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Beat Eats: Your guide to eating your way around a quintessential Melbourne day

Melbourne’s a funny place. You can really find anything if you look hard enough. In just one day, you could discover a new Italian restaurant, drink wine while you paint the extraordinary, and expand your sustainability awareness. If that’s not a quintessential Melbourne day, then I’m not sure what is. So, here’s your guide to the ultimate Melbourne day. 

Ciao Mamma down Union Street, Brunswick, is a delightful bar – a pasta bar to be exact – and a welcome addition to the crowd of others restaurants that buzz throughout the area. The authentically simple eatery allows you to choose your own flavour; everything from the pasta you choose, to the sauce with it, your meal prepared just the way you like it. You’re of course welcome to dine in their gorgeous eatery with the family, but don’t be ashamed if you wish to simply take the pasta home, and indulge in peace. My top pick would be tagliatelle, mushroom maria sauce, and extra cheese on the side. You must, I repeat must, order Tina-mi-su to finish.
 
Is it just me, or does just one glass of wine ignite a certain creative spark in you? Well, now there’s just the place to let your brain – and paintbrush – run free on your next drop. Cork & Chroma, at the far end of Smith Street, is a place to relax, unleash your inner creativity and socialise in a rather different fashion with your friends. Just BYO your preferred wine (or other drink of choice) and a guest. You’ll walk out with something gorgeous for a change other than just a hangover. I would visit Cork & Chroma on Valentine’s Day, if you’re looking for something meaningful – their special “paint your mate” session presents just that.
 
Sustainability is increasingly creeping to the forefront of our awareness, which is commendable no doubt. However, there’s much we don’t know, and need to know more. That’s where The Sustainable Living Festival comes in, as for the month of February they promise a variety of sustainable solutions we can all bring home and incorporate into our everyday lives. The festival presents a rich program sprawling right throughout art, film, performance and lifestyle. The program runs from Thursday February 1 until Wednesday February 28 at Federation Square and Birrarung Marr.