Melbourne may never have a bar to truly rival Sydney's Ivy – the giant drinking complex replete with pool, DJs and pretty people on a mission to win at Instagram – but this rooftop cocktail bar at the St Kilda Sea Baths comes pretty close.
This is a bar for all those who like to take their drink with a good view off starboard and a boat shoe underfoot. An open deck is lined with AstroTurf and ringed with benches topped with navy-and-white striped cushions and some incredibly manicured patrons. Tans, talons, and crisp Polo shirts abound.
That's not to say you have to dress up. St Kilda's backpackers mingle with the glamour set, all united by the desire to be sat equidistant to sand, the Sea Baths (downstairs) and a bar.
At sunset in summer the deck is packed with bronzed punters knocking back the bigger brand international beers like Corona and Asahi and fruity, beach-friendly Tahitian Coladas – that's a Piña Colada with tequila replacing the rum, and banana and coconut puree adding body. They serve jugs of Pimms and Dark and Stormys too (ginger beer, rum and lime), but unless you've got a decent sized crew we find they tend to get a little bit wishy washy in the sun.
Bar snacks are internationally adventurous. You're looking at the likes of assemble-it-yourself plates of tortillas for building with black beans and pumpkin into little tacos, and shawarma with slow-cooked lamb and bitter, tangy tahini yoghurt. Most will cost you upwards of $15, but a $30 half kilo of whole prawns for ripping apart while sucking back a few Peronis is a good value good time.