Chisholm and Gamon: Bastille Day Celebrations

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The 14th of July marks perhaps the most significant day in French history: Bastille Day. Spurring on the revolution and liberating the French people from monarchy, Bastille Day symbolizes French freedom and pride, and is an event celebrated by French communities globally. Today at Chisholm and Gamon we’ve put together a list of events to help you get in the Bastille Day spirit – the joie de vivre, if you will! There’s plenty of things to celebrate in Australia about our French community; champagne, baguettes, fine cheese and (mais oui!) the cancan.

Kicking off Bastille Day celebrations with true French flair is the Bastille Day Party Melbourne at Chapel Street’s famous Red Bennie’s. This year’s annual celebration promises to be one of the biggest yet, packed with Frenchy fun for all. Enjoy dressing up according to this year’s themes of “revolution” and “royal”, before enjoying a program of cancan dancers directly from the Moulin Rouge, burlesque performers and swing legends ‘The Shuffle Club’. Honor the proud French spirit with a glass of champagne in hand while relishing in the night’s rambunctious entertainment.

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If there’s one thing the French do exceptionally well, it’s food. On the 13th of July, The French Brasserie will be presenting a traditional menu that pays homage to some of France’s most renowned brasseries. Sit back and enjoy Bastille Day in style as you sup on a four-course degustation menu before being treated to entertainment by Noria Letts and her Taste of Paris, one of Melbourne’s chicest jazz shows. If you’re looking to kindle some of that classic French romance and decadence, then this is the perfect Bastille Day treat for you.

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If the only thing that makes you get out of bed in the morning is the thought of a warm croissant, you should make your way to Level 89 of the Eureka Tower for a French-inspired Brunch. Dine like King Louis himself as you sit above our sprawling city and sample a two-course breakfast that will no doubt include the crème de la crème of croissants and a glass of the finest champagne. Embrace the matin and say bonjour to the day with this decadent French feast.

If it’s a slow provincial-style French lunch that you desire, then restaurant PM24 has you covered for Bastille celebrations with its  Bastille Day Lunch. Experience true French spirit without leaving Melbourne at this informal celebration that includes three sumptuous courses with matching wine. Enjoy a restaurant bedecked in French-style decorations and long communal tables that fully encapsulate the convivial feel of the afternoon.

With so much on offer for Bastille fun, it’s easy to help our French friends celebrate their historically significant day right here in Melbourne. Whether you’re enjoying French music and the cancan, or raising a glass of champagne and munching on croissants, Bastille Day offers the perfect opportunity to say salute to all the joys that French culture has brought us!

Who’d Have Thought It? Melbourne – What You Didn’t Know

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The State Library of Victoria is currently celebrating its 100-year anniversary. This big birthday bash involves a number of events and exhibits organized throughout the year to celebrate the institution’s centenary. The Keith Murdoch Gallery is currently running a free exhibit ‘Free, secular and democratic: building the Public Library’, tracing the first 60 years of the library from its opening in 1853 to the introduction of the domed reading room in 1913. The exhibition looks at the history of the building and how it fits culturally into the framework of Melbourne. Today, C&G get ‘learned’ on the blog.

The History

Colonial liberals established the library and cultural institutions such as galleries and art schools on the site of our beloved State Library of Victoria back in 1853.  Judge Sir Redmond Barry and architect Joseph Reed headed up the construction, looking to create a civic center that encompassed democratic thought in a secular environment. Learning and self-empowerment were key ideologies behind the project (even then, we were a burgeoning city of letters!). From its founding days, the library has served the state as a hub of learning and a space for thought-provoking activity for over 100 years.

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The Exhibit

Guided tours throughout the library with a specific focus on Barry and Reed’s foundation work will take place throughout June on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays.  The tours are free of charge and are a great educational experience for anyone interested in Melbourne’s history and architecture. The exhibit also looks closely at how our collection of books has been cultivated carefully over the years.

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Curator Harriet Edquist, Professor of Architecture at RMIT will conduct public talks regarding the first 60 years of the library’s establishment. She will discuss the library’s origins and development into the cultural centerpiece of 19th century Melbourne on three occasions from May 30 – June 1. Bookings are essential and can be made via 03 8664 7099 or inquiries@slv.vic.gov.au.

Celebrating the ‘Cup o’ Joe’

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Are you someone who needs their cup of ‘joe’ before facing the world each morning? If so my bleary-eyed friend, the 2013 Melbourne International Coffee Expo is an event you must highlight on the May calendar. Melbourne is world-renowned for producing quality coffee, so it makes sense that such an exhibit takes place in our wonderful caffeinated city. The expo will be open to the public on Saturday May 25th and Sunday May 26th at the Melbourne Showgrounds, offer an array of experiences ranging from barista classes to coffee tasting. Chisholm & Gamon (fans of the golden bean) are certain there will be a delightful aroma in the air! 

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Competitions

There are a number of professional competitions running throughout the expo, giving you the chance to watch the best baristas finesse a perfect long macchiato, cappuccino or Melbourne-specific ‘magic’. The Genovese Latte competition will take place on the Saturday, when the world’s most creative baristas will produce some amazing images in milk froth! The World Barista Championship and World Brewers Cup will also take place during the course of the weekend. We suggest getting down to the expo for the grand finals on Sunday where you will see some amazing displays of coffee making!

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Exhibitors

Meet ambassadors from your favourite coffee brands at the expo – who will be likely presenting special ‘expo only’ deals on their roasted goods. The list of exhibiting businesses is quite extensive including favourites such as Campos, Coffex, DaVinci, DiBella, Dimattina, Ducale, Genovese, Grinders, Jasper, Lavazza, Moccopan, Proud Mary, Seven Seeds and Toby’s Estate coffees. Even tea lovers have been catered for by Somage Fine Foods with an education session on Japanese teas.

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Classes

Barista educators Coffee and Logicwill conduct a number of training sessions throughout the expo. Whether you’re a newbie trying to froth milk or a professional barista needing another feather in your coffee-skillz bow, Coffee and Logic will have something new to share with you. Courses in roasting and developing sensory skills are also on the schedule. For more information visit www.coffeelogic.com.

White Night Melbourne

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If you thought you had this Saturday night sorted, C&G suggest you reconsider the diary! One of the best things about Melbourne is its lively nightlife, and this weekend our city has an event on offer sure to be unlike anything else you’ve ever experienced. Running from 7pm-7am this Saturday 23rd Feb, White Night Melbourne is a night of creative revelry made for the night owls (and insomnia sufferers) out there. There are over 100 events planned, with most of Melbourne’s major landmarks open to visit throughout the evening and into the early hours of the morning.  The concept of’ White Night’ was born in Paris as ‘Nuit Blanche’ and has now spread to over 23 cities worldwide. The location and events have been programmed into eight sections for Melbourne own version of White Night. Today’s Chisholm & Gamon blog offers you a ‘best of’ guide to the evening’s proceedings.

 youtalkingtome‘You talkin’ tuh me?’ 

WONDERLAND

Flinders Street between Swanston & Russell Streets, including Federation Square, ACMI, St Paul’s Cathedral and Forum Theatre

ACMI are giving Melbournians the chance to feel like they are on a night out in Hollywood! Get ready to practice your best Zoolander pose and utter your most practiced ‘you had me at hello’ monologue in front of a film camera – you’ll be able to participate in a screen test just like the professionals! It’s a great free event for all ages, with lots of Hollywood-themed kitsch to enjoy.

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THEATRE OF DREAMS

Flinders Street from Elizabeth Street to Swanston Street, incorporating Flinders Street Station

The Cat Empire is one of Australia’s most internationally successful music acts. Anyone would think themselves lucky to score a ticket to one of their shows, which is why you’d have to be crazy not to make the most of the opportunity to see them play for free on the steps of Flinders Street Station as part of the White Night Festival.  They take to the ‘stage’ at 2.10am for an 80-minute show. The atmosphere is sure to be electric!

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ELIZABETH WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?

Flinders Lane from Elizabeth Street through to Russell Street, including Degraves Street and Centre Place

 If you consider yourself a fashionista then you’ll be interested in the events planned to take place on the corner of Elizabeth Street and Flinders Lane. ‘Strut Your Stuff’ is a L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival video projection highlighting local contemporary design. The film will repeatedly screen throughout the night showing both runway and behind the scenes clips.

Melbourne Music Week Location Revealed!

Music, mystery and a touch of Melbourne history is in the mix for anyone interested in attending this year’s Melbourne Music Week. Held over nine days from November 16-24, the festival is a celebration of local and international music acts. Much excitement surrounding this year’s event is the mystery of its location. The concept has been aptly titled ‘Where?House’ and its location was intended to be a secret until the opening day of the festival. It seems you can’t keep a good thing quiet in this city for too long – and we’re not complaining as we can now reveal the exciting venue to you… keep reading and C&G will reveal all!

The pop up location for this year’s festival is (drum roll please) a derelict building in the buzzing city center! Before you make a judgment on what a poor choice an old building might be for such a contemporary event, consider a few reasons why we believe that the selection is close to genius.

Firstly, the building is not just any old derelict site. It is ‘The Argus’. This may not mean much to you initially, but if you’ve ever walked along the streets of Melbourne’s CBD – and we’re sure you have – you would have stumbled across the 86 year old property on the corner of La Trobe and Elizabeth streets. The six-story goliath is not looking its best nowadays – although the establishment was a jewel in Melbourne’s crown in years past. Melbourne Music Week organizers are hoping to breathe life into the building by holding the festival within its walls. Here at Chisholm and Gamon we’re quite excited to see the results.

The words ‘Melbourne’ and ‘Music’ are synonymous with understated cool, and the organizers of the upcoming event were looking for a venue both fresh and quirky, yet quintessentially Melbourne. The chosen hollowed-out six-story building ticks the box for idiosyncrasy, plus great acoustic sound elements. Reports have confirmed there will be a ‘concert hall’ constructed to host people on two levels with a 900-person capacity. A lecture theatre and computer lounge will also be built so that musicians can provide free lectures and workshops for attendees.  Food stalls and a temporary garden will feature as well, which is sure to entice.

While we know music lovers would already have this event penciled into their calendars, we suggest even those with the slightest whim of curiosity about ‘The Argus’ to pop in and take a look. All musical acts held at ‘The Argus’ will be entirely free until ticketed concerts begin at 8pm throughout the festival duration.

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