Nothing encapsulates the perfect winter night in true European fashion like strolling through a local night market. But aside from the fortunate and equally sporadic European travels, we fellow Australians are relatively unaccustomed to this foreign and exotic concept.
Thankfully, Madame Brussels Lane has answered all your prayers, even the ones you didn’t know you had.
The European Night Markets are back again this winter, bringing a little laneway passage of Europe right in the heart of Melbourne city every Friday of July between 5 and 9pm.
In four hours or less you can expect to travel to Italy, Germany, France and Spain (to name a few), all bundled in one central spot. It’s the perfect cure for your end-of-week funk or something fun to kick-start your weekend.
Imagine authentic hand-made pasta, arancini balls and Nutella-stuffed doughnuts from Café Babbo or some buttery pastries from Eat Cannoli. Perhaps you’re looking for a quintessential macaron from Degani or your favourite French desserts from Pop Up Crepe and let’s not forget some mouth-watering raclette oozing in a bowl for you to eat from Frencheese.
But that’s not all! In fact, that’s not even the half of it! German cuisine is brought to you in fresh sausages by Bavarian Bangers and Bretzel Biz injects a salty delight in their hand-rolled Bavarian bretzels.
Traipse further through Europe without the exorbitantly priced plane ticket and taste Elena’s Paella or take your pick from an extensive spread of Turkish dips and gözleme from Göz City. Not to forget there’s hot (and vegan) candied nuts from Chooh La La for everyone to indulge in.
Looking to continue the taste sensations after 9pm? Well, look no further because this year’s addition of Richmond Hill Café and Larder allows you to take home a cheese board after a taste of their French onion soup.
In regards to your necessary end-of-week alcohol fix, you can expect cauldrons of mulled wine and piping cups of hot spiced rum as well as some tastings from a soon-to-be announced local distillery.
Now, it wouldn’t be a night out in Melbourne without some live music and there’s no better marriage than one between the Melbourne music scene and all your favourite European foodie delights. This year, in addition to live musical entertainment, there’ll also be the laneway’s own Cobbler DJ from The Cobbler’s Last and some custom created light installations (since you’ll be wanting to snap a selfie in this perfect lighting) from Electric Confetti and Carla O’Brien who, if you’re unsure of, is Katy Perry’s personal favourite.
Realised you haven’t got your haircut in 8 months or perhaps it’s simply getting in the way of all the delicious food you’re eating? Well, that’s ok! Because with discounted prices from the Men’s Barber Shop, you’ll have no excuse to tell your girlfriend or mum the next time she nags you to finally get a haircut.
Lastly, if you’ve forgotten something warm to bring or if you’re wanting some quality winter wardrobe additions – Melbourne retailer, Spoilt, has you covered all over (literally) with their selection of scarves, beanies and gloves.
Well, there you have it Melbournians and visitors alike. Get rid of that classic Aussie post-summer, beach-longing depression and fill the void with a walk through Madame Brussels Lane European Night Markets. You’ll save money on not going to Europe and that’s more in the pocket for this irresistible array of food because there’s no better cure for the winter chills than a belly full of wholesome, hearty food.
What: European Night Market
When: Every Friday throughout July, 5 – 9pm
Where: Madame Brussels Lane – 50 Lonsdale St, Melbourne CBD
By Eibhlis Moore