|Pink bubbles at Madame Brussels|
One of the many things I like about Melbourne is her buildings. Old sandstone edifices erected in the wake of the gold rush are given new life with steel and glass designs while maintaining their classic integrity. The skyline reflected in the river; the Shrine of Remembrance hailing from the end of the avenue; the bustling and strangely elegant Flinders Street Station opposite the unashamedly flamboyant Federation Square with its focus on tourism, events and hospitality; and the sprinkling of churches and town halls on the tram thoroughfares all add up to a vibrant, eclectic and appealing cityscape.
And those Melburnians aren't afraid to take their buildings to new heights. While I was there recently, I discovered a 'thing' for rooftop bars. I know they're nothing new, but around the city pubs and bars have decided to maximise space (and sunshine) by putting patrons on the roof. And because some of these buildings are relatively high compared with their neighbours, if you're lucky you will get both views and fresh air.
5 Melbourne Rooftop Bars:
- The Rooftop - Seven floors up (the lift wasn't working when we visited) it serves fine views along with champagne, cider and cheeseburgers. From December to March it also operates as a cinema complete with stripy deckchairs.
- Madame Brussels - Inspired by a German brother-keeper, the theme is pink and white stripes with sparkling rosé, cocktails, punch, cheese plates, fondues and an innuendo-laden menu.
- Palmz at the Carlton - Kitsch and cheerful with faux flamingos and other exotic beasts, and plenty of palm trees as a backdrop to your piña colada. Fortunately, the bar also stocks a range of good beers, so you don't have to drink the eponymous brew.
- Campari House - Wood-fired pizzas and an extensive wine list make this tucked-away corner down a land and up the stairs a wonderful find. The distant lights of the city hum and shine as you relax with plastic turf beneath your feet.
- Aer Bar, European Bier Cafe - Well-stocked with Belgian and German favourites, this bar could be pricey but we stumbled (literally) across half-price European beer night and so had Leffes, Hoegaardens and Erdingers with a cool breeze after a hot day - a 'misting system' keeps temperatures down during the daylight hours.