The first date night for 2011 found us at the Suzuki Night Market at the Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne… and it was AWESOME!
You don’t want to be shy of crowds in any market – let alone the Melbourne’s Night Market – it was packed! Although I have seen it busier.
The night was warm, not blistering hot rather just perfect to spend amongst a crowd. To manage a $30 date you’ve got to use your head a little. First of all, entry to the market is free so that’s a great start. They also have free entertainment so that won’t cost you anything. Here are my tips for keeping this one at the $30 mark and still having a great night together.
PARKING: Don’t pay $6 for parking – everyone lines their car up in a cue and waits to search the car park for a spot, when only 1 or 2 blocks away you’ll find free street parking.
DRINK: Sangria! YUM!!! One stall served nothing else but sangria, it was delish and poured into massive cups! The sangria stall was by far the most popular place at the night market, the line up was almost enough to deter us. Fortunately pouring sangria into a glass and collecting the cash is an easy process and we moved through at lightning speed. Ahh, sangria goodness, and $15 for 2 glasses.
FOOD: We did the rounds, checked out what food stalls had to offer – with only $15 left the pressure was on to make the most of it. We decided to both choose a style of food each – my choice was from the Balkans… cevapci with sauerkraut and this amazing bell pepper relish. $9. Delish! I grew up with this type of food so I knew the serving would be big, it would be tasty and best of all, the line up for the stall wasn’t a killer!
Emma chose Middle Eastern, a Mezze Platter with dolmades, chorizo, hommus, flat bread and the freshest falafels I’ve ever had! Not like those dense little hard-to-chew ones you usually get – these were moist and fluffy and melted in your mouth. $10.
STALLS: Absolutely full of great handmade and indie suppliers. Some quirky (the Melways-inspired and vintage hand-pressed badges) some typically ‘market’ (hemp pants, anyone?) and some just plain weird (I’m looking at you, coconut-watch lady).
Some were just plain fantastic – the marionette puppets were original and fun. It was a bit crowded to be looking at everything, so instead we did a few aisles and then relaxed for a bit.
ATMOSPHERE: Getting a seat to plonk your butt and enjoy your meal is so difficult. It’s packed and people tend to loiter at the tables even after they’ve finished eating. I don’t blame them though, it’s a great atmosphere to chill out and people-watch.
There’s live music playing with various acts, performers and entertainers. We found space on the asphalt amongst loads of other people – we ate, drank and watched. It was so sublime – relaxing in warm weather. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to start date night for 2011 – hanging out with Em’s.
What was the damage?
Total for the end of the date was $34… yep, $4 over.
But it was worth it! (God, you guys must think we’re cheapskates. We do this for you, okay? FOR YOU.)
Melburnians, get yourselves down to the Suzuki Night Markets this Wednesday at Queen Victoria Markets! 5.30-10pm every Wednesday until early March.
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