Vivid Winter Festival Sydney – till 17 June

Sydney is set to be transformed into a kaleidoscope of neon light now and right up until Saturday, 17 June, for the world’s largest winter festival: Vivid. Those watching this exquisite display can do so in style, from one of Rockpool Dining Group’s perfectly located venues around the city.

The Argyle
The Argyle

Grosvenor Place, CBD and Darling Harbour
, located directly in front of the Vivid display at Grosvenor Place, will extend Aperitivo Hour from 3pm to 7pm, every weekday throughout the festival. Guests can snuggle up on Rosetta’s heated outdoor terrace while sipping on a $10 aperol spritz, negroni, espresso martini, house wine or beer. A selection of $10 salumi and antipasti are also available. The restaurant will open early from 5pm for à la carte dining. A two-course Vivid set menu ($49pp) is also available until 6pm every day.

Rosetta Aperitivo
Rosetta Aperitivo

Opening just in time for Vivid, Burger Project Black Label is also located in the Grosvenor Place precinct making it an ideal pit-stop for Vivid-goers hoping for a quick fix. A deluxe burger menu, house-made salads, gourmet chips and dips are available to eat in or take away. Harbour-side Vivid goers can head down to Fratelli Fresh Darling Harbour, which will open just in time for Vivid, and grab themselves a take-away picnic basket, or sit and enjoy views from the beer garden. Happy Hour kicks off from 4pm every weekday, with $5 negronis, martinis, spritzes and pizzas. Fratelli is also offering a delicious three-course set menu ($40pp) and bottomless cocktails ($29pp) every Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout the month. Fratelli Macquarie Street, Bridge Street, Westfield and Walsh Bay are other great Vivid locations.

Burger Project's Spicy Fried Chicken Katsu with chips & Young Henry's beer
Burger Project’s Spicy Fried Chicken Katsu with chips & Young Henry’s beer

Jade Temple, located in and amongst all the Vivid light action, is opening early from 5pm for à la carte dining. A three-course Vivid set menu ($45pp) is also available until 6pm, every day. It includes a cocktail on arrival, choice of three entrees, three mains, and a duck egg custard spring roll for dessert.

Inner city and Circular Quay
Before seeing the lights, take advantage of Spice Temple’s $12 cocktail hour specials. Every weekday from 4pm to 6pm, guests can choose from a selection of $12 Zodiac cocktails, $9 house wines, and $7 beers. Customers can also explore the bar menu featuring five exquisite $12 noodle dishes available every day, as well as à la carte options, from an earlier opening time of 5pm. A three-course Vivid set menu ($49pp) is also on offer.

Rockpool Bar & Grill has created a stunning, Vivid inspired Margarita ($19). The Bubblegum Patrón Tequila is shaken with bespoke myrtle shrub and fresh lemon juice, topped with a plume of native mint bubbles. In addition to a beautiful à la carte menu, a three-course Vivid set menuis available, and will be served from the early opening time of 5pm. All day dining will also be available from the bar, with a special offer of wood fire grilled cheeseburger with house pickle and lager ($22).

Rockpool Bar & Grill
Rockpool Bar & Grill

Overlooking Circular Quay and offering one of the best seats in Sydney to see the lights, Bar Patrón by Rockpool has added a special gin & tonic to the menu. The G&T&T ($19) combines grapefruit, tequila, tonic and fresh lime, and is available throughout Vivid. Guests can dine à la carte, or from a four-course Vivid set menu available from the early opening time of 5pm.

The Rocks
Saké Restaurant & Bar will open earlier than usual from 5pm, and serve its usual à la carte options, as well as an exclusive Vivid set menu ($55pp) including Hiramasa kingfish, prawn shumai, shiokoji chicken and tofu cheesecake. The Cut Bar & Grill also has a Vivid pre-light offer ($59pp), available from the early opening time of 5pm. Pre-Vivid diners will also be given a house-made chocolate biscuit to take away.

Saké Fried Prawn Shumai with spicy mayo & chives
Saké Fried Prawn Shumai with spicy mayo & chives

The Argyle has teamed up with Belvedere Vodka to bring guests Light The Night, Friday, 25 May. Dance music icons, The Potbelleez, will take to the stage, and the venue will be transformed into an adult playground with a dazzling light-show makeover. Doors open at 7pm and entry is free before 9pm. Take advantage of the happiest hours of the week next door at El Camino Cantina, with $7.50 Margaritas, craft beers, house tequila and house wine from Monday to Friday between 5-7pm. This late-night hangout has its own fluorescent light show 365 days of the year, making it the perfect Vivid dining destination.

The Argyle
The Argyle

For more information and bookings:

**Information & Images Supplied Courtesy of Rockpool Dining Group – Georgie Meredith

*Title Photo: El Camino ‘Rita’

Fratelli - Aperol
Fratelli – Aperol

Connie Lambeth

The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

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Bar Patron by Rockpool
Bar Patrón by Rockpool
Rosetta - Terrace
Rosetta – Terrace

See here for more pics…

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QV Melbourne welcomes winter with Virtual / Chill: a winter village complete with a state-of-the-art new VR experience, build-your-own s’mores, fire pit, bespoke hot cocktails from Teeling Irish Whiskey, live music and more.

As cooler evenings descend over the city, the square at QV Melbourne will transform into a modern Nordic wonderland. Experience Scandinavian cabin comfort, warming food and drink, live music and the launch of a cinematic new virtual reality experience from Friday 18 May – Sunday 10 June. Best of all, the entire program is free, with complimentary food or drink every night.

Virtual / Chill will unveil an all-new completely immersive VR experience created by the multi award winning pioneers in 360˚ VR at Rapid Films. Using real footage filmed on GoPro’s newest flagship 360˚ video camera, the experience will see you soaring 2000 metres in the air past snow-capped mountains, dancing over treetops and through the valleys of the Swiss Alps.

Virtual / Chill VR experience
Virtual / Chill VR experience

“We are thrilled to be launching this new VR experience with QV Melbourne. Not only is this some of the first footage filmed on GoPro’s phenomenal new 360˚ camera, we have made the whole activation even more unique by turning it into a multi-sensory experience. Tactile or ‘touch’ elements will work to enhance the virtual reality in the real world,” says Rapid Film’s Executive Producer Susannah Phillips.

It is designed so the experiencer sits suspended in a paragliding harness, with cool air whisking past their face while they are immersed in Samsung’s Gear VR mobile headset.

“By replicating physical elements in the real world, the effect is really significant in creating a stronger sense of presence and immersion,” says Susannah.

At the launch on Friday 18 May, paragliders will be able to fuel up for their flight with a complimentary build-your-own S’mores Station. Pick and choose what you want ‘s’more of’, toast melting marshmallows on the open fire pit and sip steaming cocktails from the multi-award winning Teeling Whiskey, all while enjoying live music from rising star Tayla Thomas and dreamy singer-songwriter Emma Yarosh from 5pm – 10pm.

Live music will light up the following three Friday evenings from 4pm-7pm, with Emma Yarosh returning along with acoustic musician James Hall to welcome the weekends at QV Square. Performing by the light of the open fire, with marshmallows toasting, it’s the perfect nordic night out.

The sure-fire hit S’mores Station will be available from 4pm-7pm Friday 18 May – Sunday 20 May and Thursday 31 May – Sunday 3 June.

Virtual / Chill S'mores
Virtual / Chill S’mores

From Thursday 24 May – Sunday 27 May between 4pm-7pm, treat yourself to an après-ski with the Virtual / Chill Bar serving up custom made red grape, apple and spicy pear mulled wine, heated to the perfect temperature.

Virtual / Chill Mulled Wine
Virtual / Chill Mulled Wine

Warm yourself from the inside out at the Virtual / Chill Bar with complimentary hot cocktails by Teeling Whiskey from 4pm-7pm on Thursday 7 June – Sunday 10 June. Chase away the chills with Damn Fine Hot Whiskey, a blend of spices, rosemary, lemon and Teeling Small Batch Whiskey, their flagship expression matured in ex-rum barrels and bottled at 46% ABV with no chill filtration. Or if you prefer something sweeter, Teeling is reviving the Irish Coffee. Prepared with their signature Spiced Stout Syrup, orange zested cream and freshly grated nutmeg, it’s already a huge hit at NYC’s Dead Rabbit, crowned world’s best bar for two years running.

Teeling Whiskey - Damn Fine Hot Whiskey
Virtial / Chill Teeling Whiskey – Damn Fine Hot Whiskey (perfect tipples for World Whiskey Day Saturday 19 May)

Worlds apart from other retail precincts in Melbourne, QV represents the quintessential Melbourne lifestyle. Intimate laneways in the urban precinct give visitors the freedom to wander and discover the eclectic mix of shops, cafes and restaurants at their own pace. Located on the corner of Lonsdale and Swanston Streets, QV has something for everyone with boutiques, enlightening entertainment and cosmopolitan bars and restaurants.

Images: Teeling Irish Whiskey’s Irish Coffee and Damn Fine Hot Whiskey. Perfect tipples for World Whiskey Day is on 19 May.

Virtual / Chill - Teeling Irish Coffee
Virtual / Chill – Teeling Irish Coffee

Virtual / Chill Program

All activity takes place in the QV Square, Level 2, QV Melbourne, Corner Swanston & Lonsdale Streets, Melbourne.

What & When


Virtual / Chill launches during Shop the City

Friday 18 May

5.00pm – 10.00pm

  Join QV Melbourne for the Virtual / Chill launch event, coinciding with Shop the City in the QV Square.

Experience the thrill of paragliding over the snow-capped Swiss Alps via VR, fuel yourself with a complimentary build-your-own S’more, sip on steaming Teeling Whiskey cocktails around the open fire pit and enjoy live music from Tayla Thomas and Emma Yarosh.

Build-your-own S’more Station

Saturday 19 May – Sunday 20 May

Thursday 31 May – Sunday 3 June

4.00pm – 7.00pm

  Winter warming comfort food never looked so good with the sweet smelling, oozy toasted marshmallows set to get your tastebuds dancing at the Build-your-own S’more Station.

Mulled Wine at the Virtual / Chill Bar

Thursday 24 May – Sunday 27 May

4.00pm – 7.00pm

  Nothing says winter quite like mulled wine and the Virtual / Chill Bar will be serving up custom made red grape, apple and spicy pear mulled wine to be enjoyed as the sun sets in the city.

Live music from James Hall

Friday 25 May and Friday 8 June

4.00pm – 7.00pm

  Enjoy the cool tones of acoustic musician James Hall as he performs live, while you sip on a hot cocktail from the Virtual / Chill Bar, and ease yourself into the weekend.

Live music from Emma Yarosh

Friday 1 June

4.00pm – 7.00pm

  Sit back and let the dreamy tones of Emma Yarosh unwind the work-week -worries as you build your own s’mores by the open fire.

Hot Teeling Irish Whiskey cocktails at the Virtual / Chill Bar

Thursday 7 June – Sunday 10 June

4.00pm – 7.00pm

  Hot cocktails from the multi award winning Teeling Irish Whiskey will be on offer at the Virtual / Chill Bar, with their Damn Fine Hot Whiskey and Irish Coffee revival cocktails acting as decadent tools to banish those winter chills.

**Information and Images Courtesy of QV Melbourne/Fuller PR – Keryn O’Donnell

Virtual / Chill VR experience
Virtual / Chill VR experience

Connie Lambeth

The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

Follow us on Instagram:

READ here for information on QV Melbourne –

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Barkly Street’s Newest Member – Saint Evie

Review of Saint Evie Cocktail Bar & Restaurant – St Kilda – Melbourne

Words by Celeste Iuliano/Images Courtesy of Eugene Canty


How do you find Saint Evie? Weave through the side streets and onto Barkly, retracing the steps of a St. Kilda legend back to where it all began.

It’s been a short wait, but Saint Evie is finally open for business! Located on the ground floor of the Crest on Barkly Hotel, this lively space is offering brunch by day and bar by night in one of Melbourne’s most vibrant suburbs.


The name Saint Evie pays homage to a local legend, Evie – a young girl with a generous heart. Back when the hotel was known as the Beverly Crest, Evie would regularly appear at the kitchen entrance after dinner service to collect the leftovers and deliver them to the homeless. While she moved away without saying goodbye, her generous spirit has made its mark.

Inspired by this story, the menu at Saint Evie is designed to be shared. Among the star dishes on the modern Australian/Asian menu are the slow-cooked pork belly baos and melt-in-your-mouth pulled beef short rib croquettes. Seafood lovers are also spoilt for choice between the fresh oysters, salmon blini, and strikingly presented black and white sesame prawns.


As darkness falls (or it’s simply time for a toast), the signature cocktail is at the ready. Aptly named The Saint, it’s made with a refreshing mix of vodka, ruby grapefruit, fresh ginger, and lime juice sugar syrup.

The Saint cocktail
The Saint cocktail

With a cosy courtyard just off the main dining area, Saint Evie is the perfect venue for friends to chill out on a sunny weekend or linger on into the night.



Saint Evie

47 Barkly Street, St Kilda

*Celeste was a guest of Helen Reizer HRPR


**Additional Information – Saint Evie

“Saint Evie warmly welcomes you to join us for our all-day brunch menu and by night to come and sample some finely prepared, Asian-inspired cuisine designed to share. Kick back with a crafty cocktail or indulge in a wine from our extensive list, all in a comfortable and ambient space bathed in pink neon.

Stop by some time, your table is waiting”.





Connie Lambeth

The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

Follow us on Instagram:



More fun pics from the Saint Evie Launch!

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