Ex Sis in Law's husband found a cheap overnight stay in a city hotel and bought it for her as a Christmas present. Middle Niece went along too to share her mother's room and Fire Fighting Nephew and his wife booked the room next door. I thought it would be a nice thing to have a bottle of bubbles (France tells us we are verboten from calling it champagne) and a platter of nibbles to be delivered to their room on arrival, so I rang the hotel. The bubbles, no problem. I will speak to chef about the platter of nibbles, said hotel staff. He came back on the line and said chef could prepare some pretzels to go with the champagne! Ok, that will have to do.
We met up with them at Arbory for pre dinner drinks. It is the longest bar in the world. That is a drinking bar/cafe, not a counter bar. It is the length of a long train platform, which is what it was, platform 11 at Flinders Street Station, once used by the St Kilda and Port Melbourne trains, that are now light rail/tram routes.
I took this photo as we were leaving. The place, as I have heard R's younger relatives in England say, was heavin'. The women were drinking decanters of Pimms, the sweetness combatted by citrus peel. R had a couple of Asahi beers and I had a couple of g&ts.
We walked across a bridge to Southbank and then a good way along to the Italian restaurant Baci. Both R and my eyes rolled in our heads as we saw the prices but no one else batted an eyelid. Proof #2 that we are old. As Nephew had bought bowls of chips to eat with our earlier drinks, R and I shared an antipasto dish and a garlic focaccia. Goodness, another pontoon bar on the river. Interestingly the chips came with tomato sauce for dipping, ketchup if you like, and a black sauce, from the US, that was very nice. It was thin and very spicy. Black sauce?
I was seated but the others weren't as a 'bicycle rave' went past. Nephew googled it and it happens twice a year. There were lots of music players pumping dreadful music out, but what fun.
From there Nephew found an underground bar, deep in the foundations of Crown Casino. The angled support structures caused some service difficulties but we had a lovely time, with more cocktails. R insisted we pay for dinner, over $300, as I sputtered, ah, umm, well...coming out of your inheritance. Nephew paid for cocktails at the bar. I had a martini and never before have been asked if I wanted a vodka martini or a gin martini. Gin of course, not shaken. I don't want the gin bruised. It came without an olive! What brand of gin, I was asked? I couldn't remember my favourite gin, Gordons, but I could remember the name of Jah Teh's favourite gin, Bombay Sapphire, so that is what I had.
We parted company at Queensbridge where the family caught the 58late tram to the north of the city where they were staying and we caught the 58late tram to home. From Facebook, they managed to find a laneway bar on their way back to the hotel and had another drink.
We were in town today to see a mock up of our new train and some brunch and walked along the river. Here are a couple of shots of Arbory, much quieter than when all hundreds of metres of it was packed full of people on Saturday night.
The Arbory pontoon on the Yarra River. Packed on a Saturday night but empty on a Wednesday morning.
Good to get out and be social on a Saturday night, but the late night meant we did little the next day. Well, a little bit.