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.
The 2012 Cherry Festival in Young promises a delicious feast of activities and entertainment. The event is the 63rd National Cherry Festival and will celebrate the Year of the Farmer. My children's fondest memories include family visits to the cherry orchards in Young, where we would spend the day climbing ladders picking cherries and eating ourselves absolutely silly!
Make sure your itinerary includes cherry picking at one of the orchards in the area; and a visit to the beautiful Chinese Tribute Gardens. The Festival runs from 30 November to 2 December and the program includes: Friday, 30 November 2012
× Live music and Big Air School Display: 6:15pm – 9:30pm
× Crowning of the 2012 Cherry Queen and Charity Queen: 9.00pm
× YLAD Living Soils Fireworks Display: 9:30pmSaturday, 1 December 2012
× Young & Region Farmers Market: 8am – 12noon
× Market Stalls: 8am – 5pm
× Auto Pro Cherry Festival Car Show: 9am – 2pm
× Milo the Clown, Circus for Dummies Show: 11:30am – 12:15pm
× Wilders Bakery Cherry Pie Eating Competition: 2pm – 3:30pm
× Cherry Festival Street Parade: 4pm – 5pm
× Hilltops Wine Expo: 5pm – 8pm
× Celtic Tattoo Spectacular: 6pmSunday, 2 December 2012
× Donges Big Breakfast: 7am – 10am
× Children’s Pet Show: 9am
× Live music: Iron & Clay: 10am – 11:30am
× Cherry Pip Spitting Competition: 11:30am – 12:30pm
For more information, visit the Young Cherry Festival web site
One of the best things about Summer... fresh cherries!
Lunchtimes are looking deliciously good again, with the enticement of warm, sunny days and Canberra's annual Floriade festival held in Commonwealth Park in Canberra, just a short walk away from my office.
Style and Design is the theme for this year's Floriade, which marks the 25th anniversary of the event. 'With a packed entertainment program, and of course more than one million beautiful blooms, Floriade 2012 is shaping up to be a spectacular event,' says Floriade Marketing and Communications Manager, Adelina La Vita. This year’s event has attracted a raft of celebrities and high profile experts such as Jamie Durie, Don Burke, Better Homes and Gardens’
Jason Hodges and Tara Dennis, The Block 2011
winners, Polly and Waz, Ready, Steady Cook’s
Janelle Bloom, MasterChef 2010
finalist Courtney Roulston, and fashion designers Wayne Cooper and Jayson Brunsdon.
One of my favourite attractions is the award winning LINDEMAN’S Open Garden Cellar Door, which offers visitors a culinary and gardening oasis. Join the cooking demonstrations with LINDEMAN’S ambassadors, celebrity chef Dominique Rizzo and gardening guru Meredith Kirton, and visit the 18-metre cellar door where you can taste the wide range of LINDEMAN’S Early Harvest and Sweet Seasons wines.
There’s also plenty of entertainment for children, including circus performances, storytelling, enthralling exhibitions and hand-on activities that will keep them entertained for hours.
Floriade takes place in Canberra from 15 September to 14 October and Nightfest from 26 to 30 September. For information about Nightfest
, and a full program of events see the respective web sites.
Canberra's Springtime celebration of flowers
Floriade vista 2011
Australia Fair vintage grand concert street organ is a regular feature at Floriade
Pretty in pink - a sea of colour
Lanterns on sale at one of the market stalls
Tulips in their glory
Daffodils en masse
Visit the award winning Lindemann's Cellar Door at Floriade and watch cooking demonstrations with Dominique Rizzo & Meredith Kirton
Taste of Sydney 8-11 March
If Australia's definitive pop up restaurant festival in Centennial Park doesn't give you a good enough reason to visit Sydney, then nothing will!
Visitors will enjoy a dream degustation over four days, from 8-11 March. Events include picnics, cooking classes and delicious tasting masterclasses. For ticket information and a full program of events, jump into the web site here
Enrich Brisbane 30 March - 1 April
Subtitled 'Life. Food. Wine: Expect the Best', the Enrich festival in Brisbane runs from Friday, 30 March to Sunday, 1 April. Events include masterclasses, cooking demonstrations, food theatre, wine tastings and masterclasses, as well as non-food and wine events. The celebrity lineup features Lyndey Milan, Ian Parmenter and Paul Mercurio, among others. Interesting wine sessions include 'Two Great Loves - Wine and Lindt Chocolate' and 'Bling on the Bottle - what do the medals mean'. Food sessions include 'Beyond Bolognaise', Sustainable Seafood and 'Asian Food in Australia'. For a program of events and ticketing, visit the Enrich
Two Great Loves - Wine and Lindt Chocolate... one of the wine sessions
Postcards from the National Multicultural Festival
The National Multicultural Festival
in Canberra has grown over the last several years, with more than 240,000 people attending the event in 2011. The Festival is a lively and colourful, multicultural indulgence in food, music, dance and culture that brings together people in the community from a range of ethnic backgrounds.
Peter and I wanted to avoid the huge crowds, so we arrived at around 11.00am, palates and purses ready to let the feasting begin! Here is a snapshot of our day out. We are already looking forward to next year!
Sándor Dániel from the the Gyongyosbokreta Hungarian Dance Group with our lángos!
Lángos - Hungarian fried bread topped with sour cream, garlic and cheese
Australian Highlands Food & Wine Festival 3-4 March
There are more than 60 vineyards in the Southern Highlands region
Award winning food and wine features as part of the attraction at the Australian Highlands Food and Wine Festival, to be held from 3-4 March in Bowral, New South Wales. This two day event is an extension of the existing Australian Highlands Wine Show, an industry event which runs two days prior to the Festival. The Food and Wine Festival will have market stalls showcasing the wines participating in the wine show, as well as delicious local produce and cooking demonstrations from the head chefs of renowned Southern Highlands restaurants (Biota, Eschalot, Onesta Cucina, and Stones, among them). This will be complimented by a large undercover food court, arts and craft displays, live entertainment and plenty of activities for children. Sounds like an event packed weekend!For tickets to the Food and Wine Festival, visit the online bookings here or for more information, click here. Images courtesy of Jill Dyson, Southern Highlands Food and Wine. Take a tour with Jill and discover the delights of the area. Call
0419 617 021.
The cool climate and rich soil in the Southern Highlands produce excellent fresh food and superb local wines
Eat Drink Perth 1-31 March
Events galore across the city of Perth during the month of March, when Eat Drink Perth takes place. Eat Drink Perth features plenty of free family events, food tours, food and wine tastings, gourmet dinners and special lunches and dinners. There's also a Twilight Hawker's Market, YumCha in the Park, a Butcher’s Picnic, the Claisebrook Carnivale and City Food Fair.
For more information and a full calendar of events, visit the Eat Drink Perth web site
Summerside Festival 1 - 29 February
Experience a balmy version of the Fireside Festival during the whole month of February and discover the best of the delicious food and wine in the Canberra region.
The Summerside Festival will showcase the best of summer in the region with summer wines, champagnes and cuisine, alfresco dining, outdoor experiences and a great line up of entertainment and special events at 20 venues throughout the area. Presented by the Poacher's Way
Image courtesy Visit Canberra
Old Bus Depot Markets 'International Day' 18 March
Visit Canberra’s award-winning Old Bus Depot Markets and join in the celebrations on International Day on Sunday, 18 March.
“International Day is when we invite people to travel the world within the markets’ surrounds, exploring the many cultures which call the nation’s capital home,” Old Bus Depot Markets co-owner, Morna Whiting, advised.
“Visitors can taste delicious multicultural foods and be thoroughly entertained by local music and dance groups performing traditional dances. It’s also a great opportunity to buy meaningful gifts handcrafted in other countries".
Browsing the market stalls on International Day, you’ll find a mix of items, including Russian baboushka art, Ottoman jewellery, Italian hand painted ceramic plates, French provincial tablecloths, Indian block print textiles, Vietnamese lanterns, Burmese textiles, lapis jewellery from Afghanistan, Turkish porcelain and fabric, and Japanese kimonos and lanterns.
Visitors can watch many traditional dance performances throughout the day including Israeli folk dancing, a Mexican dance troupe, Indian Folk dancing, and performances by Argentine Tango and Prosperous Mountain Lion Dance. And of course, you’ll leave the markets with satisfied tummies after tasting some amazing international cuisine from Spain, Laos, Ethiopia, France and Mexico.
The Old Bus Depot Markets are open every Sunday from 10am to 4pm. They are located at the Old Bus Depot, Kingston Foreshore, in Canberra. Entry is free. For more information visit www.obdm.com.au