Here’s an idea: instead of booking a table amidst a sea of nervous lovers, glasses of sparkling on arrival and pink desserts this Valentine’s Day, why not book tickets to a completely unmissable and never-to-be-repeated Melbourne Food & Wine Festival event? Packing over 300 events, this year’s program is our biggest in recent memory, and almost definitely our most romantic. From a classic Venetian masquerade to oysters, cava and caviar on the roof, here’s a list of hot Valentine’s gifts you can give now and frank come Festival.
A Venetian Masquerade Dinner at Luci
Remember when the phrase “mask up” was more romantic than respiratory? Grab your finest face-covering and be transported to Venice for a night in a dinner that will surprise and delight both you and your Valentine.
22 March, Luci, 472 Bourke St, Melbourne
Pop, Rock and Pearls
An unashamedly romantic soiree, this rooftop party pops the cork on free-flowing cava, shucks rock oysters all afternoon and piles up pearls of Yarra Valley caviar alongside some of the world’s finest sturgeon caviar. Sip, slurp, savour and celebrate with that special someone.
16 March, Bomba Rooftop, 103 Lonsdale St, Melbourne
World’s Longest Lunch
Andrew McConnell takes the reins for this year’s World’s Longest Lunch, presented by La Trobe Financial, coming to you and your loved one live from Kings Domain for three courses of prestigious autumn lunching.
15 March, Kings Domain, Linlithgow Ave, Melbourne
Feast of Freyja
Isn’t it time you took your partner by the hand and entered the world of Freyja, the Norse goddess of love? Hosted by author Sarah Darmody, this event explores the profound essence of love through sublime cuisine and guided conversation.
23 March, Freyja, 477 Collins St, Melbourne
Gluttony: A Play in Three Courses
Take a seat at the table in the most immersive food and theatre event you and yours have ever seen. The drama at the table is fictional, the food and drink are very real, and the chance to be right inside the action is as delicious as it gets. Talk about intimate.
15-24 March, Gourmandise @ The Lincoln Private Dining Room, 138 Queensberry St, Carlton
World’s Longest Brunch
A new wave of talent is bringing hot new ideas and energy to Indian food in Australia right now, and this March three of its most exciting exponents, Harry Mangat, Helly Raichura and Mischa Tropp, bring that excitement to the World’s Longest Brunch, presented by Cocobella.
16 March, Kings Domain, Linlithgow Ave, Melbourne
Sicilian Sausage: Making, Curing and Cooking
Learn the art of Sicilian sausages alongside your lover, from making and curing to cooking and eating, with Alfredo La Spina of Bar Idda.
23 March, Bar Idda, 132 Lygon St, Brunswick East
Art Meat Flesh
Is it natural? Is it edible? When is it art and when is it science? What’s the difference? What does the future hold for food? And does any of it taste good? Join this cutting-edge adventure in bio-art and find out. Science is sexy.
22-23 March, Science Gallery Melbourne, 700 Swanston St (enter via Grattan St), Parkville