Regional eats worth travelling for. An extraordinary exhibition (with a river of stars). A luxe new villa with a private plunge pool. And more. Here’s what Broadsheet Melbourne editor Tomas Telegramma is checking out in Melbourne in January.

The Etta experience
“It was such a non-event, me getting into the kitchen,” says young-gun chef Rosheen Kaul of her intro to the industry. “Then once I did, I wanted to be the best.” But when she was offered the head chef role at Etta in late 2020, she wasn’t sure she was up for it. A year on, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Her reincarnation of the Brunswick East bolthole makes it an essential Melbourne dining experience (book a table now), not least because of the knockout pork belly rib and dan dan noodle-esque woodfired cabbage flower. In our new profile, we chat to her about sidelining self-doubt, rejecting toxic kitchen culture and more.

Socially distanced shenanigans
What a strange time. As cases surge, the streets are unusually quiet, with many Melburnians choosing to lay low and avoid the crowds. If that’s you, click here for our round-up of 10 excellent, socially distanced things to do in Melbourne (and beyond) this summer. They’re mainly free, mainly outdoor activities, making them as Covid-safe as possible. Give the Japanese practice of forest bathing a whirl, pick your own strawberries on a farm set among the Mornington Peninsula’s lush, scenic hinterland, or captain your own private picnic boat on the Yarra. Got kids? Here are seven ways to get out and about with them; go on a weekday to keep your distance from the masses.

An extraordinary exhibition
A mesmerising black-and-white river of stars welcomes you to the NGV’s extraordinary new exhibition, Bark Ladies. And above is a mirrored ceiling that inverts sky, sea and land. But that’s just the entrance. Moving through the gallery, you’ll find four distinct spaces filled with stunning paintings, sculptures and immersive displays by daring Yolngu women from Buku-Larrnggay Mulka, an art centre in north-east Arnhem Land. The NGV has long been a champion of the women’s talents, having acquired and preserved their works for more than 30 years. Read more about the art centre (and those who make it so special) here.

Food worth travelling for
Bakery stop-offs are often incidental on road trips. But we’ve mapped out 13 (a baker’s dozen) of Victoria’s best that are worth travelling for in their own rights. There’s a charming time capsule of a bakery, a discreet bakehouse where sponge cake rules and a three-time winner of Australia’s best pie (regional bakeries aren’t afraid to bandy about a few superlatives, but this one is the real deal). Beyond baked goods, three new out-of-town openings to know about: the Mediterranean Mortadeli, quaint French creperie Soeur and Loosie’s, inspired by the “dingy” diners in ’70s LA. Feeling a little fancy? Consult our guide to Victoria’s absolute best regional restaurants.

Private plunge pool, anyone?
Already in need of a 2022 getaway? Private plunge pools, outdoor concrete baths and lush vineyard views are just some of what awaits at Cassis, an ultra-luxe new relaxation destination on the Mornington Peninsula. Just opened in Red Hill, the tucked-away property has five self-contained villas. They’re all decked out with luxurious king-sized beds, sleek ensuites, kitchenettes with all the creature comforts, spacious dining areas and cosy lounges. Named after the picturesque French fishing village, the accommodation is meant to emulate 17th-century farmhouses – with an obviously modern edge.