1 July

Today is your last chance to go into the draw to see the Flinders Street Ballroom at Open House Melbourne

Flinders Street Station

Open House Melbourne is the one weekend of the year when many of Melbourne’s most significant architectural gems – plus some well-kept secrets – invite you to come in and take a closer look.

The full list of buildings has just been announced. While you might be attracted to historical spaces like the Scots’ Church, Cairo Flats or Melbourne Town Hall, others are drawn to the dark secrets of Russell Place Substation or the Harry Brookes Allen Museum of Anatomy and Pathology. Buildings like the innovative Melbourne School of Design and the verdant Medibank Docklands offer a glimpse into the future of design.

Every year, however, there’s one building that never fails to capture the imagination of Melburnians: the hallowed Flinders Street Ballroom.

Flinders Street Ballroom

Falling into decay on the third floor of the station, the ballroom – which closed in the ’80s – waits behind padlocked metal gates for the time when it will finally undergo renovations (possibly this year).Read more

29 June

Shopping with a social conscience at Melbourne Central’s newest pop-up, HoMie


It’s estimated that over 100,000 Australians are experiencing homelessness at any given point in time. That’s a saddening figure, but there are practical ways we can all help – including by shopping.

In August last year, two mates with a social conscience, Nick Pearce and Marcus Crook, started a Facebook page called Homeless of Melbourne, the aim of which was to give a face and a voice to an often ignored sector of our community. Inspired by the folks they met and the level of interest generated (Homeless of Melbourne now has over 23,000 likes), Crook and Pearce ran Australia’s first Street Store in December last year (an initiative that started in South Africa in 2014). Basically, they converted Fed Square into a giant outdoor wardrobe, where people could go and hang clothes and folks experiencing homelessness could pick up gear that grabbed them.

Not content to rest on their laurels, Pearce and Crook ran a Pozible campaign soon after to fund another social enterprise – a not-for-profit pop-up store called HoMie.… Read more

22 June

Wallets out, Melbourne: Madonna is finally – finally! – touring Australia again

madonna-636x393The 23-year drought is over. After a notorious string of cancellations and broken promises, Madonna is making her long-awaited return to Australia as part of her globe-spanning Rebel Heart tour. The pop diva hasn’t played Australia since way back in 1993, when she hit our shores as part of her Girlie Show tour, and her fans down under have impatiently awaited her return for more than two decades.

Madonna’s concerts are legendary spectacles that incorporate cutting-edge videos, dizzying choreography and a panoply of narratives and social messages – and they’ve turned her into one of the most successful touring artists of all time.

For now, she’s announced two Melbourne shows in March 2016. Tickets go on sale 10am, Monday 6 July through Ticketek.

Madonna: Rebel Heart Tour. Rod Laver Arena, 12-13 Mar 2016.Read more

18 June

Road to Refuge Coffee Cup Initiative

Posted by in Coffee, News


Road to Refuge is a not-for-profit organisation aimed at personalising the issue of asylum seekers and refugees in Australia. While their plight is far removed from many Australians’ everyday lives, Road to Refuge aims at generating conversation to bridge this divide.

Throughout Refugee Week 2015, Road to Refuge will be working alongside popular Melbourne cafés to encourage coffee lovers to think about the untold stories of asylum seekers. Usual branding will be removed from almost 40,000 coffee cups and replaced by an image of Layla, a Road for Refuge character, whose fictional story of struggle and courage can be seen in an interactive journey on an online choose-your-own-adventure program.

Visit the Road to Refuge to explore the real life stories of hardship and bravery of asylum seekers and refugee through interactive activities that put you in the shoes of an asylum seeker and articles on real stories.

Cafes involved across Melbourne include the following below.Read more

17 June

Smith & Deli opens

Posted by in News

smith & deli

Vegan food carnivores will want to get in on… if the vegans don’t mind sharing

Smith & Deli – the latest venture from Smith & Daughters’ Shannon Martinez and Mo Wyse – has finally opened its doors in Fitzroy. Following a few weeks delay due to a hold up from the city water supply, the vegan Jewish deli opened yesterday to a line of eager vegans and fans of the original Latin American-inspired restaurant. Such is the popularity of Martinez and Wyse’s brainchild, a few early birds did a little dance upon receiving their takeaway pack of breakfast goods.

It’s refreshing to see a vegan shop with nary an açai superfood bowl in sight. Breakfast offerings at the takeaway-only business are heavy on the sandwiches: the Friend Zone is Smith & Deli’s take on the classic ham, cheese and tomato toastie that’s so buttery and cheesy, you’ll forget it’s vegan.

Read more