October 2 heralds the beginning of the daylight saving period in Victoria, a bittersweet affair as we mourn the loss of a precious hours’ sleep yet revel at the prospect of the coming summer.
As the weather begins to warm and the days become longer, in true Melburnian fashion, we follow our natural instincts and head outdoors – seeking higher ground at one of the city’s abundant rooftop venues or making a beeline for leafy beer gardens and courtyards to make the most of the extra hour of sunshine.
With a long, and constantly growing, list of creative and comfortable outdoor spaces in the CBD, regardless of which end of the city you find yourself in, there is certain to be a sun-drenched spot on offer nearby when you’re in need of an open-air drink.
A summer go-to venue for the corporate crowd, Aer boasts a stylish all-weather rooftop bar and lounge that is open seven days. Perched on top of The European Bier Café, it offers a basic menu incorporating tapas, pub-grub and pizza, ideal for when drinks turn into dinner. Aer Bar, 120 Exhibition St.
Arbory is the bar adjacent to platform 13 of Flinders Street Station, renowned for evoking a sense of FOMO for commuters waiting for the 6.07 train home. The outdoor bar spans 150 metres along the Yarra and is a great casual spot for knock-off drinks. Arbory Bar and Eatery, 1 Flinders Walk.
If eating is on the agenda, Lonsdale St’s Melina on the Rooftop offers a delicious fusion of east and west cuisine with its signature Meze-style menu served with city skyline views. Melina on the Rooftop, 168 Lonsdale St.
One flight up from velvet booths and taxidermy of The Carlton, the Palmz Rooftop Bar offers a secluded hideaway serving ice-cool cocktail jugs from an island-themed bar nestled amidst luscious tropical flora. Palmz Rooftop Level 3, 193 Bourke St.
Speaking of kitsch, the rooftop terrace at Madame Brussels is all that and more. Complete with pink and white umbrellas and eager bartenders clad in tennis whites, it’s the ideal spot to sip on a Pimms under the waning sunshine. Madame Brussels, Level 3, 59 Bourke St.
Newcomers to the 2016 line-up include the epic four-storey Garden State Hotel, with its New York-style beer garden, and casual rooftop bar Good Heavens – think ‘80s-inspired cocktails and tasty barbecue snacks – by the Fancy Hank’s crew. Garden State Hotel, 101 Flinders Ln. Good Heavens, 1/79 Bourke St.
And the list would not be complete without a mention of Rooftop, undeniably one of the city’s favoured spots for an open-air drink. Seven floors up, on the top of Curtain House, Rooftop Bar offers a skyline view unlike any other. Take the stairs and you’ve earned yourself another wine. Rooftop, Curtain House, Swanston St.