Winter is usually reserved for cosy nights in, watching plenty of Netflix with a goldfish sized mug of comforting hot chocolate. It’s a season where people tend to hibernate indoors and wait eagerly for spring festivities to kick off in Melbourne. But sometimes you need to get out of your pyjamas, get wrapped up in some winter woolies and embrace winter for the wonderful season it is.
I was invited to a winter’s day out with the Yarra River recently to discover all the winter activities on the river and its picturesque banks.
We met bright and early in the morning at Riverland Bar on Federation Square, joined by Sarah Kempson from Yarra River, Sandi from Onya Magazine, Narani from The World Loves Melbourne and Kate from Me Too Kids.
Located on the banks of the Yarra River in the historic Federation Wharf vaults, Riverland is the perfect outdoor spot for breakfast in all seasons. We basked under the heaters and cosy blankets and feasted on dishes including a pulled pork hock teamed with potato rosti and pickled pear and a comforting black rice pudding. They also serve up a mean Bloody Mary for those looking for a boozy brunch.
Once loaded up on breakfast, we put our skates on at the outdoor River Rink. I hadn’t been ice skating in years so clumsily plodded along while children whizzed past me. But it was loads of fun nonetheless! At night-time the rink transforms into a fairyland of light and colour.
Melbourne is definitely the city of arts in Australia, and I often forget the number of quality theatre and art shows we have on our very doorstep. We were treated to a back house tour of the Arts Centre, where we could go behind the scenes and peek backstage at the many underground theatres. We may have even seen an Oscar or two!
After working up an appetite, we ventured down the banks of the river to ENA Greek at Southgate. The newly opened restaurant is inspired by Greek street food, offering diners innovative, rustic offerings. All meats are cooked on a slow rotisserie over a coal fire pit which are used in Greek homes and shops at the agora. We feasted on a selection of delicious dishes including calamari, lamb shanks and the most delicious watermelon salad I have ever tasted.
Consulting with our dessert bellies, we were then treated to dessert at Damon Bradley (if you haven’t yet been, please go!). They have the most delectable selection of crepes, cakes, desserts in glasses and ice cream. My personal tip is the ‘Peanut Butter Waffle Cup’ – a medley of warm Belgian waffle pieces, smooth chocolate fudge sauce, peanut butter and vanilla ice cream. Trust me.
The winter fun continued as we made our way to the Ice Slide at the Eureka Tower on Southbank’s waterfront, allowing every kid (and adult) to ride an inflatable tube down a block of ice. After all, you’re never too old to go on an ice slide right? Well we didn’t think so…
After a fun filled day, it was time to kick back with a glass of wine at Meat Market on South Wharf and sail back on a water taxi, watching the sun slowly melt into the Melbourne skyline.
What a wonderful way to spend a winter’s day in Melbourne. Who said you can’t be a tourist in your own town?
For more information about the Yarra River’s activities check out yarrariver.melbourne
I was kindly invited to the Yarra River Media Famil by the Yarra River Business Association.