Possibly one of the best weekends I have ever had in Melbourne. In fact, it was so good, it made me feel really proud to be a Melbournian! The InterContinental Melbourne was celebrating their 70th birthday globally and my oh my, did they put on a show! The great thing is, most of the activities we did this weekend, you can pretty much do anytime you stay at the Intercon.
As I pulled up out the front of this classic building, knowing I had access to valet parking, I felt like a rockstar. I was cool, calm and collected, as I hopped out of my bright red Hyundai Getz (many onlookers looked at me with envy). After a very friendly greeting, I hopped in the lift and was shown to my room. Laying on my king size bed was a complimentary robe and slippers.
And a smelly candle and chocolate.
Double boo yeah!
While waiting for my boyfriend to arrive, I ducked upstairs to the gym and did a quick workout. I knew I was going to over indulge this weekend, so a heap of squats and an ab workout should override any guilt I could potentially endure.
Our first night we wined and dined at Merchant, a lovely Italian restaurant inside the Intercon. Between us, (yes we always share or else I suffer from a severe case of food-envy…which has been known to end in a minor meltdown) we had marinated octopus and fresh oysters for entree, braised lamb and fish of the day, (which was Rockling), for mains and flour-less chocolate cake and baked cheesecake for dessert. If you are a big cheesecake fan, I highly recommend! I coupled all this with a glass (or two…who’s counting?) of Pinot Nero called Cantina Terlan. It was divine.
The next morning we popped downstairs to Alluvial for a buffet breakfast. There is something really special about having someone cook your eggs. There was so much to choose from; you could even make your own juice!
After a very filling breakfast, we headed upstairs to take part in a graffiti art class run by Adrian Doyle from Blender Studios. Ever since I made my own beach inspired picture frame for my mum about 20 years ago, I have been told by her (and only her) that I am a ‘creative’. Friends will tell you different…people in this art class now have proof that I am not. But because I am still fooled by my mother’s skewed perception of my artistic abilities, I decided my stencil artwork was going to be an elephant. My boyfriend opted for something more simple: a building; which was in fact mistaken for a syringe at one point. After quickly clearly up that unfortunate misconception regarding my boyfriend’s artwork, we headed outside and left our mark on the ‘Secret Laneway’, that runs alongside the Intercon. Melbourne will forever have my two black and red wonky elephants gazing into each other’s eyes, printed on its streets.
The thought of a high-tea lunch gets me excited. Yummy treats and champagne pretty much sums it up. We dined at Mrs D’Ebro. Mrs D’Ebro was the wife of architect Charles D’Ebro who designed the Winfield Wing of the Intercon building. Unlike me, Mrs D’Ebro was renowned for her lavish high-teas, served in her home in Toorak. When it comes to food, I guess I like to be more of an ‘entertain-ee’ than ‘entertain-er’.
After working our way from the bottom of the food tier stand to the top, we headed downstairs to the Cocktail Making class, where we would learn how to make an Espresso Martini and a Dark and Stormy. Although having worked in pubs for many years, (throughout my uni days), my ability to pour a beer with a good ‘head’ did not pay off in this martini making lesson. My martini looked like it had had a rough night, lacking the required amount of froth at the top, to prevent the coffee beans from sinking to the bottom of the glass.
I guess I should stick to pouring beer.
Our afternoon ended in the spa, sauna and heated pool, making us feel so relaxed and sleepy. However, by 7:30 pm we managed to pull our lazy selves together and dress to impress, for our InterContinental Roaming Dinner.
We began the evening sipping champagne and eating canapes on the forth floor. It was believed that a portion of the forth floor use to be the residence of Catherine H. Thompson, an educated woman who devoted much of her time and energy to advocating for women’s rights.
After some light entertainment we moved downstairs to Alluvial where we were further entertained by some live classical music. Dinner was smoked scallops for entree and Victorian Dorper Lamb Rack for our main. For dessert, we were escorted back upstairs to a beautifully decorated room where we were served the most amazing white-chocolate martinis and delicious caramel flavoured dessert.
The night ended with cheese and aged whisky, in the Intercon Club Lounge. Being the ragers that we are, we managed to roll into bed before midnight. What an amazing day!
Just when we thought the Intercon couldn’t out-do themselves anymore, Sunday’s breakfast was served on the 53rd floor of the Rialto building. This was an out-the-ordinary special event. They reenacted a Pan Am first class flight to Brazil, hence why we were sitting amongst the clouds! Pan Am founder Juan Tripp established the Intercontinental in 1946 and opened its first hotel in Brazil.
After being served some fresh fruit, chia seed pods, a cooked breakfast and of course some more champagne, this unforgettable weekend had sadly come to an end.
If you are looking for a first class experience in the most livable city in the world, be sure to check out the InterContinental Melbourne.