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By Libby Curran
November 12, 2020
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Arbory Afloat 2020

The Yarra's floating bar returns with cocktails on tap and a Mediterranean menu.
By Libby Curran
November 12, 2020
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Over the past few years, Melbourne's famed floating bar has become a summer staple — because soaking up the warm weather and sipping cocktails on the Yarra clearly go hand-in-hand. Thankfully, that won't change in 2020, as Arbory Afloat has returned once more.

Arbory Afloat, which made its debut in 2015, has reclaimed its prime position in front of on-shore sister venue Arbory Bar & Eatery on the Yarra as of Monday, October 26.

As part of its annual revamp, the temporary bar and restaurant is taking inspiration from beach houses in our own backyard, which means lush greenery, wicker furniture, lime-washed timber and lots of blues and greens. To complete the picture, the 69-metre floating venue has two bars, an upper deck and an undercover dining area — so plenty of space to social distance. And, if that's not enough, the onboard swimming pool has made a triumphant return.

Chef Nick Bennett has again designed the menu, which is packed full of local ingredients and inspired by all things Mediterranean. You can snack on fried calamari ($19), pomegranate-studded baba ganoush ($10) and fried zucchini flowers ($6), or go big with minute steak and fries ($29) and one of nine different pizzas ($23–35), including a Nutella and strawberries ($16) number.

And would it be a visit to the floating bar without cocktails? We think not. Luckily, there are plenty. As well as Four Pillars pink gin, there are craft beers, wine and six cocktails on tap.

Simon Shiff

Arbory Afloat is open at Flinders Lane from 11am–1am daily. Bookings are free or you can claim a daybed package for $375.

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