Freelance writer exploring Melbourne and beyond. If you enjoy the following article click on the Like button, Facebook it to your friends or subscribe. I'll update you with yummy and often free events. Like my photos? I instagram @redbagwilltravel
Slip, slurp and laugh as well
Love the care going into my ever so gorgeous cocktail. Thank you.
People were out in groups, jostling each other and having fun. They were out to enjoy the many fantastic bars and eateries that line Duke's Walk alongside the river. The views of the Melbourne skyline are breathtaking. There was no sense of chills and approaching winter ills, but a bright chirpiness about being out in the invigorating night air.
And I too changed my tune as soon as I reached the Common Man. As what a sight. The beer gardens of summer on the river's edge have been transformed into a winter palace--fit even for the Queen of Narnia.
It is not just that there is now an enclosed skating rink (enclosed from the cold winds but still providing city views) and a toboggan run. It is the whole creation that looks magical. While the ice is white, the overhanging mirror balls mean that silver and twinkling blue lights dance on the canvas ceiling. Pretty snow flakes are scattered everywhere -- etched onto glass and hanging from the ceiling. Fairy lights twinkle mischievously.
Adults and children will find this a paradise. Children in particular because this rink is not a daunting size. There are also strategically placed blue kangaroos. They can grab onto a tail, gain their balance and then push the kangaroo along for stability.
While the toboggan slide is small, I am sure that to tots it would appear an Everest challenge. I noticed that there was plenty of padding at one end to ensure a safe descent and the cute little helmets are mandatory.
With helpers on site monitoring the children, the experience seemed well organised and safe.
The small toboggan run didn't stop lots of adults from also having some fun. Of course, adults being heavier come down with a real wallop. So again thank goodness for all that cushioning.
And adults will have their day because a night will be set aside each Thursday for date and this venue will be great on other going out nights as well. It wouldn't be fair to keep all this fun just for the kids.
I was offered a Lavazza coffee and it seemed tempting after just coming in from the cold but I'm rather partial to the kind of ice that comes in glasses. Preferably cocktail glasses.
And just outside the rink, the Common Man has set up an Absolut Vodka caravan with a barman tenderly assembling his creations.
There were four on offer, but I chose a vanilla, mole Absolut threaded with vanilla, lime juice, vanilla syrup, ginger beer and soda. And later an Absolut original with lemon juice and elderflower and soda. Luckily I was taking the tram home.
Both were superbly crafted. With the last one decked out with strawberries and fresh mint. Someone else's drink I noticed was even topped with tufts of fairy floss. And while I had reneged on the coffee if one were really cold you could have it laced with all kinds of goodies including Kahlua and spiced rum.
Inside is a chill out zone. Parents will love it for as well as great coffee and hot chocolate there is also wine and beer and gourmet pies.
I had a kransky sausage and it was served on a baguette rather than spongy bread. The attendant cheese sauce was creamy and remarkable.
Teach Me Tuesdays means that you get a complimentary curling session between 8-9. There are 24 spots available for this and it needs to be booked online.
Date Night Thursdays is a special price. You can get a $60 couple's package that includes two cocktails and as I mentioned these are sensational.
Rhythm and Blues night is on Fridays with hits from the 80s blasted through the speakers.
Funday Sundays means free face painting for children and a treat from the candy bar (subject to availability).
You can book a table and dine at The Common Man restaurant. Kick off your skates and enjoy an exclusive dining offer or add on a $25 dinner voucher with a value of $30 when purchasing your skate session tickets.
There will also be a range of dinner and drink specials available at surrounding restaurants.
One of the joys about visiting this sector of town is the ample parking even though you are so close to the city. Parking is behind the DFO so you can do some discount shopping while you are there. Any purchases, including those at the Common Man give you 50% off parking rates.
Love the fact that the complex also has free wifi.
For those looking for public transport options click here.