Winter is coming – Queen Victoria Night Market
Time: 5pm – 10pm
When: Wednesday Nights (until 31st August)
We really are very lucky here at Discovery to be on the door step of Queen Victoria Market. Just a few short steps along Franklin street and you immediately find yourself immersed inside of the largest market in the southern Hemisphere.
Fantastic for the frugal backpacker on the hunt for fresh food or boutique bargains Queen Vic market has it all. With an eclectic mix of traders from fruit and veg and gourmet grub to hand crafted speciality soaps and vintage clothes.
With the market running 5 days a week and the night market every Wednesday evening it’s easy to see why we are counting our stars at Discovery.
The night market
It is hard as a European to altogether fathom the decanting of warm wine and the stoking of log fires as we readily enter June. However, the former grounds of Melbourne’s oldest cemetery comes to life every wintry Wednesday evening until August 31st.
As you enter the market its carnival charm leads through the labyrinth of stalls with a sound track of exited chatter and the faint base notes of the bands cello.
There is a beautiful kaleidoscope of colours lighting up the corrugated roof which acts as a lid for a cauldron of cuisines. Protected from the elements and although vast, the market has an intimate feel. Log fires provide a rustic warmth with the memories of melted marsh mellows and camp fires under the city skyline.
There are an abundance of tables, benches and stalls throughout the Night market affording guests ample space to eat drink and perch! The event is run with an effortless efficiency with as many marshals as there are bins (and there’s a few) its not hard to believe they have 130 years of marketing heritage.
For a free admission Queen Vic pull out all the stops! With a live band playing all night towards the entrance of the market where you can grab a drink park next to a fire and lose and hour or two!
Jugglers, hoolahoppers and stilted angles grace the laneways of the market posing for pictures and engaging with punters. Get a physic reading from one of the four resident clairvoyants offering to give you a glimpse into the unknown.
At the far end of the hall the Belgium built 73 key Australian Fair concert organ belts out a colossal air compressed recital of some pre war hits. A stout man, the organ master, in 1950s get up regales an audience with the antiques rich history whilst pneumatic pistons and fly belts jolt violently behind him.
What we picked
The food at Queen Vic Night market is an international mix of hearty gourmet nosh with a range of flavours and influences including Spanish, Italian, Greek and Asian.
The average price of a main dish hovers around $12 – $14 + sides. While drinks (and yes alcohol is served) averages at $10.
Eat = Dragon Joes Asian Style Chicken Burger – $12
A delicious grilled chicken breast with Cajun herbs and spices and salad in a sweet brioche bun. Yum!
Drink = Mulled wine – $8
At first it may seem pricey for the cup your given but it packs a flavoursome punch! With 200ml = 2 standard drinks this delightfully spiced winter warmer will give some colour to your cheeks.
Treat = Cannoli – $5
Holy cannoli! As the sign reads and believe me it tastes biblical! A full babies arm worth of cannoli filled with Nutella, cream and pistachios it’s a steal!
Get some cash out on the way – Cash is king as they say so make sure you have some! The solitary ATM at the queen vic entrance is mobbed for the duration of the evening by the pay pass patrons of an otherwise cashless world.
Fire pits – The fires at the market are a lovely touch as it freezes up, however they do get abit smokey so don’t wear you brand new coat…