A few months ago, I got a delightful email from Luscious Lifer Lydia Kritenko at the newly created Vogue Ukraine asking me to appear in their première issue, in a piece about bars and bloggers. This was my first photoshoot so I still need to learn how to model properly! Here’s the end result…
Yes, it’s in Russian (not Ukrainian) so here’s my original text about Lui Bar at Vue de Monde at Rialto in Melbourne:
Melbourne is luscious for many reasons, but one of the things we’re most proud of is our ability to entertain, whether it’s Australian BBQ “beach chic”, or at the top of the town in grand fashion. In my search for the world’s most luscious locations, I’ve learned that sometimes you have to suck it in and take an adventure: I am not haute for heights but I went skywards with a visit to Lui Bar at Shannon Bennett’s famed Vue de Monde restaurant.
It’s the place to be for the who’s who of visitors during our myriad international events, from the L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival to the Australian Open, so you could be admiring the view with Gemma Ward, exchanging lipstick tips with Miranda Kerr in the ladies room, or knocking elbows with Andrej Pejic at the bar.
Arrival in the lobby of Melbourne’s second tallest building, The Rialto on Collins Street in Melbourne’s central business district, lets you know that you’re in for something impressive: you are greeted by a ground-floor front desk attendant and personally escorted to the lift which takes you to the 55th floor.
Whilst the waistcoated staff and décor is appropriate for a luxe establishment – think tufted chaises and vintage tray tables mixed with modern touches such as inflated plastic bags suspended over the bar – it’s the view that bowls you over and shows our beautiful city in all her glory – fabulous during the day, but sure to be even more magical in the evening with the lights all twinkling. And if you squint, you can almost see along the coastline to where I live with Mr Luscious on the stunning Mornington Peninsula, an hour south of the city.
The ambience is “grown up” so this is not a place for testing out your flash-in-the-pan neon mini-dress. You’ll need elegant makeup, your hair in a nice up-do, a polite smile, your Louboutin sandals and a designer handbag. Oh, and most importantly, a fabulous friend with unlimited funds to pay for it all.
Cocktails start from $19 so you’ll want to be cashed up for your visit if that fabulous friend is not forthcoming. I like to start with a classic, so my pick is the “The Lui Martini” (you can choose from 12 types of gin or 7 vodkas) but the cocktail menu has some intriguing names and detailed stories, such as the The Lola Montez Spider Dance Fizz, Leatherwood Old Fashioned, Koala Stinger and Velvet Rotor Macadamia Martini.
Bar snacks range from $12-38 and include chickpea fries in a tarragon emulsion, Moonlight Bay oysters, Simon Friend Oscietra caviar, David Blackmore wagyu beef, and ocean trout rolls, as well as apple and cinnamon doughnuts for those with a sweet tooth.
The cigar list ranges from $7 for Don Lino Habanitos to $95 for Padron Family Reserve No. 46 Natural, and you can take your choice out to the viewing deck, equipped with heaters in colder evenings.
Whilst the décor in the fine dining Vue de Monde restaurant next door offers restraint with just 17 tables, the food and drinks on offer throughout the two spaces is somewhat more substantial. There are 2100 wines and 52 types of tea, as well as the exquisite degustation menu. If you can’t afford to dine there, at least you can enjoy a touch of lusciousness by visiting the bar.
For my visit: I wore a vintage tangerine and coral kaftan, faux coral beads from Italy, a silver bling cocktail ring, and bling sandals, and carried my glossy Rouge Fauviste Louis Vuitton Alma bag.
The Lui Bar, Level 55, Rialto, 525 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000. For opening times, parking and further details, see the website here: www.vuedemonde.com.au/the-lui-bar
Follow Natasha’s luscious life at www.myLusciousLife.com
Here’s what I wore:
- A vintage coral-and-tangerine-print kaftan, a la Elizabeth Taylor in the 1970s
- Coral beads which I bought on our last trip to Italy, inspired by the island of Capri and the Amalfi Coast
- Bling sandals and a big, bold bling ring
Shop my look
Here are some photos we took at Lui Bar and the Vue de Monde restaurant:
My thanks to the fab team at Vogue Ukraine including Lydia Kritenko and her Lifestyle Editor, Evgeniy Alefirenko, as well as the team at Vue de Monde, especially the incredibly patient Restaurant Director, Garrett Donovan, who was so kind about the delays on the day of the photoshoot.
And, of course, I am ever-grateful to Mr Luscious and our friend Katherine for their kindness and support.
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