As the horizon tucks the sun away for the night, thousands of fairy lights begin to glow amidst the graceful trees along Southbank Promenade.
There is a decidedly Christmassy vibe along the promenade by night. It is created not only by the fairy lights, but also the street performers crooning their blues in the moonlight and the buzz of hundreds of chattering restaurant goers drifting out into the street.
My husband and I spent the most part of the evening strolling through the avenue of glowing trees and dipping in and out of the shops along the way at our leisure. I must confess to indulging at the Lindt Chocolate Cafe. We sampled three Lindt macaroons on our way up the promenade. At Lindt, they call their macaroons, "Delice" meaning delightful or heavenly. With their smooth creamy centres and sweet chewy meringue, these Delice were so delicious, that on our way back down the promenade, we purchased another three. The flavours sampled included; Vanilla, Hazelnut, Champagne, Blackcurrant, 70% Dark Chocolate and Coffee. Each had a uniquely distinct and delicious flavour and texture.
I also had the opportunity to witness the Crown Casino fire display for the first time. Eight giant granite towers loom over unsuspecting walkers, for all appearances seeming to be completely ordinary pillars lining the walkway. Suddenly, a hissing of air from an unidentified location alerts you something is about to happen. Over the next few minutes, you will see a display of fireballs shooting out of these pillars. I happened to be sitting beneath one during the display and could feel the heat as they erupted into the night sky.
I recommend trying some of the Street Food from the menu at World Restaurant & Bar. The Five Spice Szechuan Chilli Chicken Ribs is a small but delicious entrée. The Char Grilled Corncob with chipotle mayonnaise, goat's cheese and lime is also a flavoursome side you must try. Both are uniquely flavoured and gluten free.
With so many things to do along the promenade, it's likely you'll need to dedicate more than one night to exploring. The best part of all is you can choose your own adventure. You may decide on a lavish evening at a top end diner ending with a dreamy ride on a horse drawn carriage by the Yarra. Alternatively you can simply enjoy the lights of the city dancing on the river and romance the night away without spending a single penny.