Hi there, welcome to Orange FOOD Week! Every year, Orange and it’s local villages celebrate the diverse range of goods this little part of the world produces. From wine to cider, apples to olive oils, verjuice to jam, we like to show it off, every April in a ten day food festival. This year marks 30 years of Orange FOOD Week. It’s a time to knock back a few glasses of local wine and celebrate the year’s harvest.
Many of the big events, like Forage, sell out in a matter of minutes, early in the year. But for those looking to spend some time in the region, there is still loads to do. Whether you’re a local or you’re travelling from afar, your first point of call should be Food HQ. Located at the visitors center in Byng St, this is the place to find out everything you need to know about the festival, as well as last minute availability of events.
If organized events aren’t your thing, you can easily wing it and create your own Food Week highlight reel. Here are a few of my suggestions to pass the time…
Feel like sippin’ some Gin? Book a tasting at Parrot Distillery’s Aviary.
Get the scoop at Spilt Milk Bar. Drop in for a scoop (or tub) of gelato. Take the kids. And the big kids. Their seasonal gelato flavours are always a treat. Highly recommend the milk chocolate gelato, and don’t forget to ask for the chocolate fountain on top!
On the last day of the festival (Sunday 18th April), the producer market in Cook Park is a lovely way to spend a Sunday morning. Take the kids, grab a bite to eat, kick some fallen Autumn leaves, and have a wander around the stalls.
The seasonal, set menu is at Charred is always a winner. Their pumpkin gnocchi is back on the menu and this place never disappoints. Be warned though, weekends book out weeks in advance. Try mid week and cross your fingers!
Other standout eateries are Birdie, Raku Izakaya, Union Bank, Groundstone, Mr Lims, and the Orange institution, Lolli Redini.
Out of town
Head out to Borenore and go apple picking at Hillside Harvest.
Pick one or two cellar doors to visit. Have a glass (or three) of wine, and enjoy some fresh, country, vineyard air.
Two of my favourites are…
Heifer Station 1034 The Escort Way, Orange
Angullong The Old Bluestone Stables, Crn Victoria & Park St, Millthorpe
Don’t forget to book ahead before heading out!
Go for a drive and explore the surrounding historic villages of Millthorpe & Carcoar. Grab a coffee and wander.
Picnic in the vines at Rowlee Wines. You can pre order one of their local, gourmet hampers to gather in the vineyard with a few friends and a bottle of their wine.
If all this sounds like it’s a really good idea, but your energy levels aren’t really there. You could always cheat. Orange Cellars have curated a taste of Orange. Six bottles of beautiful local wines to discover the region. The great news is they ship Australia wide! Find somewhere warm, pour a glass and happy FOOD Week!