Restaurants and bars are constantly trying to come up with something different, and Melbourne has something that tops them all. You might not think that a tram car is anything special, but think again. In Melbourne you can dine on one, watching the city past by as you dodge the scheduled trams and sip your Australian wine. An amazing experience for both locals and tourists and one not to be missed.
You could say I’m a bit of an addict… but I don’t care! Back in 2006 Mum, Dad and I spent a wonderful evening on the Colonial Tram Car and the seed was sown. This was long before I knew Dean, so when we came back together, I suggested we do it with his parents. This reminded me about how good it was! So with Mum and Dad coming over I gave them the choice. Try something new or re-live old haunts. On this occasion they choose the latter and so we set off!
We boarded tram number 4 and were immediately looked after by the team. The Restaurant trams are from about 1938, but the first of the fleet was only restored for restaurant use in the early 1980s. They boast not only the smallest loo in Melbourne, but also a five course meal (for the late sitting) and an extensive list of drinks that is all part of the price.
Now the Cole girls love a glass of Champagne, and not only did the waiter make sure our glasses were fully topped up when we got on, but he continued to serve the bubbles throughout! The trams have to fit in with the schedule of the Melbourne public transportation system, which means you get an interesting ride along the way with a few stops and switchbacks in between. Those people choosing a forward facing seat are quickly surprised when they find themselves going backwards, but it’s never long until they switch back.
After the initial dips, the starters emerged. Then it was time for the steak. Bearing in mind the size of the galley (kitchen) it seemed impossible that the on board chef could prepare a steak with such precision, but sure enough out came a perfectly rare steak that was delicious. Yum yum yum. The trio of desserts were equally as good and we were grateful for the ten minute break to walk around in time to make a bit more room for cheese and biscuits. I had by this point moved onto the Jim Beam although the Baileys was not far behind. You are beginning to get the picture!
We had paid upfront and so all drinks were included. For a five course meal and bubbles, wine, spirits and liqueurs nothing beats both the value and experience of the tram car. We past Albert Park (all ready for the Formula One Grand Prix) and travelled down to St Kilda before swinging by Port Melbourne and travelling the streets of the CBD. The ride really did take us everywhere.
Every time I have done it I have been impressed that both locals and tourists try it out. I overheard one lady saying how good New Year’s Eve on board is and so that is next on my list. They say you shouldn’t repeat an experience as it is never as good. In this instance it keeps getting better and better. Watch out Tram car – next time I’m back I’ll be heading your way again! It’s simply amazing!