Sitting in the cosmopolitan heart of Flinders Lane, Garden State Hotel presents us with a majestic four-level wonderland, held together by an aesthetically pleasing (insta-worthy) naturistic twist. Hidden City Secrets visited the green scenes of Garden State for their 2018 Welcome Back Party and took part in an evening of celebration, food & delectable beverages and a little bit of entertainment at every turn. And after a few cocktails, we had fully embraced the #gardenstateofmind.
After walking through the street-art surrounds of Duckboard Place, we arrived to a vibe built on classic tunes and post-work-drinks. Drawing us further into the venue was the first of a few uniquely styled bars – The Rose Garden.
Presenting an eclectic little drinkery, this cocktail bar is illuminated by French crystal chandeliers and decorated with vintage vases, rose bouquets and of course, alcohol scattered across the surface and sprawled magnificently along the back shelf – it’s lit, quite literally. The cocktail menu is seasonal, and for summer there’s some unmissable fruity infusions, rose-inspired flavours and a dynamic mix of classic margaritas, martinis and everyone’s summer favourite: the Spritz.
It was in this intimate saloon where we took our hand-crafting cocktail class. Taught to us by our friendly bartender, our masterpieces were created with a bit of mixing, shaking and if we’re being honest, a little help from the man behind the bar. And voilà! Not only was the end result a truly delicious passionfruit martini, but a (very) valuable skill was learnt in the process as well!
Cocktails in hand, we headed out to explore the botanical haven that awaited. In the middle of the maze lies The Beer Garden – undoubtedly the heart of the venue. This garden space is an architectural delight. The ground and lower basement levels are connected by cascading seating zones, lush vines and vivid greenery decorate the railings, and it’s all brought to life by the large, iconic fairy lights.
If there was ever a place where the magic happened, this would be it. The Beer Garden was packed with summer drinkers and party-goers, and it was all accompanied by the smooth tunes provided to us by Rutherford entertainment. A live saxophonist and buzzing beats while you sip on summery bevs? Yes please.
Head Chef Ash Hicks embraces a hand-crafted approach when it comes to canapes and indulgent food stations. And after gracefully chasing the waiter for Arancini balls, we immersed ourselves in ‘The Taste of Victoria’ served up by the Garden Grill. The venue itself offers guests a variety of snacks and large plates. From fried chicken and sweet potato crisps to lamb burgers and market fish, the menu has all you’d need to accompany those well-earned evening beverages.
The Beer Garden was also home to the Bloom Bar – another naturistic source of entertainment where you could create your own earrings from flowers provided by Master Florist Brett Matthew John. A wonderful idea – giving you the opportunity to not only leave with a memento but one specific enough to remind you and your friends of exactly where you’d been.
After indulging in freshly made cocktails and exquisite canapes, we headed to the photo booth, because if you didn’t capture it, did you really even go? With a lavish silk flower wall background, bubbles and confetti props and – let’s be honest – more than a few attempts, the Melbourne GIF Booth was great fun and the perfect opportunity to capture the night and take it home with you.
Whether its bevs with friends, after-work drinks or a special function or event, head in to Garden State to enjoy some glorious, summery, nature-inspired fun.
Welcome to a #gardenstateofmind.
All Images provided by Garden State Hotel.
FOR FUNCTION AND EVENT INFORMATION AT GARDEN STATE HOTEL CLICK HERE
By Vanessa De Lutiis