Peter and I were glad we'd put on our walking shoes for this year's Canberra Home and Leisure Show, held recently at Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC). 'So much to see' was the catch phrase advertising this year's event and the five hours we spent at the Show on Saturday was proof in the pudding. Speaking of which, among the exhibitors were folk from Pudding Lane and The Pudding Lady, offering delicious samples of their products. There was honey and dukkah and custard sauce, as well as cookware and gadgets galore. One of my favourite was the Fruit Salad Tree Company stand, which was selling potted trees grafted to produce six different types of fruit.
Fun-loving wine enthusiasts are invited to shake off the winter blues by immersing themselves in the Wine, Roses and All That Jazz Festival hosted by the famed cool-climate wineries of the Canberra District.
On the weekend of 2-3 November, more than 20 cellar doors, all within a convenient 35 minute drive from the Canberra CBD, will be participating in the festival designed to celebrate life’s best blues and fine wine. The weekend program will feature wine tastings to demonstrate the region’s diverse ‘liquid’ geography and wine styles, guided vineyard tours, feasting temptations and live jazz music in Australia’s capital.
Visitors will have the opportunity to speak with the district’s highly lauded winemakers and gain an understanding, and a taste, of what makes this region so unique and why its wines are among some of the most highly regarded in the country. Experience each winery’s unique take on the festival with 2013 highlights including Shaw Vineyard Estate’s paella and a BBQ on their terrace, Barton Estate hosting jazz guitarist Andy Campbell, Four Winds Vineyard’s wood-fired pizzas at their brand new cellar door, talks at Yarrh Wines on their slow smoked BBQ and musical delights from the local Campbell High Senior Jazz Band. Festival-goers will be able to traverse the region making use of a ‘Festival Passport’ and, when stamped at three participating wineries, will be eligible to enter the draw to win a number of exciting wine package prizes. Wine lovers can soak up spring-time sunshine to the relaxing tunes of cool jazz bands, which will be playing among the grounds at a number of winery locations. A program of special lunches and dinners throughout the region’s numerous dining hot-spots will also be on offer, featuring of course locally produced classic and contemporary wines matched to fresh, regional produce.
For the full festival program, tickets to the 100 Years, 100 Wines Tasting and more information on how visitors can best plan a weekend of wine and music indulgence, visit the web site.
Mark your diaries for one of my favourite events, the Thai Food and Cultural Festival, which will be held at the Royal Thai Embassy in Canberra on Sunday, 22 September from 11am till 5pm. There are Thai food stalls from local restaurants, cultural performances, a Thai tourism showcase, Royal Project exhibition, a Bangkok exhibition, Thai massage, Thai souvenirs, a wishing tree as well as fun and games for all the family. This is a once-a-year, great day out, so don't miss it!
Canberra Region truffle growers, chefs, restaurants and foodies are set for a big year of truffles with the 2013 Canberra & Capital Region Truffle Festival, which takes place from 21 June 2013 (until the truffles run out!).
'This magical, wintry time of year brings with it the Canberra region’s highly prized quality French Black Truffles and marks the start of truffle season in one of Australia’s key truffle growing areas,' Festival Director and self-confessed truffle groupie, Fred Harden says.
The festival will include activities such as the popular truffle hunts, master classes and cooking demonstrations led by esteemed chefs, truffle inspired menus and tasting sessions at some of the region’s best venues and educational truffle growing experiences.
I had the pleasure of participating in a truffle hunt and truffle lunch and would do it again in a heartbeat!
For more information the Truffle Festival web site for a full list of events and participating venues. There is also plenty of information about Truffles, for those truffle aficionados.
Winter in Canberra is deliciously chilly and now is the perfect time to plan a weekend food and wine getaway and celebrate the best of the season with the Fireside Festival. Now entering its second week Fireside has a wonderful line-up of events, including Vegas in the Vines at Flint in the Vines, Pinot Noir Master Class at Lerida Estate, 'Winter' Exhibition at Beaver Galleries, Tallagandra Hill's 'Tastes of Morocco' menu and truffles at Silo Bakery.
There are degustation dinners where you can meet the master chefs, indulge in special menus and discover the best of our regional produce. Enjoy a glass of fine local red wine while you sit by an open fire. Is there a better way to spend a chilly evening? Sample some of the finest wines in the region, learn about matching food and wine or take a Master Class and learn how to create your own wine. You can also meet the region's internationally acclaimed artists. Tour their studios and galleries, immerse yourself in their passions and discover what drives these inspirational creators. Feeling more adventurous? Take a horse ride with a campfire lunch, learn the art of making chocolate or take part in a truffle hunt. There's a Fireside experience for everyone.
The Fireside Festival runs throughout August and is supported by The Poachers Way. For more information on events or accommodation packages, visit the Fireside Festival web site.
Celebrities Julie Goodwin (MasterChef), Costa Georgiadis (Gardening Australia) and Simon Bryant (The Cook and the Chef) will kick off what looks to be a great line up of events at Floriade 2013. The national award-winning event’s stunning garden beds, horticultural workshops, engaging demonstrations and children’s entertainment will all be inspired by this year’s theme, Beautiful Innovation.
Pairing whisky with food is surely a very fine art and one of the world's top whisky tasters, Martine Nouet, is renowned for her expertise in the field. Ms Nouet, a whisky writer who also has a TV series titled 'Whisky Chef', has paired whisky and food for grand dinners across Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States. She is also a specialist on Cognac, Calvados, Armagnac and Rum, and is a judge at the annual International Wine and Spirit Competition in London.
Martine Nouet is visiting Australia for the first time and will be in Canberra to host a Whisky Dinner at La Scala on Friday, 26 July; followed by Whisky Live, a tasting expo at the Albert Hall on Saturday, 27 July from 1.30-5.00pm and 6.00-9.30pm. Attendees have a rare opportunity to learn the art of mixing great whiskies, as well as discovering some new ones and sample plenty! There will also be food stands featuring whisky and cheese, and whisky and oysters. Don't miss this event. For information and bookings, visit the Whisky Live Canberra web site. Whisky Live will travel to Sydney and Brisbane in August. [Images above kind courtesy of Martine Nouet].
Fancy a little food and wine indulgence over the October long weekend? The Murrumbateman Moving Feast, held from 5-7 October, brings together Cool Climate district wineries with local food producers, including Robyn Rowe Chocolates, for a roving degustation and festival that celebrates the delicious good things the region has to offer.
Celebrating everything good about summer in the Canberra region, the Summerside Festival from 1-28 February is packed with dining events celebrating local and seasonal produce, opportunities to taste the region's fantastic wines as well as a range of events and exhibitions.
Enjoy summer in the Capital with a lazy long lunch, twilight cinema, an afternoon of live music, master class or champagne and wine tasting or make a weekend of it at one of our B&Bs. Delicious! For more information, visit the web site.
Mark your diary for the National Multicultural Festival 2013 which takes place in Canberra from 8-10 February. This year's event during the Centenary of Canberra promises a delicious kaleidoscope of colours, sounds, sights, flavours and fun. For more information, watch this space, or visit the Festival's