Want to be part of Hobart's waterfront celebration of the year? We've heard a whisper the final release of tickets is now available for the Night in White New Year's Eve Cocktail event at Aloft Restaurant. If the best River Derwent views at Hobart's latest floating restaurant sound like you, call 0428744 067 pronto. The evening features Tasmania's finest beer, wine, cider and canapes with front row seats for the Sydney to Hobart yachts and fireworks.
Everyone knows that Tassie is a foodie’s heaven. There’s craft ales and ripe apples for the picking. There’s plump oysters topped with a dash of salty seas, just how we like them. Sure, you could head off from Hobart on your own paddock or ocean to plate adventure or just roll up to The Taste from Dec 28 to January 3 and enjoy all that goodness in one tasty location.
If you’ve been before, go again. There’s lots of new eats and drinks on the menu and we’re excited to share a few of the ones we can’t wait to try. There’s names in the mix that are brand spanking to The Taste!
Captain Bligh’s Brewery
Those who have found Captain Bligh tucked away in Hobart’s Warwick Street are the lucky ones. All you others must try the captain’s mix of colonial ales, ginger beer and ciders on offer at The Taste. Oh, and they also have the tastiest non-alcoholic Traditional Lemonade and wait for it, the country’s only Beer Jam and Beer Vinegar.
Redlands Estate Distillery
You’ll find Redlands with the Captain just mentioned. The shared stall will feature Single Malt whisky tastings and in very exciting news Redlands will have a special range of colonial cocktails that are accurate to the good old days of early Hobart Town.
Recognise the name as that delicious new South American-flavoured restaurant on Hobart’s waterfront? Frank are bringing some of their most-loved dishes to The Taste including charcoal grilled Porterhouse – yum!
Like your coffee? Will Priestly and coffee go together here in Hobart. He’s the man behind Pilgrim and his specialty coffees will feature alongside cold-press juices and a suite of desserts that will have you lining up twice. Think white chocolate ganache topped with seasonal Tassie fruits and house-made chocolate syrup.
Double Head Brewery
If a premium Tasmanian craft beer sounds good on a sunny afternoon beside Sydney to Hobart yachts, head for Double Head Brewery. There’s classics and then there’s Dunkelweizen – a brew featuring flavours banana, cloves and vanilla.
Blackman Bay Oyster Bar
The freshest oysters served up with Tasmania’s first Sparkling Mead – now that sounds a treat. This oyster bar intends to bring some serious fun to The Taste too. The family-owned enterprise will deliver natural oysters with a smile, plump lemon and locally foraged sea grass.
The Taste is free to enter and takes place down on Hobart’s waterfront at Princes Wharf No. 1 Shed. Gather up your friends and feast away on Tasmania’s finest! Opening hours and all the details are below. Remember, this year it’s also cashless. Head to the website for further details or to grab a table for New Year’s Eve. www.thetasteoftasmania.com.au
OPENING HOURS – PRINCES WHARF NO.1 SHED (PW1)
Monday 28 December to Sunday 3 January, 11am – 11pm, free entry.
Thursday 31 December: 11am – 3.30pm, free entry.
Thursday 31 December: New Year’s Eve Party, 7pm – 1am, ticketed entry only.
OPENING HOURS – PARLIAMENT HOUSE LAWNS
Monday 28 December – Sunday 3 January, 11am – 8pm, with a 9.30pm finish on New Year’s Eve. Free entry.
Words: Alice Hansen
Summer has arrived peeps and it’s going to be a cracker. There’s so much to do and so much on in Hobart you’ll be dining under the stars with Mona one minute and walking along dolerite cliffs of Australia’s premier coastal bushwalk the next. Gather your friends and make a list – this summer Hobart is the place to be.
1. SYDNEY TO HOBART + TASTE OF TASMANIA
It’s like waiting for party guests to arrive. As Sydney to Hobart yachtsmen cross the line in Hobart, it marks the beginning of waterfront festivities, sending excited waves through the entire town. Get down amongst the action when fireworks mark the arrival of 2016. Grab a table around the island’s finest produce at the Taste of Tasmania and give those yachties a warm Tassie welcome for completing this iconic and world-famous ocean classic.
2. THREE CAPES TRACK
The Three Capes Track is officially open and ready for your walking boots. Don’t worry, you won’t be looking down at them much. This track is world-class and mud-free, leaving the dolerite cliffs and sweeping Southern Ocean views with your full attention. Walking along the world’s edge is not all hard yakka – the four-day trek begins with a Pennicott boat trip from Port Arthur Historic Site and the huts are designed with comfort and Tasman Peninsula views in mind. Forty-six kilometres have never looked so spectacular.
3. SUMMER TIME PEDALLING
If there’s ever a time to hop on two wheels its summer time. In Hobart, the city lends itself to two-wheeled discovery as if invented for this slower pace. So grab a free Artbike, or a Mona bike and get pedalling. There’s coffee windows like Small Fry and Bury Me Standing to roll by, a scenic waterside path that takes you out to Mona and plenty of outdoor art to explore along the way. Park your bike beside a beanbag at Mona, but remember when ordering bubbles that you’ll still need to pedal back! Alternately ditch the bike, and head to Mona for The Golden Hour on a Wednesday or Thursday evening taking in sunset with James Turrell’s Amarna – the perfect excuse for dining under the stars as part of a three-course feast.
4. ISLAND TIME
We all dream of islands in summer time – lapping waves and shady palms. We must admit that Tasmania isn’t the most tropical of islands. But that’s what makes us special. Our definition of island life is a tad different. Here, hire an island off an island off an island. Satellite Island could be all yours this summer; feed apples to the deer, shuck your own oysters, drop a line in the D’Entrecasteaux Channel and watch the sun set from your own private beach. Make up your own rules this summer, on your own island. Alternately, pop across to Bruny Island for a long weekend of cheese, beaches, walks and perhaps an albino wallaby or two.
5. OUTDOOR TUNES
With the smell of summer in the air, meaning the fun of festival season is almost palpable. If you like your tunes served outdoors we have a line up you’re going to love including the summer favourites of Falls and Mofo. Gather your mates and head to Marion Bay for Falls Festival Dec 29 to Jan 1 - yes there’s still time and tickets – or save yourself for Mofo fun Jan 13-18. Mona’s Festival of Music and Art, curated by Brian Ritchie will be staged fully at Mona this year and it’s gonna be a cracker.
6. FEASTING HOBART-STYLE
There is so much to feast on in Hobart. New restaurants and watering holes are popping up all over the city. The foodie scene is such that locals now even have to book a table in their own town – gone are the days of rolling up expecting their seat by the window. Aloft Restaurant and The Glass House bring a new sophistication to the waterfront, The Shambles Brewery swings open its doors in January and Urban Greek fills big shoes in the former Garagistes space. Then there’s Pancho Villa, Frank, Black Footed Pig, Templo, Franklin, the list goes on. For a six-course gourmet breakfast including Lark whisky, go for a progressive walking feast with Gourmania.
7. DISTILLERIES, VINEYARDS & CIDERIES
Like your Tasmanian whisky? We have highland distilleries waiting. Curious about the Apple Isle’s rosy reds transformation into moreish cider? Head for The Apple Shed. Like your Tasmanian wine served with Pacific oysters? Bangor Oyster & Wine Shed en route to Port Arthur Historic Site is calling. You don’t have to travel far to come across a distillery (some 20 now across the island) including newbie, None Such near Sorell. Or don’t leave town at all. Enjoy Bill Lark’s best on the waterfront, settle into Nant Whisky’s newly expanded Salamanca bar or hunt down Captain Bligh in town.
8. HIT THE WATERS
We have some of the finest waterways right on our city doorstep. That means you can eat fresh fish and chips on the deck of your kayak, watching people commute home from work on Macquarie Street. Hobart Paddle is the way to see our city in twilight. Or, set sail with Hobart Yachts. Watch the Sydney to Hobart yachties cross the line, book an overnight trip up the east coast, or request the skipper set sail for a quiet cove off Bruny.
9. WATCH HOBART WAKE UP
Head to the top of kunyani/Mount Wellington for sunrise. With Hobart still blanketed in sleep (bar a few early workers and keen joggers) there's a stillness not found at sea level. At 1271 metres, the dolerite is cool and perfect for a blankie and morning chats. Further down at The Springs, drop into Bentwood Coffee's caravan for a latte and chat with Meg and Chris Spillane. Their puppy dog Pepper might even tell you where a few hidden huts are on the mountain!
10. DINNER AND A ROOFTOP MOVIE
Summer is in the air and so are the stars on North Hobart’s State Cinema rooftop. After dinner on the NoHo strip, head for this century-old cinema with views across Hobart’s skyline. Grab a glass of Tasmanian bubbles from the rooftop bar and settle into comfy deck chairs. We can’t promise it will always be balmy, it’s Hobart. But that’s what nanna rugs are for and extending a romantic arm.
Words: Alice Hansen, Tailored Tasmania
1. PICNIC OVERLOOKING TASMAN ISLAND
Climb The Blade and enjoy lunch with this view. Just one of the stops on the Three Capes Track.
2. DINE IN HOBART'S FLOATING ALOFT RESTAURANT
On the Brooke Street Pier you can now dine afloat. We recommend the Chef's Menu.
3. LEAP INTO AN ANCIENT CRADLE MOUNTAIN CANYON
With Cradle Mountain Canyons, jump off a waterfall, abseil and float, all the while surrounded by Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.
4. SOAK UP SOUTH WEST WILDERNESS SILENCE
Get your feet walking then stop...and listen. Silence. Absolute silence in a place with no roads - only accessible by foot, boat or by air.
5. PLAY A ROUND ON AUSTRALIA'S OLDEST GOLF COURSE
At Ratho Farm, swing a club on the country's oldest course and meet this guy if you're lucky!
6. DINE ON A PRIVATE EAST COAST BEACH
With Wineglass Bay Sail Walk, finish your hike and arrive to oysters, Tasmanian champagne and a linen-topped table.
7. BREATHE IN THE CLEANEST AIR ON THE PLANET
Head west to Cape Grim where the cleanest air in the world has been measured - travelling 16,000 kilometres across the ocean before reaching North West Tasmania. Breathe deeply.
8. TRY SHEEP WHEY VODKA STRAIGHT FROM THE DISTILLER
Here's a first, the only hand-painted bottle of sheep whey vodka anywhere in the world...as far as we know...thank you Ryan Hartshorn. You'll likely find Ryan at the Brooke Street Pier or his family's Grandvewe Cheeses property.
9. TACKLE THE WORLD'S HIGHEST COMMERCIAL ABSEIL
At the Gordon Dam you can do it with Aardvark Adventures - just don't look down. Some 140 metres below you'll touch solid earth again. Staying at Pedder Wilderness Lodge is a must in this neighbourhood!
10. WALK A COASTLINE FEATURED ON LONELY PLANET'S COVER
There's good reason the Bay of Fires featured on a Lonely Planet guide. It's a stunner. Bay of Fires Walk anyone?
11. SIP TASMANIA'S BEST RIESLING
According to the esteemed Royal Melbourne Show for 2015 - Pooley Wines has the island's best Riesling. Drop in for a glass and head onto Richmond where you'll find Australia's oldest continuously operating bridge.
12. GO TO GIN CLASS
At Bill McHenry's Gin Laboratory you can make and bottle your very own gin with Bespoke Tasmania.
13. DRIVE TO AUSTRALIA'S SOUTHERN-MOST POINT
Once you reach Cockle Creek, you can't drive any further south. This is the end of the road. And it's beautiful.
14. EAT AN OYSTER FROM THE HAND OF A STOCK BROKER TURNED OYSTER FARMER
Head for Bruny Island and be tempted to change your career too with the Bruny Island Long Weekend.
15. VISIT AUSTRALIA'S LARGEST PRIVATE ART COLLECTION
Head for the bowels of David Walsh's subversive wonderland - Mona - the Museum of Old and New Art.
16. FLY OVER JURASSIC LANDSCAPE
With Par Avion you can fly down the Bathurst Narrows - untouched wilderness at its finest.
17. WALK WINEGLASS BAY
Set foot on a beach regularly named among the world's best. It's a beauty - take a dive during summer if you're keen!
18. VISIT MARIA ISLAND
Our own Noah's Ark or sorts, visit Maria Island of Tasmania's east coast and meet the locals including wombats, wallabies, Cape Barren Geese and our much loved Tasmanian devil. Spend four days with Maria Island Walk or do a day trip with East Coast Cruises.
19. WELCOME IN SYDNEY TO HOBART YACHTS
Welcome in the Sydney to Hobart fleet aboard your own vessel Helsal IV with Hobart Yachts - or charter it any time.
20. WHALE WATCH OFF TASSIE'S EAST COAST
Watch from the shores or hop on a boat cruise and keep an eye out for these beauties during migration season.
21. DARK MOFO IT UP
Come during winter and be prepared for anything as Dark Mofo brings Tasmania's winter to life. Of course there's also the summer's Mofo (15-17 Jan) not to be missed!
22. MEET A TASMANIAN DEVIL ON HIS/HER OWN ISLAND
They're our little iconic heroes - get up close at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. They need all the help they can get due to the Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumour Disease.
23. SEE THE BIGGEST VARIETY OF APPLES ON THE APPLE ISLE
Inspiration for baby names? Or just a fascinating look at the varieties of apples - head for none other than The Apple Shed and enjoy the range over a Willie Smith's cider.
24. EXPLORE OVER 2,000KM'S OF TASMANIAN TRAILS
It doesn't really matter which direction you walk - there's going to be spectacular landscape waiting.
25. SAMPLE BILL LARK'S FINEST ON HIS HOME TURF
Enjoy a dram by the waterfront – courtesy of Bill Lark. He’s the Godfather of Australian whisky, earlier this year inducted into the Whisky Hall of Fame in London.
26. VENTURE SOUTH WEST FOR ANCIENT HUON PINES
Tasmania is home to one of the oldest living things on earth - beautiful Huon pines. According to Tas Parks & Wildlife, 'fossil records from a tree found in the south-west of Tasmania were dated at 3,462 years.'
27. ARRIVE BY HELICOPTER FOR BANGOR OYSTERS
That's right, arrive by helicopter like a super star for oysters and wine at Bangor - land where Abel Tasman first set foot.
28. WANDER AUSTRALIA'S LARGEST OUTDOOR MARKET
Enjoy the sights and flavours of Salamanca Market each Saturday in Hobart. From Truffle oil to Huon pine picnic planks, local gin to lavender, and local buskers strumming in between, Salamanca comes to life from 8am. Pop into the Salamanca Arts Centre too.
29. CHECK FOR CONVICT RELATIVES AT PORT ARTHUR HISTORIC SITE
Find out if you have convicts in the family! Stay until nightfall for the ghost tour at Port Arthur, one of Australia's most significant heritage sites and drop into Port Arthur Lavender for ice cream with a hint of lavender and the Coal Mines Historic Site on the way home.
30. VISIT THE COUNTRY'S OLDEST BREWERY
Order a cold brew at Australia's oldest brewery - in Tasmania it appears the locals got busy on the important things first.
31. SLEEP SUSPENDED ABOVE AUSTRALIA'S DEEPEST FRESH WATER LAKE
Stay at Pumphouse Point on Lake St Clair- Australia's deepest fresh water lake - carved by glaciations over the past two million years.
32. CLIMB CRADLE MOUNTAIN'S SUMMIT
Gustav Weindorfer’s stood atop Cradle Mountain in the early 1900s and said, "This must be a National Park for the people for all time." And so it was.
33. HUNT FOR TASMANIAN SAPPHIRES
Head to the far north east with Metal Urges and find rare Tasmanian sapphires...Master Jeweller Chris Hood knows where to hunt.
WORDS + IMAGES: ALICE HANSEN (UNLESS OTHERWISE CREDITED)
We were thrilled to share the best of Tasmania for Go Places Magazine...take a peek at the Top 10 list.
Words: Alice Hansen
Feel like leaping off a waterfall? We recommend you do! Read about our experience in RACT Magazine here.
GO ON. BOOK YOUR BESTIE A CANYON ADVENTURE.
There's a new floating restaurant, at Mona one can dine under the stars on heated seats, and there's an absolute Shambles of a brewery opening early next year. Hobart has arrived people. And we're thrilled to share some new eats and drinks with you - 25 in fact and this isn't all of them. Oh, and the Nant whisky folk now have a boutique hotel.
Floating on the highest level of Brooke Street Pier are chefs who rubbed shoulders at Melbourne’s Taxi Dining Room and now bring Pan-Pacific inspired dishes to Hobart. A seasonal menu captures Tasmania’s local flavours, served with uninterrupted River Derwent views.
Visit Aloft at Franklin Wharf, Brooke St Pier
THE GOLDEN HOUR - MONA
Is this the best indoor/outdoor dining experience ever invented? The three-course experience, concocted by Mona, begins at the Wine Bar and moves down to James Turrell’s Skyspace (his southern-most in the world) where heated concrete seats await before returning inside. Sunset has never looked like this. Just go.
Visit Mona at 655 Main Road Berriedale
Like the sound of a charcoal grill in the heart of Battery Point? This cosy new Japanese eatery is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Expect everything from Gyokuro Japanese green tea and free range Cygnet eggs at breakkie to sashimi and sugar-free peanut butter cookies!
Visit Three Japanese at 38 Waterloo Crescent, Battery Point
POST STREET SOCIAL - HOBART WATERFRONT
The doors are soon to open at Post Street Social - a new waterfront café, tapas bar and restaurant. There'll be a deck to enjoy a craft beer in the sunshine and plenty of local Tasmanian produce on the soon-to-be revealed menu. Stay tuned.
Find Post Street Social at 11a Franklin Wharf
PANCHO VILLA RESTAURANT & TEQUILA BAR
Hobart has a shiny new Tequila Bar thanks to Pancho Villa. The much anticipated North Hobart restaurant called on Tasmanians to submit original 'Day of the Dead' artwork for walls, has Moroccan lights from America and is an exciting new addition to the 'NoHo' strip.
Find Pancho Villa at 375 Elizabeth St North Hobart
In the former home of acclaimed Garagistes sits Urban Greek. With its sleek urban design and friendly atmosphere, the restaurant is about honest, good, authentic Greek food made 'with meraki' which in Aussie translates to made 'with love.' We like the sound of that.
Visit Urban Greek at 103 Murray Street
PLAYGROUND ON HARRINGTON - HOBART CITY
Great coffee here – and the handiwork of the owner is well worth admiring also. Drop in for a coffee and take a peek at the handpicked local makers lining the shelves also. Petite and tastefully done, this is sure to become a popular local in the heart of the city.
Visit Playground in Harrington Street.
It supposedly started with a love of beer. There's a possibility that it's still in a Shambles because it doesn't open until 2016 but when it does...we can't wait to visit.
Find Shambles Brewery at 222 Elizabeth Street in 2016
We enjoyed a quick late night bite at Templo in the first week of opening and the Flathead was the tastiest in town. Small plates, intimate atmosphere, creative Chef's Menu, shared dining if it tempts you and generally a gorgeous new addition to Hobart's dining scene.
Visit Templo at 98 Patrick St
NONE SUCH DISTILLERY
This year has seen a number of Tasmanian distilleries swing open their doors. None Such released it's first Sloe Gin in 2015 - and are dedicated to small batch, beautifully crafted spirits. They also love telling you all about what they do - so head out for a tasting and visit on the Arthur Highway.
Find None Such at 491 Arthur Hwy
LOCAL PIZZA - BERRIEDALE
Those in the know have enjoyed a pizza or three from this Berriedale ‘local’ a stone’s throw from Mona. Grab a seat at the welcoming shared tables and order yourself a large Cheeseus-Christ. We dare you. Oh, and you can also enjoy delicious Glazed Doughnuts Hobart treats here.
Find Local Pizza at 52 Maroni St, Berriedale
If you're in the know, you'll know about Captain Bligh's tasting bar in Hobart. If you haven't been yet - we'll give you a little tip - it's at 64 Warwick Street. If you like the sound of 'colonial ale and heritage cider from the end of the earth,' this is your place.
Find Captain Blighs at 64 Warwick Street.
ROBBIE BROWNS - KINGSTON
Beers by the beach sound good? Robbie Browns has you covered - a stylish new addition to the Kingston Beach waterfront strip. Great share plates, fancy pants cocktails and even a little spirits emporium behind a barn door await your visit.
Find Robbie Browns at Kingston Beach
BAXTER - ROSNY PARK
If you’re in a hurry, Baxter is your friend. These guys specialise in quick and delicious treats and coffee for busy people. Toasted pides and donuts made in-house at this new eastern shore fave. There's even the likes of choc-mallow or choc-honeycomb donuts depending on the day!
Find Baxter at Shop 1, 2 Bayfield St Rosny Park
Who doesn't enjoy a picnic? The Picnic Café is tucked away in Mather's Lane in the city - they serve up wholesome toasties, cakes, coffee and specials like pesto, Persian fetta, spinach and coriander bruschetta on Philadelphia Bakers bread (find these bakers at the Farmers Market!)
Find Picnic Café at Shop 6A, Mathers Lane
It's Sheep Whey Vodka. That's right, Ryan Harthorn is making vodka out of whey from the family's Grandvewe Cheeses business and it's now being sipped all over the world. He hand paints each bottle and you'll find him at the Brooke St Pier regularly. It's a winner!
Visit Grandvewe/Hartshorn Distillery at the Brooke St Pier
THE BLACK FOOTED PIG - HOBART
We’re not sure why the pig has black feet, but we do know that the tapas and share plates here are delicious. Perfect for an after work cocktail tucked away near the Hobart waterfront. Plus, enjoy gorgeous plates by Ridgeline Pottery.
Find The Black Footed Pig at 8 Brooke St, Hobart
BURY ME STANDING
We've spotted a brand new coffee window in the streets of Hobart - tucked away a few doors down from the State Library on Bathurst St. Good chance there'll be a growing line for morning coffee and pot-boiled bagels from these popular Farmer's Market goers!
Visit Bury Me Standing on Facebook
PERMISSION TO EAT - HOBART
It's not brand spanking, but so worth a mention. At PerMission to Eat, get your fill and fill another’s plate. It’s easy. Buy a coffee, for instance, and pop a few coins in the slot for someone else to have one who otherwise might not have the means. Also a training ground for long-term unemployed, this place has a whole lot of good going on including good, good food.
Find Permission to Eat of 48 Barrack St
This family owned pizza bar in Liverpool Street opened earlier in the year, offering everything from vegan pizzas to sticky date pudding and Nutella dessert pizzas. Of course the authentic classics are in the mix - with the option for home delivery or eat-in.
Find Marcello's at 253-255 Liverpool St
Located on the Bellerive Boardwalk, hugged by thick sandstone walls, Blue Envy isn't terribly new but a welcome addition to the Eastern Shore strip. We enjoyed a quiet lunch overlooking the boats recently and have just heard there's a spanking new menu to try. And Boardwalk Fish and Chips are floating nearby too!
Find Blue Envy at 12 Cambridge Road, Bellerive
After attending a recent event at Blundstone Arena, we popped down to Plumb for a coffee. It has a great non-fussy menu and was filled with locals. With a gorgeous beach a few steps away, it's the perfect place to grab a couple of takeaways and find a patch of sand too!
Find Plumb at Blundstone Arena, Bellerive
THE BRICK FACTORY
In the heart of Salamanca, The Brick Factory have everything you need, beer, wine, spirits, whisky, long tables for nattering around and live music. Some just like to watch the sport on TV, that's okay too.
Find the Brick Factory at 55 Salamanca Place
NANT WHISKY BAR - SALAMANCA
So Nant Whisky Bar isn't new, but did you know it has expanded. And did you know Nant now have their very own boutique hotel here in Hobart? There's lots to find out when you're down having a little tipple with these guys in Salamanca.
Find Nant at 3G/63 Wooby's Lane, Salamanca
THE TASMANIAN JUICE PRESS
Cold pressed and delicious the Tasmanian Juice Press is a changing feast of seasonal goodness. Vibrant bottles of carrot, lemon, ginger + turmeric sit beside rice paper rolls and aromatic broths on any given day. The juice vessels are the best too - by local ceramist Lindsey Wherrett.
Find the Tas Juice Press at 32 Argyle Street, Hobart
Words: Alice Hansen
Images: Alice Hansen (unless otherwise credited)
My car door swings open and I’m met with a chorus of Wattlebirds, geese, kookaburras and goats- greeting me with a cacophony of country charm. They confirm I’m out of central Hobart, but only by 45 minutes of pleasant driving. I’ve heard much about the Agrarian Kitchen- so much so that I’ve been desperately looking forward to wearing my own Agrarian apron. In many respects this seems at odds for someone who struggles to boil an egg.
Yet, I was determined to find out if a day with Rodney Dunn might tip me into the realm of serving up something special. It certainly did. You see before my class, I never saw ricotta as much more than a tub-purchase at the supermarket.
I’d never dreamt of making my own. Nor had I tinkered with the idea of milking a goat to make it. My, did Rodney have plans for me…You could call the Agrarian experience hands on, but it’s more than that. It’s better described as ‘get your gumboots on, come pull some heirloom goodness from the earth, tug on a goats teat and let’s have some fun.’
It’s an education, and a full immersion of all that’s paddock-to-plate. I found this particularly special- a cooking school housed in the original schoolhouse of Lachlan. Built in 1887, the beautiful building is still true to its earlier form and breathes a sense of learning, long engrained in her walls. But, where schoolbooks were awaiting those little Lachlan locals, today we are met with a warm Rodney welcome complete with coffee or tea, flavoured with delights from beyond the backdoor. My new friend opts for a ‘surprise tea from the garden.’
Next, there’s goats like Pretty Girl to meet, peas that go by the name of Lacy Ladies and 50 varieties of heirloom tomato to decide between. There’s garlic from Bulgaria, three vibrant colours of sage, a marshmallow plant and Hyssop- a meat herb that rates a mention or two in the bible.
But our first stop is the goat’s milk. In a perfect play on history, the four-legged ‘kids’ hang out in the front paddock that used to serve as a playground for those little Lachlan kids mentioned back in the 1900s. Oaks and Elm trees planted here were done so by the youngsters, marking Federation Day back in 1901. It seems the new kids are equally delighted with their lot, right next door to the wallowing Wessex pigs.
Our baskets swell as we make our way through the garden, collecting lovage (a relative of celery) for a salad, plucking radishes from lush soil, tasting far too many berries, collecting eggs from gaggling chickens as well as red and yellow chard for our exciting three-course meal.
Back inside, we’re encouraged to join with a partner and pick one of four menu items. My very eager and lovely partner opts for the ‘pancetta, goat’s milk ricotta and baby chard rotolo.’ My eyes grow big. The name alone spells kitchen disaster for someone who struggles with an egg. I smile politely and agree it’s an excellent choice. And so it begins.
I read through the steps. Chop an onion. I can cope with that. Finely chop some garlic, yes, that’s doable. And before I know it, I’m separating curds from whey, pressing ricotta through a fine sieve and partaking in the creation of what’s to be one of the tastiest treats I’ve had.
There’s pasta to make, chard to blanch, rosemary and garlic butter to prepare….but so far it’s coming together nicely. Between my more than capable comrade and the calm, wisdom-filled words of Rodney it all runs smoothly. After a good three hours in the kitchen and nearly two in the garden, we sit down to our first course, our ricotta rotolo creation. I’ve never had such a charming response to anything I’ve had a kitchen-hand in. It is worthy of the hug we share!
Through the entire meal, Rodney’s delightful wife Severine hovers in the background, ensuring your water never drops below the full mark, clearing plates and making you feel like you’re in a private home while Rodney serves meticulously-matched Tasmanian wines.
Next on the menu is chargrilled quail with nettle and lovage sauce. The quail, cooking away on the outdoor barbecue fuelled by large logs, sends wafts of deliciousness through the back door. And in Agrarian style the quail comes from just up the road.
Served alongside quinoa with roast root vegetables and tahini yoghurt as well as pea, roasted shallot and asparagus salad it took all our effort to leave room for dessert. Those who were able were well rewarded.
The ‘oooohs and ahhhhs’ coming from around the table could easily be translated into a delectable ‘yes’ from all 8 judges. This was no Masterchef competition, but most found it deep in themselves to enjoy the generously-sized rhubarb, elderflower and frangipane tartlet in full.
I sit back with a baffled half-smile, wondering how I pulled off something delicious in the kitchen. It might have been my ‘other half’ and her kitchen rigour, or that lingering ability to learn like those 1900s school children of Lachlan.
After all, on the trip home speaking to my father, it turns out my great grandfather was the Headmaster of the school. So, for now I will credit him with my brief kitchen flair. And I’ll serve this fact up with a good dose of Rodney’s superb advice along the way.
ADDRESS: 650 Lachlan Road, Lachlan
WEB: Visit the Agrarian Kitchen or find them on Facebook
PHONE: (03) 6261 1099
WORDS & IMAGES: Alice Hansen
The Theatre Royal has a few stories. As Australia’s oldest continually running theatre, that’s no surprise. But few know tales of those early days when the theatre swung open its doors in 1837. Surrounded by public houses, brothels and factories, entertainment ranged from quartets to cockfights. Indeed, it even had its own tavern beneath the auditorium where sailors, prostitutes and other sorts would create their own dramatic storylines.
Today, there are no cockfights. But there’s still plenty of drama. Designed by Peter Degraves, the man behind Australia’s oldest brewery (Cascade), the theatre has survived a devastating fire and edged close to demolition more than once. Yet the convict-carved walls still stand, wrapping around leading Australian and international figures that continue to grace the stage.
THE 2016 LAUNCH EVENT
What’s coming up this season? At the 2016 launch event all is revealed. After we are taken through season highlights (five must see shows below), to our surprise the curtains are raised, revealing an enormous backstage space dotted with champagne glasses and Tasmanian fare. It takes little time for the audience to rise from comfy red seats and join a sea of theatre-enthusiasts chattering between bubbles about which shows to attend.
“I’ve performed all over the world and I have to say, this is one of my favourites Australia-wide,” he says with a charismatic smile, eyes lifting to the theatre’s upper reaches. It’s as if he’s rehearsed the line many times over, but truth is, he’s just making conversation with a Hobart local at the launch event. He doesn’t know who I am, and I’ve never shaken his hand or seen him perform. All I know is that Ross Balbuziente, Artistic Director of shake & stir theatre co. is very excited to return to this Hobart stage. (He also appears on the 2016 season cover above).
It’s my first time standing up on stage. For a moment I imagine what it’s like to perform; the bold red curtains rising to reveal fervent faces. Standing where so many have delivered lines, lifted their voices or had the crowds in laughter, I can’t appreciate it like my actor counterpart can. But judging by the sparkle in those fetching eyes, he’s ready to perform on these historic boards.
Have you read the book? According to Stage Whispers this is “a production that has success stamped all over it." This classic story is brought to you by shake & stir theatre co, the company behind George Orwell’s Animal Farm and 1984. Watch the story of a mysterious man, Heathcliff, unfold with breathtaking stage design and a chance of rain.
Death in Bowengabbie
Since when are funerals funny? In this ‘big, black tender-hearted comedy about love, loss and the mourning after’ you may find yourself chuckling. At Bowengabbie, apparently meals on wheels and funeral arranging is big industry and although Oscar said he’d never return, when Aunt Jeannie dies he finds himself back at Bowengabbie. Next, he finds himself attending more than one funeral….
Circus Under My Bed
Looking for a night of colour and fun? Ever thought of leaving behind everyday life and joining a circus? Grab a few children and head along to Circus Under My Bed. According to the Sydney Morning Herald this is, “A rich theatrical experience for children. This is family circus at its very best.”
The Marriage of Figaro
If you enjoy Mozart, appreciate period costumes and like the sound of Figaro being compared to the Downton Abbey of opera, come and see Opera Australia’s new production. Featuring a chorus of local children and a chamber orchestra, this comic show has a touch of everything; love, liaisons, laughter and lust.
If you’re looking to enjoy some Tasmanian talent head for the Theatre Royal Backspace and enjoy Jeff Michel’s pedalling back in time. This feast of comedy and drama is a special blend of storytelling, puppetry and music. It’s a one man show of serious talent.
Words: Alice Hansen
Images: Alice Hansen unless otherwise credited
Snippets of stories have intrigued me about the Female Factory - a matron who had to manage an incompetent husband, twelve pregnancies and one thousand convict women and another woman named Ellen who danced in a public house and slept with her master.
Clearly, lots went on in South Hobart between 1788 and 1853 when around 25,000 women were transported to Australia for their crimes. One stole a fiddle, another was sent here for seven years for stealing a turkey and an apron. Today, the Female Factory is Australia’s most significant site associated with the female convict story.
VISITING THE FEMALE FACTORY
It was time to find out what went on behind those South Hobart walls. The best way to do it? Heading there at noon for Her Story, a dramatised play run daily, or doing a Heritage Tour. Chris and Judith Cornish are the actors for Her Story, recently winning People’s Choice at the Tourism Awards for Louisa’s Walk, which has now been replaced with Her Story.
Arriving at 12, we’re enveloped into the story of a convict named Mary almost instantly. I am interested to know how a dramatised play might work on me, but work it does. No sooner do I step into the Female Factory’s gravel yards, I am standing beside Mary. Well, today the play is about Mary but in a way she represents the stories of many convict women as I look across hundreds of names etched into the walls.
She’s about to be taken of all her worldly goods, her clothing and the hair on her head. Granted, Mary is an actress, but standing beside her in the harsh sunlight, peering into her fearful eyes she has me believing and feeling every ounce of her trepidation. She’s being talked to with disdain and contempt, and the rest of us stand silently. A wooden stick is pointed at her, just beyond her nose, as another woman politely steps back a foot.
She’s wearing a bonnet, I’m not. Perhaps that’s why she’s selected from the line up to be gruffly yelled at. Around ten of us are on the tour today, and it’s fascinating how we all immediately fall into our roles without a word spoken. Did Tasmania become 1833 Van Diemen’s Land somewhere between the visitor counter and the hard stand-stone walls of Yard One?
As Mary is reprimanded and punished, we shuffle along beside her. We hear tales of some 1200 convict babies that don’t survive, squeezed into a tiny nursery, top and tailing in cots. A picture is painted of a dark, dank, cold place surrounded by lofty 13-foot high walls. Nearly 200 women worked, slept, ate, prayed and gave birth here beneath Mount Wellington.
By the time we venture over to the working cells, I’m asked to help Mary with her tasks. She whispers to me when the overseer has his back to us, and I’m taken back to school days when private whispers were charged with the possibility of punishment.
Would my talking to Mary conclude with banishment to the solitary cell? Or worse, would I have to wear a collar with lengthy spikes, as heavy as a bowling ball on my shoulders as punishment? It’s baffling that those in charge could dream up such a contraption. There was no reprieve at night either – women were forced to sleep with it around their neck for up to a month.
By the time Her Story was over, I wanted to walk straight out the Female Factory gates. But not without asking what happened to Mary and whether she reunited with her illegitimate son William. Mary, now acting as a real human I could address as Judith, looked at me with the same pain I saw in her acting eyes. She simply shrugged and said, “We don’t know what happened to Mary or William. Records were not kept beyond the Female Factory.”
If I hadn’t have completed the Heritage Tour before My Story, I’m not sure I could have stayed. The reality and brutality within those walls I’ve driven past as a local so many times had become eerily real. My mother’s name is Mary and my brother’s name is William. It was just a little too close to home, that only a short run of decades separated the fate of these two pairs by the same first names.
Experience this part history lesson, part roaming theatre show yourself. After all, 74 per cent of Tasmanians have convict ancestry and many of these convict women also ended up on mainland Australia. Whether a local or visitor, one never knows the connection you may have to Mary.
Cascades Female Factory
Cost $20 Adults, $12.50 Child, $60 family. ($10 off if joining Heritage Tour also)
Your launch pad for exploring Tasmania like a local.