Well sing hallelujah, it's almost the weekend! And, as always, there are absolutely HEAPS of things to do in Melbourne town! What's on, you ask? Culture vultures can get their arty fix at the launch of The Glow Winter Festival, Melbourne Art Fair and the MIFF Closing Gala, while foodies have their fair fill of wine dinners, degustations and pasta making classes (because calories totally don't count on the weekend, amirite?).
Chow down on this list of the best things to do in Melbourne this weekend!
Folks, get excited – a brand spankin' new arts and culture festival, Glow Winter Arts Festival, launches today! Running up until the 24th of August, Glow will display the immense creative talent found in the City of Stonnington, with a program of 50 events jam-packed into 11 days. You can explore the magical landscape of the Exxopolis installation, nosh on food truck fare at foodie film events, enjoy a big belly laugh at comedy clubs, and boogie on down to live tunes. To help you plan your visits (because you'll seriously want to see EVERYTHING!), check out our guide to the 5 must-see events at the inaugural Glow Winter Arts Festival.
Glow Winter Arts Festival | 14th – 24th of August
The Penfolds Wine Dinner, tonight at No. 8 by John Lawson, offers an evening of fine wining and delectable dining. Executive Chef John Lawson has crafted a bespoke five-course menu for the event, including dishes like beef wellington with truffle potato purée and red wine jus and, for dessert, a caramel apple baba with vanilla cream….drooool! Peter Gago, the renowned Chief Winemaker at Penfolds, will be there to take you through all of the matching wines (we spy Grange on the menu!).
Brace your bank accounts – the Carla Zampatti and Bianca Spender Warehouse Sale is back! Running until Saturday 16th August, you can snag up to 70% off retail prices on gorgeous evening wear, dresses and suiting from previous seasons, one off samples and oh so much more. Get on it, stylers!
Warehouse Sale | 681 Chapel Street in South Yarra | 14th – 16th August
Snuggling up to a glass of red is one of our favourite things to do in Melbourne during winter (okay, any time), and tonight we'll be getting particularly cosy with Coonawarra's most popular drops at the Coonawarra Roadshow Dinner. Held at Grossi Florentino, you'll enjoy the biggest, boldest reds the region has to offer, accompanied by a delectable four-course meal designed by Guy Grossi himself.
Are you feline the love? 'Cause we sure are! Cat Stuff Pop Up, a temporary exhibition and store for feline enthusiasts, is taking over Tinning Street Gallery in Brunswick this weekend. The festivities kick off with an opening party tonight, where you can join the kitty-loving organisers for hot drinks and treats (of the cat and non-cat variety) and peruse the feline-themed wares. It's only open 'til the 17th of August, so you better head there meow! Apawlogies.
Cat Stuff Pop Up | 14th – 17th August | Tinning Street Gallery in Brunswick
Looking for arty things to do in Melbourne this weekend? Then take your cultured behind to Modern Times Gallery to check out Lisa Lapointe's Behind The Sun exhibition. Head to the opening night party, where you'll be able to check out Lisa's large-scale, coloured pencil drawings with a glass of vino (courtesy of McPherson Wine Co) in hand.
Behind The Sun Opening | Modern Times Gallery in Fitzroy | 6–8pm
This Friday, top chefs from Melbourne and Sydney will go head-to-head (and knife-to-knife!) for the Florey Culinary Challenge, a cook off of epic proportions at Crown. Estelle's Scott Pickett will be leading the Melbourne chefs (Cafe Rosamond's Pierre Roelofs, Union Food & Wine's Stuart McVeigh, and No. 8's John Lawson) to victory against Guillaume Brahimi's Sydney team (boo! hiss!) in a series of timed, cut-throat cook offs. The best part? We're the judges! The even better-er part? All proceeds will go to the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, the largest brain research group in the Southern Hemisphere.
2014 Florey Culinary Challenge | Palladium at Crown | 6:30 for 7:00pm start
Standard tables of 10 cost $5,000, VIP tables cost $6,500
Sartorial lads and lassies of Melbourne – burgeoning Australian label Handsom have opened up a pop-up shop on Little Collins Street, bringing a dose of their Fitzroy style to the CBD. The pop-up, selling Handom's sports-prep, men's and women's threads, will be poppin' nicely along 'til October. My, my, not just a handsom face!
Handsom Pop-Up | 326 Little Collins Street in Melbourne CBD
Running until the 17th of August, the Melbourne Art Fair is showcasing the work of around 900 artists represented by over 80 different galleries and arty spaces, with heaps of exhibitions, hip new satellite events and after hours artistic gatherings. Keen to snag a bit of art for your own wall? Check out Cutler & Co's MAF Platform Pop Up.
Melbourne Art Fair | Running until 17th August
Hitting the town this weekend? This one's on Aston Club! This August, the Aston Club is shouting all new users to $50 worth of food and booze, just for downloading their nifty little app! The $50 voucher can be spent at 9 hip venues across Melbourne, including Lamaro's, Robert Burns Hotel, The Botanical, Penny Black, Skinny Dog Hotel, Lucky Coq, Portsea Hotel, Half Moon and Bimbo Deluxe…woah momma, we feel a big weekend coming on! All you have to do is download the app, punch in the voucher code ASTON50 and hey presto, that's 50 buckeroos! Free food and booze; oh Aston, you certainly know the way to our hearts. Full details here.
Not to ring our own bell, but TUL staff absolutely tear up the dance floor on a Saturday night. Aren't blessed with our natural born talent? Never fear – you can brush up on your groovin' skillz at the Yo Let's Go 90's Flashmob Dance Troupe, held every Saturday at Next Level Studios in Brunswick. Denim overalls, chokers and backwards caps encouraged.
Yo Let's Go Flashmob Dance Troupe | Next Level Studios in Brunswick | From 2.30pm
Crazy for kimchi? Yep, we go a little cuckoo for all that gut-friendly bacteria, too! This Saturday, head to the kimchi making workshop to learn all about the benefits of cultured / probiotic food, taste kimchi pancakes and learn how to make your own fermented cabbage. Bonus, you'll also get to take home your own batch! You and your gut can thank me later.
Kimchi Workshop | LifeStyle Studio by Fans of Nature in Melbourne | 3–5pm | $79
Looking to flex those little green thumbs of yours? Then look no further than the Bonsai Bell Jar workshop at Third Drawer Down in Prahran. This Saturday, you can learn all about bonsais and terrariums, from plant selection to soil composition, from Amy Wong at Petite Green. This course is the only one in Australia teaching this particular technique of terrarium making…talk about exclusive miniature gardening!
Bonsai Bell Jar workshop | Third Drawer Down in Prahran | 1.30 – 3.30pm | $95
Back for its second year, Globelight Festival boasts a program of events and exhibitions showcasing new talent in light art and design. This Saturday night, head to The Shadow Electric for Big Night of Light, an evening of light entertainment (literally) with musical performances by Sasha March, Tin Lion and Skyscraper Stan, as well as audio visual performances by The Quayle Project and Abre Ojos. Then, on Sunday, take your sore head right back to Shadow Electric for an evening of short and experimental film screening on the theme of light, curated by Richard Haridy, Chair of the Australian Film Critics Association.
Globelight | 14th – 17th August | The Shadow Electric
Cinephiles, the Melbourne International Film Festival is wrapping up this Sunday, so we expect to see you all at the Closing Night Gala this Saturday to catch the Australian premiere of Mathew Saville's Felony. Written by Animal Kingdom actor Joel Edgerton, who stars alongside Jai Courtney, Melissa George and Tom Wilkinson, Felony is a gripping, suspenseful psychological thriller that has received rave reviews since its release overseas. After the film, kick on to the after party for DJs, beverages and a whole lotta fun (ticket price includes admission to the after party). There are only a few tickets left, so you'd better book in quick sticks!
The Melbourne International Film Festival Closing Gala | 7pm | $95 / $90
After a romp around Spain, the boys from Bomba are back in town, set to host a series of Catalonian-inspired feasts on the 17th, 18th and 19th of August. This Sunday, the Bomba Goes to Spain lunch will feature delights such as braised oxtail croquettes, mackerel with chilli garlic, Pyrenees truffled pork sausage, crème catalan…arrrriba! You'll be treated to a complimentary cocktail on Bomba's rooftop before you dig into the Spanish feast, complemented with Cada Mariol Negre Vermut.
Still looking for things to do in Melbourne this weekend? Check out the pasta making class at Olivigna. The interactive masterclass will begin outside, where you'll pick fresh herbs from their kitchen garden, before you move to the vintage baker's table to learn doughy tips and tricks, covering everything from parpadelle to ravioli. Finally, your efforts will be cooked, plated up and devoured in the restaurant, complete with a glass of Olivigna's Sangiovese. Bellisimo!
Pasta making class | Olivigna in Warrandyte South | From 10am | $130
That's what's on in Melbourne this weekend, folks! Zero excuses to stay home.