Feast in Tasmania this Winter
Plank Salmon / Samuel Shelley
Nowhere does wild winter feasting like Tasmania. Immerse yourself in dramatic seasonal flavours, bring a healthy appetite and be prepared to share.
Revere the feast
Foodies rejoice during winter feasting season. The Huon Valley Mid-Winter Festival rekindles ancient pagan traditions and provides all the food and mulled cider you need to fill your belly. Book a seat at the Mid-Winter Banquet on Saturday 13 July – three courses of local produce cooked entirely over fire. Huon Valley’s Fat Pig Farm hosts winter cookery classes, hands-on workshops, and slow-burn Friday Feasts broken up with farm tours. Mt Gnomon Farm, in the north west, is another hot-spot for delicious free-range rare-breed pork. In Launceston, Stillwater Restaurant holds a pinot and truffle weekend in July. Sleep upstairs at the luxurious Stillwater Seven if you’ve overindulged.
Fire up your kitchen skills
There’s no warmer space than a country kitchen – and in Tasmania, cooking classes are held in the homes of local foodies. Slow cooker queen and best-selling author Sally Wise runs a cooking school in the Derwent Valley with preserve-making a specialty. Or, make like Martha Stewart and Maggie Beer by investing in a class at Rodney Dunn (food editor of Australian Gourmet Traveller in a previous life) and Séverine Demanet’s renowned Agrarian Kitchen Cooking School. The cooking class begins by pulling on a pair of gumboots to forage for produce in the garden. After you’ve filled your basket with seasonal vegetables, move to the kitchen and learn how to prepare a tasty winter feast. In the historic seaside fishing village of Stanley, in the north-west, Provenance Kitchen is holding cooking classes within the walls of the Highfield Historic Site. Head to the Huon Valley to take a culinary journey of Italy with Giuliana as you cook from recipes that have been handed down through her family from generation to generation.
Craving proper pub-grub?
Tasmania is home to many endangered species, but 'proper' pubs aren't one of them. Graze on a seafood tasting plate at Stanley Hotel. Drink mulled cherry cider, fire-side, at Clarendon Arms in Evandale. Taste luscious Cape Grim beef at Hamers Bar and Grill in Strahan. Sample from 180+ craft beers at Saint John Craft Beer Bar in Launceston. Or discover homely, laid-back watering holes in Hobart – try The New Sydney, The Whaler and Preachers for starters.
Follow the flavour
Chase your #foodgoals in dramatic wintertime countryside. Follow the Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail to feast directly from the island's food bowl. Travelling from Launceston towards the north-west coast, there are more than 30 official trail stops to choose from. However, don't rely on the trail map alone; 'under-the-radar' is a way of life in these parts so stay alert and uncover other delectable bites - like a festival that welcomes the scallop season in Bridport on 4 August. Sit down to a long table lunch prepared by Chef Massimo and warm your hands in front of the foreshore bonfire.
Meet a farmer – gather a feast
City of Hobart and Alastair Bett
Wake up early for a farmer's market. Seek Tasmanian-roasted coffee as your first stop, warm your hands and wander. Enjoy brekkie made with seasonal produce and gather the makings of an island feast. Hobart's Farm Gate Market is held on Sundays, the Huon Valley's Willie Smith Artisan and Produce Market is on Saturdays, Bream Creek Farmer's Market is a country village experience held on the first Sunday of every month. Launceston's Saturday Harvest Market is open year-round.
Meet the makers
Tasmanian producers are innovative and passionate about their island home. Visit a farm gate or distillery, chat to the maker and taste their bounty. Whisky lovers should plan to arrive in time for Tasmanian Whisky Week, while gin aficionados should seek out Southern Wild Distillery in Devonport. Foodies book a memorable farm tour with Off the Table, or tailor a personal experience with Herbaceous Tours – to meet growers and try fresh produce straight from the source.
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