Get set to eat, drink and be merry at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival this February and March.
The festival has grown to include more than 200 events each year, employing a core team of 18 staff and ringing in hundreds of volunteers to help ensure the festival is a success. It attracts a huge audience from all around Victoria and Australia each year, making it one of the biggest and best events in Melbourne, and it lights up the city's laneways, restaurants, basements and rooftops with an array of spectacular events.
Queenbridge Square plays host to the Festival Artisan Bakery and Bar, which sees local and international bakers preparing treats for consumers to eat onsite or take away. There will also be coffee and wine, signature drinks of the festival, making it an ideal destination for a meet and greet with friends. If you'd rather sink your teeth into something a bit more strenuous, try one of the daily workshops available. These will see you kneading dough and learning all about basic skills and current trends. And at the end of the big event, the Festival Artisan Bakery and Bar will disappear as quickly as it arrived, so get in quick.
Head to the Melbourne Town Hall on the weekend of February 28 to enjoy this extravaganza of fine wine. The event sees two sessions of experts and educators talking to guests about wines new and old, with day one focusing on the classics of wine and day two looking at new and exciting blends.
Discover more about Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay and taste some of wine's most delicious drops in your quests to find out which is best. The adventurous day two session will see you tasting new flavours and rediscovered vines.
"The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival presents the perfect opportunity to journey to the Victorian capital and enjoy some fine dining."
There's nothing more quintessentially Australian than cooking on a barbecue. The Outdoor Essentials class explores just that, focusing on outdoor cooking in new and unique ways. This goes beyond barbecuing and into cooking Mexican street-style food with Paul Wilson, along with delving into Greek souvlaki with George Calombaris.
The weekend on 28 February is an exciting one for children thanks to the hands-on Kids Cooking Workshop, where little ones can pick fresh produce and transform it into pizzas and sweet treats.
The workshop is ideal for primary school-aged kids who want to have fun while learning more about food preparation and nutrition. Best of all, parents can join the fun and take photos to document the experience.
Melbourne has a variety of accommodation options to ensure your time at the festival goes off without a hitch. Check in to Mantra Southbank and enjoy all the modern facilities and superior service it has to offer. Make the most of the daily housekeeping to ensure your room is fresh as a daisy every day, and indulge in a soak in the spa after a quick session in the pool. Work off your holiday calories in the gym or add to them at the onsite restaurant and bar.
Mantra on Russell is another excellent option, providing everything from studio rooms up to two bedroom apartments for those who require a little more space. There's also a licensed bar, swimming pool, internet access, room service and sauna steam room to make your stay even more enjoyable.
Photo credit: Daniel Mahon
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