Five Romantic Melbourne Date Ideas for This Week From Budget to Blowout
Just think of us as your cultural wingman.
May 19, 2023
Tired of the classic drink and dinner date night combo? Us too. That's why we're always on the hunt for new things to do, scouring the city for not-boring Melbourne activities — ones that are guaranteed to take your next date way beyond done-before beers at the pub.
Whether you're taking someone on a second date or doing your 100th with your significant other, we've got some killer (and, yes, cute) ideas for dates to go on this week, no matter how much money you've got to spend. Just think of us as your cultural wingman. You're welcome.
ENJOY ARTS, MUSIC AND PERFORMANCE AT FED SQUARE'S BUDDHA'S DAY
Keeping things fun and casual in the date department? Head along to Melbourne's incredibly diverse Buddha's Day & Multicultural Festival — taking over Federation Square from Friday, May 19 until Sunday, May 21. The event will champion multiculturalism through the arts, music, performances, workshops and Buddhist ceremonies. And for a little extra pageantry this year, there will also be some big fireworks light displays on Friday (7.45pm) and Saturday (8pm).
Across the weekend, you and your date can participate in cultural ceremonies, activities and performances — or just watch on from the sidelines. There will be guided meditations, including the popular Ch'an Meditation in the pop-up Lotus Flower Sanctuary. But if that isn't your jam, simply venture into the Mindfulness Forest to find a little inner calm in Melbourne's inner city.
SHOW YOUR ARTISTIC PROWESS AT THIS YOGA CLASS IN A DIGITAL GALLERY
If your lover is a lover of art, they're bound to be impressed when you suggest a guided yoga flow class while immersed in large-scale digital art, curated sounds and a bespoke aroma. Multi-sensory art gallery The Lume is currently showcasing the works of Monet and his French impressionist contemporaries via an immersive display of room-sized moving images, aromas and sounds. But head along to one of the bi-weekly yoga sessions and you and your date will get to see the venue in a whole new light (and from a few new angles, too).
Running Wednesday evenings (7pm) and Sunday mornings (8am) in conjunction with Happy Melon Studios, the 50-minute guided yoga classes will have you getting centred and zen as immersive large-scale visuals wash over you.
The experience for each class will be designed around a different theme (such as Space and Underwater) and will feature corresponding imagery and matching soundscapes.
TREAT THEM TO UNLIMITED, FRESHLY SHUCKED OYSTERS AT LILLIAN
If you're celebrating something special, or just looking to celebrate your better half — head to Lillian Brasserie this autumn for unlimited oysters. Because a little aphrodisiac never hindered any date. Running every Tuesday to Sunday between 12pm–3pm, this Chris Lucas favourite is serving up bottomless salty molluscs for a bargain $44 per person.
Slurp your way into the weekend by digging into as many Pacific oysters as you can handle, all freshly shucked to order. After you've treated yourself to some of the ocean's finest, you can look towards one of Lillian's daily specials, all spiked with European influences and priced at an easy $29.50. There's a confit duck leg with bacon, lentils and crispy kale, or a lighter option that pairs pumpkin, zucchini and ricotta with linguine.
BOND OVER A SEAFOOD TOWER AT ETTA'S NEW SATURDAY LUNCH SERIES
The long, lazy weekend lunch is up there among life's greatest pleasures — and it's one that the team at Brunswick East's Etta will be celebrating right through winter. On Saturday, May 20, the renowned eatery kicks off its new Saturday feasting series, dedicated to top-notch seafood and champagne.
The food lineup is set to change up weekly, though with shellfish season peaking, you can be sure of some sensational seafood no matter what. Each week's haul will be served as a tantalisingly stacked tower for $70 per person and enjoyed alongside the crackling fire from 12–2pm.
And, since seafood and fizz are a match made in culinary heaven, Etta will be pouring out some primo champagne options to complement your lunch. Adding to the regular lineup of by-the-glass gems, there'll be a weekly-rotating champagne special pulled from the cellar just for the occasion. Etta's full wine list will be available, too — perfect in case you're in need of some liquid courage.
ONE BIG BLOWOUT
SWAP HOME FOR A FANCY MELBOURNE STAYCATION FOR THE WEEKEND
If you're looking for a luxe weekend away in Melbourne, you're in luck. Victoria has delivered a swathe of brand spanking new hotels with all the luxe vibes of a southern White Lotus. One such hotel is The Royce, following a two-year renovation of their gorgeous heritage building. The Royce has opened in the most understated way possible – which is perfectly befitting the luxury hotel, formerly a Rolls Royce showroom but now aimed at high-end business clientele and weekend travellers looking for impeccable service, generous rooms and luxe amenities.
The Royce is delightfully decadent, but never garishly so – and its spot on St Kilda Road in South Yarra delivers city fringe convenience with excellent location amenity for those keen on a morning run around The Tan or a late night cocktail on Chapel. Their press release may have described the "capacious lounge" adorned with a 2-metre wide chandelier and a 14-metre curved marble fireplace, but this is certainly no Burberry tote housing fold-up ballet flats.
Top Image: Lillian, supplied.
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