The great thing about Father's Day in Australia is it falls on the first Sunday of September. This provides a second opportunity for folks like me who have missed the June occasion observed in other countries, to remember and appreciate Dad. Instead of buying the usual wallet, tablet or electric drill, I decided to make best use of his visit with me in Australia to spend some quality time together. Thus began my search for the best places and activities to spoil Dad on Father's Day across Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, Gold Coast, Brisbane and the surrounds of Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland. Here are some of the Father's Day Offers I found to make Dad feel special on Sunday, 2 September in Melbourne and Victoria.
Allegro Restaurant / Image courtesy of Westin Melbourne
Located on the first floor of Westin in Melbourne CBD, Allegro Restaurant features an open kitchen, wood-fired oven and al fresco private terrace in a modern contemporary setting. Ms Leong Kyan May of Westin informed me that Executive Chef Daniel James and Chef de Cuisine Kevin Dick will be cooking up an indulgent three course lunch accompanied by the smooth sounds of live jazz to treat dad this Father's Day.
Allegro Restaurant's Lazy Father's Day Jazz Lunch includes a glass of premium beer or sparkling wine on arrival, three appetizer sized entrees per person, a choice of mains to share and an indulgent buffet dessert. The menu will be finalised after 26 August. The Father's Day Jazz Lunch is priced at AUD79 per person and runs from 12pm to 3pm. Sounds like an enjoyable way to spend a lazy Sunday of dining and music with dad. Bookings are essential.
Beer and dads are usually best buds so a visit to The Local Taphouse in St Kilda sounds like a great way to hang out with dad. The Function and Events Manager, Ms Ashley Faye, informed me that The Local Taphouse opened by self-confessed beer nuts Steve Jeffares and Guy Greenstone is at the forefront of the crusade for better beer. It has been tearing through 200 different beers a year on its 20 taps and has picked up a swag of national awards since opening early in 2008.
The Local Taphouse is offering dad a free tasting paddle worth AUD15 with a table booked for Father's Day. This will allow dad to sample a range of beers while enjoying the traditional pub feel reminiscent of a vintage 1930s European beer tavern. Ashley recommended the best-selling beer burger, Parma and Southern Fried Chicken to accompany more than 70 carefully selected bottled beers. If renowned writer and brewer Willie Simpson calls a venue "the best beer bar in the land" it's time to pay The Local Taphouse a visit. I guess the better the beer, the happier the dad. Tables must be reserved by 30th August to receive the Father's Day offer.
In my search for a place to spice up Father's Day with dad, I chanced upon Matt Preston's recommendation for award winning fine Indian cuisine. A 2010 Australian Achiever of the Year Winner, Curry-leaf by Mr Jeet Sidhu promises authentic Tandoori and delicious curries with friendly and attentive service in an exotic environment that brings you to the begone era of the Grand Moghuls. Ms Mill Sidhu, owner of Curry-leaf is featuring her Royal Feasts for Father's Day. In addition, she informed me that all table reservations made for Father's Day by 26 August will have their dads sipping a free glass of wine.
I was informed that several restaurants in the Docklands area are offering a special promotion for Dad on Father's Day. All the participating restaurants listed below are offering a free beer or soft drink with lunch and dinner for Dad on arrival.
BlueFire Churrascaria Grill & Bar
BlueFire Churrascaria Grill & Bar / Image courtesy of RIVERS
BlueFire Churrascaria Grill & Bar mixes water views with Brazilian inspired Churrascaria featuring flame grilled beef, chicken, lamb, seafood, pork and vegetables carved right at your table.
Grill 66 features prime quality Black Angus cooked to perfection over a flaming grill right before your eyes. Floor to ceiling windows show off the waterfront location so every table has a panoramic view of Dockland's waterways.
66 NewQuay Promenade, Docklands Vic 3008
Bookings phone (03) 9640 0808
Livebait / Image courtesy of RIVERS
Sitting out on the balcony positioned right above the water, Livebait offers a special location, fresh seafood and panoramic water and city views that promise to enhance your dining experience. A popular share dish is Livebait's 2-tier seafood platter of Moreton Bay bugs, Spencer Gulf prawns, Hervey Bay scallops, Blue swimmer crab, Spring Bay mussels, Chef's oyster selection & calamari served with salad and condiments.
Enter Mecca Bah and you will feel like you have stepped into a Moroccan eating-house, albeit with a uniquely Melbourne twist, situated on a pontoon literally positioned over the water at NewQuay in the heart of Docklands. Comfortable couches to sink into, warm earthy colours and fabrics, a tagine-shaped open fire place and crockery imported from Tunisia combine to give the restaurant a rustic, ethnic feel. Diners can enjoy an informal, communal dining experience as they gaze across Victoria Harbour and the city skyline.
55a NewQuay Promenade Docklands Vic 3008
Bookings phone (03) 9642 1300
Orient Express / Image courtesy of RIVERS
Orient Express brings a world first exclusively to Melbourne with the very first Sushi Train which serves both HOT and COLD dishes from the double decker train. Along with the traditional sashimi and sushi, this train serves hot dishes including yum cha, tempura, Teppanyaki, Thai noodles and much more.
The James Squire Hotel offers premium casual dining in a relaxed atmosphere, showcasing a range of hand-crafted beers that are truly enjoyable to drink, each with its own distinctive flavour, amazing aroma and rich colour, and specialising in Modern Australian cuisine with Colonial influence. The pub has a relaxed and inviting feel where people can sit back on a chesterfield lounge and enjoy a leisurely pint with friends, or take a seat at a rustic style table for a meal either inside or in the outdoor area. Floor to ceiling windows make the most of the prime waterfront position and city skyline views.
Any way to help dad improve his golf game would definitely receive his thumbs up. Chosen as one of Australia's Top 50 start-ups at the 2012 StartupSmart Awards, GolfTec provides the welcomed solution through their personal coaching, indoor virtual driving range and international golf course simulator located in Exhibition Street.
Sam Letourneau, Director of GolfTec shared with me a generous offer for all dads of my readers and subscribers. Simply buy dad a Personal Golf Lesson for AUD60 and Sam will include an additional 30 minutes of Simulator Play valued at AUD25 for free. In addition, dad gets a complimentary barista-made coffee.
Sam explained dad would start the Lesson off by exchanging golfing notes with his personal coach including how to improve his swing. He'll then proceed to hit shots on the hi-tech ball flight simulators and have his swing videoed from different angles. Together with his golf coach they'll view his swing on the latest V1 or Motion View swing analysis software, identify faults and then they'll work with him to correct them. At the conclusion of his lesson, watching the change in his swing on video, his coach will show him how to practice the improvements and make it permanent. Dad will then be emailed either a video of his swing, PDF screenshots, or notes to keep him focused when practicing. After the Lesson dad can enjoy coffee in the GolfTec cafe before practicing his new swing in his complimentary 30 minutes simulator session. All this while, dad will be practicing in Australia's only hitting bays that provide Computer Video Replay of every swing he makes with On Screen Analysis, plus Real Time Ball-Flight Tracking using the latest Hi-tech golf simulators. He can also use the driving ranges, short game areas or play one of 120 famous courses from around the world.
Simply call, email or walk into the store and mention "Lionel's Father's Day Special" to purchase this offer from Sam, valid only from now until 4pm on Sunday, 2 September 2012. All relevant vouchers for the Lesson and Simulator Play will be emailed, snail mailed or provided immediately to you if purchases in-store.
Instead of a typical cruise down Yarra, I found another way to enjoy the spectacular views of Melbourne's iconic sights from the river with dad. Kayak Melbourne offers a paddle through the heart of the city in the day or the evening as an incredible way to sight-see and help dad burn some calories from the food and beer at the same time.
Mr Kent Cuthbert, Director of Kayak Melbourne, informed me that he is offering a Father's Day special to all my subscribers, readers and dads. Simply call or email and mention "Lionel's Father's Day Special" and receive a generous 20% off any of Kent's tours or gift certificates for the entire month of September, commencing 1st and ending 30th. All tours commence from Shed 2, North Wharf Rd in Docklands.
Setting off on an adventure with dad is made easier with Bayplay, an adventure tour and accommodation provider based in the Mornington Peninsula, which is also a Victoria Hall of Fame Tourism Award Winner. Ms Amanda Crestani, Director of Bayplay informed me that she'd organised a 2-for-1 Father's Day special to get dads out and about. Simply purchase any of the tour options below and you get to join dad for free.
Why? Dads can be a tough lot to buy gifts for. This Father's Day I've decided to find the best ways to spend quality time with dad in Australia. Here are some ways I've found to spoil dad on Father's Day in Melbourne and Victoria.