Relishing what’s on offer

A couple of weeks ago my blogging and real-life buddy, KangaRue and I had the good fortune to attend Relish Food and Wine Festival at Portside in Maryborough.

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Sadly I didn’t get to any of the other events: The Gourmet Cooking Classes with Villa Cavour B&B; Coast Restaurant’s Wine and Food Degustation Lunch; The Howard Park Degustation dinner at Muddy Waters; or the Banyan Bubbly Breakfast.

We both, however, lapped up everything on offer at the day-long festival itself.

KangaRue and her friends arrived earlier so had already attended some cooking demonstrations;  partaken in some wine tasting; and started the Dan Murphy Food and Wine appreciation session when I caught up with her.

My grandfather (aka Poppie) worked at the Bond Store back in the days it housed barrels of booze, so it seemed apt that James Squire Tales and Ales (beer and food matching) and port and liqueur tastings were on offer there.

A heap of local cafes and food stalls were on hand and a myriad of wineries offering tastings. I was won over by a Crane Wines Sparkling Shiraz – procuring the last two bottles! (I should note that they do deliver, as do many of the other smaller wineries participating in the event.)

I didn’t venture into the XXXX Gold Mini Retreat but it looked to be doing a good business and I loved that you could wander about with your beer or wine from stall to stall or simply sit at a table and lap up the atmosphere and entertainment.

Early rain didn’t deter crowds and I was impressed at the constant throng of people milling about. There was a $10 entry fee (for adults) which also didn’t seem to discourage locals and visitors alike.

With the Mary Ann steam train, kids activities, music and the Relish photo exhibition (and competition) at Gatakers Artspace, there was something for everyone.

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As someone who grew up in the borough (as a friend calls it) I love that these kinds of activities are now available. I only wish that – as a teenager growing up in regional Qld in the 1980s – I’d been exposed to similar stuff back then.

Congratulations to all involved. I was very impressed with the activities on offer and the quality of all of the promotional materials and publications. And I will DEFINITELY be making an effort to attend more festival activities next year.

Relish Map_2013_web(1)

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