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stormbird Jan 12th, 2010 12:28 PM

Aussie GTG - Melbourne, 22nd May 2010
It's official!!! Our GTG will be held in Melbourne on Saturday 22nd May 2010. There's been a fantastic response to date and with further promotion I'm sure there'll be even more coming along.

This is a very warm invitation to our cousins across the Tasman - KiwiRob, Nelsonian etc to join us as well - it would be wonderful to meet you all. Also a warm invite to anyone from overseas (Not you C_W !!! - though the spiders, snakes and pigs should be in hibernation by then) who may be in Melbourne at that date - don't be shy - join in the fun.

At this stage I just wanted to lock in the date - again it's 22.05.10 - venue is yet to be decided. If there is anyone out there with suggestions it would be appreciated. I feel somewhere in the City would be optimal as that would be central for everyone. I have a niece in Melbourne who is doing some research for me.

The GTG would be along the lines of everyone meeting for drinks and a get to know you and then those who wish would go on to dinner (hopefully that will be everyone).

Thanks for the support - this is exciting - Yay!! Our first Aussie GTG - let's make it memborable as only we Aussies know how!!!!!


Peter_S_Aus Jan 12th, 2010 02:52 PM


JohnFitz Jan 12th, 2010 02:55 PM

Locked in my diary.A wonderful effort by you . Many thanks .

Insofar as dinner is concerned I wonder if a place that will take a group booking and do a fixed price 2 or 3 course meal is worth thinking about ?Ideally it might even be the same venue for drinks perhaps . Maybe somewhere at Southbank ? I have no experience at all with GTG so these are just random thoughts .

stormbird Jan 12th, 2010 08:30 PM

Hi John,

I was hoping for a venue that could cope with both the pre dinner drinks and then dinner. Somewhere at Southbank sounds wonderful actually. Great suggestion about a fixed price menu. Will look into this further.
thanks John

JohnFitz Jan 13th, 2010 07:01 AM

Hello Stormbird. For what it is worth I am happy as a Melbourne resident to offer assistance to you in organising this GTG . So if you need a hand please ask and if I can I am happy to help as I expect it is going to involve a fair amount of work .John

stormbird Jan 13th, 2010 07:34 PM

Thanks for the offer John. Perhaps you might be able to check out Southbank for me? I'm aware of it and it's location and seems to me to quite perfect for the occasion. I'd appreciate your efforts John, thanks.

kiwi_rob Jan 13th, 2010 10:42 PM

Thank you for getting this underway, Stormbird. I have my flights booked. Sorry that I can't be of any assistance with the arrangements, but it sounds like you have good help at hand. Looking forward to putting faces to the names on the 22nd.

stormbird Jan 14th, 2010 12:10 AM

Woo hoo Rob - fantastic that you can make it! C U Then!

JohnFitz Jan 14th, 2010 03:42 AM

Happy to do some research for you Stormbird .

I guess the venue/s will be dictated by the numbers attending .So to those Fodorites reading about this who are thinking about coming it would be great for Stormbird to receive advice of attendance as soon as possible .

At this time I will work on say 15-30 persons and see what is suitable in Southbank and the inner city and we can go from there . Is that OK ? All suggestions / guidance welcome especially from our convenor . John

stormbird Jan 14th, 2010 01:03 PM

I think those are safe numbers to work on John. Many thanks.

Melnq8 Jan 14th, 2010 01:53 PM

I'd like to come, but I'm not at a point where I can purchase a plane ticket just yet. I should know for sure in a few weeks. I'll be coming from Perth and as I'm unfamiliar with Melbourne, I could use some suggestions on what hotels are near the meeting point (when selected).

JohnFitz Jan 14th, 2010 05:53 PM

Happy to help Melnq8. I am going to try and help find a venue. That is going to take a little time as I am away at the beach with houseguests this weekend and of course work interferes during the week .But I have put out a call to friends for suggestions .

Bokhara2 Jan 14th, 2010 06:13 PM

Hi Melnq8,
I'm coming and will probably stay in one of the apartments around Little Bourke Street. Walk to Southgate or 5 mins in a cab.
I'll have a look at wotif later on & let you know what I find.

Melnq8 Jan 15th, 2010 12:38 AM

Thanks guys, I'll keep my eyes on this thread.

shandy Jan 15th, 2010 03:00 PM

John, no more than a thought but how about the Langham at Southbank. The location is in the right place and you could have drinks there or there are plenty of other options in the immediate vicinity. The main reason that it occurred to me is that the Melba restaurant offers a number of different cuisines Indian/Asian/Sushi Bar/Italian/Traditional so everyones tastes should be catered for.

I haven't actually eaten there myself but have been told by others to go. As I understand it, it is mainly set up buffet style but not in the it's been sitting in the bain marie for hours type. The food is cooked to order in front of you and watching the chefs in action is part of the experience.

I just looked up the prices and it is expensive on a Saturday night at $90 per person for the buffet but it is possible to order a la carte as well in which case a main averages at about $35.00. In fact you could do three courses for less than $90. I would assume there wouldn't be a problem with people wanting to do a mix between buffet and a la carte.

The website for Melba for people to check it out is

If everyone contributes to the cost, the two of us could go on a sample of the six top recommendations in order to choose a place :) Ah, if only, that is on about par with me winning Tattslotto.

Bokhara2 Jan 15th, 2010 08:20 PM

Just a note for other "out of towners" ... don't faint when you see the rates on Wotif now. They're reflecting the Australian Open on in Melb next week. By May 22nd(which isn't available on Wotif yet), things will be a lot quieter. And cheaper.

Bokhara2 Jan 16th, 2010 10:00 PM

John Fitz & Stormbird, FWIW, I asked a Melbourne friend who eats out a lot, arranges quite a few functions and is a good judge of things epicurean,for some reccos for our GTG, and here are a few. None in Southbank, but might be worth considering. Here's what she said:

" I have thought of a few places but the location may not be what you want. It depends if the location or the food is the more important to you because I guess you also want them to see the best of Melbourne. However for food and being the right style of venue, I’m happy to recommend these:

1. Bar Lourinha. Fabulous food as the website will show you but I can even further vouch for having been there twice with xxxx and the de Bortolis, who often run their wine related functions there. Very busy little bar but check it out – they also have function rooms and “Long Table” dining that may well suit you. However it’s up the top end of town at 37 Little Collins, up at the theatre end of town.


2. Lamaro. I’ve been here several times – to the launch of the place, once more with xxx and I met Maggie Beer there. Good memories. However I have also been there a number of times privately and it never disappoints. However it’s in Cecil St Sth Melbourne which is down the Albert Park Lake end but it’s more or less middle of nowhere, not as if you can see the lake or anything.


3. MoVida. I’ve never been there but it comes highly recommended and well reviewed, and the location – opposite and just up from Fed Square – may be more the sort of location you are looking for. Book early to avoid disappointment.


If I’m off the mark price wise or location wise, let me know and I can refine the search criteria in my memory.

Of course Fifteen’s excellent. As is George Calombaris’ Hellenic Republic, out past Carlton."

Susan7 Jan 17th, 2010 02:18 PM

Wow! That's fabulous, many thanks to you and your friend Bokhara.

Bokhara2 Jan 17th, 2010 05:00 PM

Here's two at Southbank. I've been to Tutto Bene a couple of times and liked it.

My friend says Walters is good too - I've only been there for drinks.

JohnFitz Jan 17th, 2010 09:32 PM

Some excellent ideas. What I am floundering about with is
" budget " and numbers.

There are many excellent options but of course , I assume , we need to cater to everyones purse and ensure that any venue can cope with our numbers both for drinks and afterwards for dinner or lunch .

At the GTG do attendees pay for their own drinks as ordered and all we need is a bar that can hold the numbers ? Do we need to know if attendees are pleased / prepared to pay say $15 for a mixed drink or as a result such a place would deter many from coming or put a dampener on it for most ?

As for the meal after drinks ,is it usual that food is , as I suggested , a limited choice fixed price plus drinks ?

Or is a la carte preferred and if so how is the bill divided etc in order to avoid the unseemly " I had this and no bread so it is $x..." from each attendee and especially to avoid others feeling they have subsidised the eating and drinking of others to the detriment of their wallets ?

Pardon my ignorance.

Stormbird you may already know and can enlighten me and everyone else please.

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