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    South Australia | Adelaide in three days

    There’s plenty to see and do in Adelaide but if you have just one week, why not try this itinerary on for size.

    The last time I visited Adelaide with South Australia-born Monty was 2017. It has taken a few years to return but our reason for the delay is a valid one – we have been traveling the world.

    Time finally had come to return to Monty’s home city. Although we were in Adelaide for only seven days, we squeezed so much into the time we were there we don’t feel as though we missed out on anything. We caught up with Monty’s relatives and rekindled friendships with life long-friends. We had a blast drinking too much and devouring gourmet food that was so good it would put Michelin-star restaurants to shame.

    We took a direct flight Brisbane to Adelaide. It was about 2hrs 30mins. Monty headed to his friends’ beachside apartment for the week while I headed off in another direction towards the CBD to stay my first three days with old school friends before joining him later in the week.

    I launched into my first day with great gusto, lounging in sling back beach chairs, feet firmly dug into warm silky sand, and hands clenching flutes of chilled Prosecco. We were at Moseley Beach Club. It was a perfect blue-sky afternoon cooled by a gentle sea breeze. We were privileged to enjoy this autumn indulgence as the beach club is only open from early December to the first week in April. Located at the foreshore of Glenelg Beach, the club reminded me of our time in Nice walking along the French Riviera’s promenade.

    Day two we headed to the Barossa Valley. Over the years Monty and I have done our fair share of tastings at various boutique and well known wineries. South Australia is home to around 18 wine regions and is regarded as one of the world’s leading wine capitals. The Adelaide Hills alone boasts over 90 wine labels and 50 cellar doors so if you’re a wine lover, South Australia is your nirvana. If you’re keen to learn more check out https://www.winetourism.com/wine-region/south-australia/ for the latest updates. Monty and I have tasted many drops in the Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale and Adelaide Hills. To this day one of my favourites is Skillogalee in the Claire Valley. On a cold winter’s day, sitting by a log fire with a glass of their Sparkling Riesling is pretty hard to beat.

    On this trip, the Barossa Valley was our main focus. Fortune was smiling on us too. Our school friend-cum-Adelaide host’s husband was happy to play chauffeur for the day. We took the scenic route from Adelaide up into the hills. By car, the Barossa is about 1.5 hours but make sure add in extra time for stops along the way. Like any good traveller, morning coffee is always best to kick start the day so we headed to Darlings Food with Passion Cafe in Tanunda. Their sweet treats will have you salivating.

    While you’re there, pop into Ironstone Cottage next door. It houses a delightful collection of contemporary European gifts and homewares. Their quirky pewter ware particularly caught my eye and I’m still very tempted to order something on line!

    Keep your tourist shoes on because there’s plenty to love about this little ‘hamlet’ Tanunda. There’s a very cool wine lounge Bar:Musque just up the road, and the restored 1877 Hill & Son Grand Organ which is housed in the Barossa Regional Gallery is worth a peak.

    Time for a wine? Off to iconic Chateau Tanunda. This winery is spectacular and the architecture is on a grand scale. The 130-year-old estate’s main building constructed in local bluestone makes this destination a must-visit even if you don’t feel in the mood for a tasting early in the morning.

    Back into the car and off to Wanera in Angaston for a bite to eat. Wanera oozes old world charm – I can imagine this place would be pumping during peak trading hours. We stopped there late in the afternoon just as they were about to shut their kitchen, but they kindly ‘fed and watered us’ without so much as a grumble. As a Queenslander, I have to admit I love visiting these old buildings, they’re loaded with charm and character which add to the dining experience.

    Bellies full we bundled back into the car. Our next destination – Seppeltsfield & Jam Factory. The Jam Factory is part of Seppelt’s wine estate complex. The Jam Factory’s a seriously cool hub where you can watch artisans in action or simply browse and purchase a treasure or two from their heady collection of contemporary art, crafts and jewellery. And yes, you can dine in their very chic restaurant or simply tour, taste and purchase wine. While we were there we spied internationally renowned foodie, TV host and journo Maeve O’Meara with her South Australian Safari tour enthusiasts.

    The day was drawing to a close. En route home we made a quick stop at heritage-listed Capri Theatre, Goodwood, solely to watch a man play the organ. Truly. We did! The most fascinating thing! Sitting in a cinema where time stands till was a buzz in itself…and then suddenly an organist appears! Before and after each screening, the Theatre Organ complete with organist. As it appears from beneath the stage floorboards the organist rips out some memorable tunes. I’m not sure if this occurs on a daily basis, but I am pleased we got to be part of this pure-joy experience. There we were, four old school buddies, heads nodding, hands clapping along to some theatrical music greats played live on the Wurli Tzer organ. The not-for-profit Art Deco cinema is run by volunteers who are equally splendid. Highly recommend if you’re in the neighbourhood.

    Final nod to the day: drinks and eats at Good Gilbert, literally across the road from the cinema. We chose shared plates. They were all tasty but the Berber spiced cauliflower, almond puree, ponzu, orange gel + candied zest was the real standout!

    Day Three: we didn’t slow our pace. We started the obligatory first-coffee-of-the-day at King William Road, Hyde Park’s Hello Neighbour (come 5.30pm it transforms into Artusi by Night, a slick gnoccheria). King William Road is a mecca for upmarket fashion, lifestyle, jewellery and gift shops, coveted beauticians and health spas. Be prepared to give your credit card a good workout!

    Once you’ve walked King William Road, hop on a bus and zip off into the city for an afternoon of food and fine art. First stop: Adelaide Central Market. You can’t come to Adelaide and not visit this market. It stocks everything you could possibly imagine: mind boggling varieties of fresh vegetables and fruits, gourmet and local delicacies, tea traders and coffee roasters, continental deli food, organic produce, purveyors of meat and poultry, artisan bakers, cheese shops… Plus there’s some extraordinarily good cafes and eateries for nourishment while you take the load off your feet. While I was there, one of my friends and I bought a flight…of gin! While we tasted the latest gin selections from Kangaroo Island Spirits at The Gin Bar while the other two were off tasting chocolates. Our Kangaroo Island Gin Flight was well-priced at $20 pp and highly recommended for fellow gin lovers.

    From the market we jumped onto a tram and made a beeline for the Mortlock Wing (image below, top row, far left) of the State Library of South Australia. Stunning. It’s as if you have walked into a Harry Potter scene. Nearby is the art gallery, home to an eclectic collection of works. Expect the unexpected (as art galleries should be). From Chiharu Shiota’s “Absence Embodied” collection to traditional pieces traversing ancient Greece and Rome to present day including evocative creations, this gallery offers myriad works to tantalize and stun the senses.

    Feeling parched, we tried a few sumptuous watering holes in the CBD before heading to Herringbone for dinner and the best cuisine ever!!!! (Images below: top row, from left to right – 2KW Bar + Restaurant, Sora, Treasury 1860 Below images: Herringbone exterior and interior)

    What a spectacular three-day feast in every sense! It goes without saying one of the best ways to see a city is through the eyes of a local and that’s exactly what I did with my three school chums. A memorable, unforgettable time was had by all. Forever thankful to the fourth member of our school chum team and her equally kind husband for “putting us up” and “putting up with us!”

    I have taken the liberty of hyperlinking the places we visited if you’re keen to find out more.

    So what did I do for the remaining time I spent in Adelaide? Check out Part Two.

    Vicki Montague is a freelance writer with a predilection for travel, European fashion, architecture that oozes history and charm, and objects that tell a story. She and her partner John are empty nesters - their three adult children have left the comforts of home to carve out their own paths in life. Vicki’s professional background is in marketing and public relations.

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