5 Top Tips For Enjoying Orange FOOD Week To The Max
PHOTO CREDITS: Orange360
It’s Australia’s longest-running (and most loved!) regional food festival and it’s becoming increasingly popular with visitors from nearby Sydney and Canberra. With direct flights from Sydney as well as Brisbane and Melbourne we’re expecting to see more gourmet aficionados from further afield too. For all the newbies who are thinking of joining us for 10 days of food festival fun (yeah, it’s not really a ‘week’ is it?), there are a few things that insiders know that we’re willing to share with you. So we’ve put together the following list of our 5 top tips for enjoying Orange FOOD Week to the maximum:
BOOK TICKETS TO SIGNATURE FESTIVAL EVENTS EARLY
Tickets to FORAGE sell out months in advance. In fact, we recommend that if you’re serious about getting involved in Orange FOOD Week that you become a ‘Friend of FOOD’ member to access pre-sale tickets as well as monthly newsletters about food and wine events in the Orange region.
The FOOD Week Night Market on the first Friday of the festival in Robertson Park and the Sunday Producer’s Market and Brunch on the second Sunday in Cook Park are both free events and great places to mingle with the locals.
FOOD WEEK NIGHT MARKET IS THE BEST WAY TO DISCOVER THE REGION’S FOOD & WINE
In one fell swoop, you can visit over 50 local food and wine stallholders and discover the flavours of the Orange region. What’s more, you’re in a park lit up with fairylights in the centre of town – – it’s a magical evening. Our top tip for this event is to ARRIVE EARLY. Like seriously, when the doors open at 5.30pm. It’s the best opportunity to grab the deliciously creative local food you crave, as some stalls are so popular they sell out early. And at about 6.30pm around 6,000 people walk in to the event…somehow they all seem to turn up at the same time. Also, we are in the middle of the country and everyone keeps country hours here. Doors shut at 8.30pm, last drinks are at 8pm. We know, we know. But if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em (be the first to turn up!).
MEET THE PRODUCERS AT FOOD HQ
FOOD HQ is hosted at the stunning Orange Visitor Information Centre and Regional Museum. Rock up daily during the festival to listen to our local producers give talks on their farms and products, and their personal success stories. This also gives you an opportunity to roll down the green slopes of the Orange Regional Museum roof (yes, it’s a thing!) and ideal for selfies. Finish off the entire experience with a locally-ground coffee and cake at Groundstone Cafe.
IMMERSE YOURSELF IN LOCAL MARKETS
Live like a local and do all your shopping at local markets, there’s a plethora of beauties being held during Orange FOOD Week.
Start with The Journey Person Handmade Pop-Up at The Corner Store Gallery featuring a curated collection of handmade artisan wares all created and designed here in the Central West. Is also in the neighbourhood of Bills Beans East Orange, walk down the block for the best coffee in town (can’t miss it, corner store with queue a mile long out the door!).
A personal favourite is the Borenore Country Fair. It’s hard to get more charming than this. Century old public school, and thanks to most of the parents having their own nearby farms and vineyards it’s usually a food and wine lovers delight. We’ve seen a traditional chocolate wheel turn into a wine wheel at previous events, and there’s been venison and alpaca on the barbie. Lots of artisanal craft stalls and homemade preserves.
The quintessential Millthorpe Markets in the historical village of Millthorpe has got to be one of the most popular market days in New South Wales, and you’d be crazy to miss it. An incredible array of stallholders from fashion, furniture, food, wine, art and craft in a gorgeous goldrush-era historic village. It’s almost impossible to describe the eclectic mix, so just go and experience it! Get there early to beat the crowds if you’re in a serious shopping mood though.
One last one. Orange Farmers Markets held at Northcourt just behind the Orange Regional Art Gallery and Orange Regional Museum. This is the monthly meeting place for our local farmers, producers and vignerons – and lovers of 100% local, fresh seasonal produce and wines.
Photo Credits for images above and below: Silver Compass Tours
THE PROVENANCE EXPRESS
Left everything to last minute? Don’t worry – you can simply hop onboard our Provenance Express for a three-day slow food, slow travel odyssey by train from Sydney to Orange.Our carefully curated itinerary emphasises organic and biodynamic local food and wine experiences, and includes a visit to the Festival Night Market, a biodynamic vineyard and a day on an organic farm rambling through a fig orchard, olive grove and vineyard with a lunch in the strawbale winery.
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR SILVER COMPASS TOURS E:NEWS.