It’s all happening! The quirky and colourful Huon Valley Mid-Winter Festival is on this weekend, kicking off on Friday 14 July and running through to Sunday 16 July. The frivolities begin on Friday night with feasting, craft ciders, live music by the fireside, as well as the welcome ceremony and burning man! On Saturday the fun continues, with the addition of the much-anticipated wassail procession as well as a fire twirling display. Sunday is dedicated to family fun, so take the kids for some quirky family bonding. You can find the full program here.
Did we mention the feasting? The region’s amazing local produce will be offered up in all its mouthwatering glory, with a wide range of stallholders setting up shop for the weekend. Why stop at the festival? We highly recommend extending your weekend in the Southern Trove. Take your tastebuds on the scenic route and eat your way around the beautiful Huon Valley and stunning D’Entrecasteaux Channel. In honour of the festival, we’ve put together some recommendations. Eat, drink, and make merry!
Images by Natalie Mendham, supplied by the Huon Valley Mid-Winter Fest.
On Fridays we feast
The festival doesn’t kick off until 5pm on Friday, so ease into it with a leisurely afternoon at Fat Pig Farm. Their Friday Feast is the ultimate paddock to plate experience – sit at the long table in the farm kitchen and enjoy seasonal, homegrown dishes straight from the farm, accompanied by specially matched Tasmanian beer, wine, cider and spirits. You also get a tour of the farm!
Another tip – if you don’t have a ticket to the festival on Friday night, head to the Red Velvet Lounge at Cygnet and indulge in their amazing vegetarian and vegan dishes. They have live music on Friday nights, with a special free concert by Harmony Byrne scheduled for 14 July. They’re also open for breakfast and lunch from Wednesdays to Sundays.
Bakeries, cafes and restaurants
All that yelling at trees is going to work up an appetite. There are some amazing bakeries and cafes that offer delicious coffees, breakkies and lunches, or go a little bit fancy and treat yourself to brunch. Try the tasty delights at the Summer Kitchen Bakery in Ranelagh, the Cygnet Woodfired Bakehouse, The Local coffee house at Huonville, and Franks Cider Bar and Cafe at Franklin. Peppermint Bay Restaurant overlooks the water and is open for lunch every day, as well as dinner from Thursday to Saturday. On Sunday night, you can’t go wrong with Ranelagh General Store’s popular Sunday Roast for dinner.
Tipples and nibbles
After all that hard work scaring the nasties out of the cider trees, you deserve to sample more of the bounty from previous seasons! As well as enjoy the cider at the home of the festival Willie Smith’s Apple Shed, you can pop into Franks Cider Bar & Cafe at the lovely waterfront town of Franklin, as well as Pagan Cider’s cellar door at the arts hub of Cygnet. If you fancy a change from cider, Home Hill Winery at Ranelagh has you covered. For something truly ewenique, visit the farm at Grandvewe Cheeses to meet the girls and try some of their amazing sheep cheeses. They’re also home to the award-winning Hartshorn Distillery, pioneering sheep whey vodka and gin in Tasmania.
Don’t forget about dessert! For something sweet, pop into the popular Nutpatch Chocolates at Kettering for some handmade delicacies. From Kettering, you might like to catch the ferry across to Bruny Island, another hub of incredible local produce – think oysters, cheese, fruit, wine and whisky… So good!
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