3pm – Check in at the House of Food and Wine Hotel at Hotel Lindrum. Settle into your room at the boutique hotel on Flinders Street. You’re at the heart of Melbourne – surrounded by MFWF events, some of the city’s most sought after tables, hidden bars tucked down alleyways and a just a short walk to the Arts Precinct. Head downstairs for a seat at the bar and order a glass and a plate from the MFWF curated bar menu to get acquainted with Victoria’s outstanding produce and wine.
7pm – After a wander around the CDB, ducking your head into boutiques in Flinders Lane and the Block Arcade, and listening to a busker in the Bourke Street Mall, live like a Melbourne local – it’s time to eat. Take a stroll down to Chinatown in Little Bourke Street, past glazed whole ducks hanging in windows and tanks full of lobsters and abalone, then into the warehouse space of Annam. This hawkers-hall meets fine-diner serves up a mix of hearty curries and charcoal grilled delights that would be at home on any South-East Asian. But here it’s delivered with the finesse of highly skilled chef Jerry Mai who can be found flipping whole fish on the grill or wielding a mortar and pestle in the open kitchen.
10pm – Slip into one of Melbourne’s many hidden – and seriously good – bars for an after-dinner drink. We love Eau de Vie for cocktails with a little drama. For the aficionado of the amber gold, Whisky and Alement is a must.
9am – Shake off last night’s sins with a turn around one of Melbourne’s beautiful parks, a walk around the tan or jump on the tram down St Kilda road and stroll along the St Kilda foreshore. Of course, you’ll need a coffee. It’s the elixir that keeps Melburnians moving so there are plenty of options all over town. In the city, we love Dukes Coffee Roasters on Flinders Lane.
11am – Something else Melbourne does really well, and a little obsessively, is breakfast. You can return to the Lindrum for a relaxed breakkie and freshen up before your next stop. Or visit head out to Fitzroy, barely north of the CBD, and visit one of the great cafes along Gertrude or Smith Street.
1pm – Time for some Festival fun.Choose from over 250 separate events to fill the first part of the day. Try a cooking class, a lunch, a market tour or something unusual. There are events popping up all over Melbourne and the surrounding suburbs.
4pm – Re-group and refresh at the House of Food and Wine Hotel Bar. Chat to the sommelier behind the bar and learn about Victoria’s many and varied wine regions. There’s a Festival concierge onsite to help you make the most of your trip. Ask them all about the Festival program, what’s hot in Melbourne, and what to make sure you squeeze into the itinerary for tomorrow.
7pm – The Melbourne dining scene comes to life at night. Book a Crawl ‘n’ Bite and sample three venues in a progressive dinner. You’ll get to experience three outstanding tables at some of our favourite Melbourne spots. Or, seeing as you’re already here – join international and interstate chef’s in the Lindrum dining room for an exclusive Festival dinner series co-curated by ethical dining movement ZeroFoodprint.
10am – Have a sleep in, you’ve earned it. But after that, breakfast at Cumulus Inc is a must. Coffee and a pastry is also on the cards at Lune Croissanterie in Fitzroy. Yes, you will almost certainly have to queue. But the rumours are true – this is best, flakey, golden and delicious croissant in Melbourne (or the world according to the New York Times). Worth it.
1pm – Book a Restaurant Express for a quick lunch before you leave. Some of Melbourne’s finest are putting on two courses with a glass of wine for just $40.
3pm – Say goodbye but not for good. Melbourne and regional Victoria are always a hive of activity. Check out our regional guides for your next getaway. From the coast to the bush, the goldfields to the vineyard – we’re sure you’ll find something new every time.