slow summer festival, are you kidding? this year is totally fresh

1

Just a little more than two weeks to go and festival season in Orange kicks-off for the new year, starting with the salubrious Slow Summer Festival – which this year is dedicated to the Australian poet Banjo Patterson (1864-1941), one of Orange’s most famous sons. Running from  7 to 17 February, the swinging Slow Summer Fest will be packed full of gourmet experiences, poetry + plonk. There are sporting and family activities too if you are so inclined, but I am wilfully ignoring an entire section of the program.

Here’s the top picks that have me salivating already:

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Week 1

It all kicks off on Friday 7 February with festival night markets in Robertson Park, followed the next day by the official Banjo Patterson art festival launch and the Orange Region Farmers Market. Saturday 8 February is actually jampacked with awesome events, these are just some of my top picks (and please note that I am allergic to sporting activities unless champagne is involved):

1. choose to ‘Munch and Meander in Millthorpe’, strolling through the historic village and soaking up the wine cellars (Angullong Wines, Bantry Grove, Belgravia Wines and Edgecombe Wines + Coffee Hill). There’s also poetry & music at Gerry’s @ The Commercial.Saturday 8 Feb @ 12-5pm.

2. Mandagery Farm Venison Lunch, including a Farm Tour and 3 course lunch on Saturday 8 Feb @ 12.30m. Call 0400 032  326 to book – and if you can’t squeeze this into the schedule they hold regular farm kitchen lunches on the second Saturday of each month.

3. an Amateur Poetry Regatta at Mortimer’s Wines‘ unique Cellar Door at the Old March Public School (est. 1866), Saturday 8 Feb @ 2-6pm.

4. and a twilight garden party @ Stockman’s Ridge Wines featuring food by Australian renowned and local chef Michael Manners on Saturday 8 Feb starting @ 6pm.

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Week 2

And while there’s a whole week of activities in between, I’ll be saving myself for the following festival weekend for (watching) the Dragon Boat racing on Lake Canobolas and (listening) to one of Australia’s most loved actors, Jack Thompson, reading some of Australia’s most loved poems. My other top picks for the weekend are:

1. ‘Pasta, Plonk & Poetry’ at Mayfield Vineyard, Saturday 15 Feb @ 7pm. Call 02 6362 8898 to book.

2. Family Day @ the opening of Emmaville Cottage at the Orange Botanic Gardens, Sunday 16 Feb @ 9am-2pm.

3. Charles Sturt University Wines (CSU) Sparkling Brunch, which should be good because it stars their award-winning 2009 Cellar Reserve Pinot Noir Chardonnay Sparkling, Sunday 16 Feb @ 10am-11.30am

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All this, and then Flix in the Stix comes around 22 February. Woohoo!

Kelly

[DISCLAIMER: I’ve really got to point out here that I haven’t included a detailed list of all the amazing activities around the Slow Summer Banjo Patterson Festival, I’ve only focused on the stuff I personally think is stellar – and I’m not kidding when I say I’m allergic to anything sporty. Download the entire program from the lovely Taste Orange website].

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