What's On

This Queen’s Birthday Weekend in Melbourne

By Ella Pleasant
5th Jun 2014

Well tickle me pink, it's a long weekend! What better way to spend your work-free days than eating, drinking and horsing around at the best events in Melbourne? With everything from fromage workshops to DJ-spun yoga sessions, here's our guide to all of the fun and festivities this Queen's Birthday long weekend. A right royal time guaranteed!

Pssst, make sure you also check out our guide to foodie events in June for a hit list of the best things to book!


A pop-up oasis in the heart of Melbourne's wintery CBD, the QV Tropical Retreat is the perfect spot to escape to with friends this June! From now until the 27th, the resort-themed Retreat will play host to a range of activities including tropical cocktail classes, cupcake decorating, terrarium making and more. Oh and did someone say free lunches too?! For more information, don't miss our round-up of all the QV Tropical Retreat activities

QV Tropical Retreat | On now until 27th June
Level 2, QV Melbourne, cnr Swanston & Lonsdale Street in Melbourne

Fish fanatics, you're in for a treat – Seafood & Roast It is an interactive masterclass lead by The Atlantic's Donovan Cooke as part of The Roast Collection. Seafood-lovers will learn how to create the perfect roasted Victorian snapper which they'll then enjoy as part of a delicious two-course feast, complete with a glass of Victorian vino. Informative AND delicious, talk about double the fun! 

Seafood & Roast It | Shed 14, Central Pier, 161 Harbour Esplanade in Docklands
7:00 – 10:00pm | $115 

Budding butchers and eye fillet aficionados, have we got the event for you! Head to Hudson Meats in Toorak for Breaking Down Beef, a session where you'll learn everything from the characteristics of each cut, to the difference between breeds, how the beast was raised and its journey to the butcher shop. All of this, plus a glass or two of wine and some delicious Hudson Meats antipasti.

Breaking Down Beef | Hudson Meats in Toorak
7:30-9:00pm | $75  

In something non-food related, famed British primatologist Dr Jane Goodall, DBE is celebrating her 80th year with an event at Melbourne Town Hall. Dr Goodall will be reflecting on her amazing life and career, from living with chimpanzees in Tanzania to travelling the world as a UN Messenger of Peace, as well as sharing her thoughts on Australia and the environmental challenges we face. The event will be presented by Jennifer Byrne and proceeds from Melbourne show will go to the Jane Goodall Institute Australia.

Dr Jane Goodall | Melbourne Town Hall, 90-130 Swanston Street in Melbourne
7:00pm | To book, click here 


Calling all mini Scorseses and tiny Tarantinos – Little Big Shots is on once again this long weekend! The annual travelling children's film festival shows everything from local and international shorts, animations, documentaries and, quite amazingly, child-produced films. This year they're stepping it up once again, celebrating their 10th birthday with a huge range of films and workshops, as well as a retrospective of films across the festival's history.

Little Big Shots | 6th – 9th of June

Billed as 'Mozart meets the White Stripes; classical meets contemporary', the Australian Ballet's triple bill, Chroma, opens at The Arts Centre tonight, promising an exciting show for both classical ballet-devotees and those with more contemporary tastes. Chroma has received huge praise for its mix of classical technique and rock 'n' roll vibes since it was choreographed by Wayne McGregor for the Royal Ballet in 2006, and we can't wait to see what all the hype's about! 

Chroma | 6th – 14th June
State Theatre at The Arts Centre | To book, click here

If you're equine included, you'll be pleased to know the Melbourne International Horse Trials are on once again! Running over the long weekend, our country's finest horsemen and women will compete for national and international representation in the picturesque Werribee Park grounds. Pretty ponies, food trucks and a vino-stocked bar? That's us sorted!

Melbourne International Horse Trials | 6th – 9th of June
Werribee Park | K Road in Werribee 

This Friday, head to the Mind Body Spirit Festival to clear your chakras, discover the latest herbal supplements and maybe even learn about the mysteries of a tantric relationship (well, why not!). You can also soak in endless wisdom in a free inspirational lecture, unwind in the meditation room and spend your long weekend feeling uplifted and refreshed (as opposed to haggard with a hangover). 

Mind Body Spirit Festival | 6th – 9th of June
Melbourne Exhibition Centre in Southbank 

If you're all about health, you may also be interested in booking in tickets for next weekend's Macrobiotic Detox Seminar with Kenji Okabe, where you'll learn the fundamental philosophies of macrobiotics and how to apply the theories for effective detox and cleansing. Spots are sure to fill up, so make sure you reserve your place quick!

Macrobiotic Detox Seminar with Kenji Okabe | 14th – 15th of June
Email for enquiries and bookings

Art lovers – Slow Worlds, an exhibition curated by Andrew Gaynor, is opening at Strange Neighbour Gallery tonight. The exhibition features six artists that utilise abstraction and reject any inclusion of narrative in their work, with the unique pieces promising to evoke deep, arty thoughts.  

Slow Worlds | 6th of June – 5th of July
Strange Neighbour Gallery | 395 Gore Street in Fitzroy


If you fancy fromage (don't we all!), you'll be excited to hear about Spring Street Grocer's new fromage-filled series, Cheese 101: Behind The Rind. Held on the first Saturday of every month, resident cheesemongers will take you through the basics of serving, pairing, storage and care, also giving you an introduction to the various styles of cheeses housed in the cheese room (not to mention nibbles of said cheeses!). Is there any better way to spend a Saturday morning than scoffing brie and gruyere? No, no there is not. 

Cheese 101: Behind The Rind | Spring Street Grocer in Melbourne CBD
11:00am – 12:00pm 

After you've had your fill of cheese, head to Cumulus Up on Flinders Lane to sample vinous delights from Victoria's premier wine regions. That's right, my vino-loving pals, City Cellar Door is back!! Held on the first Saturday of every month, you'll be able to sip your way through the state's best vineyards and purchase your favourite drop at cellar door prices. As if it could get any better, the friendly folk at Cumulus Up will be roasting a whole pig, offering up crispy pork buns to soak up the booze. Entry is free and a good time guaranteed. 

City Cellar Door | Cumulus Up in Melbourne CBD
Saturday 6th June | 12:00pm – 4:00pm

While, we'll admit, most Saturday nights you'd most likely find us hoeing into cheese and getting boozed, we're pretty darn excited to try out something that won't wreak havoc on our waistlines. This Saturday, the Australian Yoga Academy is hosting a disco yoga night, where all yogis can get down in a night of high octane, free flowing vinyasa to tunes spun by DJ Katie Drover. After your disco stretch, stay on for a cup of chai and chat with the other lovely downward doggers.  

Disco Yoga Night | Australian Yoga Academy, 77 Charles Street in Seddon
7:30 – 9:30pm | $35 

The long weekend is the perfect excuse to hightail it outta town for a food and wine-filled getaway. Heathcote on Show is inviting you to skip town to meet the region's best artisan winemakers, chefs, brewers, and musicians of the region.  You'll sample and swill the days away at exclusive tastings, gourmet food events, community activities, and more, with over 30 locations across the Heathcote Region taking part.

Heathcote on Show | 7th – 9th of June

Speaking of hightailing it outta town, Healesville Sanctuary, De Bortoli Winery and The Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery have created the perfect itinerary for a Yarra Valley day out with the family.  The Wine and Wildlife Tour starts with a personal, interactive guided tour of Healesville Sanctuary before you feast on a two-course lunch at De Bortoli Winery, and finish the day on a sweet note at The Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery, where you'll be treated to abundant free tastings and peruse the tasty products. 

Wine and Wildlife Tour | Available Thursday – Monday
$85 adults | $40 children


Eat, drink and dance the day away Portuguese-style at A Taste of Portugal at the Queen Victoria Market. There'll be Portuguese street food, Brazilian delicacies, samba and Zumba classes, as well as photographic displays, arts and crafts stations and musical performances. You'll find us Zumba-ing with a Portuguese custard tart in each hand.  

A Taste of Portugal | Queen Victoria Market

Did you know this week was International Sherry Week? Neither did we. And we didn't really care, that is, until we found out MoVida Next Door is celebrating with a special menu this Sunday. That's right, you can expect five delectable courses of MoVida Spanish fare matched with different sherries. Think oysters served with a sherry and Spanish onion dressing, braised beef brisket and, just to sweeten the deal that little bit more, chocolate cake with almond praline and quince sorbet, all expertly matched with the finest sherries. Yum! There are two sittings starting at 12pm and 2pm – make sure you attend at least one. 

Sherry Week Lunch | MoVida Next Door in Melbourne CBD
12:00pm or 2:00pm | $70

After selling out last year, the Soul Food Lunch is back at Trunk! Running as part of the Melbourne International Jazz Festival, groovy guys and gals can spend a long Sunday lunch chilling out to soulful jazzy tunes. There's a whole lotta soul in the food too, with four courses featuring Trunk's beloved jambalayas and collard greens. 

Soul Food Lunch | Trunk
12.30 – 3.30pm | $65 

I think we can all agree that there's truly nothing better than a Sunday Roast. In an ode to oft-underrated meat, The Exchange will be hosting Oh My Deer! this Sunday, serving up roast venison with all the traditional trimmings. Bambi shmambi, we can't wait for this delicious feast!

Oh My Deer! | The Exchange Hotel, 39 Bay Street in Port Melbourne
12.30 – 3.30pm | $45


This Queen's Birthday doesn't have to be all tea and crumpets (heck, although we wouldn't complain about that!) – there's a host of great cafes, restaurants and bars open on Her Majesty's B'day. Dear friends, as we've always got your stomachs on our minds, we're busily compiling a list of our favourite places that are open on the Monday; keep an eye out for the story tomorrow! This Monday, enjoy your sleep in, then go forward and scoff!

Couldn't make it to any of The Roast Collection events on the weekend? No need to stress, you can break tradition at Stuff Sunday, It's a Monday Roast. As part of The Roast Collection, Ferdydurke will be hosting a roast dinner every Monday through June, offering slow cooked pork belly in Kelly Brothers Yarra Valley cider with crackling, slow cooked beef in Victorian Stout with home made beef jerky served on bula and, for the vegos wanting in on the roasting action, roasted vegetable ratatouille on nachos. 

Stuff Sunday, it's a Monday Roast | Ferkydurke in Melbourne CBD
Every Monday | 5:00pm - late

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