The ultimate summer pop-up retreat at Albert Park Lake

Lakeside at Carousel is serving up premium picnics on the lawn, cocktails with friends and live music like never before.

From the team behind South Melbourne’s iconic Half Acre and caterer’s food&desire, Lakeside at Carousel is a new outdoor pop-up taking over the iconic Carousel building at Albert Park Lake and the Pelican Lawn directly adjacent spanning 2000 square metres.

In conjunction with Parks Victoria, Lakeside at Carousel will be the place to be this summer where Melburnians can grab a COVID-19 safe picnic spot on the grass with the option to hire furniture to make it even more comfortable and enjoy delicious and freshly prepared food and drinks at their fingertips.

Throughout the length of the pop-up there will be live entertainment and more, making it the perfect spot for after-work drinks, mid-week family dinners, weekend celebrations or to simply to kick off your shoes and unwind in one place, all summer long.

“Lakeside at Carousel has been created for Melburnians to have their much-loved Melbourne back, and to enjoy this iconic location throughout summer, taking in the views of the Melbourne city skyline and Albert Park Lake while catching up with friends and loved ones in a COVID-safe environment,” said Half Acre Owner and Founder Adam Wright-Smith.

Dotted across the Pelican Lawn (the grassed area adjacent to Carousel) will be striped umbrellas standing tall to host groups of up to ten guests at any time. Available for walk-ups, guests bring their own rug or dress to impress by ‘pimping their park’ with add-on furniture hire from Place Settings available on-site.

“We wanted to create a new space at Albert Lake Park that was unlike anything Melburnians have ever experienced from pimped-up picnics and a pop-up bottle shop with wine and cocktails to live entertainment and more,” says Adam Wright-Smith.

Available to order from the windows overlooking the lawns at Carousel, the menu features fresh seasonal produce with a little something for everyone.

There are meals and classic favourites from meze platters with falafel, BBQ shawarma chicken, hummus, labneh and salad bowls, cheese and charcuterie boards to Southern crispy chicken burgers, fish and chips, Chicago hot dogs and more.

Satisfying the sweet tooths, a selection of desserts is available, including summer pavlova ice cream with homemade meringue pavlova, berries and passionfruit curd and the chocolate ice cream cookie monster for the adults only, which is finished with a shot of espresso martini. Also, on the dessert menu are hot jam doughnuts and chocolate doughnuts.

Breakfast will also be available daily with a selection of acai bowls, fruit salad, and bacon and egg rolls to take away.

Those looking for a more unique experience and front row seats to the lakeside activities and views over the lake, the deck at Carousel will also host a first-ever dining experience with à la carte dining available for lunch and dinner for up to 50 guests outdoors from Saturday, 7 November.

“Carousel is renowned for hosting the best events in Melbourne and because of restrictions we haven’t been able to have anything here for so long and we’re excited to utilise this space again. It’s the first time in 16 years that we’re opening up the deck at Carousel for guests to enjoy a new dining experience,” says food&desire director Asaf Smoli.

Lakeside at Carousel is open daily from Saturday, 31 October for takeaway coffee, breakfast, lunch and dinner from 9am to sunset (weather permitting). The deck at Carousel is open from Saturday, 7 November for lunch and dinner. The summer pop-up will also be open for key events on the calendar including Melbourne Cup, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day and will also host screenings of the Australian Open.

Lakeside at Carousel is located at 22 Aughtie Drive in Albert Park. Parking is available on-site and trams 96 and 112 are located nearby.

For more information and updates, bookings and to see what’s on, please visit


Images: Lucas Worcester

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