5 Reasons to Get Lost...


COMPILED BY RICHARD CORNISH

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1. Plate Up Ballarat

This is Ballarat’s very own food and wine festival. No ring ins. No celebrity chefs off the tele. Just a month long celebration of the core strengths of Ballarat’s burgeoning food and wine scene. There are special events such Art on a Plate where you can wander the Ballarat Art Gallery then sit down to a multi course feast by renowned chef Peter Ford. There are special masterclasses such as Pimp Your Oven where you’ll learn classic home baking skills from one of Victoria’s best old-fashioned bak- ers Sarah Kittlety. There are special dinners at the soon to close Catfish Thai (it will re-open as Mister Jones in the spring), while The Forge Pizzeria is holding a pizza workshop for kids and The Craig is holding a special high tea called Diamonds on Ice. The big event is the Ballarat Pie Competition. 20 restaurants, pubs and cafes vying for Ballarat’s best pie – and you can come to town and try them all.

May 1-31, www.plateupballarat.com.au


2. You Say Potato

We have some of the best soil in the nation around these parts. Deep, chocolatey-brown volcanic soils that has kept generations of potato farmers in fertile earth for generations. The good folk at The Great Trentham Spudfest are throwing a party in honour of the humble spud on Saturday May 5 from 10am-4pm in the centre of Trentham. It’s a family day with craft stalls, kids’ activities, information sessions on how good soil grows good food, cooking demonstrations, local produce and the expectation that several tonnes of fresh spuds will be sold to the some 6000 visitors expected to attend the event in this very beautiful and historic town perched some 700m above sea level in the forest.

trenthamspudfest.org.au
 

3. Pickin’ and Smokin’

The tradition of the cigar box guitar goes back to the American Civil War. An empty cigar box that may have held 50 or more cigars would have an opening carved on its front face. A broomstick was added and two or more strings run down from the end of the broomstick to the bottom of the cigar box, now acting as a resonator. You can learn more at the Cigar Box Festival being held at the Old Hepburn Hotel on Saturday 12 May. There is a cigar box guitar workshop with Steve Plater at 12pm ($10) before the musos hit the stage at 2pm. Hosted by M.C. Shayne Soall artists include Stringy and Molly, Anna Scionti, Steve Plater & Ian Amor and Rhiannon Simpson. There is a jam night on Friday 11 at the Toon Room at Bunkers Hill in Ballarat.

If you’re keen to enter the open mike call Sue on 0408 549 287. The event costs $20, kids are free and kicks off at 2pm at The Old Hepburn Hotel, 236 Main St, Hepburn Springs.
 

4. Floral Language

Danielle White is one of our favourite rose and peony farmers. Vanessa Carnevale is a writer of romance novels. Her new novel, The Memories That Make Us, is set on a flower farm in Daylesford. These two enigmatic and eloquent women come together on Mother’s Day at The Green Folly, 146 Duke St Castlemaine for an in conversation morning tea. Danielle will speak of the real life saga of working with the seasons to grow exceptional flowers (and grapes for her excellent sparkling wine). Vanessa will share her stories of being an author, offer tips to budding writers and discuss some of the characters in her book set in this district.

$55 per person, for tickets book at vanessacarnevale.com/morningtea/tickets
 

5. Wine Anybody?

One of our region’s most respected winemakers Michael Dhilon of Bindi wines describes this great little wine festival as a place where you can see the “land, not hand in wine”. Everything In Its Right Place is a festival showcasing the terroir of wines made in and around the region. While there is some focus on trendy natural wines this one-day festival in early June has a much broader focus. Put on by the clever crew at Wine And The Country.

Daylesford Town Hall,
Sun June 10, 11am-4pm, $35, for tickets head to wineandthecountry.com.au