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FOOD & DRINK

Eight Group Hangs to Plan with Your Mates This Summer That Aren't Just Going to Dinner

Round up your crew for bottomless barbecue, boozy brunches and beach parties.
By Leisha Kapor
January 09, 2020
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Eight Group Hangs to Plan with Your Mates This Summer That Aren't Just Going to Dinner

Round up your crew for bottomless barbecue, boozy brunches and beach parties.
By Leisha Kapor
January 09, 2020
  shares

EIGHT GROUP HANGS TO PLAN WITH YOUR MATES THIS SUMMER THAT AREN'T JUST GOING TO DINNER

in partnership with

Round up your crew for bottomless barbecue, boozy brunches and beach parties.

There's something special about getting all your mates together during the summer months — being crammed into your favourite restaurant in Chinatown when the sun is shining really isn't making the most of it. No one wants to get to that first cold and grey day of the year and realise they've missed out on all the cool things that are only possible in the summer months.

We've teamed up with Australian Venue Co to share just a few of the top happenings around Melbourne that'll help you make the most of the season with your mates — there's so much to see and do before we all hibernate for winter.

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    Melbourne loves to turn a car park into a watering hole, so it should come as no surprise that Fed Square’s rooftop car park has been transformed into an adult playground for the season. Until April 5, Summertime Social has bookable retro caravans and huts to chill out in, game lanes where you can challenge your mates to shuffleboard, bocce and skittles, and a lawn where you can kick back on a picnic rug with a giant game of Jenga. There’s a well-stocked bar with beer, wine, spirits, alcoholic slushies, cocktails and spritzes, and it’s got you covered for food, too, including huge picnic hampers, woodfired pizzas, Dirty Birdie fried chicken and an ice cream cart. To book a caravan, hut or games lane, head this way.

    READ MORE BUY TICKETS
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    The Exchange Beach Club

    Don’t dawdle, The Exchange Beach Club is only around for four weeks, from Friday, January 24 to Monday, February 24. The month-long pop-up will bring private cabanas, umbrella-covered outdoor seating, refreshments and entertainment right onto the sand of Port Melbourne Beach.

    You can enjoy an ice-cold cocktail — think boozy iced tea, passionfruit caprioskas and slushies — while playing a spot of beach volleyball or totem tennis. Then you can tuck into fish and chips, a lobster roll or a burger as the sun goes down and a DJ plays summer beats. There’ll also be an ice cream cart on site for when those sweet cravings hit, and on Thursdays the club will host bottomless cocktail sunset sessions with dinner for $59 per person. Private cabanas will be available for hire across two five-hour sessions for up to four people. Oh, and puppies are welcome, too, with water bowls and free dog treats provided. To make a booking, head this way.

    READ MORE BUY TICKETS
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    We were never going to get through this list without a boozy bottomless brunch or two, and this one’s a winner. Every Saturday and Sunday throughout summer, you can head to The Provincial’s rooftop and sip endless rosé and gin cocktails for $60 per person. Also included in your ticket is a dish from the brunch menu, so you can tuck into a brekkie pizza, fried chicken and waffles or a gourmet smashed avo. And make sure you save room for dessert, too. There’s an ice cream cart serving up boozy scoops of the cold stuff in flavours like strawberry gin rosé, lemon lace, vegan caramel popcorn and vegan cherry choc bomb. Head over here to book your spot.

    READ MORE BOOK A TABLE
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    Everyone loves a good summer barbie, but it’s even better if you don’t have to put a lot of work into it. The folks at Harlow are inviting everyone around to their place every Sunday afternoon this summer for as much barbecue as you can eat. From 1–3pm, you can enjoy bottomless barbecue meats and sides — think bourbon lamb ribs, beer-brined chicken wings, Gran’s potato salad and VB-drenched onions — and house beers, wine and spritzes. This will set you back just $59 each, which includes an esky of beers on arrival to get you started. No barbie is complete without tunes, so there are DJs playing beats all afternoon, too. You can nab a spot at the table here.

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    No need to fork out for airfares — you can party like you’re on a California beach right here in Melbourne. Kicking off on January 12, Fargo and Co’s Summer in Cali pop-up will be the ultimate spot for a Sunday session. DJs will get the party started from 12pm, leaving plenty of time to have a good boogie throughout the afternoon and make it home early enough to be fresh for Monday morning. There’ll be $12 boozy tropical ice creams, $12 sweet and sour chicken waffle cones and $12 elderflower cocktails. You can book a spot for you and all your mates for Fargo’s Summer in Cali here.

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    Those in the eastern suburbs don’t need to stray too far from home for a cute summer picnic, with a pop-up picnic area and hampers available to enjoy in the Auburn Hotel beer garden. Let the bar’s crew put together a selection of gourmet picnic fare for your group for just $25 per person, which includes meats, cheese, nuts, crackers and condiments. You can also add a chilled thermos of espresso martini (enough for you and your dearest companion) for $30. To book your spot, head over here.

    READ MORE BOOK A TABLE
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    Did it feel like everyone but you had a summer holiday in Europe this year? Us too. Luckily, we’ve found a spot a little closer to home that’ll help you live out (or relive if you were one of the lucky ones that went) all those idyllic fantasies of sipping afternoon spritzes in the sun. Saturdays at CBD spot State of Grace are all about the bottomless spritzes and an Italian feast — $60 per person will get you two hours of bubbles, calzones, summer salads and tiramisu ice cream sandwiches from 12–2pm.

    Throughout the rest of the weeek, there’ll be cheeky spritz and sharing specials, like $50 for four mini cannolis and a litre carafe of limoncello, Aperol or Amalfi gin spritz. The glam city venue’s Summer of Italy begins on Wednesday, January 12, with the aperitivo menu available daily from midday. You can book a table over here.

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    For the sports fanatics, get ready to spend plenty of time at The Duke during its summer of sport. No matter your preference of sport — American football, basketball, ice hockey, cricket or soccer — you’ll probably find the game you’re looking for screening around the sports bar and in the beer garden. Plus, The Duke has a generous happy hour from Monday to Friday, 4–7pm, with all pints just $8.50, house wines and spirits for $7.50 and a couple of cheeky espresso martinis and Aperol spritzes at ten bucks a pop. To pair with your drink of choice, you can tuck into a meal from the extensive food menu which includes hot dogs, burgers, five different parmas and grazing boards. Book a table over here.

    Image: Brook James.

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Discover more summery happenings at Australian Venue Co locations by visiting the website.

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