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Keen foodie? Love a road trip? You’ll want to make plans to visit Orange F.O.O.D (Food of Orange District) Week!
With international travel looking a little dicey, there’s never been a better time for a spot of domestic tourism. And if you’re into long lunches, high teas, fine dining and top-notch wines (who isn’t?), you should block out 27 March to 5 April in your diary, and set the sat nav for the Orange region.
Why? Because Australia’s longest-running and most sustainable food festival—Orange F.O.O.D (Food of Orange District) Week—is back with nearly 100 events across 10 big days!
Taste the region’s best cool-climate wines (we’re talking more than 80 vineyards and 30 cellar doors), and meet the farmers, producers and chefs who make this region a must-visit foodie destination. There’s an absolutely packed program of events, offering something for everyone—from picnics in the vines to open breweries, markets and more.
We’ve rounded up 10 delicious reasons to make the trip (in no particular order). The best part? You can leave Canberra at 3 pm and be there for sunset.
High Tea with Remy & Max
Enjoy Orange’s own Remy & Max tea range, local Parrot Gin and tea cocktails and a fabulous high tea spread at the beautiful Byng Street Boutique Hotel. Soak up the old-world charm of this 1896 homestead and enjoy your high tea on the verandah overlooking the lush and peaceful gardens.
You’ll indulge in the handmade sweets and savouries from the hotel kitchen (think chocolate brownie, lemon cheesecake slice, scones and chicken sandwiches) and savour every sip of the beautifully handcrafted local tea (we loved the Earl Grey).
When: 12pm–2pm Sunday, 29 March
Where: Byng Street Boutique Hotel, Byng Street, Orange
How much: $80pp
Book: Online at remymax.com.au
F.O.O.D Week Night Market
Get up close and personal with the Orange region’s chefs, cooks, caterers, providores, wine, cider and beer makers at this night market with a focus on local produce.
Gather in the park for an evening with more than 50 stallholders of great local food, wine, cider or beer, live music and communal dining under the stars.
When: 5.30pm–8.30pm, Friday, 27 March
Where: Robertson Park, McNamara Street, Orange
How much: Gold coin entry
Bookings: Just rock up!
Autumn Grazing Dinner in Blayney
The charming town of Blayney is the scene of an Autumn Grazing Dinner featuring local chef Tony Worland from Tonic in Millthorpe.
Start at twilight in Carrington Park with canapés and sparkling and then progress to the Community Centre for a three-course dinner using the best local produce matched with Orange region wines.
When: 6pm–10.30pm, Monday, 30 March
Where: Carrington Park, 71 Osman Street, Blayney. Buses depart rear Orange Civic Theatre, 135 Byng Street, Orange.
How much: $140pp. Ticket price includes all food and beverages. Return bus available from Orange extra $25pp.
Bookings: Online at tickets.myguestlist.com.au
Hunt for your Lunch in a Trufferie
They had us at ‘truffle dogs’. This fun event at Borrodell Vineyard offers a truffle hunt demonstration with the truffle dogs, followed by alfresco dining with a two-course truffle-inspired lunch with live music.
Borrodell also serves up breathtaking views—surrounded by beautifully established gardens and warm, country hospitality, this 135 acre property with apple orchards, cherry trees, vineyard, smokehouse and kitchen garden is a must-visit.
When: 11.30am–3.30pm, Saturday, 4 April
Where: Borrodell Vineyard, 298 Lake Canobolas Road, Orange
How much: $85pp
Orange Apple Ramble
This one is for the whole family! Ramble through local orchards on the scenic Canobolas foothills with the orchardist as you enjoy apple based snacks, varieties of apples and taste some cider. You’ll learn about the different apple varieties, view a packhouse and pick a few of your own as you go.
Enjoy lunch in an orchard before heading off to another orchard with spectacular views over the Towac Valley for dessert. There’ll even be apple-themed games for the kids!
When: 11am–4pm Saturday, 28 March
Where: Bus departs Orange Visitors Information Centre, 151 Byng Street, Orange
How much: $75pp adult, $25pp child, $180pp family
Book: Online at orangeapples.com.au
Rockpool Takeover @ The Union Bank
Orange’s The Union Bank has an impressive pedigree, run by former Rockpool chefs Dom Aboud and Matt Benson. For one night only, they’re giving special guest Rockpool Bar and Grill Sydney’s Executive Chef, Corey Costello, the run of the kitchen. The night will revolve around an exclusive menu, showcasing the outstanding, fresh and seasonal produce sourced from the best suppliers in Australia.
The building is a destination in itself. Dating back to 1858, this beautifully restored bank will have you stopping at every corner to look at the detail and craftsmanship of the building. It’s any interior lover’s delight with soft lighting, textures, deep colours and luxurious finishes.
When: 6:30 pm–10:30 pm Friday, 3 April
Where: The Union Bank, 84 Byng Street, Orange
How much: $190 per person includes canapés, four courses and paired with handpicked, local wines.
Book: Online at eventbrite.com.au
Feast For Farmers
In just three short years Heifer Station Wines’ annual F.O.O.D week event has raised over $100,000 for New South Wales Farmers in need—and let’s face it, it’s never been more important to support our rural producers.
Partnering with local caterers, volunteers and charity groups, Heifer Station’s ‘Feast For Farmers’ lunch promises its 150+ guests an afternoon of food, wine, music and fundraising through an exciting live auction and raffle.
Oh, and you don’t need to drive! Transport to and from the venue from Orange is provided.
When: 11.30am–5.00pm, Saturday, 28 March 2020
Where: Heifer Station Wines, 1034 Escort Way, Orange
How much: $165pp
Book: Online at heiferstation.com
Picnic in the Vines
Enjoy a private picnic amongst the vines at one of the many gorgeous locations around the Swinging Bridge vineyard. Enjoy local produce with a bottle of wine (or two) as you breathe the fresh air and take in beautiful views of Mount Canobolas and the surrounding countryside. It’s the perfect way to enjoy a day in the country.
Please note that picnics are subject to weather conditions—a full refund will be given in inclement weather.
When: Friday 3, Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 April
Where: Swinging Bridge Wine Cellar Door, 701 The Escort Way Orange
How much: $70 per basket (two people). Wine not included. Available for two to eight people.
Book: Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to book.
De Salis Bubble Party
Sparkling and sunset are a perfect fit, and we can’t think of a nicer way to kick off a Saturday evening than the De Salis Bubble Party. Imagine an evening on the De Salis deck with two masters of their craft, Michael Manners and Charlie Svenson. As the sun goes down you can sip De Salis bubbles, nibble on matched canapés and simply soak it all in.
When: 5.30pm–7.30pm, Saturday, 4 April
Where: De Salis Wines, 125 Mount Lofty Road, Nashdale
How much: $75pp
Book: Email email@example.com
Ancient Southern Lands
Antica Australis and Indigenous Cultural Adventures will present an elegant five-course First Nations Australian and wild-style southern Italian-inspired dining experience matched with local wines in the historic village of Carcoar.
This progressive event will start with appetisers at Antica Australis, followed by additional courses served at the heritage-listed Carcoar School of Arts (1901) and an Italian-style mid-event stroll along the Belubula River—diners will also enjoy a cultural dance performance from local Wiradjuri cultural immersion group, Milan Dhiiyaan.
The dining experience will be matched with a three-flight wine tasting experience hosted by local winemaker Antonio D’Onise of Antonio’s Wines.
What: 1–5pm, Saturday 4 April
Where: Antica Australis, Carcoar
How much: $110 per person including wine-tasting. Additional wine will be available for purchase at the event. A return bus transfer from Orange is available for an extra $20 per person.
Book: Online at anticacarcoar.com
And that’s just a small bite of the cornucopia of experiences that Orange F.O.O.D Week is serving up this year. Discover more events at orangefoodweek.com.au, Oh, and if you’re keen to pack as much goodness into your trip as possible, visit orange360.com.au for accommodation, itineraries and more!
This is a sponsored editorial, presented in partnership with Orange 360.