Monday, 28 October 2013

Cool things to do on your weekend!!

What a weekend! 

Another very interesting weekend in my busy little world; one of the ones you look back on and wonder how you managed to fit everything in and still feel rested on Monday?
My Friday night kicked off by moving house and no matter how many times you attempt to do that, it never gets any easier! I’ve finally had to admit that maybe there kind of might possibly be a small chance that I have too many handbags! But then again… There is always room for a new summer clutch! I'm loving my new space and the change makes me feel so free and strong! 

I took a well deserved break on Saturday morning and headed to the Abbortsford Convent with a girlfriend to check out their Farmers Market and open studios as well as the ‘Flourish’ Illustrators Exhibition and the Guitar Makers festival. There was so much going on! I’d definitely recommend grabbing a coffee and taking a stroll around the gardens. The Convent is one of those beautiful places that surprises you with it’s proximity to the city.  The history behind it is fascinating and well worth looking into! (For all those closet nerds like me who love that stuff!) I scored some great produce, wine and some beautiful illustrations to put in my room as well. 

Saturday Night was easily the standout, with the ‘Party with Familiar Strangers’ launch at hot new venue the Emerson. I was curious to check it out as there had been a lot of talk, so I dragged my handsome new man bag to South Yarra for a bit of a play! I’ll definitely follow up with some more details soon… but WOW. If you can’t find me over summer then chances are I’ll be at the Emerson!
I certainly got all the champagne I’d been missing last Thursday! The Emerson is owned by an international brand and we were fortunate enough to meet some of the team who’d flown in from Singapore for the launch. We were whisked into their VIP lounge and shown a great time. As the Veuve Clicquot flowed we made plenty of new friends and had a great laugh.  All the usual crowd were there, it’s was like a who’s who of Melbourne and I’m already looking forward to our next night out.

Luckily Ben didn’t indulge in quite as much champagne as I did because he was competing in a Volleyball tournament at South Melbourne on Sunday. I did my duty and went down to watch him play and I was actually very surprised. Beach Volleyball isn’t a sport I’d ever given too much thought but watching these fit guys on the beach has sure given me a new appreciation! Although I’m quite happy lying on the beach having a perv, for those of you who are looking for a new way to keep active and have fun over summer, it definitely ticks all the boxes! During a match you can burn as much as 200-300 calories as well as working on your tan at the same time.  For more information on how to get started check out the Vic Beach website-
On Sunday night I caught up with one of my best friends Mel who had moved interstate for love. Seeing her made me realise how truly special our friends are and how important it is to make the effort for them. Family you can’t choose but your friends are in your life because you want them there, because you share a very special connection and bond. I’m so grateful for the people that I choose to have in my life and for the moments with them that fill my heart with happiness. 

I hope everybody’s weekend was as productive and inspiring as mine and that there aren’t too many post Barkly hangovers floating around today!
I’ll keep you posted on the finer details of my new favourite playground and  also the gossip and tips for this years Spring Racing Carnival! 

Love Jade

Friday, 25 October 2013

A Shaky Start for Sexy New Social...

Working out my Summer playtime list...

The launch of Manhattan Lounge was certainly an interesting affair, but being their opening night we have to remember to cut them some slack.

The crowd was a bit of a mix, with some very young groups and also the remnants of Victor's previous White Charlie heyday crowd, it was good to see a couple of familiar faces and the venue itself is absolute class.

The highlights were the sponsorship by Absolute Vodka, who did a fabulous job running the night, adding lighting and promo girls and turning the venue blue. There were some blue Absolute cocktails floating around, but we didn't manage to see any as the teeny boppers that somehow made it into the event  were stalking the wait staff around like it was tight arse Tuesday. Haha.

 Decor wise, the club is very interesting and once it's at capacity will be a pumping venue . The building used to be home to Pretty Please which was a favourite of mine on its 'Red Heart' Fridays ran by George Christoudias and also for mellow and discreet drinks after Barkly on Sundays.

Upstairs was definitely the winner, with another bar and large dance floor, my favourite part was the plush Upper Manhattan decor with it's lush private booths that actually do give you some privacy.

There were other things that can be put down to opening night jitters by organisers and bar staff. Their signature cocktail 'Flowering Manhattan' that I was so looking forward to tasting couldn't be made that night according to our bartender. Disappointed but understanding I ordered a glass of Champagne, to be told that they'd run out and only had sparkling white wine. Not a huge issue, except for the fact that it was only 9.30pm. There must have been some very happy person drunk on Moet if they'd managed to drink the bar dry already! Extremely jealous of whoever that was! So I considered it a sign from above, figured that I shouldn't be drinking anyway and ordered something non alcoholic. I was going to wake up so fresh! I couldn't help but exchange a look with my partner in crime when we watched the poor bartender pour and discard two drinks, and third time lucky presenting me with my very complicated order of soda water and lime.

Something must also be said for the music upstairs, I wasn't aware that it was a flashback night to 2007 but the beats certainly had as confused! The DJ didn't do any real mixing to the songs, in fact I think he dusted off my old high school cd collection and did a lucky dip! My expectation was smooth, modern RnB tunes and what we got was Khia, 'My neck, my back'- I cringed when this came on, even more when people started to grind on the dance floor. At least we know who all the blue cocktails and Moet went to! As 50Cent P.I.M.P came on we took that as our cue to leave.

Overall it was a fun and eventful evening- I'd certainly recommend Manhattan Lounge for functions, as the upstairs layout is perfect for private groups. As a general night spot I'd suggest it for anybody wanting a bit of a loose night out as there was certainly no pretentiousness. Personally I'll be waiting a few weeks to let them get on their feet properly before trying it out for round two, and I'd need written consent that the music had improved!

Now I'm getting ready for tonight's launch of the Emerson in South Yarra, fingers crossed they've stocked up on the Champagne! I'll keep you updated on what to expect from another exciting new Melbourne venue.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Manhattan Lounge Opening Night...

Get Ready Melbourne!

Just when you thought our city nightlife couldn't get any sweeter… Let me introduce you to

 Manhattan Lounge...

This sexy new club created by Victor Smith and Kennii Hee from Element Lounge sets a the standard for international themed nightlife and exceptional service in Melbourne.

I spoke with Victor about what sets Manhattan Lounge apart and why this weeks launch is the hottest ticket in town..

Victor is the brains behind old Melbourne favourites such as White Charlie's and Balcony, to name a few so we are expecting big things from this brand new venture.

Victor describes Manhattan as "funky and classy, without being pretentious."

The design is pure Manhattan, with the streets of Manhattan down stairs, a large open dance floor with surrounding booths for the utmost comfort and class. There is a large bar with city skyline covering the walls. And the exclusive upstairs is Upper Manhattan with private booths and a centre dance stage, with smooth RnB beats.

"The cool thing about this venue is you can dance to different styles of music and find the vibe that suits you." says Victor.

You can expect to see tv and sporting stars as well as the regular crowd, all sipping their signature cocktail,  the 'Flowering Manhattan' which is a delicious blend of sweet vermouth, Makers Mark, orange bitters, elder flower  Vodka citrus stirred slowly with a lemon twist. Anybody else feeling thirsty?

 Manhattan will be open Thursday Friday and Saturday nights and is designed for guests to be able to relax and socialise as well as dance. They have a 24 hour license so can cater for any event or function.

"The key to our venues is we know how to throw a party and make sure everyone is having a great time." says Victor.

They are launching this Thursday 24th of October and the party continues with on Saturday night as well, so get in quick folks. Be one of the first to discover this exciting new venue…. See you at the bar!

Manhattan Lounge

61C Fitzroy st St Kilda
0422 293 082

Sunday, 6 October 2013

South Yarra's Hidden Thirties

Welcome to the thirties! The era brought us lots of things including the zoot suit and art deco design but I've been lucky enough to experience the true undiscovered thirties venues that modern Melbourne has to offer.

38 Chairs

This week I have had my eyes opened to two of the 30's delights of South Yarra
Firstly is the delightfully quintessential Italian restaurant called 38 Chairs.. for obvious reasons.

For a cozy evening with authentic Italian food and vibe off the beaten track you can't go past this trendy little eatery. Tucked down a side street off chapel it's intimate atmosphere draws you in like a warming brandy on a cold night. Be welcomed and waited on by some very handsome and attentive attentive Italian men, indulged by good food and an impressive wine list! A great restaurant for a secret rendezvous, an intimate first date, or for any occasion where you want that extra personal touch of service. The size of the restaurant makes you feel like you are truly discovering one of Melbourne's best kept secrets and I'm almost sorry to let the cat out of the bag!


I also came across a new upcoming creative space opened by Jarra Steel who showcases fresh art work and exhibitions by emerging artists. The space was created as a medium for people to get together and discover the artistic culture that is breaking into our beautiful city.

As part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival I was invited to check out the opening exhibition "Hidden Beauty/  Mint".

The crowd was an eclectic mix of artists, friends, family and those who appreciate art; the pieces on display gave a lot for people to talk about and it was refreshing to hear conversation flowing as smoothly as the champagne as everybody relaxed and saw into the intricate perceptions of the artists.

As well as running into some of Melbourne's artistic faces such as Gonzalo Ceballos I also took the time out to talk to Bea Heymann who's work was displayed at the opening of this new creative hub.
 Bea is an old friend of mine and her work is truly inspirational; although she is only in her third year of fine arts at Monash her vision of how we view reality is so perceptive and the art and ideas at Space32 reflects that. Bea's piece uses art to capture the intimacy of being in someone else's sense of reality.

She explained to me that "every person has their own window into the world through their brain.. It's very difficult to be in the exactly same reality as someone else … because we can only be in one place and experience this small pocket of it."

It certainly gave me a lot to think about! Space32 is an innovative and fresh hub for emerging artists to be able to display their work and to expose the community to a range of art that they otherwise might not have the chance to experience.

The official launch is Friday 11th October and it is well worth a if you feel like soaking up some creative Melbourne culture with a difference.

Space 32 – Creative Hub, 32 Wilson Street, South Yarra 3141.