It might be one of Melbourne’s most popular suburbs to visit on race days, but there are always things to do in Flemington (and Travancore).
It’s pretty simple to find things to do in Flemington. So much so, that we’ll begin our adventures in a neighbouring – almost forgotten – suburb, Travancore. Just five kilometres from the city centre, a wander around the area will uncover many streets named after Indian cities like Mangalore, Cashmere and Delhi. The suburb is centred around what used to be Flemington House, which was owned by (at the time) Victoria’s richest man, Hugh Glass through the second half of the 19th century. In 1907 Glass’ family eventually sold the mansion to a horse trainer, Henry Madden, whose love of India inspired the name change to Travancore Mansion.
Once you’ve familiarised yourself with the neighbourhood, kick start your day at Phat Milk, where the cool kids hang. Run your eyes over the menu and you’ll see there’s more than a hint of Middle Eastern influence (Bastarma and Haloumi Omelette, divine Turkish Waffles and a big breakfast-esque item simply called Middle Eastern), then dive on in for some deliciousness. Totally kid-friendly with Code Black coffee and a sunny courtyard, you’ll be onto a real winner.
Of course, any conversation about Flemington attractions is going to mention Flemington Racecourse, home of the Melbourne Cup (and plenty of other primo race days throughout the year). It hosts different festivals, a quarterly craft market and more. What’s more, you can get intimately acquainted with one of the most famous racetracks in the world on a walking tour of the course. Go behind the scenes, hear stories from racing’s storied past, and leave not only inspired but also a little bit educated!
Flemington’s location only a few kilometres from Melbourne’s city centre means it’s got a lively night scene. Chances are – if you like a laksa – you’ll have already slurped your way through half the menu at Laksa King, and if you haven’t, what are you waiting for?! Regularly awarded Melbourne’s most popular restaurant, its combination of cheap food (laksas start at $10.80 for a steaming hot bowl of Malaysian goodness) and lively atmosphere are a sure-fire winner. Oh, it’s also fantastic quality, meaning you’ll always leave satisfied.
If you’re looking for a Thursday or Friday dinner date in Melbourne, then come on over Flemington way for a humble pizza or pasta at Pepper Cafe. When paired with a solid wine selection and cocktail menu, you have all the ingredients for a fun night out.
And when dinner’s done and dusted – or if you’re in the mood for a high-quality pub meal – then the time’s come to decide between Flemington’s two much-loved pubs, the 120-year-young Doutta Galla Hotel and The Quiet Man Irish pub. Of course, for many locals splitting these two is like choosing a favourite child; luckily the fact they only stand a few blocks away means you can have both. Sip on a pint of Guinness then get the party started on a Friday or Saturday night at ‘The Doot’. It’s up to you.