Brian Donnelly, also known as KAWS, has been named one of the most prominent and prolific artists of his generation. In his latest exhibition based at the NGV, KAWS: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness, KAWS celebrates generosity, support for others and the deep need we have for companionship. Guests can expect to see the full range of KAWS’s artistic output, including a newly commissioned monumental sculpture, paintings reworking pop-culture figures and an impressive collection of human-scale sculptural figures. KAWS’ collaborations with other artists and major brands will also be included in a dedicated pop-up shop along with his own products. 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne, Victoria, 3006.
Melbourne’s summer go-to floating bar and restaurant Arbory Afloat is back for its third consecutive season on the Yarra River with a new summer vibe and design inspired by the colour and fun of Miami in the 1970’s. This year the upper deck has been extended to accommodate more dining, lounging and private Cabanas, with the best views of the Yarra River and the city. Executive Chef, Nick Bennett creates a food offering that celebrates all things Latin American; the Caribbean; Cuba and Mexico; featuring wood-fired pizzas, an array of grilled meats, empanadas and other share-friendly snacks. 2 Flinders Walk, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000.
Located in Dromana on the Mornington Peninsula, JimmyRum has been distilling Victoria’s only local rum for the past 12 months. Now, they have launched a bar inside the distillery, so guests can see the rum being created while sampling the product. The distillery is filled with barrels of its distilled spirits and the four JimmyRum varieties available. A Wormy Chestnut bar top runs the length of the bar and extends to the tasting area that neatly sits in front of Matilda, their 1,500-litre copper still. The bar offers a range of rum classics, cocktails and local beers and wines from their neighbours. 6 Brasser Ave, Dromana, Victoria, 3936. / Fri-Sat 11am – 10pm, Thu – Sun 11am- 9pm
From the team behind Maeve Fox and Katuk, Simon and Emily Pratt have now brought The Blacksmith Bar to Richmond. Situated in Swan Street, the original structure of the building dates back to 1924, as McNaughton’s Ironmongers which can still be seen on the existing façade. The owners drew inspiration from this for the entire venue. Everything from the name of the venue, the quirky antique-style décor, the cocktail menu, and the staff uniforms play on the history of the structure. Most pieces inside have been sourced second-hand and then refurbished or reupholstered to tie in with the carefully chosen finishes throughout the venue. Offering cocktail, whisky and gin masterclasses for groups. Guests can expect a cocktail menu that is uncomplicated and simplistic, paying homage to the old classics. 69 Swan Street, Richmond, Victoria, 3121. / Daily 4pm – late
After 12 years of operating as Trunk, this Exhibition Street venue has had a 1930’s New York inspired makeover and reopened as Pepe’s Italian & Liquor, a New York-Italian diner. The venues banquettes are finished in burgundy leather, the floor has red and white chequeres and the back wall features an original mural by Belgian Illustrator Jan Van Der Veken. Serving up the classics, Pepe’s food and drink menu draws inspiration from some of New York’s most established Italian eateries. Guests can expect barbecued pork ribs, veal parmigiana and gigantic ice cream sundaes. 275 Exhibition Street, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000. / Mon- Fri 12 – late, Sat & Sun 4pm – late
French restaurant, Frédéric is the third restaurant from siblings Antoine, Edouard and Nathalie Reymond. More contemporary than their South Yarra venues; Bistro Gitan and L’Hotel Gitan, Frédéric is located in the heart of Cremorne, comprising two dining offerings – Fred’s, a relaxed all day eatery and wine bar, and Frédéric, a European-style restaurant serving uncomplicated European fair. Guests can expect veal tartare, sweet corn madeleines and a separate steak menu with five different cuts available. 9-11 Cremorne Street, Cremorne, Victoria, 3121. / Mon- Fri 11.30am – 11pm, Sat 5pm – 11pm
Niska is the world’s first robotic-run retail store. The ice cream bar which is run entirely by robots is based at Federation Square in Melbourne’s city centre and sees guests enter their ice cream and topping selection on a digital screen before different robots serve the artisan ice cream. Their flavours include salted caramel, vanilla, hazelnut, rocky road, and more, all of which, have been locally produced in Melbourne. Crossbar Building, Federation Square, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000. / Daily 11am – 8pm
A partnership between leading global retailer West Elm and Hotham Holidays has seen an exclusive apartment transform into a James Bond style space. Situated on the top level of the apartment building, the space overlooks views of sweeping mountains and has been given a stunning new look featuring a bold palette, metallic accents and a strong design direction. The apartment is located within walking distance to restaurants, bars, bistros, cafes, licensed supermarket, retail stores and a day spa. The bold space sleeps up to six guests across the two bedrooms. Great Alpine Rd, Hotham Heights, Victoria, 3741.
Explore Bendigo’s street art scene with a talented and passionate local artist from Nacho Station artist collective. Commencing with a coffee and some sticker designing at Get Naked Espresso/Handle Bar, guests will learn about the unique challenges that a heritage city poses for local artists, hear local urban legends and street beefs and see inter-state and international artists. The tour duration is 1.5 hours and there are four tours scheduled over October and November.
Australia’s largest outdoor art gallery, the Silo Art Trail has come to life with a new Augmented Reality App. The Silo Art Trail spreads over 200kms across the Yarriambiack Shire in rural Victoria and brings together internationally recognised street artists; Julia Volchkova, Guido van Helten, Fintan Magee, Matt Adnate, Kaff-eine, Smug and Rone with six huge murals painted on grain silos. With the new Visit Wimmera Mallee app, the narrative behind each of the 40ft tall Silo murals is brought to life through 3D animations and audio commentary to create a self-guided tour through the region.
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