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Eat. Stay. Play: Mad March

/ 31 Jan 2019
All the basics of how to do Melbourne's biggest festival month in style

Where to eat, stay and play at the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival, Airshow 2019, the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, the Formula 1® Grand Prix and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Airshow 2019 1 - 3 March
A high voltage array of combat aircraft takes centre stage at Airshow 2019.  Jet fighters, strike bombers and heavy lift leviathans are joined by swarms of attack helicopters, from home and abroad, for a series of breathtaking routines and simulated combat manoeuvres. There will also be historic aircraft from the classic years of aviation and the most impressive collection of World War II aircraft ever to soar skyward at Avalon.

Where to stay?
Geelong and the Bellarine provide the perfect coastal getaway alongside a busy weekend of aerial action at the Airshow. Visitors can stay in Geelong, Victoria’s second largest city, or venture down the coast towards Ocean Grove, Barwon Heads, Portarlington, Point Lonsdale or Queenscliff.

Where to dine?
IGNI and Wah Wah Gee headline dining options in Geelong, before visitors can make their way down the Bellarine Taste Trail and stopping it at a range of farmgates, provedores, restaurants and cafes.

Where to wine?
Consider a stop at a cellar door like Oakdene Vineyard, Terrindah Estate, Scotchmans Hill, Curlewis Winery or Jack Rabbit, before a pit-stop at The Whiskery, the Flying Brick Cider Co. or the Queenscliff Brewhouse.

Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival 1 - 10 March          
Melbourne’s annual celebration of fashion, beauty, business and creative endeavour. A true feast for the senses, the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival presents a stylish, week-long entertainment offering that includes international recognised runway shows, state-of-the-art production, beauty workshops, live entertainment and more. In 2019, the Festival will also feature the Australian Fashion Summit on International Women’s Day.

Where to stay?
VAMFF takes over the Royal Exhibition Building, with the proximity of the venue to the city confirming the heart of Melbourne as the place to stay. From five-star options the Westin, the Park Hyatt and the Sofitel, to boutique, yet stunning offerings including QT Melbourne, Ovolo Laneways and Adelphi, there’s a hotel to suit every taste and budget.

Where to dine?
The iconic Flinders Lane is arguably Melbourne’s culinary hub, with extravagant dining experiences from Swanston Street to Spring Street. There’s Kisume and its delectable Japanese menu, the iconic Chin Chin and Supernormal, award-winning Cumulus Inc., laneway offerings like Lee Ho Fook, Tonka and Pastuso, as well as pasta that would make every Italian proud at Lello Pasta Bar and Cecconi’s.

Where to wine?
An aperitif to follow the meal is a must, with plenty to quench the thirst on the doorstep of the aforementioned dining options. Hihou, Mary Fortune, Garden State Hotel, GoGo Bar, Lustre, Bartronica and Trinket are all just a cat walk away.

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Supernormal Canteen

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Queenscliff Brewhouse

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 8 - 24 March
The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival welcomes thousands of visitors to Melbourne and Victoria’s regions annually, indulging in bespoke events that fill a labyrinth of restaurants, laneways, basements and dizzying rooftops across two weeks. Iconic Victorian chefs are celebrated alongside produce from across the state, as well as a stunning array of wine, sparkling and prosecco that captures the many varieties made in the state’s backyard.

Where to stay?
Southbank is the place to be if the House of Food & Wine at the Malthouse Theatre is the destination, with Crown Melbourne and their range of hotels providing a high-end experience within walking distance of the action. The Langham is another option, as is the Crowne Plaza.

Where to dine?
So many places from the city to regional Victoria celebrating so many cuisines, cooking techniques, trends and product.  The signature Bank of Melbourne's World's Longest Lunch int he city may be sold out, but there are no less that fifteen around regional Victoria - all including top name talent to stunning backdrops. Visitors should pick an event from the vast Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and purchase tickets to attend today.

Where to wine?
Whether its The Evolution of Sake, The Drunken Sailor, The Grange Shiraz Challenge, a Gin-Soaked Afternoon Tea, The Art of Ouzo or Burnely Brewing Tours & Tastings -   there are heaps of events in this year's festival that celebrate booze in all its forms. Check out the drink section of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival website. 

Formula 1® Australian Grand Prix 14 - 17 March
Albert Park comes alive for the Formula 1® Australian Grand Prix as the fastest cars in the world speed their way around the iconic circuit, before entertainment aplenty enthralls the thousands in attendance. From motorsport fans, to those soaking up the glamourous atmosphere, Melbourne’s iconic motorsport fixture presents excitement, opulence and huge energy across one big weekend of racing.

Where to stay?
United Places and The Prince provide a boutique experience to unwind away from the track, with The Blackman, Pullman Melbourne and the Royce Hotel among the options on the iconic boulevard of St Kilda Road.

Where to dine?
The Prince Dining Room, Donovans, Matcha Mylkbar and Café di Stasio headline the action in St Kilda, with experimental fine-diner Lume very close by and brunch king Kettle Black in Albert Park also delicious. Local produce, with an array of street food vendors, are on offer at the South Melbourne Market.

Where to wine?
Hotel Esplanade is back, bigger and better than ever, headlining the revitalised bar scene in St Kilda. Its neighbours include the Village Belle Hotel, Captain Baxter, St Hotel, Milk the Cow Fromagerie, Pontoon and Uncle.

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 27 March to 21 April
The colours of autumn and a good chuckle go hand-in-hand across the city as the Melbourne International Comedy Festival delivers a hive of happiness across the city’s theatres, pubs and clubs. Comedians travel from around the world to take part in the prestigious event with this year's line up including US comedian Maria Bamford (Lady DynamiteAdventure TimeArrested Development), festival regular David O'Doherty as well as funnyman Phil Wang, Scottish talent Fern Brady and British musical comedy duo Flo & Joan. Local Melbourne talent too do not miss the opportunity to showcase their talent to an international audience. 

Where to stay?
Anywhere and everywhere. The Melbourne International Comedy Festival spreads from the venues in the city centre of Melbourne as well as the surrounding neighbourhoods. Visitors could take the opportunity to get a local neighbourhood experience in the likes of St Kilda, North Melbourne, Fitzroy, Richmond or Footscray. 

Where to dine?
A late-night-bite is the perfect way to continue the giggling after a night at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Melbourne has the only real late-night culture in Australia. Eateries include Shinjunko, Pizza Pizza Pizza, Magic Mountain Saloon, the Toff in Town, Bodega Underground and Butcher’s Diner.

Where to wine?
From a laneway laugh to a laneway lager, there’s something for everyone in Melbourne’s hidden network of alleys and side streets.  Options include Romeo Lane, Bar Tini at MoVida, Arlechin, Cherry Bar, Section 8, Ferdydurke and Lily Blacks.


This content can be shared and edited for the purpose of promoting Victoria as a visitor destination. Not for use in paid advertising. Please credit Visit Victoria.


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