HOME AND AWAY
THE winning base for the hot-ticket end of Melbourne’s football season is the brightly appointed 184-room Radisson on Flagstaff Gardens, opposite Flagstaff Station in the former Victoria Police headquarters building at 380 William Street. Book its Footy Fever packages by September 20 for stays of two nights or more and get 20 per cent off the best available rate; the hotel is about 1km from Etihad Stadium and the Docklands precinct. The package can be taken any time to December 30, in case Christmas shopping is more your bag. I spent an enjoyable night here last weekend and was impressed by the savvy service and the myriad extras such as a pillow menu, complimentary high-speed WiFi and free pressing for corporate guests (two shirts a night, Monday to Thursday). HQ’s bar and diner (pictured) offers a buffet lunch for $14.95 a person and the location is great — the hotel is on the free City Circle tram line, Victoria Market is nearby and it’s a hop to some of best little eat streets, including Hardware Lane, home to the irresistibly named Campari House. More: (03) 9322 8000; radisson.com/melbourneau.