Winter is a time that excites me and you should be excited by it too.
The winter months give you a legitimate excuse to eat roasted meats, enjoy endless creations using the seasons delicious root vegetables and get close to an open fire. I love the smell that appears just on dusk during winter. The wood fires are beginning to smoke as the flames take hold of the new batch of firewood ready for the night ahead and the cool crisp air fills with smells of dinner’s being prepared. All of these things fill me with an anticipation for what the night holds.
A place that perfectly captures Melbourne’s winter are the Winter Night Markets at the Queen Victoria Market. Before you see the lights and the thousands of people you can hear the excitement coming from the historic sheds. As you get closer, the smell of fire and food fills the air and you begin to join a crowd of eager locals and travellers who are all there for the night looking to get their fill of food and drinks from not only a mix of the markets own traders but some of Melbourne’s hottest chefs and restaurants.
As you walk through the main gate under the neon sign you are met with fire-pits surrounded by families who are enjoying hot chocolate and freshly made pasta that has been dressed in a wheel of cheese by Italian and cheese experts “That’s Amore Cheese“. You step into the shed and the size of the pop-up market takes you by surprise with thousands of people all exploring what’s on offer and enjoying themselves in what seems like a warm Melbourne night from all the open fire and cooking. The place is cosy and inviting.
My first snack was some fresh off the boat school prawns by George the Fishmonger who has taken his produce from the seafood hall of the market into the night air, showcasing the incredible produce available on a daily basis from the Queen Vic Market and it really sets the scene for the quality food on offer.
I wondered around here for hours snacking on delights from around the world and I was amazed by the offering. Frank Camorra mans a grill where he chars corn for his Spanish stall. Scott Pickett has rotisseries full of chicken ready to be carved as the order comes in. The famous Cypriot Kitchen has a line snaking into the distance. There are vegetarian dishes from the exotic corners of the globe that warm the soul and let’s not forget the extensive options of drinks from a crisp cider to a soothing hot chocolate or a satisfying mulled wine.
After eating and drinking my way through the Winter Night Market I left completely satisfied and warmed from the inside out. Every taste bud and craving utterly satisfied and it is safe to say that I will be a regular at this event all through winter.