South Australia, The Foodie State
With Queensland known as the Sunshine State and Victoria the Garden State, we are naming South Australia the Foodie State. This beautiful state is packed full of wine regions, with produce a plenty and the coast teeming with fresh seafood. We have put together the perfect long weekend, visiting Adelaide, the Adelaide Hills and the Barossa Valley.
Thursday Evening | Arrive Adelaide
Check-in to The Majestic Roof Garden Hotel at the East End of town, just off Rundle St. The hotel has well-appointed rooms, a gorgeous bathroom with a deep tub, should you feel like a soak, and a roof terrace. You can order a snack & drinks to be brought up while you take in the view to the Adelaide Hills.
But don’t linger too long! After you have freshened up, head out to explore the East End, where you’ll find lovely pockets of bars, restaurants and cafes tucked away in the laneways behind Rundle St.
Adelaide has a relaxed vibe, it does feel like a sleepy county town – a town you would want to spend some time in, a town to explore, to discover its hidden charms. Adelaide is a town where there is always a festival taking place, gorgeous parklands, beaches, the River Torrens stretching from the Adelaide Hills to the coast, and a lovely neighbourly culture.
To build your appetite head for a drink to NOLA, or take in the sunset from BRKLYN’s upstairs balcony overlooking the chilled end of Rundle St to the hills. If you’re peckish try the fried chicken at NOLA, or get a tasting plate at BRKLYN, but make sure you leave room for dinner!
Just around the corner, you’ll find Hey Jupiter – a little patch of Parisian charm in Ebenezer Place. Their fresh green façade and furniture Francaise says: come sit down and share a plate or few. Sample Escargots, Moules au Saffran, Boeuf a la Bourguignonne, Poisson du Jour, and it’s always hard to resist a well-executed Steak Frites. The French really do dessert well, so be sure to partake in the Tarte Tartin, Crème Brulee or Profiteroles, or try them all!
Take a stroll through the Adelaide streets, back to the hotel where sweet dreams await.
Friday | Brunch Adelaide Central Market, overnight The Louise, Barossa Valley
The Adelaide Central Market is a bustling microcosm of foodie experiences, with 80 stalls of “Mum and Dad” producers and merchants. The market turned 150 this year, and is open Tuesday to Saturday, check the website for hours.
Wander through at your leisure or take a tour with Mark and Cheryl from Food Tours Australia if you want to learn about the incredible produce on offer. There’s breakfast Italiano-style at Lucia’s Pizza & Spaghetti Bar – why not try the breakfast Spaghetti Carbonara? Or sample freshly shucked SA oysters at Samtass Bros Seafoods, everything organic from Central Organic and natural beauty and brushes from House of Health, your cheese of choice from The Smelly Cheese Shop, salami for days from Marino Marcelleria, or scrumptious cakes and treats from Providore.
Stock up on snacks for the 1.5 hour drive to the Barossa, or maybe a picnic along the way with a bottle from one of the many charming cellar doors you can visit on the drive.
Stay at The Louise, an elegantly, luxurious, culinary retreat that embodies the Barossa Valley’s food and wine culture, and country-style hospitality with a completely modern twist. Set in the midst of Peter Lehmann vines, The Louise is one of only four Australian properties to join the Relais et Chateaux global network. You’ll feel instantly relaxed and, no doubt, want to extend your stay.
Go for a dip in the infinity pool, melt away the stress of city life in the sauna, stroll through the vines, switch on the fire in your room, soak in your luxurious bathtub, or simply lounge on your terrace gazing out over the vines.
Dine at Appellation for an exquisite dining experience and the chance to try the best local produce, crafted into a delicious array of dishes by Chef Daniel Murphy, perfectly matched with Barossa wines by Sommelier Geoffrey Hunt – with a side pour of colourful stories about the wine makers and producers to make for a very memorable evening. The Ruggabellus Quomodo Riesling is poetry in a bottle, a new line revealed with every sip.
The menu at Appellation changes daily: you may find light as air roast pork scotch, with pickled fennel, Tuscan cabbage and black garlic or charred cauliflower with sweetcorn cream, iceplant and toasted walnut. Every forkful of every dish melts in your mouth and will leave you floating in a state of divine foodie ecstasy!
Saturday | The Barossa Farmers Market, LOT. 100 Adelaide Hills and back to Adelaide
If you can bear to leave The Louise, head off to visit the Barossa Farmers markets between 7.30 to 11.30 on Saturdays. Meet the local producers, sample from the Breakfast Bar and soak up all that is Barossa Valley life on the land.
Plan for a picturesque one hour drive, or a little longer to allow for some cellar door stops, to get to the Adelaide Hills for lunch at LOT. 100, Hay Valley.
And there’s a LOT to experience on this beautiful property, set in the lush hills, with Black Angus cattle watching you arrive, and even a couple of baby alpacas and a goat. LOT. 100 is a collaboration involving The Hills Cider Company, Ashton Valley Fresh, Mismatch Brewing Co, Adelaide Hills Distillery and Vinteloper wines. We’ d recommend ordering from the share plates so you can try everything – all locally sourced ingredients. And if you’re not driving make sure you sample all the delicious beverages.
Adelaide is only an hour away, so take your time on the return trip and enjoy the scenery heading over the Adelaide Hills.
Check in to your hotel for a final night in Adelaide. Why not stay at the historic, 5-star Mayfair Hotel in the West End of Adelaide so you can easily explore this end of town.
Peel St is the epicenter of the West End’s colourful, small bar scene, sprawling through to parallel Leigh St. Sip on delicious cocktails and sup on scrumptious snacks at Paloma, or take your pick of from the neighbouring bars.
After the culinary delights of the Barossa Valley and the Adelaide Hills, we suggest a light and lively dinner at Joybird in the leafy Hyde Park neighbourhood. Try their “Fire Lick’n Chick’n” in your favourite flavor – ours was the Balinese Yellow Curry – with ALL the side dishes. There’s plenty for vegetarians too.
Explore the Saturday night vibe and find a cosy bar to have a nightcap, or head back to the comfy, cloud-like beds at The Mayfair.
Sunday | Adelaide brunch, a riverside stroll and home
After a well-deserved sleep-in, wander a few blocks for brunch at Peter Rabbit, a gorgeously green patch in the middle of town. Yes, they have a rabbit, and also some great street art and a cool, external garden wall growing on old pipes.
If you’ve kept pace with our itinerary you must be full of SA goodness. Finish your long weekend with a stroll, run or ride on the free bicycles along the River Torrens, laze in the beautiful riverside parks, and start planning your next trip.
We know you’ll want to make it a longer one, with time to explore the McLaren Vale and the Clare Valley, Port Augusta and the Flinders Ranges. And don’t forget to include Kangaroo Island for a truly unique, pristine, South Australian wildlife experience.