Cartier Masthead Final Weeks

Five ways to celebrate Summer(side) in Canberra

Molly McLaughlin

Wine, food and music. Is there any better way to spend the summer?

Trying to make the most of the sunshine before the colder months settle in? This February is shaping up to be a summer to remember with events happening throughout the region as part of Summerside Festival presented by The Poacher’s Way, a collective of like minded businesses with a mission to live life well.

The popularity of the festival has already seen a literary dinner featuring the wines of Lerida Estate and Four Winds Vineyard and hosted at Muse sell out, so we’ve rounded up another five events you shouldn’t miss!

Masterclasses and Music

The gorgeous Lerida Estate cellar door is hosting a variety of events throughout February.

The gorgeous Lerida Estate cellar door is hosting a variety of events throughout February.

For the wine-lovers, Lerida Estate at Lake George is hosting a variety of events this month including a Pinot Noir Master Class on Saturday13 February. Jim Lumbers, owner of Lerida Estate, and Malcolm Burdett, Lerida Estate’s winemaker, will conduct the master class and it will focus on Pinot Noir, which is widely considered to produce some of the finest wines in the world but is also a difficult variety to cultivate and transform into wine. Of course there’ll be tastings of Lerida’s best wines to keep your tastebuds happy.

There’s also live music in the Barrel Room every Sunday – a great chance to kick back with a glass of wine and tasty food and listen to some of Canberra’s leading local musicians.

Events on through February | Lerida Estate | 87 The Vineyards, Collector |02 6295 6640 | Various prices |

Foodie bliss in Murrumbateman

Chocolatey goodness from Robyn Rowe's Chocolate d'Or.

Chocolatey goodness from Robyn Rowe’s Chocolate d’Or.

For foodies, Robyn Rowe Chocolates and Four Winds Vineyard have put together the appropriately named Bliss Weekend package which includes a glass of wine and a wood-fired pizza at Four Winds and a dessert and hot chocolate at Robyn Rowe. If you haven’t discovered Murrumbateman yet, take a day trip from the city and make the most of this quiet country escape.

Available every weekend during February | Robyn Rowe’s Chocolate d’Or – 1153 Nanima Rd, Murrumbateman – 02 6227 0550 | Four Winds Vineyard – 9 Patemans Lane, Murrumbateman – 0402 278 371 |

All that jazz

cafe woodworks

In conjunction with Bungendore Wood Works Gallery and Artsound FM, a three-course dinner and a stunning musical evening featuring D-J Gosper, and Mike Dooley & Rachel Thorne and Band, performing lyrical ballads to catchy duets with quirky lyrics. Music from summery bossa novas to Latin classics and lilting jazz waltzes. A range of Lerida Estate wines will be served with dinner.

6pm, Saturday 20 February |Cafe Woodworks, 22 Malbon Street, Bungendore | 02 6238 1688 | $75 per person, beverages not included |

A fabulous garden party


Celebrate Wily Trout’s 18th birthday party at Poachers Pantry! Image: Facebook.

If a garden party is more your style, there are two to choose from!

First up, an evening Summer Garden Party at Pialligo’s Pod Food on Friday 19 February – after work tipple, anyone? A beautiful garden setting, fine wines from Lerida Estate, Mount Majura Vineyard and Four Winds Vineyard, and delicious canapés and charcuterie from the Pod Food chefs. Dress up and spend a lazy end-of-Summer evening before daylight savings ends.

Summer Garden Party at Pod Food | 5:30pm Friday 19 February | 2 Beltana Road, Pialligo | 02 6295 6640 | $50 per person for food & $35 per person for matched wines |

Poachers Pantry are celebrating the 18th birthday of their iconic Wily Trout wines with deck chairs, wine, chilled beats, charcuterie boards and sweets not to mention a garden game or two on Saturday 20 February. Poachers Pantry’s famous long lunches will be available as always during the Festival, showcasing their passion for high quality regional produce as they celebrate all the food, wine and good times Canberra and surrounds has to offer.

Wily Trout’s 18th birthday party | 11:30am to 4:30pm, Saturday 20 February | 431 Nanima Road, Hall | 02 6230 2487 | A glass of free sparkling on arrival to toast the Wee Trout, $15 charcuterie boards, $10 sweets |

Horses and hors d’oeuvres

Take a trail ride and then warm up with a hot chocolate.

Take a trail ride and finish with some local wines and smoked meats.

If you’re looking for something that’s a bit more off the beaten track (literally), Burnelee Excursions are running twilight and morning horseback rides during February as well. For a unique Valentine’s Day experience, there is the Valentine’s Twilight Ride on Saturday 13 February. The horseback rides can be paired with a delicious smoked meats and wine tasting featuring Poachers Pantry and Eden Road Wines.

Weekends throughout February | Burnelee Excursions on Horseback | 320 Dicks Creek Rd, Murrumbateman | 02 6227 5850 | $90pp standard ride / $115 for Twilight Rides with tastings |

There is plenty more to see and do and bookings are essential so make sure you check out for all the details!

the essentials

What: Summerside Festival
Where: A variety of locations around Canberra, see website for details.
When: Throughout February


Molly McLaughlin

Molly McLaughlin was less than thrilled to move to Canberra a couple of years ago to study Arts and Economics at ANU, but she can confirm the city has grown on her since then. Along with writing for HerCanberra, she spends her time reading, eating noodles and planning her next adventure. More about the Author