Merging old-world charm and new-age sophistication, The Melbourne hotel bar has long been a wine lover's destination of choice. With a focus on old heritage decor, a huge range of beers and the aforementioned, impressive wine list, this bar does very well for itself. While the main bar gets quite full towards the end of the week and on weekends, its high ceilings and wide design mean even large groups can find a place to perch.
If you're after a meal as well, the Melbourne sports both a restaurant and caf?, serving all manner of main meals and snacks. If you're mainly in for a liquid lunch, then you can choose from a large range of tap beers and bottle varieties. While it may not be served beer-hall style, the beer is always cold and reasonably priced.
Wines are a speciality here, with Australian drops nestled among a host of other Euro and new world varieties. While the price may climb a little as you hit the higher end of the fermented spectrum, there's likely a suitable bottle for your occasion. There's also an extensive list of fortified wines and an impressive range of whiskey starting with 'Glen'. If it's a fine, single malt you're craving, chances are the Melbourne will have it.
Peter Germano, March 2009