What’s up, Buttercup…Foodie Gifts and Where to Get Your Christmas Caffeine Fix

Merry Christmas week Buttercups,

Hopefully you’re all off work now and ready to enjoy a week of festivities or if not, that you at least have a bottle of something nice to keep your spirits up, so to speak. Speaking of festivities (and spirits), the amount of pubs/bars that are offering a massive night of drinks specials and mayhem on Christmas eve, leads me to believe that a list of cafes which are open for coffees on Christmas day may come in handy to some of you (also offering to go and get coffees allows you a wee bit of respite from the family while making you look incredibly generous, win/win). We’ve also added a few last minute Christmas gift ideas for you in just case you were at a loss of what to get your favourite relative/friend/neighbour/blogger/whatever… And if you’re spending Christmas/New Years in Sydney instead of Melbourne, we have you covered for that as well with our all new What’s up Buttercup Sydney. It’s not quite as extensive as Melbourne yet but still full of some good info on where to spend your time over the break.

Where to go for Coffee in Melbourne on the 25th December (this list will be updated as more come to light)

Dead Man Espresso (35 Market Street, South Melbourne) – Open from 7am-11am for coffees only

St Ali (12-18 Yarra Place, South Melbourne) – Open 7am-6pm with full service.

Einstein’s Relative (1/9 Yarra St, South Yarra) – Open 7.30am-2.30pm with full service

Sprout Cafe (48 Glen Eira Rd, Ripponlea) – Open 8am-1pm with full service

Depot de Pain Black Rock (28 Bluff Rd, Black Rock) – Open 7.00am-2.30pm with full service

Huff Bagelry (112 Koonang Rd, Carnegie) – Open 7am-11am for coffees and bagels to order

Frank and Ginger () – 101 Orrong Rd, Caulfield – Open 7am-11am for coffees

Einstein’s 251 (251 Hawthorne Rd, Caulfield) – Open from 8am-5pm with full service

30 Mill Espresso (66 Milton Parade, Malvern) –  Open 8am-12pm coffees only

Fergus (301 Wattletree Rd, Malvern East) – Open from 7am-11am for coffee and pastries

Gardiner and Field (43 Union St, Armadale) – Open 7am-11pm for coffees only

Platform Espresso (1529 High St, Glen Iris) – Opne 8am-12pm for coffees only

Finders Keepers Cafe (89 Riversdale Rd, Hawthorn) – Open 7.30am-10.30am for coffee and pastries

The Mailing Room (206 Canterbury Rd, Canterbury) – Open from 7am-11am for take away coffee

Queen St Rescue (189 Queen St Melbourne) – Open from 7.30am-4pm with full service

Depot de Pain at The Blackman (452 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne) – Open 6.30am-2.30pm with full service

Depot de Pain at Rathdowne Village (693 Rathdowne St, Carlton) – Open 7.00am-2.30pm with full service

Last minute gift ideas or the food inclined

For the wine fans, give the gift of experience this year with a ticket to a wine tasting event. World Malbec day and Game of Rhones are offering early bird tickets to their events next year. If white’s more their thing, then a ticket to the Riesling Riot may be in order. They are great value, great fun and far less likely than a bottle to break in the post.

If food is more their thing, why not shout them dinner with a Good Food Gift Card? I was given one of these last year and it was brilliant to be able to choose where I wanted to go and their are some great food options to suit everyone. Also in the food area, why not consider a voucher for Prix Fixe? As the price is fixed, their will be no scary surprise for your loved one at the end of the meal and also, if you’re lucky, they may take you.

Have a happy and safe Christmas all and as always feel free to add your own coffee/gift suggestions in the comments.


What’s up Buttercup? Amazing events + happy hours.

Hi all,

Another week gone and another week closer to that special hell we only have once a year, my birthday (oh and I guess there’s that Christmas gig too). In an effort to not think about it I have been turning to wine but as the What’s up Buttercup swear jar is running low (note to self: must swear more in the new year) I have been trading on the kindness of happy hours and as I like to pass a kindness on, I thought I’d pass along a few gems that I have come across in the past lately…you’re welcome! Missed you favourite? Add it to the comments…you know, for research purposes…

The Imperial South Yarra – Went here for the first time last week and all I can say is $6 for all drinks (well not the verve but all the rest) between 5pm-7pm Monday to Friday plus $10 pizzas. Seriously. I had a lovely time drinking Chandon for 6 bucks a pop and they also have free wifi which is why I now intend to hold all my meetings here during the afternoon.

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 Stokehouse City – I was in town around 5ish looking for somewhere to spend some time between appointments and wandered into the Stokehouse and was immediately happy that I did. Not only was the service delightful but they had a lovely Italian Pinot Grigio for just $7 a glass. If that’s not your thing, you can get a Pizini Prosecco for $5, an Aperol Spritz for $10, a James Squires 150 Lashes Pale Ale for $4/$8 or a Birra Moretti for $5. Add oysters for just $1.50 and you have one of the classiest happy hours in town. Happy hour is from 4pm-6pm, Monday to Saturday.

Bistro Vue – This happens to be one of my old favs, the Bistro Vue happy hour runs from 5pm-6.30pm every Monday to Friday and gives you 50% off all pints of tap beer including 1664 and house wine (very nice house wine as well, much nicer than my house) all served up in a relaxing French bistro setting.

Junction Beer Hall – Some people think that all we do is gallivant around the south and CBD, sipping champagne and eating oysters. This is untrue, sometime we go west and when we do, The Junction Hotel in Newport is one of our favourite spots. The Junction has a beer hall (with proper beer) and a wine bar and between 5-6pm, Monday to Friday they have $5 pints, wines and vodka. With some of the best craft taps in the west, this is an amazing bargain.

What’s Coming Up

The Adelphi Hotel are opening up their roof top for a once a week, summer long, pool party spectacular. Have a dip in their famous pool then sit back with a fabulous cocktail or 3. Bring your towel and let them sort the rest. More info here.

Cafe Vue is hosting it’s last ever Mixology event this Friday and they are taking it out in Christmasy style with the theme. Fictional Christmas. $95 for 5 course and 5 cocktails, this is an absolute bargain (been 3 times, loved every time) and it’s your last chance to try it! More info here.

DuNord are giving you a chance to have a very Swedish Christmas eve. Dinner is just $65 a head and you also get a Christmas cocktail to kick the night off!. Booking information here.

Also updated are the New Years Eve and Christmas pages so don’t forget to check back and see if there is anything you fancy!

Have an eventful week!

What’s Up and What’s New

Hi all

As you may have noticed, What’s up Buttercup has changed a little. Gone are the long weekly posts filled with text and in its place is the brand spankin’ new calender! This will be an easier way to reference and find events around Melbourne and beyond. In addition to this, the weekly post that used to contain the information that is now in the Calender will become more like a newsletter highlighting major upcoming events you may have missed, new openings around town, some of my favourite old places, drink specials, happy hours, competitions and the like. I you have anything that you would like to hear about or have any feedback regarding the changes, please feel free to comment at the end of the post or email admin@whatsupbuttercup.net as I would love to hear what you think.

Happy Eating,


Picks of the week

  • The Botanical are having a lunch on 9/12 to celebrate what has been the end of an amazing year in wine. They are cracking out some of their top wines for you to drink along side a 3 course lunch all for just $95 a head. All info here.
  • Boccaccio Cellars in Balwyn are hosting a Champagne Masterclass on the 10/12 with all your favourites (ok, they are my favourites) on pour for you to try. The Masterclass is $75 a head and you can find details here,
  • Nieuw Amsterdam are partnering with Trophy Wife Nail Art to bring you Tips and Sips on the 14/12. An afternoon dedicated to glamour, sophistication and of course, booze. Tickets range from $80-100 and all details can be found here.

Coming Up…

Tis the season and all and if you’re still in a pickle about where to go for your Christmas Lunch or for your New Years Eve celebrations, make sure you check out my handy dandy guide to what’s happening in Melbourne. You’ll find Christmas here. and New Years here.

With December being such a massive month, January is looking a bit quiet but this all changes in February with GABF, the Geelong Craft Beerfest and the Riesling Riot for Riesling Down under, just to start. Make sure to check back regularly for new additions.


8th December – 14th December 2014

Monday 8th December

  • IDES at Persillade (150 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne) – IDES a movement by Peter Gunn Jnr. sous chef of Attica, which is ranked #32 of the list of San Pellegrino’s 50 Best Restaurants in the World. Hosted at Persillade in East Melbourne, serving a tasting menu reflecting their take on produce, technique and flavour. IDES is crafted by the minds of today for a concrete tomorrow, in pursuit of creation not perfection. Dinner is $100 a head, $150 with matched wines and you can book by emailing eat@idesmelbourne.com.au or you can book online here.
  • Chefs at The Cow, A Night with Vanessa Mateus from Pope Joan (157 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda) – Join Milk the cow in December when they welcome Vanessa Mateus of Pope Joan for a five-course cheese-inspired menu with matched wines. Vanessa is the night-time head chef of Pope Joan, and was one of five finalists this year for The Age Good Food Guide’s Young Chef of the Year award. Tickets are $120 a head and can be booked online here.

Tuesday 9th December

  • Bridge Road Brewery Tap Takeover and Dinner at The Alehouse Project (98-100 Lygon St, Brunswick) – Join Bridge Road’s head brewer, Ben Kraus, for a 6 course degustation dinner matched with 6 Bridge Road Beers selected from the range on tap. Dinner is $80 a head and can be booked by calling 9387 1218.
  • Meet the Maker at Pope Joan (77-79 Nicholson St, East Brunswick) – Pope Joan are thrilled to welcome one of their dearest friends to Hams and Bacon for the next Meet the Producers event. Preserving doyenne Caroline Grayof of Cunliffe & Waters will bring Nanna’s copper pot and show us how to make spiced cherries and strawberry jam. Plus, every participant will take a jar of each finished product home to enjoy on Chrissy Day. Tickets are $15 a head and can be purchased online here.

Wednesday 10th December

  • Outside the Cote Burgundy Wine Evening at The Tasting Table (1219 High St, Armadale) – Everyone knows the wines of Burgundies Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune but often little is known about the wines produced from the larger Burgundy subregions of the Hautes-Côtes de Nuits, Hautes-Côtes de Beaune, Mâconnais and Côte Chalonnaise and last but not least Chablis. Although not the most famous of regions, these areas produce some great wines at much more affordable prices. Join The Tasting Table for an evening enjoying the wines produced outside the Côte and find out just how great the wines of Burgundies subregions can be. There’ll be 8 wines to taste matched to delicious farmhouse sharing cheese and meat boards. Tickets are $35 a head and can be booked online here.

Thursday 11th November

  • BYO? Challenge the Bartender at the Everleigh (Upstairs 150-156 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy) – Introducing BYO?: Challenge The Bartender, a new monthly event unique to The Everleigh and the first of its kind in Melbourne.  In a throwback to the traditional speakeasy, they invite parties of 1-6 people to bring a bottle and challenge the bartender to concoct a selection of drinks to suit their tastes over a two hour sitting.  Had something special gathering dust for too long because you don’t know what to do with it? Let your own personal bartender bring it back to life using a variety of different classic drink styles. Located in The Elk Room, The Everleigh bartenders join you on the floor, making drinks at your table from traditional drinks trolleys fully equipped with citrus, syrups, liqueurs, bitters, ice and garnishes.To make things a little more interesting, the bartenders will call half time 1 hour in, giving parties the opportunity to switch their mystery bottles with another other group’s. Tickets are $45 a head and can be booked by calling 9416 2229.

Sunday 14th December

  • Tips and Sips at Nieuw Amsterdam (106-112 Hardware Street, Melbourne) – Nieuw Amsterdam is partnering with Trophy Wife Nail Art to bring you Tips’n’Sips this summer! It’s an event where friends can get a custom manicure with delicious cocktails, music and entertainment. They’ll be showcasing three fab cocktails as part of Tips’n’Sips, including the Salted Caramel Negroni and a new cocktail created just for this event. Tickets are $80 (a feature nail mani & cocktail tasting – 1hr) or $100 (custom mani with 5 designs & cocktail tasting – 1.5hrs). To book, email bookings@nieuwamsterdam.com.au with subject line ‘tipsnsips’ and your contact details.
  • Grand Afternoon Tea at the Vue Grand (46 Hesse Streeet, Queenscliff) – It is said that class and style are things to be savoured, enjoyed and never rushed, so why not savour and enjoy your afternoon among the majestic confines of the Vue Grand Hotel, Queenscliff.  Enjoy a glass of Pimms or sparkling on arrival as you venture through into one of the last remaining Victorian era Grand Dining Rooms and savour their delicious array tasty treats (both sweet & savoury) they will have on offer. The afternoon tea is $65 a head and can be booked by calling 03 5258 1544.

1st December – 7th December 2014

Monday 1st December

  • Chef Selected Dining at Northern Light (102 Smith Street, Collingwood) – Come and join Adam and the team at Northern Light for an exclusive 5 course ‘Chef Selected’ dinner with matched wines – showcasing the most popular dishes from the kitchen’s repertoire. They have created an exclusive experience of food and fun. You can look forward to a chef selected five-course menu paired with the perfect wine. Accompany this with some chef interaction and table side theatrics and you’re in for a great night. Tickets are $89 a head and booking can be made online here.
  • Domaine William Fevre Masterclass with Didier Seguier at The Prince Wine Store (177 Bank St, South Melbourne) – The star of Domaine William Fevre has been on the rise in recent years and the 2012 vintage wines are the best release from the estate and among the top wines released of the vintage. This masterclass will feature a range of wines from the domaine. The Prince are delighted to host winemkaer Dider Seguier to offer his insights to the great wines of William Fevre and the great terroirs of Chablis. The class is $60 a head and can be booked online here.
  • Micro Monday with Kooinda Brewery at The Public Bar (238 Victoria Street, North Melbourne) – Now and then on a Monday night, The Public Bar are going to bring in a micro brewery, give them one of the taps to plug in something seasonal and have them school them in the art of making, drinking and loving beer! This month they are very pleased to be welcoming Kooinda to come and show off their wares! Tickets are $16 a head which gives you beer knowledge plus 5 pots of Kooinda. You can purchase tickets online here.

Tuesday 2nd December

  • From Victoria to Vittoria at Mr Bianco (285 High St, Kew) – Fresh from her recent trip working vintage in Sicily, Tennille Chalmers thinks she knows the beautiful and culturally rich Italian island better than chef Joe Vargetto, who actually is Sicilian. Tennille’s told Joe what to cook, and is bringing a boot load of Chalmers, Montevecchio and Occhipinti wines to match. Come along to Mister Bianco to this fun, tasty, journey to Sicilia Bedda. Enjoy a 5 course dinner with matched wines for $95 a head. To book, call 9853 6929.
  • Gourmet Traveller NV Champagne Tasting at City Wine Store (161 Spring St) – Join Gourmet Traveller and City Wine Store as they taste through 20 of the best NV champagnes as selected by the tasting panel from Gourmet Traveller Wine.  They can’t reveal what’s on tasting, as the December/January issue has not yet hit the shelves (due for release on 4 December), but you won’t be disappointed.  From the grand marques and familiar names through to grower champagnes, these standout bottles of bubbles have been selected based on merit alone. Tickets are $75 a head and can be booked by calling 9654 6657.
  • Wine Night at The Steam Packet Hotel (13 Cole Street, Williamstown) – Wine Nights are always fantastic, with great wine, food and company for you to enjoy! Grab a few friends and enjoy the start of the festive season with The Steam Packet Wine Night! With cheese platters, wine for tasting and for buying at an amazing price, it promises to be a great night. Tickets are $45, email thepacket.michelle@gmail.com or reservations.

Wednesday 3rd December

  • The Great Red 2012 Burgundy Wine Dinner at Bellota (181 Bank St, South Melbourne) – This dinner features three bracket of 2012s ranging from village to premier and grand crus and from a terrific range of producers including Gerard Raphet, de Vogue, Joseph Voillot, Jean Trapet and more!  Places are limited for this four course meal that will feature 12 red burgundies and from seven producers not to mention the two 2012 Corton Charlemagnes from Jean-Marc Pillot and Pierre Yves Colin-Morey that will kick the dinner off. Dinner is $295 a head and can be booked online here.

Thursday 4th December

  • Flavour Exchange Summer Edition (Fed Square, Melbourne) -Enjoy tastes from artisan food makers, boutique wineries, craft beer and cider breweries. Chat with the producers behind them and buy direct and save, all in the one place, in The Atrium at Fed Square. Tickets are $32.50 a head pre paid or $37.50 at the door and can be purchased online here.
  • Sustenance for Change Dinner at The Grain Store (517 Flinders Lane, Melbourne) – In conjunction with CERES Fair Food, the Grain Store are proud to host a Charity dinner in support of the wonderful work the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre (ASRC) do on a daily basis to ensure new Australians are made to feel welcome, safe and supported. Share and enjoy a seasonally delicious dinner on communal tables, whilst hearing about the fabulous success stories of how CERES Fair Food provide many employment opportunities to Asylum seekers and how you can get involved to support the ASRC! Dinner is $80 a had and can be booked by calling 9972 6993.

Friday 5th December

  • Flavour Exchange Summer Edition (Fed Square, Melbourne) -Enjoy tastes from artisan food makers, boutique wineries, craft beer and cider breweries. Chat with the producers behind them and buy direct and save, all in the one place, in The Atrium at Fed Square. Tickets are $32.50 a head pre paid or $37.50 at the door and can be purchased online here.

Saturday 6th December 

  • Unearthing the Wines of Portugal (817 High Street, Armadale) – Long considered the undiscovered jewel in Europe’s viniferous crown, Portugal is making waves in the wine world. Freshness, vibrancy and finesse are the signatures of this exciting region. This, combined with the wealth of indigenous varieties, has resulted in a reputation for over-delivery in terms of value for money. Undiscovered to many, and very much an “insiders” wine, this courtyard tasting offers an opportunity to expand your wine horizons. Wines will be paired with delicious fare from Bouzy Rouge. Tickets are $25 a head and can be booked online here.
  • Behind the Rind: Cheese 101 at The Spring Street Grocer (157 Spring Street, Melbourne) – Behind the Rind – Cheese 101 is a short cheese workshop that is both fun and informative, aimed at revealing each main style of cheese and the story of their different rinds.  Also discussed will be common questions such as what to serve with your cheeses, and which cheeses are suitable for pregnant women and people with a lactose intolerance. Tickets are $30 a head and can be booked by calling 9654 6657.
  • High Tea with Make Beer at The Alehouse Project (98-100 Lygon Street, Brunswick) – Join Make Beer brewers Steve and Dan as they present 4 beers from their High Tea Series along with a selection of high tea snacks – think scones and lots of them, mmm scones! Tickets to high tea are $40 a head and can be booked by calling 9387 1218.