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Summerside Festival set to sizzle!

Amanda Whitley

The annual Summerside Festival is shaping up to be wonderful again this year (refresh your memory of last year’s adventures here) with a calendar full of summer-themed events. Kicking off today, this month-long festival is full of dining events celebrating local and seasonal produce, opportunities to taste the best of the region’s wines as well as exciting performances, events and exhibitions.

Make the most of the rest of summer (and hopefully warmer weather!) with a morning horse ride, lazy long lunch, chocolate or wine tasting, film under the stars or an afternoon of live music. There are heaps of experiences to choose from across the Canberra region: from Murrumbateman to Bungendore to Lake George and everywhere in between. Here are five events you shouldn’t miss…


This Summerside, on Wednesday 25 February, A.BAKER will be hosting an intimate Backyard Produce Dinner which will not only showcase the best fruit, vegetables and herbs that you’ve grown in your backyard but also exceptional local wines from Lerida Estate, Eden Road Wines, Mount Majura Vineyard and Pankhurst Wines.

Simply book a table, bring in a bunch, box or bag of your best produce 2-3 days before the event and the Head Chef, Bernd Brademann and his team will prepare a great dinner. Your name appears on our special menu for all to see and A.BAKER will trade you some of their finest products to take home after dinner. If you haven’t got a crop at the moment, bring a bunch of flowers for the table instead.

Meet the winemakers, talk to the chefs about the recipes, and just have a great evening with friends. Contact A.BAKER to discuss the produce you would like to contribute. Limited seating RSVP online or by phone 02 6287 6150. $60 per person for food & $35 per person for matched wines.


A wonderful opportunity to try the best of our local wines in the city, during the Summerside Festival the East Hotel is once again playing host to a number of local wineries.

Every Friday evening during February (starting next Friday 6 February) you can ‘meet the locals’ when a handful of the region’s finest wineries will head to Kingston to peddle their wares the old fashioned way – taste and talk. You can taste a great selection of local wines and pick up your favourites to take out to dinner afterwards and impress all your friends with a great local wine.

Tickets can be purchased online for $20 or at the door for $25.


Enjoy the warmer weather with a lazy afternoon at Poachers Pantry. Catch up with friends as you sit back to the sounds of live music and indulge in delicious tapas. An exciting selection of boutique beer, wine and cider is also available.

Tapas and live music will be on offer each Sunday during February from 3pm to 7pm.

Tapas menu $10 to $30. Bookings essential.


Make the most of the beautiful summer mornings and balmy summer evenings with a horse ride through the trails at Burnelee Excursions on Horseback during the Summerside Festival. Experience the beauty of twilight with a riding experience and then after two hours in the saddle, relax back at Burnelee with a tasting of Poachers Pantry’s award-winning smoked meats, accompanied by a sample of Eden Road Wines. If you’re a morning person then what better way to start the day than a morning exploring this beautiful grazing property on horseback.

Twilight rides on 31 January and 14 February, and morning rides on 31 January, 7, 14, 21 and 28 February. Book early as the group size is limited.


Lerida Estate has an exciting program of events during the Summerside Festival with live music, wine master classes, wine and cheese matching and more. Join some of Canberra’s leading local musicians share their talents with live music in the barrel room every Sunday afternoon during the festival.

The new wine and cheese matching is sure to be popular with Janet Gavey from The Essential Ingredient, Canberra on board to explain cheese-making techniques while Jim Lumbers, owner of Lerida Estate, will discuss Lerida’s winemaking styles and techniques and which wines he considers a suitable match for the respective cheeses.

Jim will also run a series of wine master classes with a focus on Pinot Noir and one class looking at the delicious combination of duck and Pinot.

Bookings required for all events. Book through or call 6295 6640. 


Head out for the day and explore the cellar doors at the wineries of The Poacher’s Way, including Tallagandra Hill – one of our favourites of the Canberra District.

Annemaree and Brad at Tallagandra Hill are presenting a Summerside High Tea during February. Get a few friends together and make the most of this delicious menu including a selection of finger sandwiches, petit fours, sweet and savoury pastries, scones with preserve and cream, tea or coffee and a glass of Tallagandra Hill Sparkling Chardonnay.

The price is $39.00 per person and bookings are essential.

the essentials

What: Summerside Festival
When: Saturday 31 January–Sunday 1 March 2015
Where: Poacher’s Way venues throughout the Capital and Canberra region


Amanda Whitley

Amanda Whitley is the founder and director of HerCanberra. In her 'spare time', she instructs zumba, loves to cook (and eat), and wrangles two gorgeous little girls. She's done everything from present the tv news to operate a stop and go sign and is passionate about connecting Canberra women. More about the Author

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