To say what is trending in Melbourne is difficult, as I could mention so many things, and Melburnians are so ahead of the curve that ‘trending’ items can be ephemeral. Despite all this, there are some things that are definitely ‘in’ right now – it is January, meaning that we are half way through the Australian summer, with Melbourne infamous for its indecisive and erratic weather, cool sunshine and the odd shower have been more common than the oppressively humid 40-degree days of yore, meaning that it is more pleasant to go out. The rain does, however, ensure that when the heavens do invariably open, it is best to stay ensconced inside whichever hipster café or bar you may find yourself.
January also means the return of the Australian Open, and if tennis isn’t your thing, then you would be well advised to check out one of the city’s many rooftop cinemas and catch a movie under the night sky. Plenty of cinemas around Melbourne offer not only the new releases under the stars, but a few classics too. Crowd favourites include the imaginatively named Rooftop Cinema, the charming Moonlight Cinema in the Botanical Gardens, and the Lido in Hawthorn, plus many more places to gaze at the stars and Star Wars, or at the sky and Reservoir Dogs – they are offering plenty of screenings until late March.
In Australia, a ‘feed’ means getting a good meal, and there’s plenty to whet your appetite and to satisfy it in the foodie city of Melbourne; the night markets at Queen Victoria Market offer some excellent street food, but these nocturnal street-eats are available all over the city in Coburg, South Melbourne and St Kilda – so take your pick and gorge away.
If you’re more of a day person, then brunch is the sort of thing that never stops trending, as the bustling and ever-evolving brunch scene and café culture in Melbourne seems to pride itself on continuing to churn out fantastic eateries, and what better time to sit in the sun and tuck into ‘smashed avo’ on toast than in the summertime? If it is recommendations that you seek, then every Melburnian has their favourite spots (even if they can be fickle in their allegiance when a new joint opens up), my personal favourites are Il Fornaio in St Kilda, 2 Birds, 1 Stone in South Yarra and Top Paddock in East Richmond; however, there are hundreds more to choose from, and you won’t be disappointed with either the adventurous brunch options or the excellent coffee.
As mentioned, Melbourne’s coffee is outstanding, but if it is booze that appeals more, then plenty of locals seems to be drinking either cider or Moonshine cocktails. This is surprising for a city rightly famous for wine and craft beer, but cider and Moonshines are all the rage at the moment. The Moonshines come from Melbourne’s newest obsession with Southern U.S. cuisine (and of course, they have created a Melbourne Moonshine with its own Melburnian edge), and the cider is increasingly popular due to its novel invasion into the city’s summer menus.
Over the next month or so, Melbourne’s summer will die down and winter will descend upon the city, heralding the Australian Rules Football to the most ‘footy’ obsessed town in the world, and rooftop cinemas, night markets and tennis will die out in seasonal popularity, ready for the next trend to sweep through the city.