Where sipping insect-garnished cocktails from a magical toadstool bar is just a regular night out.
Need a little fantasy in your life? You'll find a healthy serve of it at Melbourne's Storyville — a bar inspired by fables, fairytales and all the fantastical things that captured your imagination as a little tacker.
The Lonsdale Street spot is the brainchild of Steve and Keti Thomas, who've previously helped you escape reality at iconic themed drinking spots 29th Apartment and Pawn & Co. To bring the Storyville concept to life, they've tapped into the creativity of Josh Lefers (East 9th Brewing, Pawn & Co) for a fitout that includes a lofty gold birdcage, a novel-filled library, a Narnia-inspired lounge and a magical toadstool bar decked out with giant glowing funghi.
The signature cocktail list comes sprinkled with literary nostalgia as well, with each crafty drink paying homage to a timeless favourite. Through The Looking Glass, featuring a boozy vanilla cream tea and served in a teapot with dry ice, is a nod to Lewis Carroll's iconic story, while Mr Pilkington's Neighbour, a combination of apple liqueur, candied bacon and pork fat-washed bourbon combine to transport you to the pages of George Orwell's Animal Farm. Harry Potter, Hunter S. Thompson, A Clockwork Orange and more also get a nod — and you might even find yourself face-to-face with a garnish of real insects.
Meanwhile, the food situation runs from cheese to charcuterie and a selection of jaffles, inspired by stories like The Three Blind Mice and that Dr Seuss favourite, Green Eggs and Ham.
Head in for a sip of polyjuice and a tumble down the rabbit hole.
Images: Jean-Louis Carvalho.