Speakesy bar, Mills Place Merchants opens in Melbourne CBD….a trip down a cobblestone road

It’s all so very fairy-tale. A cobblestone alley. A secret red door. A dressing room with a giant mirror that leads you into the magic. A bit like the lion, the witch and the wardrobe Mills place merchants (MPM) is a captivating journey that begins before I’ve even entered.

Housed in a historical building dating back to 1840’s, the inside of this speakeasy bar remains in theme and makes me feel like I’ve stepped back into time. A large darkly lit brick wall room is lightened only by flickering candles. I can spread out on the opulent Chesterfield couches, or perch at a table in one of the many nooks and crannies that surround me. MPM is the type of place that I could sit for hours and just be entertained by the vast array of eclectic mis matched medieval artefacts. A bright green bankers lamp, an elegant crystal decanter, a sculpture of a prowling cat. What presents as quirky or random is actually magically harmonious.

Much like the exquisite beverages on offer. Shortly after being seated, I’m handed a book. What appears as a rustic Shakespeare novel is actually the drinks menu. Whilst the experienced bar tenders can create any mixture based to my liking, naturally they excel at the classics. For those of us, like myself who like it extra dirty, their poised balanced martini is a revolutionary concoction- as despite it being filthy in flavour, somehow it’s the prettiest darn drink I’ve ever had. The whimsical experience lures me in to order another round. Staying theatrical, ‘The Opera’ is an excellent choice with a soft citrus but powerful and boozy notes of gin, mandarin and orange bitters.

Ensuring my stomach experiences the same satiety are an array of choices fitting in theme. Plump robust devilled eggs burst with hollandaise and juicy pearls of vibrant salmon roe. Toothpicks of hors d’oeuvres and charcuterie are alongside a crispy champagne fried chicken- each mouthful oozes texture and crunch. And for the sweet toothed there’s even a decadently dark chocolate ganache.

It’s not often adults get a journey into a fairytale. Now MPM had arrived, all we need to do is find that red door.

Mills Place Merchants,Ground Floor, 2 Mill Place, Melbourne 3000
Hours: Tues & Wed 5pm – midnight, Thu & Fri 4pm -1am,   Sat 5pm – 1am

About the author

Coming from an Israeli background, and being fortunate to live and travel abroad in the Middle East and Europe for several years, Darielle has been a passionate foodie with since birth. She has an inherent love and knowledge of the hospitality industry, visited over 200 cellar doors worldwide and was the chief Melbourne judge at an international Resturant guide. With a corporate profession working as a lawyer in banking for 11 years, Darielle developed a love of writing. A busy mum of 2 little girls and a woman about town, if you don’t find Darielle out on a run, a gym class or hiking to the top of a mountain somewhere outlandish, she will no doubt be visiting a winery with her partner, sampling food at the newest Resturant, or cooking up a storm in her kitchen.


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