Escape: To Shoalhaven

An AGFG Foodie Road Trip. 

From where you'd rather be: Mollymook Beach.  

A few members from AGFG took an early morning flight to Sydney, jumped in a sleek looking hire car and went on a road trip down the South East Coast of Australia and what a beautiful piece of the country it is to explore! The final destination was Mollymook in the Shoalhaven region; however, sticking on the main highway, driving as the crow flies was near impossible for the curious crew. 

A quick turn off down the Grand Pacific Drive and the adventurers cruised the curves of this picturesque coastline almost the whole way down to Mollymook. Some sights along the way included Wollongong’s Sports and Entertainment Centre and Win Stadium, the Port Kembla Steelworks with billowing clouds of steam and the Kiama blowhole with its deep rumblings and puffs of white foam.

A guest's view from the pool at Rick Stein at Bannisters Accommodation.  

A complete change of culture from city living is what road tripping will show you. Lush green paddocks and rolling hillsides, livestock of all kinds and townships that know the secrets of a life lived in fresh air, surrounded by space, the beauty of nature and an admiration for cultivated landscape. 

The food trip roadies visited Coolangatta Estate Winery for a tasting of some of their most popular wines, sneaking around the guests of a stunning wedding party to slip into the cellar door and have a quick chat with the friendly staff and of course a few tastings. Be sure to take a wander around the grounds and discover the charm of old buildings, stopping in cool shade under the tall pines and tread carefully over damp grass. 

A sneaky find, just a few steps down off the car park at Rick Stein at Bannisters.  

The AGFG crew arrived in Mollymook to be delighted by a wide stretch of beach, to the crashing of steady waves and pristine sands. Though small itself, Mollymook was a great base for exploring the Shoalhaven region, particularly if you enjoy a round of golf or two! For those who enjoy the sport, there are around 40 courses to choose from between Helensburgh and Eden, including both championship style courses and classic country clubhouses. 

An appetising entree at Rick Stein at Bannisters of grilled scallops in the shell with toasted hazelnut and coriander butter, delicious!   

A weekend of food inspired adventure began at Rick Stein at Bannisters with a menu focused on showcasing the best of the regions’ fresh seafood, paired with wines recommended by the knowledgeable staff, both kind and professional. Scallops in the shell and prawns with Rick’s chutney for entrees, lobster served in the shell and a seafood mix linguine for mains, paired with Spanish Sauvignon Blanc made for a delectable evening. The AGFG crew dined at night, however curiosity won out again and Bannisters was visited the following day. The view out North over the rugged coast is probably best enjoyed from the very edge of the pool that seems to drop away to nothing, or just grab a table in the poolside bar and relax with a drink.   

Rick Stein at Bannisters is not just about seafood, their desserts are pretty spectacular as well! Vanilla cheesecake encased in chocolate with berry compote and blood orange sorbet + dust. 

After a long trip from an early flight, the team were excited to finally get to bed (midnight by the time the excitement settled) and Mollymook Aquarius Apartments was certainly the place to be. Rustic, old world charm is what you will find in these apartments, with a fully-equipped kitchen for families and multiple heaters for those cold nights, it was a more than comfortable stay. 

The crew visited a number of other places along their three-day adventure, check out all the foodie fun HERE and be sure to delve into the world of Shoalhaven tourism over at the Visitor Centre (now in a handy, downloadable PDF's here). 

Words by Annabel Rainsford, photography by AGFG and experiences by the AGFG Foodies. AGFG was a guest of Shoalhaven Tourism.

Escape: To Foodie Shoalhaven

An AGFG Foodie Road Trip. 

Continuing the AGFG Foodie road trip, from a delicious evening at Rick Stein at Bannisters, the team headed to Tallwood for breakfast - the best start to a very busy day. You can read about the start of our trip here. 

Breakfast Tallwood: banana bread, almonds, honey and poached figs. Local mushrooms, goat curd and pea smash with sprouts on sourdough. 

Tallwood, the local café of choice for breakfast is co-owned and run by two close friends who ensure the menu is kept interesting and on-trend. The AGFG foodies’ mouths were watering just walking up to the café’s front as the tantalising smell of freshly baked banana bread greeted them meters down the path. It had to be ordered, shared with breakfasts of smashed peas with feta cheese and a medley of mushrooms on thick slices of sourdough and a warm quinoa porridge, bedazzled with edible flowers.  

Dessert at Tallwood: Chocolate textures, mandarin, dulce ice cream and frangelico jelly. 

Alongside a team of savvy staff, the exciting interior design is also something to note, with a long open window giving an insight through to the kitchen, a suspended floating ceiling and of course the signature pieces, two pieces of tall wood standing confidently in a room of warm hues. The AGFG foodies were also lucky enough to visit Tallwood for dinner that same evening, treated by the chef with the last of the truffle season’s harvests in a gnocchi dish as well as a table of interesting share plates. Think taro chips with chipotle aioli, crispy prawn taro dumplings with a spicy African chutney, sesame crusted raw tuna with chilli and coriander, tender de-boned quail with crumbled feta and roasted cherry tomatoes and mixed roasted vegetables with labneh.  

Grilled octopus, lemon and garlic aioli as an entrée at St Isidore. 

Another stop for the flavour seekers was St Isidores, set among the vibrant farming lands of Milton with enough acreage to grow vegetables in large raised beds, to have a flourishing orchards of lime, Meyer lemon and orange trees hanging heavy with ripe fruits and still space for the quiet scratching and pecking of chickens with their own plot of land, complete with a timber hut for roosting. 

Looking out to the farmlands really set the scene for what was on offer for lunch at St Isidores. Beets and carrots, leafy greens and pitted orange slices were all freshly picked, while main meats were melt-in-the-mouth for tenderness and desserts were to die for. Imagine a tart with crust that began to dissolve the second it hit your tongue, slightly sweet, immediately giving way to an entrancingly bitter chocolate filling. Now add a cool layer of house made peanut butter ice-cream, smooth and oozing with a caramel sauce broken by the crunch of peanuts, or if crème brulee is your go-to, picture the first satisfying crack of the surface revealing an irresistibly creamy, light yellow layer below. It was decided then and there that the AGFG foodies are dessert lovers. Growing ingredients to consume straight away in farm to fork style is certainly one of St Isidore’s most attractive characteristics, just be sure to leave room for dessert. 

Dessert at St Isidore: coconut and pandan pudding, banana, lime, palm sugar and mandarin sorbet.  

Milk Haus was another breakfast stop for the foodies on the move, as suggested to them over dinner at Tallwood by the host, happy to support other local businesses and who was in fact hosting the owners of Milk Haus for dinner that very night. Community spirit is prevalent in Shoalhaven’s regional towns and good food that gives back to the region is a shared subject of mutual respect and passion for locals. Milk Haus café is hosted by Woodstock’s 19th Century cheese making factory, now converted to the whole foods café and veggie patch. The space inside is lofty, charming guests with timber décor, big thick rugs to keep you warm in winter and vases filled with colourful flowers. 

Breakfast at Milk Haus: creamed eggs, pesto and fresh leaves on sourdough. French toast with ginger and rosemary roasted ruby grapefruit, cashew cream and honey. 

The crew was chilly this early morning and chose to sit as close to the fire as they could, stealing its warmth and ordering coffees straight up to warm their insides. If you like a big breakfast, Milk Haus is the place to go. The AGFG foodies were near on shocked with liberal portions of delicious breakfast items; a spoonful of cold, creamed eggs with handfuls of wild looking leaves picked fresh from the garden on thick sourdough with a lathering of house made pesto and French toast with ginger and rosemary roasted ruby grapefruit and more than a drizzling of cashew cream. The generosity of Milk Haus’ dishes is evident of the nature of those who own and operate the café.  

Granite Falls, just days after heavy rain and flooding - no signs up here!

Trying to work up an appetite between breakfast and lunch, the crew went on a trip out to Granite Falls in Morton National Park. With luck on their side, the AGFG explorers didn’t run into any trouble with thick mud or deep ruts made from the recent rain when driving for 6kms of dirt along Twelve Mile Road to reach a short walking track through dense scrub. The path through native plants was strewn with delicate blooming wildflowers welcoming the spring season and after just a few minutes, thick flora gave way to open space, an awesome view over mountains, deep valleys and the sound of rushing water could be heard.  

The AGFG explorers stepped out into the sunshine and followed the last few steps down to a platform suspended out above the valley. Though the water could have been flowing more heavily, it was a trip worthwhile to see layers of vibrantly coloured rock, smoothed from the rush of water over hundreds of years now shimmering in the morning sunlight. Overcoming nerves to hang out over the edge of the viewing platform rewarded the crew with some great photo opportunities, and after a few more minutes absorbing the breathtaking view, the crew headed back to the car, making a quick dash back to Cupitt's Winery in time for lunch. 

Lunch at Cupitt's Estate Restaurant: roast Venison, red cabbage and pan fried knödel paired with a 2014 Cupitt Nebbiolo.  

Cupitt's Estate Winery, perched up on a hillside and looking out over farmlands made for a relaxing weekend lunch. Should you visit, take time to sip wine slowly, perhaps jump up and dance to a band rocking outside or ask for a tour around the brewery. Soon to cover all aspects of a seasonal menu and beverage list, Cupitts’ space hosts a winery, brewery, cheese making facilities, farmlands and garden all either in direct sight or within close surroundings. The AGFG foodies were lucky enough to have a beer tasting of three beers brewed on site, wines housed in an underground cellar for temperature stability and aging and even a preview tasting of five cheeses now crafted on site, soon to be available for public tastings and purchase. For lunch, the foodies enjoyed fresh harvests from the garden and vegetable beds and meats the host informed them were farmed from the herd of livestock seen wandering around in the paddocks in view from restaurant tables. Slow food is Cupitt’s motto and their impressive, all encompassing grounds are close to being self-sustainable in anything and everything you could want to enjoy a leisurely Sunday of wining, dining and dancing.

Silos Estate, dating back to 1870 and now restored, was included in the itinerary, with wine tastings, a stroll around the vineyards and the delightful addition of feeding the alpacas. Though the AGFG foodies had to hit the road with a drive back to Sydney airport, offering no leeway to stop and enjoy Silos, the Estate offers boutique accommodation for those looking to unwind and a fantastic location for holding weddings and special events, enjoying a meal in the restaurant and wine tastings in the cellar door. The AGFG crew is sure to visit when next in the region.  

All in all, Shoalhaven is a picturesque destination for those looking to escape busy city rushing or looking for a seaside location to holiday. Whether for a quick weekend away, a golfing tour down a length of the coast, slowing down for caravanning, camping and four wheel driving, truly experiencing wild scrub lands or even looking for a permanent lifestyle change, a visit to the Shoalhaven region can include as little as you need for a stress-free break or as much as you want for an exciting adventure. Taste the region’s fresh produce, straight off the farms you see when driving through, harvested from orchards on restaurant acreage and picked fresh from thriving gardens and be sure to keep any eye out for initiatives evolving from the Southern Coast Food Alliance, the keepers of all things flourishing in Shoalhaven. 

Words by Annabel Rainsford, photography by AGFG and experiences by the AGFG Foodies. AGFG was a guest of Shoalhaven Tourism.

Broaden your horizons: Visa Wellington on a Plate

Wellington on a Plate runs from August 14 – 30. 

AGFG had the pleasure of exploring Wellington in 2014 and discover everything Wellington on a Plate had to offer. The 17-day festival is back this year, bigger and better than ever before with over 300 eateries, producers and suppliers taking part in a programme with more than 125 events.

This tasty selection is served to by multi-award winning eatery and bar, Hummingbird, est 2000.

Imagine Taste of Melbourne, Taste of Sydney and Good Food Month all packed into 17-days, it’s the definition of FOODIE HEAVEN. With two main events running alongside pop-up events, DINE Wellington and Burger Wellington capture the most attention with more than 100 of Wellington region’s eateries participating in DINE Wellington and over 80 eateries joining in the annual battle of the burger for Burger Wellington. However, this year, Wellington on a Plate has gone and added one more to the mix, the Capital Cocktail, a clash of the cocktails where 30 restaurants and bars will go head to head and offer you a delicious selection of cocktail creations paired with tapas treats.

For more information on DINE Wellington we suggest you see here.

To see what burgers you’ll be devouring check out Burger Wellington here.

For those of you who will never pass up a good cocktail, check out Capital Cocktail here.

We’re sure you’re thinking, Wellington on a Plate can’t possibly involve anything else, it’s just all too much! Well think again, Wellington on a Plate’s programme is 72 pages long, encompassing 130 events on top of  DINE Wellington, Burger Wellington and Capital Cocktail – if it was ever a time to visit Wellington it would be during August.

See all the events Wellington on a Plate has to offer here and get in fast as tickets to these events sell out fast and we mean super fast (as in the day they are released)! 

Oh and if you’re still not convinced, check out our adventures from last year here

Port Douglas Carnivale

May 22 – 31, 2015 the best place to be in Autumn.

Stepping off the plane in Cairns from the sunny Gold Coast really shouldn’t be such a shock, but that blatant wall of warm humid air certainly clears your senses and sets you up for a great adventure where the word cold is rarely uttered.

Sea Temple Resort and Spa - Hotel Pullman Port Douglas.

If you’ve always wanted to take the plunge and jet up north, autumn is definitely the time to fulfil your dreams. Leave your parker at the back of your wardrobe and bring out that beach towel, hat and bikini for a holiday of sun, surf and food.

Other than the fantastic beaches, heart-warming sun and the Great Barrier Reef which is synonymous with Port Douglas, there are a number of other tropical activities that can’t be missed. Discover the Daintree Forest through Daintree Discovery Tours and take a cooling dip in Cassowary Falls, a chance of a lifetime as it is only accessible by Discovery Tours.

Cassowary Falls - A Hidden Paradise.

If you’ve always wanted to see a crocodile up close and personal the solar whisper by Wildlife Cruises will find you a few crocodiles along the Daintree River as well as number of other beautiful birds and neon green tree snakes.

Along with adventure comes culinary adventure, discover the taste of the Tropical North with Port Douglas Carnivale. Celebrating 21 years as North Queensland’s largest cultural and food festival, Carnivale showcases the best of Tropical North Queensland’s food, wine and musicians.

A 10 day celebration offering all those that attend an experience not to be forgotten with celebrity chef events, food demonstrations, samples of local produce as well as family friendly events devoted to art, sports and fun.

Delicious, Delicious Food.

To kick off Carnivale, the Longest Lunch on Friday May 22 will be celebrating its 14th year with an emphasis on fresh, locally inspired produce. Highlights of the menu include mouth watering coffee cured Atlantic salmon as well as sous vide herb rolled Lamb back strap and for those that like fresh seafood the crispy skin Barramundi with a cucumber and prawn roulade is sure to be a delicious crowd pleaser.  We also highly suggest the gold topped macha green tea tiramisu for all the sweet tooths out there. 

Palates of Port Set-Up on Sugar Wharf. 

Be a part of world class dining experiences at the Masquerade Ball, Palates of Port, held in the historic Port Douglas Sugar Wharf where local restaurants such as Harrisons, Nautilus and Salsa’s will be showcasing their creative talents. Dance the night away under the stars at Rex Smeal Park as it’s transformed into a tropical wonderland known as Club Tropicana that celebrates Port Douglas’ enviable tropical lifestyle.

Along with these signature events there will be a number of family-friendly events running throughout such as Carnivale’s backyard games which features giant jenga, tug o’ war and the mini World Esky Championship (esky racing).

To book your tickets to any of Carnivale’s events see here. 

To plan your next holiday and the amazing discoveries Port Douglas has to offer head over here.

Orange

Embark on a weekend foodie adventure. 

A thriving arts and foodie community, Orange is fast becoming one of Australia's premier destinations for gourmands with a healthy appetite for fine food and wine. Located a 3.5-hour drive west of Sydney, this town of just over 39,000 people is famous for its restaurants and wineries in addition to farms that grow fruits such as apples, pears and peaches. Despite its name, however, oranges are not grown in this region due to its temperate climate.

On the flip side, Orange's year-round cool and dry weather – and fertile soil – makes it perfect for wine production. There are many wineries in the region that produce cool-weather wines such as sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, shiraz and cabernet sauvignon. Don’t know where to start? Head to Ferment the Orange Wine Centre where you can sample a medley of wines from all over central New South Wales.

For those who enjoy the great outdoors, Mount Canobolas (just 13km southwest of Orange city) is worth exploring. At 1395 metres above sea level, this extinct volcano is the highest peak between the Indian Ocean and Blue Mountains; its magnificent snow gum forests and rugged rock faces makes it a popular trek for day hikers. Not only that, Mount Canobolas boasts breathtaking 360-degree views of Orange city and the surrounding rolling countryside, with the peaks of the Blue Mountains in the distance.

All that hiking and imbibing is sure to get you hungry, so why not take to one of Orange’s many eateries for a well-deserved feed. Emma’s Table offers traditional European-style dining with dishes made for sharing, while those wanting to tuck into classic dishes with modern twists may take to Zest Restaurant and Beer Garden. A selection of gourmet sandwiches, burgers, cakes and slices await at Bissys Café while Highland Heritage Estate, a restaurant, winery and function centre in one, is the ideal spot for leisurely lunches and weddings. If you also happen to be in Orange on the second Saturday of the month, be sure to check out the Orange Regional Farmers Market to sample the region’s fresh local produce.

Looking to stay a night or two? Orange boasts a large range of accommodation options such as the tranquil Lakeview Luxury Cabins, a beautiful self-contained getaway overlooking the waters of Lake Canobolas. 

For those wanting to experience everything Orange has to offer in one concise festival, you’re in luck as Orange F.O.O.D Week is on April 10 -19, check out our festival blog!

Island Hopping in Sweden

Written and travelled by Michelle Tchea a Luxury Travel and Gourmet Food Professional who rose to fame after her highly successful cookbook 'Building a Perfect Meal.' Michelle's latest cookbook is "My Little SoHo Kitchen" and we definitely suggest to take a peak here

With over 30,000 islands to sink your teeth into, the geographical layout of Sweden can be difficult to navigate. “Sweden is just one big body of land with small islands scattered across the coastline,” says Totte Steneby, Head Sommelier at Djuret in Stockholm. “Each region is made of different chefs with different cuisine. We have some of the most influential cooks in the world in Sweden.” Fortunately for travelers, information is not scarce in a country that has a wealth of highly celebrated bloggers. With a rich café culture known affectionately to locals as “Fika”, I am thankful to venture into a country with coffee and cake on its mind.

The great thing about traveling in Sweden is the accessibility. Jumping from one island to another, catching the train or simply hiring a car for a couple of days can help you see more of the country and mingle with locals in true Swedish fashion.

The city of Stockholm sets the bar high, with innovation, design and creativity filling the air thanks to brands like Sandqvist, Absolut Vodka and ACNE. Travellers flock to the popular Scandic capital with high expectations given that new Nordic cuisine is rated as the best in the world. “We are well worth our good reputation, we have many talented chefs, [that are] ambitious and renowned,” says Chef Henrik Norström of Restaurant Lux Dag för Dag in Stockholm. “The draw of Swedish food is to provide good food [and a] world-class experience with rural roots,” he adds. The country’s capital is set on almost a jigsaw of 14 islands as is a gourmand’s destination. 

Stockholm

Oaxen Krog 

Surrounded by fresh water lakes that lead to the archipelago, as well as parklands and forests within short boat rides, island hopping is strongly encouraged to experience the culinary diversity of Sweden. However, if time is not on your side, staying in Stockholm and picking one island to explore can be equally rewarding. To start, a cool hangout with cocktails and regional classics can be in the very hip Scandic Grand Central. Teaterbrasseriet, the restaurant hotel that puts other hotel restaurants to shame with a young team and modern atmosphere – a favourite spot for Friday night drinks after work. If you love the arts – be sure to check out the newly revitalized Vasateatern theatre, attached to the historical hotel.  

If you want to venture further from the Train station, a five minute bus ride to an adjoining island is Restaurant Lux Dag för Dag where Chef Henrik Norström and his team smoke, salt and demand the best of all local produce, “Our guests can take part in the whole dining experience...making the most of seasonal produce and seeing how things are prepared.”

If you are in Djurgaden for an evening stroll, be sure to work up an appetite before stopping at one of the most talked about restaurants in Stockholm: Oaxen Krog. If you have money to burn, go to Oaxen Krog for a Michelin-style atmosphere and meal, otherwise, stay in their bistro "the Slip" for equally delicious food at half the price. Husband and wife duo, Magnus Ek and Agneta Green, are pioneers of Swedish cuisine and should not be missed. If you want some heat to your dinner, book yourself a table at Ekstedt. Almost like dining with the coolest kids in the school cafeteria, it pays to know the ‘right people’ to get you the hottest seat in Stockholm’s hottest restaurant. If you love meat, make sure you visit Djuret. Tucked in the old town of Stockholm, this is a non-touristy restaurant that is perfect for lunch if you are sticking to a budget but still have a hankering for first-class food. On the other side of town, Gastrologik is an intimate restaurant to pop into if shopping in residential Ostermalm. 

Are and Jamtland

If Stockholm is Sweden’s paradise for shoppers, Jämtland/Härjedalen is the country’s playground for thrill seekers and nature enthusiasts. A short 45 minute plane ride will see you at one of Europe’s premier alpine treasures. If trains and buses are more within your budget, don’t be put off by the half day travel times to get there. Stretch your legs with friends on a dog sleighing safari in Duved, rub shoulders  in Are with Olympic snowboarding metalists, or simply throw yourself down an off-piste slope and watch wild animals whoosh by on skis. Hiking trails, sailing and golf dictate the warmer months, but definitely try your hand at timber rafting for something totally different in Vamtland.

Inside scoop for foodies: if you want to stay ahead of the food game, book yourself a table at Faviken. Known as the “world’s most daring restaurant,” Faviken is a little unassuming, to say the least. Housed in an 18th century estate on 24,000 acres of hunting estate is where you will find Chef Magnus Nilsson. The restaurant, like the chef is raw and most definitely real. Focusing on local, sustainable and seasonal ingredients enter Faviken with expectations. The chef has had an amazing year and is currently taking time off until the season opens again in the Summer.

Heading to Are for just dinner would almost be insane, but definitely not unheard of. The closest neighbouring city, Ostersund is where you will find local producers like SAV for wine tastings that date back to the Viking era.

For coffee drinkers, stop at local coffee roaster and say hi to husband and wife duo, Per and Eva, both respected and highly awarded baristas. Chase your caffeine fix with local favourites from Chokladfabrik, where you will find handmade chocolates, pralines and gooey caramel to take home.

Gotland:

Don’t waste your time perfecting the Swedish language if venturing out to Gotland. The small island 60 miles off the southeast coast of Sweden is an idyllic escape for those who like solitary. With Danish roots, Gotland is different to the rest of the country. “It’s difficult to explain but Gotland has an ‘island mentality’,” says Daniel Erikkson, Press Manager of Gotland Tourism and my food guide. Sparse and less populated, the island is a magnet for two crowds: Neon-light night club goers and stressed locals looking for solace.

With open land, grazing herds and windmills dotting the landscape, Sweden’s official food capital, according to the Swedish Government, has the best produce the country has to offer, catering to the world’s best restaurants. “The location of Gotland, being part of the Baltic Sea, influences our taste,” says Margareta Hoas, owner of local restaurant LillaBjers. “Gotland is different [to the rest of Sweden], cold winters and warm summers give us great produce unique to the region.” Being the largest island in the Baltic Sea, the food culture is also completely different. “Gotlantic Vikings have influenced our tastes, from saffron to truffles, people visit Gotland for our food,” adds Margareta.

Luxury hotels are key spots for ‘luxury isolation’ on Gotland. If serenity under the Swedish sun amongst mossy rocks and sapphire sea is enough for the day, food escapism can be a great activity to invest in. From rustic bakeries baking fresh saffron buns and farm houses with farm raised lamb next to handpicked asparagus, the locals take pride in their seasonal products. Be sure to try Gotlandsdricku, a home-brew that defies Swedish law, as well as other local delicacies like truffles and local Kobe beef. For those not interested in getting soaked in champagne, avoid the crowds during the annual weeklong, bubbly-soaked dance party called Stockholmsveckan.

Gothenburg

 

 Musselbaren in Ljungskile 

A hop, skip and a ferry ride from Stockholm is Gothenburg. But unlike all cities, Gothenburg is not just another small sister to Stockholm. Forget the Stockholm snobs and embrace the self described puckish and creative local cafes of Gothenburg. Musicians, artists, designers and budding entrepreneurs give off a youth-ish culture with vitality. The underground party scene takes a backseat during the day with food being the main pull of the city.

Moving north of Gothenburg, is where all the great Swedish crime novels are set. Early in the morning, leaving city-life behind and following signs to Oslo, there is something eerie yet pleasant about the slightly untouched beauty of the West. Known as a seafood lovers paradise, many of Stockholm’s greatest chefs gather, forage and fish for the best seafood found in the area. Salt and Sill is a wonderful place to grab a light lunch – be sure to sample the herring platter. Known for its famous Herring competition, you will leave the area knowing that you had the best.

Serene nature reserves makking up the dramatic archipelago offer a wealth of water adventures. In between adventure sports like kayaking along the West Coast, don’t forget to stop off at local ports for some fun on the waters. The small little village of Ljungskile is exactly as you imagine a Swedish fishing village that’s quiet, relaxing and a perfect place to call home after retirement. There you will find Musselbaren, the first restaurant of local fisherman and entrepreneur, Jannes Bark. Look for the old clocktower if you get lost – everyone knows it’s the spot for dinner and drinks in Ljungskile.

You really can’t visit the West without visiting Smogen and saying hi to a fourth generation fishing family by the name of Olofsson. If you are a shellfish fan, ask Tommy to organize a trip on his boat with himself or his son for one of their famous Lobster Safari’s. You may not catch and feast on a lobster during your first visit, but you will definitely make new friends by the end of your choppy adventure. 

So where will your next adventure take you to? Everything around Sweden is a hop, skip and a jump away. 

News: Balloon Aloft Canberra

7-15 March  

Held on the lawns in front of Old Parliament House a mass of balloons will inflate at sunrise each morning from March 7 through to March 15.

You can become part of the 2015 Canberra Festival Balloon Spectacular by booking a passenger flight – see more details here.

March brings beautiful weather in Canberra, so if you’ve always wanted to float amongst the clouds in a hot air balloon, now is your chance. 

For more information visit: www.canberraballoons.com.au

Top 4 Driving Routes in South Australia

Does the Clipsal 500 get your heart racing? Are you itching for a drive, whether it be cruising at 40km or speeding through the hills at 100km? Well Adelaide is the place for you. We’ve put together the top 4 driving routes around Adelaide that will make for an unforgettable driving holiday.

4.  McLaren Vale 

When driving through the McLaren Vale you will be surrounded by vines as the area is home to 42 wineries and cellar doors. Explore 150 years worth of heritage in one great drive, with wineries offering quality aromatic whites and robust reds. After tasting, enjoy the surrounding hills, pristine beaches and rustic coastal scenery.

Our winery suggestions:

Angas Plains Estate Wines

Woodstock Wine Estate

Anvers Wines

If you’re hungry you can’t go past these exquisite restaurants.

3.  Mt Lofty

A picturesque drive to the summit of Mt Lofty awaits you, stretch your legs and appreciate city views before wandering through the Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens with displays of native and exotic plants. If you’re into trails, there are plenty walking trails as well as the exciting exploration of Cleland Conservation Park. Love waterfalls? Well the scenic Waterfall Gully is within reach and is just as popular at the Cleland Wildlife Park.

2.  Victor Harbor 

The birthplace of South Australia’s tourism is set in the wide sandy arc of Encounter Bay, explore beaches, shopping arcades, horse drawn trams and Urimbirra Wildlife Park. If animal encounters have you a bit tense, you could visit the Wild Rose Cottages or Greenhills Adventure Park instead.

Glacier Rock, discovered in 1859, is just nearby through Inman Valley where you will be met by a roadway lined with majestic gum trees. From here you can double back to Adelaide Road and head to Mount Compass for wine tasting and seasonal roadside berries.

Hungry? We suggest Nino’s of Victor Harbor.  

1. Hahndorf to Birdwood via Woodside and Lobethal  

A visual and culinary feast awaits you on the drive from Hahndorf to Birdwood. Along the way you will be able to sample cheese, wine, beer, chocolate and fruit from abundant orchards. Traditionally made wursts and German small goods are another pleasure to indulge in on the journey and if art is your interest make time to visit The Cedars, it’s on the outskirts of town but is home to famous Australian landscape painter Hans Heysen.

What’s worth a detour? The Lane Vineyard.

Staying the night? Check out Amble at Hahndorf B&B.

Information gathered from www.southaustralia.com along with www.fleureupeninsula.com.au

News: Clipsal 500 Race Begins

February 26 - March 1.  

As you read this the Australian V8 Ute Racing Series practice round 1 is over and you’ll be well on your way to watching the newest addition to Clipsal: the Toyo Tires Super Trucks.

It wouldn’t be supercar racing without the prancing horse as Ferrari celebrates its return to Clipsal 500 this year where it will display its dynamic F1 show featuring international drivers, along with the world’s rarest Supercars: the 288 GTO, F40, F50 and ‘LaFerrari.’(Ferrari Parade Saturday & Sunday morning at 8:30am).

Ferrari has specially designed a Ferrari kidszone, where it will host a special series of Ferrari ‘Drive for Kids’ Cavalcade for charity.

Clipsal 500 runs from Feb 26 to March 1, it’s the perfect day out for the family, race enthusiasts or even the Cold Chisel fans as the remaining members will be welcomed to the Clipsal 500 starters grid on Pit Straight before the commencement of the race. 

From Friday, Channel 10 will be covering Clipsal 500 from 12pm each day, commentary includes Mark Webber, Rick Kelly, Matt White and Mark Larkham. 

For more information head to www.clipsal500.com.au

Adelaide: Cellar Door Wine Festival

NEWS: What's coming up in the Foodie Calendar February 20 -22 2015 

The Adelaide Cellar Door Wine festival is a multi-award winning festival showcasing South Australia’s finest wines and food offerings with over 170 food and wine producers.

Wander through 15 South Australian wine regions, sampling internationally renowned brands alongside niche boutique award winner without the fuss of traveling outside the Adelaide Convention Centre.

Enjoy master classes, interactive tastings, Farmer’s markets and a long table lunch. You can check out the Festival’s what’s on section here. 

For more information and tickets, see their website here.  

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