Urban Listers, have you checked your calendars lately?! You'll probably have noticed that the silly season's right around the corner! Ahhh, freakout!
As if organising a party wasn't already hard enough, the current state of function venues in Melbourne leaves a lot to be desired. Why must finding a party venue that'll please everyone from friends and family, to colleagues and Jenny from Level 3 be so darn hard? Is it really too much to ask?!
Well ask no longer, Urban Listers, because we've done the rounds to bring you seven of the best function venues in Melbourne. From casual to fine dining, and everything in between, you're sure to find the perfect spot for your upcoming shindig.
OSCAR COOPER | PRAHRAN
A bustling café by day, Prahran's Oscar Cooper turns into an intimate function venue at night. Frequently booked for birthdays, engagement parties and the like, Oscar Cooper can fit between 80 and 100 people (including the licensed outdoor area), and has a seasonal canapé menu full of delicious bits like mac & cheese croquettes, sticky lamb sliders and herb-crumbed snapper. The ideal Melbourne function venue if you're looking for something casual, yet fun.
ITALIAN CHEF | SOUTH YARRA
If there's one thing Italians know how to do (other than cook of course!), it's how to throw an epic party. So it comes as no surprise that Italian Chef in South Yarra has not one, but two, excellent function spaces oh-so-perfect for hosting your next 'do. Upstairs you'll find the Tuscan Room, a space fitting anywhere between 60 guests seated, right up to 120 standing. With its own bar, comfy lounge areas and plenty of space for a dance, the Tuscan Room is a top spot for birthdays and engagements. The Wine Cellar, on the other hand, fits 15-25 people and is located underneath the restaurant. If you're looking for a smaller space for your next business engagement, the Wine Cellar is just the ticket.
THE GRACE DARLING HOTEL | COLLINGWOOD
One of Melbourne's best pubs, The Grace Darling Hotel also offers two of the top function venues in Melbourne. The cellar basement fits 50-80 guests and is perfect for dinners and more intimate gatherings, while the upstairs bandroom is bang-on for cocktail parties and dancing 'dos, thanks to its ability to serve anywhere from 100 seated, to 180 standing. Add some of The Grace Darling's Brit-inspired canapés and hella good cocktails, and you've got yourself a party to remember!
LAMARO'S | SOUTH MELBOURNE
There's little wonder that Lamaro's makes our list of best function venues in Melbourne – after all, they have FOUR different areas meaning they can cater from small groups of 12 to bumper crowds of 120. On the cosier end of the scale, you have the two private dining rooms – the Wine Room and the Conservatory – while on the other there's the Cocktail Lounge and the Dining Room – take your pick! Whatever you choose, a member of the Lamaro's team will work with you each step of the way, from picking food and drink from their extensive party menus to organising set-up and equipment.
THE SMITH | PRAHRAN
One of the best drinking and dining destinations in Prahran, The Smith is also a top spot for parties, presentations, meetings and more, thanks to their two upstairs function rooms. Cleverly named Mrs Smith and Mr Smith, the versatile private rooms can accommodate anywhere from 24-30 people (Mrs Smith) to 40-60 guests (Mr Smith), with an events coordinator on hand to look after your every need. Need even more space? The doors separating the two rooms can be opened, making it one massive party space fitting up to 140 guests. Order a round of The Smith's famous espresso martinis to reeeally get the party started!
THE NOBLE EXPERIMENT | COLLINGWOOD
A relative newcomer to the Melbourne scene, Collingwood's The Noble Experiment is a restaurant, bar and cocktail lounge in one, reminiscent of the traditional drinking houses of days past. The Noble Experiment crew love anything and everything to do with parties (seriously) and will go the extra mile to help you pull off the perfect event. There are three function venues available: The Birdcage (a semi-private space on the mezzanine level seating up to 16 guests); The Cocktail Lounge (a prohibition era style bar, also on the mezzanine level, fitting up to 55 guests); and The Underground Experiment (a private bar accommodating up to 120 guests). Just add some of The Noble Experiment's bespoke cocktails and some bites from their Modern Australian menu and your party is good to go!
WOODLAND HOUSE | PRAHRAN
Our list of top function venues in Melbourne wouldn't be complete without a fine dining contender; in this case, Prahran's Woodland House. The spectacular restaurant, housed in an old Victorian mansion on Williams Road, offers multiple private dining areas best suited to cocktail parties, high-end business functions, and even intimate weddings. Depending on the type of function, Woodland Houses's dining rooms can accommodate anywhere from 12-80 guests. The attention to detail at Woodland House is unparalleled – everything from the food and wine, right through to the décor is ahhhhmazing – meaning your event will stand out for all the right reasons.
Image Credit: Dave Allocca/Startraksphoto.com