A time of national celebration, the buoyant atmosphere surrounding Melbourne Cup isn’t just confined to the thoroughbreds of Flemington Racecourse. A gallop around town to experience other timely delights is in order this November, writes Ryan Auberson-Walsh.

Drink or two for Wine Week

This year it’s time to begin race celebrations early, with Melbourne Wine Week coming to a close on November 1. As part of the fanciful festivities, the Southside’s Water Rat Hotel is hosting a six-course dinner from 7pm, which includes an intimate chat from the wine maker and head chef during the evening. Tickets $110/seats limited.
Details 252 Moray St, South Melbourne; 03 9686 1980

Local late night shopping

Much to the delight of local foodies and fashionistas, South Melbourne Night Market will return this sunny spring, open for business every Thursday night between October 31 and December 19. Food truck favourites, such as Bretzel Biz, return, accompanied by exotic newbie Paco y Lola. Shoppers are able to embrace their cravings, rummaging through sidewalk-lined stalls of vintage clothing and home wares to the beat of a different live music act each week.
Details Under the Verandahs, Coventry and Cecil Streets, South Melbourne

Watch a wicked comedy

From the man who was hysterically funny as Warnie in the cricket legend’s eponymous musical, Eddie Perfect brings forth his first work as a writer with The Beast. A satire that punctures pretentious middle-class city life and has a group of thirty-something pals undertaking a tree change to the country, this Melbourne Festival production will surely remind audiences why The Age has coined him “a brilliant satirist”.
Details Tickets $33 – $58; 3 Oct – 9 Nov; Sumner Theatre; 140 Southbank Blvd, Southbank

Dine with the devil at Naked for Satan

With a suitably Russian heritage of 80 years, this Fitzroy terrace boasts a generous spread of fine food and worldly alcohol split over multiple levels. A local’s hidden gem, the rooftop bar serves up a collection of infused vodkas available straight up or as mixers, which range from the sweetness of Strawberry & Mint to the fiery Chilli & Garlic, finished off with a view of the cityscape to, um, die for.
Details 285 Brunswick St, Fitzroy; nakedforsatan.com.au

Listen and laugh

Known for her hit humour of housewifery and parenting around the world, SA mum-of-five Fiona O’Loughlin returns to Australia’s cultural capital, sure to delight loyal followers. Joined upstairs by two up-and-coming Sydneysiders, Greg Sullivan and Jacques Barrett, her comic majesty will grace the stage for a two-night Comedy Club gig in the CBD’s Athenaeum Theatre.
Details Tickets $25 – $45; 1 & 2 Nov; Upstairs, 188 Collins St, Melbourne; 03 9650 1977