Wednesday, 19 January 2011

The Taste Festival: a Hobart summer highlight

Hello, trusty Planetarians! I'm waiting for Mr PB to return home so I can ‘knock off my shift’! I thought you might like to see one of the highlights of summer in Hobart which Mr PB and I enjoyed recently – the Taste Festival. The Taste (as locals call it fondly) is Tasmania's largest food and wine festival. It runs between 28 December-3 January, tying in perfectly with the arrival of the yachts finishing the Sydney-Hobart Yacht Race I mentioned here. Hobart is *the* place to be at this time of year with an abundance of Tasmanian produce, arts, crafts, and entertainment, all enjoyed well into the long, warm summer evenings.
Tasting Tasmania
The celebrations are centred on a long storage shed next to Hobart’s waterfront – a glorious location. It’s lined with stalls selling delicious Tasmanian food (only local produce is permitted) and beverages including wine, beer, fruit juice, cider, ginger beer and sparkling fruit drinks. Tables and seating are located both down the shed’s centre and outside next to the water under large umbrellas (always the preferred option!). There are also outside stands. The meals are offered in small portions with reasonable prices (about $A8-14), glasses of wine are about $A7 and bottles about $A25-30 to encourage you to try several. The quality is just fantastic and it’s a delight to discover new companies and products, as well as visit some oldies-but-goodies.

So, how about you join Mr PB and me as we enjoy a couple of hours at the Taste sans the pixies? You’re up for it? Great. Okay, here’s Mr PB waiting for us at the entrance to the shed (excuse his back).
Let’s step inside and have a wander (for the ex-pats like Ann reading, the shed has been refurbished with a fancy new floor so it’s a lot more attractive and user-friendly). It’s enormous, isn’t it? Now just stick close by us so we don’t get lost. Let’s do a lap of the shed and pick our favourites on the way – how does that sound?  Hmm, so many choices…
Now – what takes your fancy? Remember it’s all fresh and seasonal summer food here. The seafood, dear Planetarians, is just sensational! The crumbed blue eye trevalla is one of my faves but today, I’m buying some fabulously fresh Spring Bay scallops.
Maybe some plump Pacific oysters grown off Bruny Island, just south of Hobart? Mr PB is most partial to them.
The sumptuous platters of fresh Tasmanian strawberries, raspberries and blueberries get me every time. Add some scrummy pancakes and you’ll be in heaven!
This time, I’ll have some of that luscious looking summer pudding, thanks. Yum!
Okay, let’s find a table outside, next to the water’s edge. Look, there are some free seats just here. Now would you mind taking a photo of me with my Piper’s Brook riesling and Spring Bay scallops? Thanks, you’re a darling.
And now a close-up of my lunch. Mmm, those at those lovely, plump scallops and their pink roes. Oh, yes, with a squeeze of lemon, they’re just delicious.
Here’s a view in the other direction with the River Derwent as the backdrop. It’s relaxing, isn’t it?
And just turn your head around to see these Sydney-Hobart yachts moored alongside the nearby pier.
Here’s another view of some of them around the corner, moored in Constitution Dock in front of the old Customs’ House.
At the Taste, attentive volunteers regularly collect patrons’ rubbish and deposit it into the relevant bins (biodegradable or recyclable packaging is used and there’s a big emphasis on recycling). As you can see, they’re a friendly lot, engaging in good-natured banter along the way.
Vibrantly clad entertainers continually stroll around, cheerfully jesting with the crowd.
Oh, and take a peek over there, at those strong chaps!
What’s that – you need to go? What a shame. It’s been such fun showing you the Taste. How about we make a date for the same place, this time next year? Excellent! I think Mr PB and I will linger here a little longer…


  1. Looks like you had a great day Jane. It's definitely the best time of the year in Hobart. The Taste is awesome!

  2. Hi gorgeous,

    That was fun! I loved the paella this year, a favourite for Bella and I. Hope you are having a great week. Hugs, Emma.

  3. Ooh that looked fabulous Jane!! I loved the look of your scallops, but think I would not have been able to resist the favourite!! Thanks for sharing :) Hugs ~ Txx

  4. Okay - yum. You've convinced me.

  5. looks fabulous...cant go by saying i would LOVE the pancakes with the fruit ..yum!!! thanks for sharing:) xx

  6. you look so relaxed and happy there Jane! looks like a great day out:)


  7. My mouth is watering and I'm homesick!!!!! A glass of Pipers and a plate of scallops pleeeeease... and tempura Huon mushrooms. The wharf looks great now - so glad they didn't build a hotel/shopping centre there. It's a date for next year!

  8. My mouth is literally watering and it's not even 6AM as I read this!

    What a wonderful way to spend time with Mr PB - a sunshiney day, lots of lovely treats to tempt you and a couple of hours to simply connect = blissful.

    Taste is yet another reason to explore your special pocket of the world but first I think a cup of tea and a piece of toast are in order!

    Felicity x

  9. What a fun tour! Your town is so beautiful, and some of those views are just breathtaking! This is an event I would so much enjoy; thanks for sharing it. What a treat!

  10. Who could resist that strawberry!! Looks like it was fantastic!!!

  11. My mouth was watering all the way. Reminds me of the things we used to do in Sydney... sniff. So lucky to have it on your doorstep. Thanks for taking us with you. gxo

  12. Glad you enjoyed it, but the sight of the crowds make me cringe.

  13. Look at you enjoying this marvellous festival. I would love to be sitting there right next to you, having a natter and lots of wines! x

  14. Another reason for me and the boys to head to Tassie, sooner than later! Wonderful travelogue of the festival Jane! A-M xx

  15. Jane, My email address is - I would send you an email but when I click on the link it takes me to lotus notes and I cant seem to access it. Not sure if I am doing something wrong there?

    Anyhoo, would love to hear from you!


  16. I think everything is better in Tasmania, i'm a mainlander willing to admit that!! What an amazing place you get to live in, raise children in & breathe in. Love Posie

  17. Jane, I am sooo slack and didn't even make it down there once! Maybe next year? :)

  18. I'm amazed that you were able to get a seat so easily Jane! I found it over-the-top busy this year, but we did enjoy all the 'kids in the park' activities at Parliament Gardens. We grabbed a seafood platter and took it over to the grass - an easier option with the kids in tow. How wonderful that you and Mr PB got to have a chld-free 'date' at the Taste.

  19. Ooh, I love festivals! Haven't been out lately though :( So thanks for sharing! I'd love to come someday.

  20. Great location, yummy food, sunshine .... looks like a wonderful place to be!!

  21. Ah, it looks like I might have a few fellow diners at the Taste with me in the years to come - how delightful!

    Ann, you're on - lunch there at the next one. Preferably we can get our children babysat at the same time.

    Yes, Martha, the heart-shaped strawberry with its Tasmanian shape looks luscious.

    I'll hold you both to that, Bron and A-M. Woo hoo!

    Sarah,that would have been a much better spot with the children. Not having the pixies with us made it possible. J x

  22. So great to see a photo of you :) This looks wonderful - wish I could be there XOL

  23. Thanks for sharing! Looks like a wonderful time and you've made me quite hungry.
    I've never been to Tasmania, but I would love, love to go - it just looks and sounds divine!

  24. What a treat! Perfect company, food and weather by the looks of it. A day to remember. I have only been to Tasmania once and have always been keen to return but you you have just refreshed this goal of mine!

  25. how fab - see you there next year :) love those scallops !! hope you have the happiest of weekends :) le xox

  26. oh thankyou jane for sharing some beautiful images of home....

    the food...the light....the setting...the location....

    after so many devastating images at the moment...i have loved a little reminder of how beautiful & extreme our country can be...

    one year i promise you ....we will be meeting there together...

    melissa xxx

  27. Ah, so pleased to hear some of you might make it down here one year. Le, you're on! And Miss Melissa, I'll hold you to that! J x

  28. Thanks, sweet friend,
    I soooo needed this
    sunny, warm, outing!
    Complete with wine and
    fresh seafood, not less : )
    My day started at ~ NO
    JOKE ~ -12F! It has
    climbed to a current temp
    of 4F, so don't feel too
    sorry for us {boo hoo}!
    Seriously, I'm glad you
    and your hubby got out and
    enjoyed yourselves!
    xx Suzanne

  29. Jane, it looks fantastic!! Thanks for that little tour!! Love your pic too, you look great, as does your lunch!!
    laura cxxx

  30. Oh, Suzanne! You poor darling, freezing up there. I didn't mean to tease you ☺.

    Hi Laura Thanks for your kind comment. I'm now following your gorgeous blog. J x

  31. The Taste of Tasmania. It doesn't get any better than that! We visited Tassie quite some time ago- around 2002 or 2003 maybe. A day at The Taste was an awesome experience for us. We couldn't leave and ended up there for close to 12 hours. Nothing has since compared.
    Haven't visited your blog for a while either. It is looking beautiful!

  32. Hi Jackie So great to hear from you! That's brilliant - I'm delighted you had such an enjoyable time. You must come down this way again ☺. Thanks - I had a little spruce-up for the New Year. I *love* what you're doing at My Little Bookcase. Good for you. J x

  33. We went the year before last and were a bit disapointed having taken the advice that it was a 'family friendly' event. It was far to busy for our two littlies and were met with several very rude people who wouldnt allow our children to even sit on the ends of the big picnic tables. Needless to say we didnt stay long! ANyway, I was told that this years was much better in the way of seating and two entry's and just all round better equipped. I still think you had the best idea though, just the two of you sitting back relaxing with a glass of wine and some wonderful local Tassie seafood YUM!!

  34. What a fun event to attend!... and all that yummy food to taste... These photos of yours bring back memories of our trip to Hobart. So glad you and Mr PB enjoyed your kiddie free day out x

  35. oh, how i want to visit all looks delicious x

  36. Ah, Bec, that's such a shame. Not only weren't we game enough to take the three pixies, we actually needed to have some time together - probably about the 3rd one in a year ☺. Yes, it was much improved and the lawns in front of Parliament House were all set up with entertainment for the littlies and it was meant to be very family friendly. I think we'll try that next year.

    It rally is a ball, Amanda. I can't wait until you, Paul and Grace come down one summer to experience the delights with us.

    And Sarah, you have 11 months to plan for it ☺. J x


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, you gorgeous soul. You've just made my day! J x

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