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Naomi Simson
Giovanni at Terra Rosa

When I was a child my parents would go to ‘progressive dinners’  – usually as a fundraiser for the kindergarten or primary school.  I remember my parents having a ball – wandering the local neighborhood with friends – eating a different course at a different friends house.

I was excited when the 1, 2 ,3 progressive dinner experience was published on the RedBalloon site – but I wondered if it would work – to the same degree.

Finally last Friday night in Melbourne I got to experience it first hand. And it was definitely a night of laughs – whilst I did it with a friend – this would be a great experience to do with a bunch of people. What was also funny is that because RedBalloon has this experience exclusively you know that when you see other couples at the next venue that they must be RedBalloon customers too… which we ended up having a good giggle about and meeting new people.

Terra Rossa started our evening – and we loved the food and sparkling Rose – but even better was our host Giovanni – with a very Italian accent – I was instantly

smitten.  He was quite concerned when we chose to walk to the next location – we could have taken a tram or a cab – but we thought it was ‘romantic’ to walk up Collins street (and walk off a little of the antipasto).

Mr Mason is better entered from Little Collins street – so you don’t have to go through the empty lobby of an office building. We were met with a big smile from our hostess, she had been expecting us. I had the seafood bouillabaisse followed by a divine cheese board.

Campari House – photo a little fuzzy by that time of the night

Campari House was a surprise – again we were welcomed and made to feel very special – as we climbed the stairs to the top floor we were shown to our booth – for cocktails…. okay so I could not actually see the menu (it has nothing to do with the fact that I am too vain to wear glasses)….Our waiter thought we were a giggle and took great delight in describing the cocktails – and trying to match the right one to our tastes…

I am so delighted that the institution of a ‘progressive dinner’ is set for a resurgence…. and that RedBalloon started the trend.

Reader Interactions


  1. Hi Naomi, et al
    This sounds like fun and brings back happy memories for us prior to our move interstate. Our former neighbourhood in Bayside Melbourne started a Progressive Dinner Christmas in July tradition several years ago and it still continues today (much to our disappointment when we can’t make it each year). I’d love to give this a try when we are next in our Home Town. Your photos show you had a brilliant time and I look forward to hearing more stories soon. Happy Days, Di

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