ADELAIDE often gets a bad rap.
But when I flew to the city of churches for a weekend getaway, I was pleasantly surprised.
A sudden influx of contemporary restaurants, bars and eateries have popped up in the city – home to about 1.3 million people – that would give a few Melbourne venues a run for their money.
I tracked down a couple to try myself.
Lady Burra Brewhouse: Adelaide’s first CBD micro brewery opened in June last year and has gone from strength to strength with co-owner Miguel Sa, and his mum, Rosa Dantas’ Portuguese twist. Four different beers are on tap while food pizza, ribs and chicken wings are on the menu. Traditional specials such as a wet seafood rice, chargrilled octopus or wood oven roasted goat are also featured.
Clever Little Tailor: This classic liquor bar is part of the vanguard of small bars taking over Peel Street.
You can choose from an extensive list of whisky, wine and beer and buffer your choice with something delicious from the bar snack menu.
It’s all leather booths, brick walls and stools enlivened with an old-world sense of occasion, and locals have embraced this suave bar with open arms, day and night.
Details: 19 Peel St, city, 0407 111 857, cleverlittletailor.com.au
Famous cook and writer Maggie Beer, who grew up in South Australia, said her top three restauraunts are Peel Street, Press Food and Wine and Ruby Red Flamingo.
While the city provides great dining experiences, it was time to travel to the Barossa Valley’s luscious rolling hills, home to fine wine varieties.
It’s an hour drive from the heart of the CBD and we checked into the Novotel Barossa Valley Resort upon arrival. The rooms, which were scattered around the estate, was spacious, clean and comfortable.
The resort offers an outdoor heated swimming pool, 18-hole Tanunda Pines Golf Course, two synthetic grass tennis courts, a tasting room, Harry’s Restaurant and an Endota Spa facility just to name a few.
Red and white wine is synonymous with the Barossa Valley so your visit would not be complete without sampling the creme de la creme of what the region has to offer on a winery tour.
Depending on the company, winery tours can be expensive and cost you more than $100. Lunch is often included but it does’t leave you with much cash to splash on bottles of wine you can take home.
That’s why I decided to try out the new Hop on hop off Barossa Valley Explorer. The bus, which was created by Troy Dowd last month, costs $30 per person with tours operating from Thursday to Sunday each week.
It’s a great way to get around without spending a fortune, which means you can splurge on half a dozen bottles of amazing wine after all.
TIP: Make sure you try Langmeil Winery’s Sparkling Shiraz Cuvee. Yep, you read correctly, a sparkling red wine – it’s devine!
Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop is another essential pit stop when visiting the Barossa Valley. The 71-year-old senior Australian of the Year opened her store, which also acts as a restaurant, in 1979 and provides various mouthwatering breakfast and lunch options.
Ms Beer established the Maggie Beer Foundation in May 2014 with one purpose – to improve the food experience for everyone in aged care.
Do yourself a favour and pay her venue a visit. Not only are products, such as food and signed cook books available to purchase but a free cooking demonstration operates daily. Visit maggiebeer.com.au for more details.
You may’ve heard about the good, the bad and the ugly Adelaide has to offer but I encourage you to explore the city on your own terms before passing judgement. You may be pleasantly surprised, like I was.
Have I forgotten anything? Comment below.
Brittany Shanahan travelled at her own expense.