Every Friday from July 22 to August 12, Madame Brussels Lane will transform into the European Night Market. On the opening night we discovered a cheesy dish that had us salivating, a dessert we couldn’t not take a photo of (we’ll explain why) and found ourselves forgetting all about Melbourne winter and slipping comfortably into Europe.
This year’s market draws inspiration from classic night markets all across Europe, with chalkboard signs abound and fairy lights all lit up that reflect onto the glimmering buildings luring passerby to wander in and explore.
And where can you find this wintry experience? It’s none other than in Madame Brussels Lane. Madame Brussels herself was a vibrant and iconic character in Melbourne’s history, so it’s only fitting that her namesake lane should host Melbourne’s annual European Night Market.
As soon as you enter, it’s a treat for the senses. There’s an intoxicating smell of caramelizing sugar flaming on top of creme brûlées, a faint hint of French cheese and familiar spices wafting from warm mulled wine.
It’s a visual delight too! There’s cheesy goodness in the form of raclette fondue (that’s a delish semi-hard cheese btw) poured over potatoes and your choice of meat. The team from Chooh La La serve praline macadamias from a delightful huge roasting pan (and hint they always invite you over for a taste), and don’t forget to check out the beautifully thin crepes from Les Crepes de Marion. They’ve got all your favourite spreads and toppings, from classic vanilla sugar to decadent Nutella banana.
If you decide to make a night of it, we recommend getting in early to skip the long lines (we’re looking at you Eastern Bloc), those polish dumplings are way too popular! Alternatively, layer up and grab a bestie to gossip with as you patiently wait for your Insta-worthy meal.
Even if you’re pressed for time, drop by even for a sneak peek. The vibe of the market is what makes it so good. And while we all wish we could jet off to Europe at a moment’s notice, this works just as well. It’s on for three more Fridays so you still have time. But be warned, the toughest decision of the night will be whether to top your creme brûlée with salted caramel popcorn or raspberries. FYI, we’re #teamsaltedcaramel.
Nadine is a recent graduate of media communications and psychology from the University of Melbourne. In her spare time, you’ll typically catch her reading a good book, hitting up Melbourne’s coolest restaurants and bars, or finding her next adrenaline rush. She also can’t say no to a good scoop of gelato or pizza slice. See what she gets up to on her Instagram.