Road Trip Through the Adelaide Hills

The quaint townships of the breathtaking Adelaide Hills are brimming with cultural discoveries, award-winning wineries (many specialising in cool-climate varieties) and artisan eateries. If you’re a gin lover, you’ll also want to visit some of the region’s most popular distilleries.

but first, brunch

FRED Eatery is the perfect combination of sweet and savoury. The local favourite that specialises in flavour driven comfort food, serving up breakfast, lunch, coffee and cakes, recently took the top spot in The Advertiser’s Adelaide Hill’s Top Café survey with chef Matt Preston. You can even bring your pup along for a doggy biscuit and lactose-free turmeric latte. There’s also an inviting courtyard, mezzanine library and private dining space with affiliated retail outlet, FRED Living, just next door! 

Fred Eatery
22 Mount Barker Road, Aldgate
08 8339 1899

gin stop

The Ambleside experience begins before you even enter the state-of-the-art distillery – in the botanical garden that the family-owned venue was literally built around. Juniper berries, native citrus and an array of herbs that are grown in the distillery garden and used to flavour Ambleside’s traditional, vapour infused range of craft spirits. 

Capturing the essence of the local produce is part of the founding family’s ethos, and just one of the reasons their uniquely authentic gins are so popular. Complementing the flavours, which are blended together in their Australian-made copper still, and completing the experience is a journey through the character-filled Tasting Room. 

A nine-metre-long reclaimed brick wall and polished concrete floors greet you at the entrance while a large timber deck extends your gaze toward the ensuing view of Hahndorf’s iconic rolling hills. 

Tasting Flights that include three signature gins are a good place to start, while the more adventurous might want to embark on a Gin Blending Masterclass where you will use a mix of botanicals straight from the garden, as well as local and international producers, to create your own unique blend.

Ambleside Distillers
1 Ambleside Road, Hahndorf


The second-generation family-owned vineyard is a mere 25 minutes from Adelaide, yet the charismatic stone cellar door and restaurant in the heart of Nairne will have you feeling like you’re a million miles away. 

The winery’s a la carte restaurant, Clover & Stone, boasts a delicious menu crafted by executive chef Chang Koog Lee (aka Cookie). The cuisine is a fusion of fresh, local South Australian produce and Korean flavours. Wild caught Barramundi with orange quinoa salad, braised daikon and jorim sauce, or traditional house-made gamja-jeon Korean potato fritters with miso bechamel, roasted pepitas, macadamia and vinegar glaze are just a few of the dishes you’ll find.

Food aside, there are two other good reasons to add this one to your Hills’ list.  Howard Vineyard actually has two vineyards, each used to produce different types of wine. Howard Vineyard in Mount Barker is a warmer vineyard in a cool climate; the grapes harvested here are used to make Shiraz, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Rose and Sauvignon Blanc. Schoenthal (meaning beautiful valley) Vineyard in Lobethal is known for its natural acidity and cool climate, producing some of the Adelaide Hill’s finest Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc. 

The winemaking at Howard Vineyard has a meticulous process. Head winemaker Tom believes that picking the grapes at optimal ripeness is the key to achieving vibrant flavours and natural acidity. And so, the winemakers go above and beyond to harvest the grapes at their peak, from handpicking and hand pruning to shoot and bunch trimming and low yields.

There are also wine tastings at the cellar door or you can experience the Amos Tasting, which explores the premium Amos range with a virtual walkthrough of the Howard Vineyard story. Be sure to keep an eye out for Felix, the winery pooch. 

Howard’s Vineyard
53 Bald Hills Road, Nairne
08 8188 0203

Charcuterie Perfection

’Charcuterie’ technically means a selection of fine meats, but most entertainers also add artisan cheeses, crackers, nuts and other produce to add visual interest and, of course, to build on the flavour. Unley Shopping Centre has everything you need to create the perfect platter for your next event.

Valledoro Saltelli Grissini, $2.29, Tony & Mark’s; Proscuitto, $54.99/kg, SA Fine Meats; Sicilian Olives, $4, Culture Shock Provisions; Sandhurst Sun-dried Tomatoes, $3.70, Woolworths;Riverside Natural Peacans, $5.95, Woolworths; Sourdough Batard, $7.50, Dulwich Bakery; Crispbic Crisp Breads, $7.49, Tony & Mark’s; Provolone Dolce, $26.95/kg, Culture Shock Provisions; Bleu d’Auvergne, $84.95/kg, Culture Shock Provisions; De Palma Ghost Pepper Salame, $18.79, Culture Shock Provisions; Figs, $8.99, Tony & Mark’s; Grapes, $4.99/kg, Tony & Mark’s; Peer Sorensen Round Chopping Board, 52cm x 40.5cm, $59.95, Semprinis Newsagency; Bowls, $6.95 each, Semprinis Newsagency; Cheese Knife, $24.95, Semprinis Newsagency

A rustic hardwood timber cutting board is the best choice, while marble boards are also popular. The shape is a matter of preference but remember the bigger the board, the more meats, cheeses and fresh produce you’ll need.


A cured selection of well-presenting meats like prosciutto, smoked sausages and salami work well. Spreadable meat such as pate are also common additions. 


Include cheeses with contrasting flavours, such as a hard cheese, soft cheese and blue cheese. Cut some small shards off and scatter around to add texture.


Fresh crusty bread, crackers and breadsticks can be stacked to add height, while fresh local in-season fruit will give your board a pop of colour. Small bowls filled with nuts, olives or dips can be used to anchor the arrangement. Use whatever you have handy, such as small ramekins or glass jars. They don’t have to match! 

Explore Adelaide’s Mansions and Manors

Get to know the real Adelaide when you embark on a series of historical and scenic tours, showcasing a range of our city’s most iconic locations. 

Down to Earth Tours offer six walking tours, each showcasing specific parts of South Australia’s culture and history.

Depending on your interests, choose between tours specialising in the foundation of various Adelaide developments, early colonial families, housing and spectacular mansions.

Around the Square: This walking tour focuses largely on the infrastructure of central Adelaide, visiting the Law Courts, GPO, Treasury Building and Adelaide Town Hall.

East End Escapade: It’s an insight into the mansions and manors of Adelaide, located on East and South Terrace. 

Cultural Caper: Uncover how Adelaide became what it is socially and culturally and the foundation of its development. 

Stately Swagger: Highlighting all that North Adelaide has to offer, take a trip back to the 1800s and discover the historic villas and houses and the families who occupied them.

Grand Mansions & Sub-divisions: Discover the mansions of Brougham Place and the Chichester Gardens subdivisions; Stanley, Melbourne and Jerningham Streets.

Hills, Squares & Parklands: Dating back to the 1850s, explore Montefiore Hill, Brougham Place and Palmer Place and their history. 

Director of Down to Earth Tours, Graeme Fanning has extensive knowledge of Adelaide’s heritage and delves into many cultural highlights and stories. 

Starting and ending locations are specified and tours can be run weekdays from 10 am to 12 pm. 

Each tour runs for 90 minutes and the costs are $30 for adults, $25 for concession and $20 for children. 

Enquire online to book your ‘tour for the soul’. 

Down To Earth Tours 

0416 824 778


The Marion Hotel – Same Same, But Different

The Marion Hotel may not be like you remember, and it is definitely a place you won’t forget.

The Marion Hotel caters for so many occasions. Catch up for a delicious meal with friends in the garden, watch the AFL and have a game of billiards in The Shed, wine and dine in the dining room or stay the night in one of the industrial chic hotel rooms. Party, relax, socialise, experience – The Marion Hotel goes above and beyond your average pub. 

It was recently named South Australia’s Best Hotel for a reason. After undergoing a makeover in 2019, The Marion Hotel has become a landmark of hotel design. 

The hotel’s unique character and atmosphere are unlike any other – a funky pink neon sign hanging on the wall and fascinating interior design hint at the uber cool interior. With a burning passion for doing things differently, The Marion Hotel favours quirkiness over conservatism.

There is something for everyone, with tastings in the on-site bottle shop, live music in the garden on Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday, or quiz nights in The Shed. The food is adventurous but has something for everyone. The drinks are both classically refined and excitingly experimental. The entertainment is always new and exciting.

The Marion have totally flipped what it means to have a hotel function room. The Secret Garden captures the outdoor splendour of a coastal garden; the perfect place for a 21st birthday or Sunday morning yoga brunch club. The Glasshouse is full of natural light and is perfect for networking. The Terrace is a dynamic space for presentations and parties. The Shed is for those casual get-togethers and Friday knockoffs. As a complete package, these spaces make The Marion an innovator in the function space.

There are also 62 contemporary and eccentric hotel rooms to choose from, making it the place to play and stay. 

As a South Australian owned and operated business, supporting local suppliers is also a must. With an elaborate selection of South Australian craft beers and wines, the best the state has to offer is right at your fingertips. 

Whether you’re a local returning to your favourite revamped venue or a new face looking to try something different, The Marion Hotel will become your new home away from home. 

The Marion Hotel

849 Marion Road, Mitchell Park

Autumn Heir: New Season Fashion

Fashion takes a cosy turn with warm knits, structured coats and wide-leg pants that mean business.

Olivia Rogers dressed by Rundle Place

Witchery herringbone blazer, $329.95; rib turtle neck, $59.95; modern tailored flare, $169.95; kora suede boot, $229.95. Seed spiral earrings, $19.95. Country Road woven detail crossbody bag, $99.95.
Trenery mock neck half sleeve t-shirt, $59.95 and cropped pleat pant, $149. Mimco unite necklace, $149.
Country Road wool double breasted blazer, $349, Australian cotton zip collar sweat, $119, and wool wide leg pant, $199.
Witchery pin tuck trapeze dress (worn as top), $159.95, and ruffle tiered skirt, $139.95.
Witchery high neck cut out top, $79.95, faux leather skirt, $139.95, and Morgan leather boot, $349.95.
Ted Baker Rose wool wrap coat, $739, Zaaraa one shoulder fold detail midi dress, $449. Witchery Morgan leather boot, $349.95.

Model @oliviamollyrogers
Photographer @gretlwb_photo
Stylist @maryfranz_
HMUA @kellyaallison
Shot on location @transformafurniture
Dressed by @rundleplaceadl

A Must Visit – The Barossa Vintage Festival 2021

A community tradition since 1957, the Barossa Vintage Festival has become embedded in the local culture, bringing the streets of the region to life each and every year. 

Supporting local producers, performers and farmers, and showcasing everything the region has to offer with a program of over 50 activities, this five-day long event is one not to miss.

Barista Brewer Wine Cycle Tour 

Indulge in locally produced coffee, beer, wine and cake, and don’t feel guilty about it. This 20km Wine Cycle Tour will take you on a journey through the north of the Barossa Valley, stopping at some of region’s most picturesque vineyards and historical sites. 

Date: April 14th-16th

Time: 10am-3:30pm
Location: Barossa Bike Hire, 5 South Terrace, Nuriootpa 

Cost: $195 

Vintage Festival Garden 

This event has everything you need for a perfect afternoon in one location: a pop-up wine bar, artisan workshops, lawn games, picnic packs and live music. Spend the day lounging around with friends and family while soaking up the vintage vibes and Barossa atmosphere. 

Date: April 14th-18th

Time: 9am-6pm

Location: Barossa Visitor Centre66-68 Murray Street, Tanunda 

Artful Encounters

Watch four local artists let their creative side loose at Artful Encounters. Helen, Ann, Merita and Ava splash colourful and vibrant paints on to bare canvases and create something incredible. 

Date: April 14th-18th

Time: 10am-4pm

Location: Old Union Chapel, Penrice Road, Angaston 

Ziegermarkt – Old World Charm 

It’s a blast to the past at the Ziegermarkt. Transport yourself to the 1800s and experience the atmosphere of live markets. Here you have a chance to bid on fresh local produce, preserves and smallgoods in the traditional bygone manner.

Date: April 15th

Time: 8am-11am

Location: Goat Square, Cnr John & Maria Streets, Tanunda

2021 Vintage Shiraz Gin Making 

If you’re a gin lover, this one is for you. Using premium vintage 2021 Shiraz grapes, create your own Shiraz gin flavour. Finish the day with a three-course lunch paired with some of Seppeltsfield most popular wines. 

Date: April 15th-18th

Time: 10:30am-2:30pm

Location: Barossa Gin School, 50 Pheasant Farm Road, Nuriootpa

Cost: $395 pp for a station, $295 pp for a shared station

Barossa Vintage Festival Ball 

This black-tie ball will be held in Seppeltsfield’s 1920s cellar and split into a two-part celebration. The first part of the evening will commemorate the 2021 winners of the Young Ambassadors for the Barossa. The second part will begin will a dinner prepared by Events Chef Owen Andrews, paired with Seppeltsfield wines. 

Date: April 17th

Time: 8pm-late

Location: Seppeltsfield Winery, 730 Seppeltsfield Road, Seppeltsfield

Cost: $99 (additional $15 for Young Ambassador Presentations)

Jamfactory Seppeltsfield Workshop

Local ceramic artist Sonya Moyle demonstrates her technique and displays her talent in the Jamfactory workshop. You’ll have the opportunity to decorate the ceramics using coloured underglazes and learn from one of the best the Barossa Valley has to offer. 

Date: April 18th

Time: 11am-2pm

Location: Seppeltsfield Winery, 730 Seppeltsfield Road, Seppeltsfield

Cost: $36.50

Visit to purchase tickets or plan your weekend at The Barossa Vintage Festival. 

Luciano’s: A slice of Capri at Marina Pier

After a year that has restricted us from travelling to the most beautiful destinations in the world, everyone is longing for incredible Italian food and missing the European sun that comes with it. Right at our fingertips, only a 20-minute drive from the CBD, Luciano’s is the saving grace to all your Italian dreams and desires.

In 2019, South Australian’s were introduced to modern Italian dining by the sea, a place that truly thrives in the summer months. Located on the waterfront and surrounded by ocean views, the osteria style venue instantly transports you to the Amalfi Coast.

Tuscan-inspired sandstone tiles, premium marble and pink accents create a bright and warm ambience, while the mouthwatering new menu is just one of the draw cards. Head chef Loris Facciolo and executive chef Adam Swanson have crafted the menu themselves, honing in on their knowledge and expertise of Italian cuisine.

Using fresh and local South Australian produce, begin your dining experience with Beef Carpaccio with nduja, truffle aioli, pecorino and parsley, followed by the vegetarian-friendly Penne Alla Norma with eggplant, tomato, pine nuts, basil and ricotta Salata. A delectable selection of wood-oven pizzas is also available to order. Finish your meal with traditional Italian desserts with a twist: Cannoli Sicialiani made with ricotta, chocolate and pistachio or Tiramisu with savoiardi, mascarpone and coffee.

If there is something that Italians feel passionately about, it’s food and sharing it with their loved ones. Order a selection of dishes and get a chance to taste everything Luciano’s has to offer. 

Pair your meals with the extensive wine list, which includes reds from Tuscany and the best South Australian Riesling, or if you’re in the mood for something authentic order the renowned and beloved Aperol Spritz.

Shop 13-15 Marina Pier, Glenelg
8294 5544

Nature Invented Electricity, Porsche Gave It Soul

Imagine this: it’s another warm Autumn weekend in South Australia. The all-new electric Porsche Taycan is waiting.

The car’s 800-volt architecture ensures the vehicle is ready for a whole day of driving – ideal for extended trips to surrounding wine regions.

Excitement of the journey begins with an engine start like that of a super sports car. The two engines accelerate the Taycan Turbo S from 0-100km/H in 2.8 seconds.

In the Porsche Taycan, destinations like McLaren Vale and The Barossa are within easy reach. The performance battery provides the Taycan with additional range, reducing the need to stop, charge and allowing you to cover long distances effortlessly.

The impressive interior boasts luxury and functionality, ensuring ultimate comfort between cellar doors.

With the Porsche Taycan, you may never want to go home.

Porsche Centre Adelaide
280 Glen Osmond Rd, Fullarton SA 5063
08 8379 0777

Photography Meghan Coles

Singing Sisters Bring Back a Fringe Favourite

With Fringe still a thing in 2021, we sat down with two of the driving forces behind Adelaide’s Gospo Collective, the acclaimed community-based music program that is set to reheat a hit.

Gospo Collective’s founder and lead conductor Charmaine Jones

Singing sisters Charmaine Jones and Joanna Arul Tropeano are South Australia proud.  As Adelaide-based performers, educators and musical entrepreneurs, they’ve carved out careers that are as eclectic as the people they’ve worked with and the shows that they’ve produced over the last twelve years. 

Eschewing the notion that you have to leave this state to ‘make it’, the Sri Lankan born sisters are a testament to hard work and having passion for what you do. “Everyone should be encouraged to share their voice,” says elder sister Charmaine, Gospo’s founder and lead conductor. 

Raised by their parents to do exactly that, it’s a philosophy they pour into their roles as teachers, arrangers and performers with Gospo Enterprises, the company Charmaine founded in 2009.

“Singing and performing the way we do as a collective is a beautiful way of connecting and communicating,’ says Joanna, who takes charge of Gospo’s Jones Chorus, their education program for 12-16 year olds. 

Like Charmaine, she also works as a choral director at an Adelaide school and runs a well-followed fashion blog (@the_style_file) on the side. There’s no question, however, about where her heart truly lies.

“I’m a bit more reserved than Charmaine in terms of my personality, but when I sing there is a freedom that is undeniable. Sharing that with our students and seeing them thrive during a performance is my life’s reward. I’m so lucky to do what I do.”

Frequently recognised around town, the sisters grew up with music as a part of their daily lives. Although recalling early concerts performed at parents’ dinner parties and re-enactments of Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals, none of it seemed attached to the concept of celebrity. “Singing was for everyone, and still is,”  Joanna says.

In addition to being a soprano singer, the pair’s mother ran a speech, drama and elocution school in Sri Lanka. It meant that the way the siblings spoke and presented was drummed into them very early on. 

“Singing was a natural extension of that and became a central part of our education. In reality, it’s been a discipline we’ve practised without thinking about it since before we can even remember. It even felt normal when I started teaching at the age of twelve!” says Charmaine.

Choral director Joanna Arul Tropeano

This early discipline carried them through an extremely difficult period in 2020. Although forced to move their choral groups online, The Gospo Collective continued to perform, inviting guests to their ‘Live Lounge Sessions’ via their growing YouTube channel.

By continuing to practice their art, Charmaine says they’ve ‘embraced  the complexities of life as we know it’, and emerged as better musicians.

This year, their work will again culminate in their annual showcase at the Adelaide Fringe, where they will reboot their award-winning presentation of Jackson v Jackson.

Playing to sellout crowds in 2019, the show is a combination of both Janet and Michael’s greatest hits, and delves deep into the famous siblings own influences. The result is a captivating journey through some of the best soul, funk and pop music ever created.

As per all of their previous shows, Charmaine says audiences can expect special guests on stage each night, and confirmed an overture had been written by Chong Lim AM, the legendary composer for the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

“We rejigged everything for COVID, so we can’t wait to bring back a show we know the people love.”

Check out some highlights of their earlier Fringe shows on YouTube @GospoMusicAUS

Words Jon Aspin
Images Diana Melfi

10 Ways to Change it up this Valentine’s Day

Forget the predictable dinner date and surprise your Valentine this February 14. Whether you’re ready to paint your partner or throw it back to the 70s, we’ve got you sorted.

Paint Your Partner with Vintage Van Gogh
Spend an afternoon with your Valentine and learn how to master the perfect partner portrait. Guided by local artists from Vintage Van Gogh you’ll learn the techniques needed to become your own artist. A selection of local wine will be available to purchase on the day.
When: 2pm – 4.30pm
Where: Hygge Atrium, Goodwood 
Cost: $70

Allure – Dating & Dancing – Valentine’s Day Singles Night
This one is for the singles – a night filled with dance lessons and speed dating. Learn how to dance the Bachata from One Dance Studio’s Nixon and Dominique and have a mingle at the same time. You’ll be greeted with a drink on arrival and spend the might laughing and dancing.
When: 6:00pm-9pm
Where: Mr Goodbar
Cost: $48.56

Valentine’s Day Picnic at Paxton
It’s the ideal Sunday afternoon activity. Picnic with your Valentine surrounded by the beauty and scenery of Paxton Winery. BYO food and picnic essentials or have the day arranged for you by the winery, with your picnic spot set up and waiting for you. 
When: 11am-4pm
Where: Paxton Landcross Farm
Cost: $10+

Valentine’s at the Green
Bring the family along to a day filled with locally sourced wine, gin and food from your favourite South Australian businesses. Browse through a range of art, homewares and fashion from local traders while listening to great live music and entertainment.  
When: 10am-3pm
Where: Norwood Green Warehouse & Display Centre
Cost: Free 

Valentine’s Day at Kingpin Bowling 
Add a little healthy competition to your evening with Kingpin Bowling’s Valentine’s Day special. Enjoy unlimited ten pin bowling and laser strike games all night long. 
When: 7pm-late
Where: Kingpin Bowling, Norwood
Cost: $30

Valentine’s Day at The Oval Hotel
An experience you will truly never forget. The evening begins with a three-course dinner for two on the Adelaide Oval turf followed by a romantic evening at the world class boutique hotel. End your overnight stay with breakfast at Bespoke Wine Bar Kitchen. 
When: 14th-15th February
Where: The Oval Hotel
Cost: $750

Valentine’s Day Argo Paint & Wine with Nicky Create 
Sip on a glass of local South Australian wine or some Argo’s tea while painting with your loved one. Australian artist and muralist Nicky Create will guide you through the evening, teaching you to channel your emotions into art. Create unique artwork with two canvases joined together, with each partner painting their half to match the other. Add wine, tea or a cheese board to enhance the evening.
When: 7pm-9:15pm 
Where: Argo On The Parade, Norwood
Cost: $65

The Notebook at the Moonlight Cinema
It’s the one and only movie to show on the most romantic night of the year. Snuggle up and enjoy a night filled with romance, bean beds and blankets. Don’t forget to bring the tissues!
When: 8:30pm
Where: Moonlight Cinema, Botanic Park
Cost: $15+

The Mile End Valentine’s day
Grab your partner or a bunch of friends because The Mile End Hotel has something for everyone this February 14th. Book lunch or dinner in the hotel or find the Sunday’s Singles Session in the Beer Garden. Make your night that little more special with accommodation available for booking.
When: 11am-8:30pm
Where: The Mile End Hotel
Cost: Various

Valentine’s Day Eve 70’s Party
It’s a flashback to the 70s. Pull out your spandex pants and tie-dye shirts and get ready for a wild night of dancing. Sing along to all your favourites; Abba’s Dancing QueenSaturday Night Fever, Fleetwood Mac’s Go Your Own Way and the list goes on. 
When: 13th February, 7pm-11:59pm
Where: Duke of York Hotel
Cost: $20

Words Mia Vidale