A Foodie Paradise

Adelaide and the Barossa, where tasty treats are the main attraction

By: Andréa R. Vaucher

Don Dunstan, South Australia’s premier in the ’60s and ’70s, was a serious foodie. He relaxed liquor licensing laws, extended pub-drinking hours and even authored a cookbook while in office.

Dunstan remains an inspiration in Adelaide, the Texas-sized Australian state with a serious emphasis on superior food and wine.

In this city of 1 million, your clients will dine as spectacularly as they do in Hong Kong or New York, on meals prepared with ingredients produced less than an hour away. They’ll visit the breathtaking Barossa wine region and taste wines as impressive as those from France or California.

For clients with a discerning palate, this is paradise with a continental twist. Whether you book your clients into a big hotel, like the Hyatt Regency or Hilton, or a boutique venue, like the Medina Grand in Adelaide’s old Treasury (the swimming pool is in what was the vault), they won’t be far from anything. The central city area is a mile square and laid out in a grid. There’s greenery galore, super shopping, a modern art museum and, everywhere you look, attractive people on bistro terraces, laughing, eating and drinking.

Adelaide’s main foodie event is the Central Market. Since 1869, purveyors have been flogging every imaginable food item here from homemade Italian prosciutto to delectable Lebanese pomegranate and nut spread. Whether professional chef or aficionado, this is where tout Adelaide shops. Recommend chef Mark Gleeson’s private 1½-hour tour to your clients.

An hour north of Adelaide, your clients will be floored by the Barossa’s European vibe. The tiny towns dotting the rolling hills of Australia’s premier wine destination are exactly as they were when this region was settled in the mid-1800s by English, Germans and dissident Prussian Lutherans. Every hamlet is full of butchers and bakers who have been creating delicacies in the same manner for generations. Each Barossa restaurant is better than the next, though barr-Vinum in Angaston would be hard to top.

If your clients aren’t comfortable driving on the left, especially while wine tasting, contact Ralf Hadzic, whose company, Life Is A Cabernet, offers chauffeured tours.

No trip to the Barossa is complete without a visit to Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop. Beer, a larger-than-life, award-winning Australian chef, is a cross between Alice Waters and Julia Child.

For overnight stays, the American-owned Pepper’s Hermitage has comfortable rooms with vineyard views and one of the area’s finest restaurants.

And, if your clients are in Barossa on a Saturday, tell them not to miss the farmer’s market, if only to taste the chocolate croissants. They’re even better than the ones in Paris.


Central Market Tour
Life Is A Caberet
Medina Grand
Peppers Hermitage