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The Taste of Tasmania
It seems everyone’s talking about Tasmania these days. It comes as no surprise when you consider just how much this southern state punches above its weight in terms of attractions, nature adventures, top-notch wineries and incredible restaurants. One way to get amongst the best of the Apple Isle is by attending the much-lauded (and free!) Taste of Tasmania festival, which is set to take over Hobart this summer. Running from December 28 to January 3, the Taste of Tasmania is a free festival that celebrates all of Tassie’s best bits, from world-class food and locally made malt whisky to local musicians, artists and more. It takes place on Hobart’s fabulous waterfront and features 47 diverse ticketed events, including fine dining events, masterclasses and cooking demonstrations. There is also 110 market stalls, free live entertainment, cooking workshops and more, letting both locals and visitors get amongst the action. The Taste of Tasmania is Australia’s oldest and largest food and wine festival, and in 2018 it’s celebrating its 30th birthday. A highlight of this year’s festival will be the culinary program, which features workshops on cheese, gnocchi and sausage making, bush tucker tours, an abalone masterclass, fermentation classes, a pickle party, a gin supper club, yum cha events for kids and a huge barbie breakfast with all profits raised going to support vulnerable Tasmanians. Everything is proudly 100 per cent Tasmanian, with over 110 stallholders showcasing local
The Smith's New Years Eve Celebrations
This New Years Eve, Prahran's Smith Hotel will be transformed into the Garden of Eden as it sheds the old year and steps into 2019 in style. The night kicks off at 8pm and will run until late. To start, head chef Andrew Brahram and his team will be cooking up a storm for guests, who can sit down and enjoy a three-course meal with a glass of sparkling wine for just $65 per person. The menu will feature canapés of fresh oysters and parfait en croute with a choice of two entrées: an heirloom tomato, ricotta and peach tartine, or a snapper crudo with pickled carrot, licorice and sorrel. Mains include crispy skinned ocean trout marmitako, a grilled wagyu rump or an orzo risotto. There will be dessert, of course, so get ready to dig into cherry and coconut souffle with dark chocolate sauce, or a cheese platter with Cornish Yarg, fruit bread, poached figs and lavosh. Or if you’re not interested in dinner, take advantage of the four-hour drinks package at the newly opened Atrium bar. It’s just $90 per person and includes roving canapés and live entertainment. The selection of canapés includes oysters with Chardonnay vinegar granita; cured Hiramasa kingfish with pickled cucumber and lime purée; goats curd and carrot tarts; vegetable frito; steak tartare; chicken liver parfaits and more. You can book your spot here, and do so quickly because spaces are limited.
QV Melbourne is doing Christmas a little differently this year, doing away with your twee preconceptions and thinking a little outside the (gift) box. Throughout November and December the precinct is embracing the most wonderful time of the year with a festive (and free) party that combines Christmas traditions with bright colours, fun food and cutting-edge technology. From November 23 right through to December 21 QV Melbourne will be hosting Colour/Party, a bright, colourful celebration of the festive season. This isn’t your usual Christmastide pop-up. QV are skipping the kitschy decorations for a fun, innovative and interactive selection of events. Santa is cool, but QV want you to meet someone else this Christmas at Colour/Party. Introducing the QV Cane-Deer, a jolly augmented reality (AR) Christmas creature created by Sydney-based creative studio Vandal. QV Cane-Deer is a scruffy but cute reindeer who loves candy, dislikes One Direction and was pipped to the post to lead Santa’s sleigh by Rudolph. Head along to QV to meet Cane-Deer for yourself. He’s the official host for the party and will be popping up all over the Colour/Party activation: find him on the permanent big screen in QV Square where he’ll be inviting visitors to dance or play with him (or you can give him a big high five). QV’s Cane-Deer is definitely not camera shy and he hopes you’re not either because he’d love to snap a selfie with you. To get a photo with the cheeky character (or transform into h
Summer events in South East Queensland
During summer in Queensland it’s all systems go on fun and frivolities. The southeast corner in particular becomes a flurry of activity, including sporting tournaments, music festivals, art exhibitions and much more. As 2018 ticks over to 2019, you can watch all the tennis action in Brisbane, let your hair down at one of the country’s biggest folk festivals, and enjoy a spot of polo by the beach. Culture buffs can peruse international works of contemporary art, while sports nuts sit it out for three days at the Gabba with eyes fixed on a cricket ball. In between the formalities there are plenty of other places to chill/explore (depending on your energy levels), including Brisbane’s inner-city beach at South Bank, which makes even locals feel like they’re on holidays; the hill with a view, Mt Coot-tha; and wine trails through the Granite Belt. You can also head offshore to Stradbroke, Moreton and Fraser Islands, the latter being the world’s largest sand island, or get lost in the hinterlands behind the Gold or Sunshine Coasts. Of course, the coasts are also ripe for beachy stuff, so bring your towel and a surfboard.