In it’s third year and so no longer a new kid on the block, the wonderful Gorgeous Festival is back again on 22-23 November and it just keeps getting better and better. Debuting on South Australia’s picturesque Fleurieu Pensinsula back in 2011, Gorgeous was created by transplanted music lovers Alistair and Sally Cranney as an event to share their love of Australian music and showcase the outstanding local food and wine of the McLaren Vale region.
It seems they were right on the money with what could have been a chancy venture, attracting growing crowds from not only Adelaide, but interstate as well. In an exciting development, this year the event has moved to a larger venue (but still in beautiful McLaren Vale) and will now be held over two days. They’ve even provided camp sites nearby for travellers. This years event features incredible acts like The John Butler Trio, Eskimo Joe and Lanie Lane – to name but a few – and two of my lucky readers will win a double pass to this fabulous weekend, all the details are at the end of the post.
One thing that hasn’t changed is the focus on food – specifically the great produce and outstanding cuisine that the locals enjoy. I don’t get down to the Fleurieu Peninsula anywhere near as often as I should so I was thrilled to be able to spend a day visiting some of the great food businesses who are catering for this years event. As in past years the food will indeed be superb – fresh, local and provided by the most distinctive kitchens in the region.
While music may indeed be the food of love, I’m pretty sure most of my readers are in love with food and will be pleased to see dishes from Nigel Rich of noted restaurant The Elbow Room on the menu. Nigel has more years in the kitchen under his belt than he really cares to admit and began his career under the wing of Adelaide’s brilliant Peter Jarmer, before moving to London for some years, then making his way back to our neck of the woods. He’s a passionate supporter of the local producers and knows how to treat their ingredients with respect. I’m not sure what he has planned for the Gorgeous weekend, but I’m hoping it includes his arancini and the fragrant and tender braised goat shoulder – they must not be missed.
Another local restaurant whose amazing food will be available is the Willunga Thai restaurant Ampika’s Kitchen. If my experience is anything to go by, you won’t see too much of Ampika as she does her best work behind the scenes. She makes pretty well everything she serves from scratch, again using the premium local produce and just won’t compromise on quality. Ampika’s Kitchen will have several dishes on offer at Gorgeous, but my favourite (and this will come as a surprise to some of my friends) was her deliciously fresh vegan Pad Thai, although her chicken satays are pretty special too.
Traditionalist will be pleased to see the Salopian Inn sign back on the shingle and they’ll be pleased to see them at Gorgeous – especially when they discover that The Salopian is in charge of providing some awesome cocktails over the weekend. They’ll be bringing a small, carefully chosen selection of their 160 gins and blending them in four very different, but equally delicious cocktails designed especially for Gorgeous. They have also designed a fabulous signature cocktail using South Australia’s own Kangaroo Island Spirits vodka – a special drink that will go down well over the sunny weekend.
If, by chance, you happen to become a little “over-refreshed” with all those delicious cocktails you might be looking for something to help absorb some of the booze – and they’ve got that covered at Gorgeous too. The newish and much loved Home Grain Bakery at Aldinga will be on hand with fresh, home made pies, vanilla slices and a drop-dead gorgeous (I really couldn’t avoid that) sourdough bread pudding. Using only Laucke flour, local ingredients and their own recipes Home Grain Bakery has been such a roaring local success that they are soon to open another store in the area – not bad going for just two years in. And I really can’t stress enough just how wonderful that bread pudding is.
The organisers of Gorgeous Festival 2013 have very generously give me two double passes (valued at over $300 each) for the weekend of the festival for two lucky readers to win. All you have to do to be in the running to win one of them is to tell me which band you are looking forward to seeing at Gorgeous Festival 2013. Use the Rafflecopter link below to enter and check out the simple options for extra entries. Please only enter if you will be available to attend Gorgeous Festival on 22-23 November, 2013.
Terms and Conditions
1. This competition is open to Australian residents only and will be drawn on Saturday November 9, 2013.
2. Log in to enter, using the entry form in the link below, and click on each task to view the instructions.
3. The first task is mandatory and must be completed to enter the competition. Subsequent tasks are optional, but will gain you more entries, thus more opportunity to be a winner.
4. Make sure you record your entry to be counted.
5. I have TWO double passes to Gorgeous Festival 2013 to give away to 2 lucky readers.
6. The lucky winner will be drawn at random.
7. The winner will be notified by email and their name will be posted here. They must reply within 48 hours or the competition will be redrawn.