I’m no stranger to travelling, having covered a lot of Australia and overseas many times with my band Powderfinger, but this was a different experience for me as I found myself scratching well below the surface with the people who make a place, a place.
Our journey began in the area of Tanunda, just north of Adelaide’s growing airport, amongst the rolling hills of the Barossa. Kingsford Homestead, a beautiful old manor surrounded by 225 acres of stunning South Australian countryside was to be our home for 2 days as we took in the local history and cuisine. Speaking of food, I was treated to a 5 course degustation dinner with none other than Steven Henschke providing wine from his veritable cellar to match. I hate to drop names but the shiraz-based ‘Hill of Grace’ had my eyes rolling into the back of my head with some of the most beautifully pungent aromas I’ve ever had.
Whilst on the Homestead, I managed to get my gear off in their bush bath. Let’s hope the out takes don’t make the broadcast…no one needs to see that!
The following day took us into Anguston to visit the local farmers markets followed by a cooking course with Matteo at Italian cooking school, Casa Carboni. I’m quite a dab hand in the kitchen so Matteo and I hit it off pretty quickly, producing some simple but tasty Italian food to which I promptly exclaimed “tutto bene”…he knew what I meant.
I should mention at this point that this whole travel reporter thing is a lot of work! We were up at 7am and home at 7pm. It was a real eye opener to the whole process and what an amazing job Jen and Clint do to get Places We Go onto our TV screens.
Ok, back to me. From the hills of the Barossa, we scooted back to the big smoke of Adelaide City where Clint and I cruised the streets, visiting local cafés, markets and generally chatting the city up.
Our first stop was The Aviary Dessert Kitchen, a delectable dessert only restaurant that hit my sweet tooth right in the middle. I couldn’t leave without having a dessert renamed after me, so swing by and ask for ‘The Darren’ sometime.The Adelaide Central Market greeted us the next morning and our gracious host Mark entertained us for hours on end.
The final stop we made was to an interesting wine bar, Cantina Sociale, that brings the cellar door to the city. The only way to drink their blends is to actually come in and try something that never reaches the bottling stage – small barrelfuls of experimental blends and unusual varietals. I love this idea of needing to make the effort and then reaping the rewards of a totally unique food and wine experience.
And on the eighth day, I found myself at the airport, heading back to Melbourne and looking forward to my next PWG experience. I’ll be waiting for the call.