Cafe. Phew.action yoga 201x300 Happy blog birthday and thank you!

June. Third month of unemployment and I join up as a NGV Member so I can sip tea and read magazines in the Members Lounge. I drink more tea at the Strangers Corridor of Parliament House, along with some scones and crustless sandwiches. The first play I see since returning to Melbourne is the excellent Melbourne Theatre Company production of August: Osage County.

July. In a marathon effort, I see fourteen films at the Melbourne International Film Festival. I am supposed to be on a shopping hiatus due to my unemployed status, but can’t resist a visit to Scanlan & Theodore’s Clearance Store and Zomp Shoez. I win some ugly crap at bingo at Madame Brussels and take a soak at the Japanese Bath House.

August. It’s Melbourne Writers Festival and I get to see Chris TsiolkasQ&A and First Tuesday Book Club. I learn some new skills too – how to grow my own vegesuse a sewing machine and activate my core muscles.

DSC06128 241x300 Happy blog birthday and thank you!September. It’s all about fashion and fringe, and I discover the Social Media Club and The Hive. I’m now back in the workforce so I can fund my eating and socialising but feel a little sad that my time is now no longer my own.

October. I’m trying not to let my new job get in the way of blogging. On the weekends I conduct my first HOT Chat with Alex Hume from Eco Fashionista, go on a cooking and eating tour of Sydney Road and discover Shocolate, a new chocolate shop in my neighbourhood.

November. The blog grows and as a result (a) I take a basic photography course at CAE; (b) I get invited to my first food bloggers dinner at Church St Enoteca; and (c) the Melbourne Theatre Company asks to use my photos of the MTC Garage Sale for their subscriber newsletter. I love this blogging caper so much I start my second blog, BNE: HOT OR NOT The decisive guide to Brisbane.

P1030529v1 206x300 Happy blog birthday and thank you!December. Christmas means it’s time to go shopping! I do the rounds at Marche RougeMelbourne Design MarketMelbourne Op Shop Tours and the Eco Innovators Showcase. I get some party dresses at Nicolangela, just in time for the Nuffnang Christmas party. Oh, and I go in search of the perfect mince pies.

January. January accidentally becomes Japanese Food Month, with visits to Tempura Hajime,ShoyaIzakaya Den and Cibi. It also becomes way too hot for my liking.

February. Writing a blog is also about being part of a community, and I have many opportunities to hang out with other bloggers – at Charcoal LaneRamen Ya, the Nuffnang Food Bloggers dinner and the Gastronomica Food Quiz. I also launch the MEL: Heat Map, an epic piece of blog work second only to the Hair-raising Big Blog Design Change II of 2009.

Finally, I want to say a BIG THANK YOU to you all – especially to my loyal readers, the people who’ve written to tell me how much they enjoy reading it, the readers who’ve taken the time to comment, correct me or offer suggestions and the new friends and like-minded people I’ve met, both online and offline, through the blog. Look out for a birthday giveaway that’s coming up….

Cheers to a second year!

HOT: Marvellous March in Melbourne

I’m all for comfort food, opaque tights and scarves (I think it’s a reaction to growing up in sunny Queensland) – yay for Marvellous March!

Marvellous March is also the name of a handy little booklet produced by That’s Melbourne with details of the big events around Melbourne that will make you love autumn. This is a post to bookmark! Thanks to City of Melbourne, here are some highlights and photos:

Moomba Festival 2010
Melbourne’s largest outdoor community festival makes a vibrant return to the heart of the city. From the spectacle of the Moomba Parade to the hilarious Westpac Birdman Rally, from the wonder of the Children’s Garden to awesome live music, Moomba will surprise and delight Melburnians of all ages.  March 5 – 8. Alexandra Gardens & Birrarung Marr.

The 2010 Indian Film Festival – Bollywood And Beyond
All the colour, drama, music and romance of Bollywood comes to Melbourne for eight days.  ‘The Queen of Bollywood’ – multi award-winning actress Rani Mukherjee – will open festivities at Cinema Nova with the launch of her new film, the comedy musical “Dil Bole Hadippa.”   The festival will feature eight premiere screenings and an array of Meet the Maker events where Hindi filmmakers including Rajkumar Hirani (director of the highest grossing Hindi film of all time- 3 Idiots) and Imtiaz Ali (director of box office hits Jab We Met & Love Aaj Kal) will discuss their careers within the world’s biggest film industry. 10-17 March 2010.

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival
One of my favourite Melbourne festivals. The delicious 2010 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival will see the city hosting a long lunch, a food-lover’s fiesta and drool-worthy master classes. Take yourself on a visual treasure hunt with the Feasting Vignettes, presented by the City of Melbourne, grab a sustainable nibble at the Metlink Edible Garden showcasing regional produce and relax with free Barilla Foodie Films. 12 – 23 March 2010.

FWF0008 005 RGBv1 HOT: Marvellous March in Melbourne

L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival
The LMFF is a stylish showcase for established and up and coming fashion designers. Check out Sidewalk, a series of free runway presentations bringing Australia’s leading fashion brands on a spectacular inflatable fashion catwalk at Federation Square. 14 – 21 March 2010.

20th Melbourne Queer Film Festival
See the latest, greatest and most creative in queer feature films, documentaries and shorts at the 20th Melbourne Queer Film Festival. A $2,000 cash prize is also up for grabs for the winner of the City of Melbourne Award for Best Australian short film. 17 – 28 March 2010.

Antique3 Large HOT: Marvellous March in Melbourne

Thai Culture & Food Festival
Discover the wonderful secrets of Thai cooking, enjoy a gentle Thai massage and some traditional music and entertainment, and when you get hungry sample Thai food on the River Terrace at Federation Square – think green curry, fish cakes, pad thai, chicken basil and more. 21 March 2010.

Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show
The Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show is the biggest annual flower and garden show in the southern hemisphere and one of the largest in the world. An impressive 500+ exhibitors will showcase the latest products and services at the Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens. 24 – 28 March 2010.

MICF April 24 41 1024x682 HOT: Marvellous March in Melbourne

Melbourne International Comedy Festival
It’s the biggest festival Melbourne has to offer and last year just over half a million people laughed at the antics of some of the finest comedy performers in the world. Check out my reviews from last year’s festival. This year I’m  seeing Cardinal Burns and Tim Key. 24 March – 18 April 2010.

2010 FORMULA 1TM Australian Grand Prix
It’s the country’s premier motor sport event that brings together the world’s finest and flashiest cars, glamour, celebrities (including Miss Polonia, for some bizarre reason) and the rush of adrenalin as the world’s most skilful drivers tackle the Albert Park racetrack. 25 – 28 March 2010. 

Lonsdale Street Glendi Festival Festival
Melbourne’s large Greek community takes over the Lonsdale Street precinct to celebrate their history and culture. Sample souvlaki, sweet and sticky loukoumades (Greek donuts) and then burn off those calories in the Zorba ‘til You Drop dancing competition. 27 – 28 March 2010.

Also on in March – run, watch, sail, eat and listen:

Super Sunset Series – Docklands Dash!
Whether you run or walk register for the Super Sunset Series inaugural Docklands Dash. The fun run will wind its way through the  Docklands precinct at twilight on Wednesday 10 March.

Thread Den: The Designers Sessions
Learn how to style and sew in the relaxed sewing lounge and then create your own catwalk collection! You can read my review of the sewing classes at Thread Den here. 12 – 16 March 2010.

Poster affff 2010 V8 Large 212x300 HOT: Marvellous March in MelbourneAlliance Francaise French Film Festival
The best of contemporary French film comes to Melbourne, from action, romance, comedy and animation to thrillers, children’s films and documentaries. It’s the largest foreign film festival in Australia and this year is expected to showcase a record number of films. 4 – 21 March 2010.

Herald Sun/CityLink Run for the Kids
Last year 30,000 men, women and children pounded the streets of Melbourne to raise money for the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal. Do your bit for the RCH in 2010 by walking or running across and through Melbourne landmarks such as the Bolte Bridge and Domain Tunnel. 14 March 2010.

Victoria Harbour School Sailing Series
Some of Melbourne’s most promising young sailors will hone their nautical skills as part of this popular sailing series. The eager school teams will crew two-person Pacer dingies during the high-energy, fast-paced racing event – all intent on winning the series and winning the chance to represent Victoria at the Australian Championships later in the year. To enjoy the nautical action head to Victoria Harbour 18 – 21 March 2010.

Melbourne Chamber Orchestra presents Profusion
Directed by William Hennessy and with guest soloist and soprano Sara Macliver, the MCO presents Profusion at the Melbourne Recital Centre at Southbank. The evening will feature classics by Dmitri Shostakovich, Jean Sibelius, Calvin Bowman and Gustav Mahler. 21 March 2010.

World Street Food Festival
To celebrate Melbourne’s love and appreciation of food from across the globe, Queen Victoria Market will host the colourful World Street Food Festival. Expect an array of cuisines from Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and Australia. Watch as the food is cooked in front of you, savour the smells, and treat your tastebuds to something new. 21 March 2010.

Melbourne International Dragon Boat Festival
The annual Melbourne International Dragon Boat Festival is a thrilling, colourful family-friendly event that celebrates everything that is great about this ancient sport. Watch the determined teams of more than 22 people battle it out for line honours on the Yarra River. 21 March 2010.

Opera in the Market
Fresh fruit and forklifts make way for elegant chandeliers and opera at Queen Victoria Market. Opera in the Market event gets underway again this year with appearances by talented artists such as young Soprano Tiffany Speight, and internationally acclaimed Tenor, Rosario La Spina. More than 150 voices and the 65-piece Melbourne Youth Orchestra also feature. 22 and 24 March 2010.

Turkish Pazar image 2 1024x682 HOT: Marvellous March in Melbourne

Turkish Pazar Festival
Celebrate everything Turkish at this all day festival that showcases the best in Turkish dance, music, food and drink. Enjoy a traditional Turkish pancake or bread rings covered with crunchy sesame seeds, treat yourself to pretty handmade Turkish jewellery and ceramics and enjoy the distinctive sights and sounds of the many Turkish musicians and artists who support this annual event. 28 March 2010.

For a full list of Marvellous March events, click here.

HOT Gig List – April to June

CC 190x300 HOT Gig List   April to JuneAs promised, our ex-Melbourne, currently London-based music guru CC is back with her Melbourne HOT Gig List for the next few months. You can follow CC on Twitter at http://twitter.com/CC_in_London. Thanks CC!

Hey peeps, it’s me again, with your definitive guide to some of the upcoming HOTTEST gigs in Melbourne! In addition to my HOT Gig list, I’m also going to be adding my current HOT Mixtape list to the blog.  This may consist of tracks from the next up and coming new talent, or just some great classics and just whatever I am currently listening to.  Then you boys and girls can download these songs…ahem, i.e. legally, by purchasing them off iTunes (or actually buying their CDs) and see if you like them or not!

CC’s HOT Gig List – Top 3 HOT gigs for the next 3 months

April 2010

1) Yves Klein Blue – 19th March, The Corner Hotel, Richmond

Four guys from Brisbane, recently supporting Franz Ferdinand on tour.  Debut album ‘Ragged & Ecstatic’ was recorded in a 2-room flat in North Hollywood with Kevin Augunas (Cold War Kids), with influences of Elvis Costello, The Replacements, Bob Dylan, The Beatles and Weezer.  Be interesting to check them out.  With Cloud Control and Last Dinosaurs.

2) Crayon Fields14th April, The Corner Hotel, Richmond (with Mountain Goats), 24th April, Northcote Social Club
Indie pop band from Melbourne – sweet songs reminding me of innocent days…think indie geek and glasses.

3) The Jamfest 201014th April, Melbourne Showgrounds, Flemington
For R&B fans or those just wanting a break for all that indie music, this urban pop tour coming featuring Akon, Kelly Rowland, Pitbull, Keri Hilson, Nino Brown and Chris Sorbello should get you poppin’ and lockin’.

Also check out:

The Fray1st April, Festival Hall, West Melbourne
Stereophonics15th April, Palace Theatre, Melbourne
Eddy Current Suppresion Ring (I went see this band years ago back in Melbourne!) – 16th April, Palace Theatre, Melbourne

May 2010

1) Vampire Weekend – 4th & 5th May, Palace Theatre, Melbourne
This band is HOT, and their second album Contra is HOT! The direction of the new album is less ‘try hard afro-pop’ (or whatever it was in their first album), and now has a lot more pop with a hint of the 80’s in it.  Favourites are ‘Giving Up The Gun’, ‘Horchata’ and ‘I Think UR a Contra’.

Vampire Weekend has just released the video for ‘Giving Up the Gun’ (which can be seen on their MySpace page) – I’ve been trying to figure out the meaning of this track…the lyrics are very ‘Japanese Shogun’. But after the watching the video (there’s even a samurai in there!), my take on the meaning of this song is that you are own worst enemy, and no matter how good you are, you often lose sight of this and beat yourself up over things.  But the force is within you, don’t give up and just go on, go on, go on.  Something like that anyway!

The video shows a tennis match, with a variety of different players (including HOT Jake Gyllenhaal, who rips his pants off and gets drunk while playing tennis).  There’s even pyrotechnics and milk involved. HOT video for a HOT song. Check it out.

2) Tegan and Sara – 11th & 12th May, Forum Theatre, Melbourne
These two sisters have been recording music since their high school days. I saw them at Koko here in London, HOT gig (although there were a lot of butch-looking girls in flannel shirts there who kept looking at me in a slightly uncomfortable way…). Great hairstyles, catchy tunes and very apt lyrics over the spectrum of relationship issues. Emo? No, not quite. But they did have Hunter from AFI play with them in The Con.  Favourite songs: Hell (..when you get up, over it, and over them) and The Con (….a million hours left, i think of you, i think of that). Tegan and Sara lyrics, always gets to me.

3) Creamfields 2010 – 8th May, Melbourne Showgrounds, Flemington
Ok dance music fans, this one is for you. Creamfields, an international dance festival, is coming to Australia for the first time. So get your camping gear and don’t forget to bring the glow sticks. Line up so far:

The Bloody Beetroots Death Crew 77 (6 piece band)
Steve Angello
MSTRKRFT
Ferry Corsten
LMFAO (6 piece band)
Dave Clarke
Marco V
Green Velvet
Dirty South
Kid Sister (4 piece band)
Joris Voorn
Lifelike
Riva Starr
Tommie Sunshine
Bingo Players
Zoo Brazil
Filo & Peri
Oh Snap!!

June 2010:

Gig listings are currently a bit sparse for June.  I will provide an update for June gigs once I get more info.  So watch this space…

Looking tickets for gigs in Melbourne? Check out the MelbourneTix Posse store.

CC’s HOT Mixtape

1. Sweet Disposition – The Temper Trap
2. Giving Up The Gun – Vampire Weekend
3. Hollywood – Marina and the Diamonds
4. If – Janet Jackson
5. Photographs – Rihanna (featuring Will.i.am)
6. Telephone – Lady GaGa (featuring Beyonce)
7. Walking On A Dream – Empire of the Sun
8. Wide Eyes – Local Natives
9. Hero – Regina Spektor
10. Hopelessly Wasted – Shrag

HOT OR NOT List 2009 (Part 2)

Continuing on from yesterday’s fun exercise of listing my Top 3 HOT OR NOT experiences of 2009, here’s Part 2 of the list. What are your top 3 HOT or NOTs for 2009?

DSC05098 150x150 HOT OR NOT List 2009 (Part 2)11. HOT 3 Fun things I could only do because I was unemployed

12. HOT 3 new skills I learnt in 2009

14. NOT 3 things that were supposed to be funny and kinda weren’t that funny

15. HOT 3 great things I rediscovered after returning from London

16. HOT 3 Book to film adaptations where the movie was better

17. HOT 3 reasons to go venture into the alleywaysphoto 2 150x150 HOT OR NOT List 2009 (Part 2)

18. HOT 3 meals in 2009

19. HOT 3 ways to live a more eco-friendly life

20. NOT 3 wildly popular restaurants for which I have no explanation

On that note, have a happy and HOT New Year!

HOT OR NOT List 2009

As the we count down to the close of 2009, I thought that I’d jump on the ‘best of’ lists bandwagon and reflect back on 10 high and low moments for MEL: HOT OR NOT in 2009. So, I present the inaugural HOT OR NOT List 2009!

1. HOT 3 Theatre shows that made me miss the West End

2. HOT 3 Baked goods

3. NOT 3 films that everyone else loved and I really didn’t

4. HOT 3 great new free things in Melbourne that I discovered

5. HOT 3 crafty markets

6. NOT 3 hours of my life I’m never going to get backP1030529v1 150x150 HOT OR NOT List 2009

7. HOT 3 Temporary art works

8. HOT 3 Fashion flicks that convinced me that I should wear heels all the time

9. NOT 3 restaurants that promised much and delivered disappointing results

10. HOT 3 things I’ve ticked off the wedding-to-do list

You can read the rest of the HOT OR NOT List 2009 tomorrow.

HOT Gig List

 HOT Gig ListToday we say hi to my new guest blogger CC, a cool ex-Melburnian who now calls East London home. Skinny jeans aficionado, mosh pit veteran, classical pianist now electric guitarist, CC will be bringing you news of upcoming HOT gigs in Melbourne. Her motto is ‘with great musical wisdom, comes great musical responsibility’ and this girl has cred – I’ve followed in her musical wake at New Young Pony Club, The Cribs, Goldfrapp, Does It Offend You Yeah, Interpol, Turin Brakes, Cajun Dance Party, Broken Social Scene, Kaiser Chiefs, Editors – and Lucky Voice Karaoke in Soho.

If you’d like to become a guest-blogger too, just send me an email.

CC’s HOT Gig List – Top 3 HOT gigs for the next 3 months

January 2010

1) Yeah Yeah Yeahs (US) – 3rd Jan, Forum
No one could be HOTTER than Karen O with amazing vocals and crazy outfits! The latest album, ‘It’s Blitz‘, has clever, yet heartfelt lyrics and melodies in the league of Maps, perhaps even better.

2) The Horrors27th Jan, Corner Hotel
Moody, yet melodic bass lines and guitar distortions. Primary Colours – one of the HOTTEST albums released this year. Swoon to Scarlet Fields.

3) Passion Pit25th Jan, Corner Hotel (supporting act – Love of Diagrams)
Uplifting, bubblegummy, fun, electro band from US. It was mentioned somewhere that the songs were originally written as a present for the girlfriend. ‘Sleepyhead’ was on my MySpace for quite some time. Great supporting act from Melbourne.

Also check out:

Andrew Bird1 Jan, The Hifi
Grizzly Bear4 Jan, Corner Hotel
Calvin Harris25th Jan, Prince Bandroom
Peaches - 27 Jan, The Hifi

February 2010

1) The xx - 3rd Feb, Corner Hotel
The xx are four young teenagers from south west London, who released their HOT debut album this year, and have now had sold out shows all over London. The album is sad, yet uplifting and inspiring at the same time.

2) The Cribs – 17th Feb, Billboard Nightclub
Awesome band (which Jetsetting Joyce and I saw twice in London!). The 3 Jarman brothers now have a new addition, guitartist Johnny Marr (of The Smiths and Modest Mouse).  Watch out for the crazy antics of Ryan Jarman.

3) Florence and the Machine3rd Feb, Palace Theatre
Listed as “one of the breakthrough acts in the UK for 2009″. Fronted by 23 year old Florence Welch, who has been compared to the likes of Kate Bush, PJ Harvey and even Fergie (the Duchess, not the one from Black Eyed Peas). She used to sing at funerals too. Expect angry lyrics and maybe some harp playing.

Also check out:

The Pains of Being Pure at heart17 and 18 Feb, East Brunswick Club

March 2010

1) The Big Pink – 5th Mar, Billboard Nightclub
Definitely HOT gig pick for March.  An excellent debut album was released in 2009, “A Brief History of Love”, for this electro rock band.

2) Lady GaGa23rd and 24th Mar, Rod Laver Arena
Now, this lady, she’s HOT! Check out her new tattoos and new video clip for Bad Romance. I’ve been learning those dance moves, and someone please dare me to get inked with the cursive text of some random philosophical quote on my arm.

3) La Roux19th Mar, Festival Hall
Weird hair, weird look but catchy songs!

Looking tickets for gigs in Melbourne? Check out the MelbourneTix Posse store.