Discover wine, food and culture at this alluring city break destination
While you were busy making easy jokes about A-town, it was quietly getting awesome. The City of Churches has been quietly doing interesting stuff for a while, but now it’s reached a point where it’s impossible to ignore. Cool bars, great restaurants, happening cafés: those Lonely Planet recommendations weren’t some weird joke.
The world-renowned, now annual Adelaide Festival returns to the city of churches at the end of February 2015. Highlights include Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton; the Beckett Triptych; Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet; Olwen Fouéré performing James Joyce; and a radical reworking of the Who’s rock opera Tommy.
World music celebration Womadelaide kicks off at Botanic Park in March. Among the big names are Rufus Wainwright, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Charlie Musselwhite, Sinead O’Connor, First Aid Kit and Neneh Cherry.
At the Adelaide Central Market expect a gourmand experience and be sure to pack an esky as you’ll be bringing home a bag full of cheese, cured meats, olives and chickens. Held on the first and third Sundays of the month from Oct-Apr, the Gilles Street Market is focused on fashion and accessories and showcases upcoming South Australian designers.
Eating and drinking
Day-long wine tours are available from the city and must-visits include Alpha Box and Dice in McLaren Vale, Shaw and Smith in the Adelaide Hills, Tscharke in the Barossa Valley and Jim Barry in the Clare Valley.
Over the past two years, Adelaide has become a hive of cocktail bars and farm-to-table restaurants and is now nothing like the sleepy city it once was.
Several of the city’s top drinksmiths work the mahogany at Four Doors Plus One – including Patrick Allan and Owen Colin – and as such expect top shelf Martinis, Juleps and more.
Clever Little Tailor has also been a standout in the rejuvenated bar-centric Peel Street, alongside basement wine and cocktail den Maybe Mae and Mexican themed Chiahuahua, where the Margaritas rule the roost. It’s also Mexican to the max at Tijuana Showgirls, a former strip club turned nightspot.
Vietnamese is rarely served in such an eclectic way as at Gin Long Canteen. Order the sugarcane prawn, rami slider and pomegranate chicken and wash it down with a Saigon Smash.
Affordable accommodation has never looked so good as the Ibis Adelaide, where compact rooms maximise the space available with large beds, desks at the window, flatscreen TVs and spacious showers.
At the Crowne Plaza Adelaide, find generous-sized guestrooms in Hindmarsh Square along with mod-Oz cuisine at Redsalt Restaurant off the lobby.