Events, openings, restaurants and escapes worth making time for in the coming months.
ALEXANDER MCQUEEN: MIND, MYTHOS, MUSE AT THE NGV, MELBOURNE
Organised by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in partnership with the NGV, this is the first major Australian exhibition to explore McQueen’s extraordinary oeuvre, showcasing more than 120 garments and accessories alongside more than 80 interrelated artworks.
McQueen (1969–2010) remains one of the most extraordinary and significant fashion designers in recent memory, lauded for the conceptual and technical virtuosity of his collections, which synthesised encyclopaedic and autobiographical visual references spanning time, geography and media. Runs 10 December-16 April.
SYDNEY MODERN AT ART GALLERY OF NEW SOUTH WALES, SYDNEY
AGNSW is set to unveil its new standalone building and public art garden designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects SANAA in December.
The project marks the transformation of the flagship public institution into a two-building art museum, marking one of the city’s most significant cultural developments since the opening of the Sydney Opera House nearly half a century ago.
The new precinct will provide double the space for hosting site-specific works by leading Australian and international artists.
DO HO SUH AT THE MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, SYDNEY
In this Sydney-exclusive, the MCA presents the South Korean artist’s first southern hemisphere solo exhibition as part of the 2022/23 Sydney International Art Series.
Guest curated by the Bundanon Trust’s Rachel Kent, the exhibition spans three decades of the artist’s work, taking in his emblematic large-scale sculptural and installation works, as well as drawings, printmaking and video.
Highlights include a never-before-seen full-scale reconstruction of Suh’s childhood home and the Tate-owned fabric architecture piece Staircase III. Runs 4 November-28 February.
FOOD & DRINK
KILN AT ACE HOTEL, SYDNEY
Perched 18 levels above Wentworth Ave in Surry Hills—and offering coveted city views through floor-to-ceiling windows—fine diner Kiln is the crown jewel at Sydney’s new Ace Hotel.
The kitchen is led by head chef Mitch Orr, best known for his genre-defying work at seminal, now-closed Rushcutters Bay restaurant Acme.
Expect wholesome woodfired cooking with world-class produce, all drawing on native ingredients and flavours from Italy, Japan and south-east Asia, as well as a stellar wine list selected by P&V founder Mike Bennie. 47/53 Wentworth Ave, Sydney.
NEXT DOOR, SYDNEY
The latest venue to grace the corner of Bay Street and Guilfoyle Avenue in Double Bay, Next Door is the new casual-chic offering from Neil Perry, featuring a rolling 12-hour lunch-to-dinner service, a walk-in only policy and those famous Perry burgers with David Blackmore wagyu salt beef, mustard and American-style cheese.
It’s right next door to Margaret, Perry’s year-old $5 million eatery named Best New Restaurant in Gourmet Traveller’s 2023 Restaurant Awards. 30-36 Bay St, Double Bay.
Acclaimed Melbourne chef and restaurateur Shane Delia has launched yet another venue, converting a building next to his flagship restaurant Maha into a 60-seat cocktail bar.
Named after Delia’s daughter, the low-lit, art-deco-inspired bar boasts opulent- interiors and an extensive cocktail list developed by award-winning Italian bartender Orlando Marzo. Overseen by head chef Daniel Giraldo (Maha, Maha East, MahaBar), the menu includes a range of raw seafood dishes and cured meats, Middle Eastern-influenced snacks, desserts and a thoughtful cheese selection as well as some secret off-menu options (just ask staff).
Bookings can be made for groups of six or more, walk-ins are welcome, and the lounge area can be booked exclusively as a private dining room for parties of up to 28.
If you’re down for a good time, Yūgen promises to take you there. Underground. Hidden within the luxury Capitol Grand development, below sibling Yūgen Tea Bar, the new South Yarra restaurant and bar reveals itself as you descend via glass elevator or illuminated stairs.
The venue is split into two subterranean levels. Bottom is a cavernous bar, sitting under a cathedral-like ceiling and suspended sculpture by porcelain artist Jennifer Conroy Smith.
Here, too, is an 85-seat restaurant serving modern Asian cuisine. On the mezzanine is a six-seat omakase counter in the skilled hands of chefs Alex Yu and Samuel Chee, nook-ish dining space and exclusive golden orb for eight, seemingly hovering in mid-air. 605 Chapel St, South Yarra.
HOTELS & RETREATS
CHALETS AT BLACKHEATH, BLUE MOUNTAINS
This newly refurbished retreat comprises four, very private, freestanding chalets set among 17 acres of bushland on the edge of the Unesco World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park.
A stone’s throw from the town of Blackheath, the chalets offer king-size beds, modern light-filled interiors and well-stocked wine fridges. The owners worked closely with local ecologists and landscapers to rehabilitate the property after it was badly impacted by the 2019 bushfires.
ALBA THERMAL SPRINGS & SPA, MORNINGTON PENINSULA
Located in Fingal, an hour’s drive from Melbourne, this just-opened $90-million-dollar hot springs and spa retreat boasts nearly two dozen treatment studios and more than 30 bathing pools, ranging from geothermal pools to cold plunge pools and herbal-infused botanical pools. It also has a 120-seat restaurant, Thyme, with aculinary program by chef Karen Martini (of Hero at ACMI renown).
The spa is committed to reusing its thermal water, harnessing solar energy and regenerating native bushland by propagating local plant species—and its interest in sustainability only enhances the luxurious feel.
SEE LV AT FIRST FLEET PARK, SYDNEY
Traversing through the Maison’s 160-year history, this digitally enhanced exhibition explores every realm of Louis Vuitton craftsmanship via a reverse-chronological collection of ready-to-wear pieces, statement handbags and wardrobe trunks bearing that famous monogram.
Arriving on our shores from Tokyo, the touring show is as Instagram mable as it gets while also containing plenty for the fashion purists, such as a 19th-century archival gown and behind-the-scenes intel on the brand’s latest collaborations. Runs 4 November—11 December.
THE TEMPESTAT ROSLYN PACKER THEATRE, SYDNEY
Rake’s Richard Roxburgh returns to the Shakespeare canon for the first time in almost three decades to play enigmatic sorcerer Prospero in Kip Williams’ adaptation of the play widely considered to be The Bard’s latest and greatest.
The magically infused tale of isolation, mortality, power struggle and restoration could have been written for the post-Covid moment, its unique blend of comedy and tragedy sure to inspire in the hands of the acclaimed director and a stellar ensemble. Plays 21 November—17 December.