Epicureans the world over flock to Adelaide and it’s little wonder given the city and its surrounds have been blessed with some of the richest soil, and a Mediterranean climate which can cater to the demands of the pickiest varietals of wine grapes and produce.
Combine this with locals who know how to bring the best out of what they grow and harvest and refine it without a lot of fuss and fanfare, and you have some of the best gastronomical experiences the country has to offer.
Here are 7 ways you can uniquely experience the best of Adelaide’s food and wine offerings:
1. From a wine laboratory
No degrees in viticulture or oenology are needed if you want to try your hand at blending your own wines in Adelaide. The iconic Penfolds winery offers a wine blending experience at their Winemaker’s Laboratory in the Barossa.
Only 20 minutes out of the city on the south side, the esteemed D’Arenberg winery offers a blending bench experience in a less formal atmosphere that you can also pair with an eight course degustation menu.
Those that want an educational experience without the commitment of the large meal, can try the blend your own winemaking session at The Lane in the Adelaide Hills.
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2. From a classroom
Rather than settling for becoming the type of vacationer that merely consumes what’s served to them, more and more people are choosing to get hands-on and learn culinary skills while they holiday.
Get your head around curds and whey and try your hand at cheese making at the Udder Delights cheese cellar in Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills and also at a site closer to the city in Glen Osmond.
The hills are also home to the Sticky Rice Cooking School in Stirling; once a school that focused on South East Asian flavours it has now branched out into other cuisines like Spanish, Middle Eastern, Moroccan and Greek. There’s also Casacarboni Italian Cooking School and Enoteca in Angaston in the Barossa Valley where you can learn to cook dishes from around Italy.
3. From the box seat
Located in the Audi Stadium Club in the eastern stand of the 146 year old Adelaide Oval, you could dine at one of the most unique venues in Adelaide.
At Hill of Grace Restaurant, Chef Dennis Leslie (protégé to the likes of Chef Cheong Liew and Chef Simon Bryant) has created a fine dining experience inspired by South Australian produce. There are options to dine a la carte or indulge heavily with a five or eight course degustation. With a view that overlooks the hallowed turf, you can have your lunch or dinner reminiscing over an old test match or musing over some of the greats that have played on the field.
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"Service so fine it could fit through a strainer. Our every need was catered for before it even ran into my subconscious; my water glass never ran empty, I never touched a door handle, never wondered ‘where’s the waiter?’. This is service, this is fine dining, this is Hill of Grace Restaurant." Thanks for dining with us EAT ADELAIDE – head to @eat_adl for the full review. #HillofGraceRestaurant #SouthAustralia #AdelaideOval
4. On two wheels
With wide streets and flat terrain, Adelaide is a dream come true for cyclists of any ability. Consider doing a tour on two wheels where you can combine your love of peddling with food.
Get an insider’s guide to tasting the city with Square Mile Tours. You can choose between tours that centre around craft beer, coffee, cheese or just a little bit of everything with a roaming degustation. You’ll also get to meet some of the café and bar owners that run some of the hottest joints in town, with cupping sessions, taste tests and samples all included in the price.
If you’re feeling a bit lazy, Eco caddy offer tours of the city where you can hire a “driver” (read: peddler) to show you around the city.
5. From the rooftops
Once you’ve had a few days taking in the aromas and flavours of this marvellous city, you might very well be tempted to shout your adoration for the city from the rooftops.
Try 2KW Bar and Restaurant, positioned right at the intersection of the city’s busiest boulevard. On a balmy summer’s night, you can experience spectacular views of the sun setting behind North Adelaide and Adelaide Oval with drink in hand.
Mingle with the journalists and others from the press set at The Gallery (opposite the corporate headquarters of the city’s newspaper, The Advertiser) or for somewhere that’s pure 5-star luxury, try the Hennessy Rooftop bar at the Mayfair hotel.
6. On foot
Take a leisurely stroll through Adelaide and experience the sights, smells and flavours with Feast On Foot tours.
You can experience the best that Adelaide has to offer with The Adelaide Feast while dumpling aficionados can rejoice with the very specific Dumpling Feast tour. The walks put a lot of focus on taking in some street art, history, culture and quirky facts, which makes it ideal for those that want to learn more about the city while they nosh.
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7. From the hilltops
The charming Adelaide Hills are definitely no hidden secret. Tourists have meandered up the freeway to areas like Hanhdorf, Stirling and Aldgate for decades, but tucked away in areas that used to be of interest to locals only, the doors have quietly opened to some of the most interesting new venues in town.
A spectacular sea of green and rolling vineyards are all you will see from the cellar door at Pike and Joyce in Lenswood, while the Mt Lofty Ranges Vineyard is a smaller, and quainter experience with equally stunning views.
Meanwhile in Uraidla, an old church has been converted into a homely and relaxed pizza joint called Lost in a Forest. The Wood oven pizza and wine lounge is a cosy respite during the colder months, while neighbouring Summertown is home to the Summertown Aristologist, a cellar door fused with a locavore’s kitchen where food comes from both their own kitchen and gardens and from friends who grow and make ingredients consciously.
So what are you waiting for? With so many places to go and great ways to experience the city and surrounds, don’t wait to plan your trip to Adelaide!
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