Rockpool Dining Group & Four Pillars Create New Small-batch Gin

Rockpool Dining Group & Four Pillars Collaboration   Rockpool Dining Group bar managers and mixologists have collaborated with Four Pillars Distillery to craft a limited-edition Maker Session Gin, which is exclusively available on the drink menus at the Group’s premium restaurants in Sydney and Melbourne. Just 30 bottles of the Four Pillars & Rockpool Maker … Read more

‘Hump Day’ just got a Whole Lot Better!

MELBOURNE – Review of 29th Apartment’s Launch Party of ‘We Love Wednesdays’

Words by Will Hamilton-Coates

Images Courtesy of Keti Kezunovic @29thapartment

It’s Wednesday and you get to work and tell your friends that it’s “hump day” but you don’t do anything about it. Sometimes Wednesday is just that night you work late, don’t go to the gym, and end up watching the Bachelor with your parents. 29th Apartment is out to fix that!

This quirky cocktail lounge has revived Wednesday nights with last week’s launch of “We Love Wednesdays”. This Bar is already well known for its New York apartment style decor with every room accounted for. There are lounge suites where you can play giant Jenga, a ‘fire escape styled’ balcony where the acoustic two piece band are belting out tasty covers, a bathtub, DJ setup, and a pinball machine.

29th Wednesday's launch (54 of 69)

With so much going on it is hard to know where to start. For just $10 entry you can soak up a Wednesday in comfort and New York’n style, with a first complimentary drink and ‘all you can eat pizzas’.

We turn up and sample a well crafted Spicy Fireball cocktail with whiskey, ginger and cinnamon. It’s hard to choose from the list including the New York Rose, that tastes so bitter, sweet and fruity all combined, and the Buffalo Soldier that’s like a boozy salted caramel milkshake. A variety of hand-stretched, authentic Italian pizzas are handed around by genial staff more than welcome to accommodate ‘the hungries’.


 It’s definitely easy to feel right at home in this lavish bar. Sounds of laughter fill the space when players nobly lunge for that risky Jenga block only to see it topple. There’s a wall with an image of an old school tv, where a projector blasts all your favourite movies, from  Dirty Harry classics, to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind…that mid 80’s sci fi bouncing with quotes like: “I’m exactly where I wanna be”.

Wednesdays should be a little celebration of what’s behind us, what’s to come, and  reasons to just ‘Love Wednesdays”. 29th Apartment has something for every Wednesday mood. Whether your ‘thing’ is to listen to a rocking live act while sipping a tempting cocktail, or getting all competitive over a game of scrabble, 29th Apartment caters for all. 

29th Wednesday's launch (61 of 69)

**Will Hamilton-Coates was a guest of 29th Apartment and this is an independent account of his experience.



29th Wednesday's launch (64 of 69)


Connie Lambeth – The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events




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**Keti and Steve Thomas also own StoryVille and Pawn and Co.

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Words by Keti Kezunovic

As one of the more titillating and culturally underground venues in all of Australia, 29th Apartment, launched “We Love Wednesdays” last week. Over the last 8 years 29th Wednesdays has grown in popularity and built a loyal following among students and backpackers looking for a night of NYC inspired artwork, music, food and drinks. So, 29th Apartment are sharing the love with their customers and introducing “We Love Wednesdays”, which for just $10 entry includes a drink and ‘all you can eat pizzas’ (free slices of their fantastic hand stretched authentic Italian pizzas) between 8 -10pm, accompanied by live music performances.


On the club’s decision to launch their “We love Wednesday’s” Keti Kezunovic said:

“We’ve got a great crowd who love coming to 29th Wednesdays to enjoy our signature handmade pizzas served with a mash up of party anthems and modern house classics… and we just wanted to share the love. With the 11th October launch behind us, we’re looking to build on our already successful format by offering more live music as well as an extra tasty slice of NYC culture. I know that “We Love Wednesdays” will prove to be a huge success and be warmly welcomed by all our customers, old and new alike.”

The Venue

29 Fitzroy St
St Kilda VIC 3182


**The Australia Times Gourmet News had a great night at the launch, as a guest of Keti Kezunovic, (who is also  part of our Melbourne team of writers covering food/wine/events).

Information and Images Courtesy of Keti Kezunovic

Connie Lambeth – The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events




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The Cliveden to Serve up ‘Footy Lovers Buffet’ on Grand Final Day

MELBOURNE – The Cliveden Bar & Dining – Saturday 30 September Watch the action on 64-inch TV screens!   A stones throw away from The G, hear the roar of the crowd and echo of the sirens, whilst enjoying classics like: • ‘The G Roast Roll’ – a tribute to the classic MCG Beef Roll … Read more

Step into StoryVille


185 Lonsdale Street


Words by Celeste Iuliano


“Written on the pages of Storyville are tales of spirits stirred and shaken.”

With these words we stepped through the pages of a storybook and were transported away from Melbourne’s bustling laneways into a fantasy land. Magic mushrooms hung low over tables as love birds canoodled in the golden cage, at the launch of StoryVille, the latest addition to vibrant Lonsdale Street.



StoryVille is a themed bar that draws inspiration from classic books. Avid readers will love the feature wall on the upper floor (a giant’s dream library), and the signature cocktails with references to stories that will take you back to childhood. The aptly named ‘Drink me’ list has nods to tales as diverse as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and A Clockwork Orange, each served with a fantastical twist!

Potterheads, such as myself, can choose to brew their own polyjuice potion at their table, combining gin, ginger liqueur, kiwi, basil, and lime to taste. Or perhaps you’d rather a taste of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, in which case you might order Through the Looking Glass. It combines vanilla tea, Havana 3 Year Rum with a side of cream, and comes served under a veil of fog, inviting you to peek through the looking glass like Alice.


I’m a big fan of Roald Dahl, so I chose to try the New York Peach, a fruity concoction inspired by James and the Giant Peach. The mix of Cognac, Kirsch, cherry, peach, and lemon make for a sweet and tangy treat, but it comes topped with a surprising nod to James’ creepy crawly friends! It’s definitely one for the more adventurous.


Don’t worry if you’re feeling a little peckish after the hard work of choosing a cocktail, the ‘Eat me’ list boasts more than your average bar snacks. Charcuterie by Savour & Grace is on offer, as well as bespoke Jaffles by Om Nom, with themed flavours such as Green Eggs and Ham and Little Red Hen. My absolute favourite is the Three Blind Mice, a three cheese jaffle that’s tangy, mustardy, creamy, and morish. I may have had seconds.

So if you’re feeling a little adventurous this spring, be sure to take a peek inside.

Storyville may well set the scene for your next magical night out.

Images Courtesy of APL PHOTOGRAPHY & Thomas Bindley




Read more about StoryVille:

Owned by Steve and Keti Thomas – the team behind Pawn & Co. and 29th apartmentStoryVille honours childhood fables and fairytales in an exquisite fit-out that evokes nostalgia and ignites imagination.



Instagram: @storyville

Facebook link

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29th apartment  -@29thapartment

Pawn and Co.  – @pawnandco


Connie Lambeth – The Australia Times News – GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events


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StoryVille set to launch in MELBOURNE! Words by Keti Kezunovic This September, Melbourne’s CBD is excited to welcome an unforgettable bar to its evening landscape – StoryVille. Owned by Steve and Keti Thomas – the team behind Pawn & Co. and 29th apartment– StoryVille honours childhood fables and fairytales in an exquisite fit-out that evokes … Read more



Words by Celeste Iuliano

Images Courtesy of Thomas Bindley, The Cliveden Bar & Dining/Kate & Co.

Last week’s Launch Event at The Cliveden Bar and Dining kept the cocktails flowing, as the crowd moved between tables of tempting bites. Charcuterie? Freshly shucked oysters anyone? Plenty of action at the bar too, with my personal fave a flamboyant passionfruit cocktail, aptly tagged ‘Flaming Passion’, chartreuse alight! This is one  beverage designed to end an impressive meal, or kick off a night on the town!


Oyster Shucking_1

The Cliveden offers guests a ‘new way to buffet’. There are 5 different buffet menus, influenced by Mediterranean and European flavours, all with a focus on fresh ingredients and artisanal food. Between charcuterie, perfectly cooked meat and seafood, and delicate desserts, you’ll enjoy quantity and quality.

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While you’re at The Cliveden, be sure to spend some time in the lounge. With 116 seats and a relaxing vibe, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy your Espresso Martini! The bar boasts European and local craft beers, ciders, a selection of the best Australian wines, and signature cocktails such as the Bloody Aussie Negroni, a creation of Four Pillars Shiraz Gin (Vic), Red Økar Amaro (S.A.), and Maidenii Sweet Vermouth (Vic).

The Cliveden Bar & Dining is part of Pullman Melbourne on The Park’s $6 million makeover. Conveniently located a stone’s throw from the MCG, it is based on the site of the original 1887 mansion. In early Federation Melbourne, The Cliveden was a popular social club, and host to several balls and garden parties. Today it retains the original stained glass panelling and restored woodwork, however the bar and dining area has been given a modern makeover. The combination of classic and contemporary elements makes for a classy, intimate space.

Love an imaginative Cocktail, flavour packed dining choices, and a beaut spot to chill?

Head to the Cliveden!

Espresso Martini (1)

The Cliveden Bar & Dining Pullman Melbourne On The Park 192 Wellington Parade
East Melbourne VIC 3002



Instagram @thecliveden
Facebook @theclivedenbaranddining

**Celeste was a guest of The Cliveden Bar & Dining and Kate & Co.


Additional Information Courtesy of The Cliveden Bar & Dining/Kate & Co. – Hayley Edwards

Connie Lambeth – The Australia Times Gourmet News – Food/Wine/Events


Follow us on Instagram @tatgourmetmag

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Cherry Blossom Season with Celebratory Cocktails at Saké

Saké Celebrates the Arrival of Cherry Blossom Season Saké Restaurant & Bar is gearing up for its annual, month-long Cherry Blossom celebrations of all that spring and the new season has to offer… The celebrations run from Monday 4th – Saturday 30th September and kick off with the release of a range of gorgeous, seasonal cocktails designed by Rockpool Dining Group’s National … Read more


Winemakers of Rutherglen

 Words by Celeste Iuliano

**Melbourne Events writer, Celeste Iuliano, hit the laneways of Melbourne a few days ago, to sample wines of the Rutherglen region at the launch of ‘Rutherglen in the City’.

What could be more Melbourne (and more Rutherglen too, we soon discover!), than a boozy picnic under the temperamental night sky?

Last weekend, 25th to 27th August, our cosmopolitan city was offered a taste of the country, with a pop-up wine bar in The Strand Melbourne’s Driver Lane. ‘Rutherglen in the City’ was brought to you by the Winemakers of Rutherglen, an association of 19 wineries with more than 150 years of heritage.


Younger Melburnians may associate Rutherglen with childhood trips; those happy weekends spent eating Dutch pancakes while mum and dad indulged in a few glasses of wine. However this image of Rutherglen as a very traditional wine region is rapidly changing. Rutherglen is now attracting a more diverse crowd, with its bold and iconic wine varieties. The region is known for it’s durif reds, sparkling reds, alternative whites, and muscats, all of which were sampled over the 3 day event. For those feeling a little experimental, the cocktails were the thing to try – the Muscat Cooler, Muscat Sangria, and the Muscat Espresso Martini.


‘Rutherglen in the City’ was a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in the region’s culture of good wine and warm hospitality. The winemakers were there to take you through the tastings and to share their stories. Some of them have up to 5 generations experience, so there was a lot to learn!

If you managed to sample this small slice of paradise in the city, no doubt you’ll be planning your trip to the cellar door soon!


Instagram & Facebook: @winerutherglen

The Winemakers of Rutherglen

Images Courtesy of Thomas Bindley & Winemakers of Rutherglen/Jarryd Pentony – Little Big MarketingPR


Connie Lambeth – The Australia Times Gourmet News – Food/Wine/Hospitality/Events


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Pamper your Pooch at ‘Yappy Hour’ this Sunday!

Sydney Pooches ‘Paws for Yappy Hour’ at Fratelli Fresh

Pooches get ready to be pampered!

Yappy Hour launches at select Fratelli Fresh restaurants this Sunday 27th August from 3pm-5pm, and there will be free Yappitisers for you and your doggy friends.

If you’re in the vicinity of our Fratelli Fresh restaurants at Alexandria, Crows Nest, Potts Point, Walsh Bay, or the newly opened Fratelli at the Entertainment Quarter, stop for a sniff at their al fresco dining spots, and enjoy complimentary Aqua Panna water, and treats courtesy of dog food specialists Billy + Margot and Farmers Market.

During Yappy Hour, $1 from every beer, wine and cocktail sold will be donated to Furry Friends Forever Rescue*, helping pooches and other animals less fortunate than your pampered selves.

Your human companions can take advantage of their own Happy Hour from 4-6pm, and enjoy $5 wine and beer, $7.50 Negroni, and $10 select cocktails (Happy Hour is available at all Fratelli Fresh restaurants in Sydney).


While they enjoy a range of authentic antipasti, pizzas, pasta and more, the canine contingent can dig into wholesome treats, including Billy + Margot nutritious, all-natural iced treats (think: dairy-free, dog-friendly ice cream), available in three likeable flavours, and newly launched in Australia. Other treats included Farmers Market soft and chewy Meaty Bars in beef with peanut butter, and beef with cheese flavours, which are made with natural ingredients.

Fratelli’s furry friends, Bear the brown Labrador, and Harlem the leggy Great Dane-cross, have already taste-tested the doggy treats and given them a big round of appaws.

“This is a bonafide Yappy Hour deal,” says Bear. “I devoured all the treats in the shortest amount of time imaginable and they are truly pawesome, irresistible treats.”

Harlem says: “Gluttonous labradors aside, there will be plenty of treats to go round thanks to our generous friends Billy + Margot and Farmers Market, and we encourage you to take advantage of our pawsitively lovely, pooch-friendly, al fresco dining spaces at Fratelli Fresh.”

Book your table:

Fratelli Yappy Hour_Bear & Harlem

Information & Images Courtesy of Rockpool Dining Group – Rachel Lebihan/Fratelli Fresh

Connie Lambeth – The Australia Times GOURMET News – Food/Wine/Events


Follow us on Instagram @tatgourmetmag


Read on to find out participating Fratelli Fresh restaurants, plus info on Furry Friends Forever Rescue…

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