Tasmania otherwise known as the Apple Isle has a rich apple growing heritage and this year it was celebrated like no other with the first of what hopefully will become an annual event, the Huon Valley Mid Winter Festival.
The festival combined the tradition of wassailing (an act of drinking and singing to the health of the apple trees with the hope they might thrive and produce a bumper apple harvest) and the local food and beverage vendors in a weekend of eating, drinking, singing, dancing and general merriment!
On the approach it looked like a great big party in a field. Exactly what I was hoping for!
And when we got closer my suspicions were confirmed!
Hay bales and fire barrels lined the fields and groups of wrapped up revellers drank mulled cider and hot chocolates to keep warm as children played in the hay and adults toasted to winter.
Before long the lure of the food took hold of me and off we went to partake.
Tacos from Taco Taco were first up, pulled pork with cider slaw (on the right) and Korean beef brisket with apple and red cabbage kim-chi (on the left). I totally love pulled pork and it was great but I didn't taste any cider in the slaw, the beef was my clear winner, sweet, meaty and delicious. I could have easily eaten twenty BUT there was so much more food to try!
Meat pie with rhubarb chutney from Nicholls Rivulet Organic Food Farm - this may not look much but trust me it was fantastic, without a doubt the nicest of anything I tried that tender meat nestled in the most perfect pastry with that tangy, sweet chutney it was seriously moooovalous (too much?!)
Desserts were up next and I headed straight for Lady Hester's sourdough donuts.
I had heard that they were pretty fantastic from reliable sources at Dark Mofo Winter Feast and they certainly looked the part.
I opted for chocolate and salty pistachio and it was really delicious but the filling began and ended on the outside and I could have definitely handled a a bit more deliciousness on the inside.
I also got to try the triple berry and white chocolate tart from Cygnature Chocolates which was berry, berry, berry good (I'm done - I promise!).
When the food was eaten and the rose cider (from Dickens Cider House) was finished we headed outside where the darkness had set in and the dancing had begun.
We retired to the music hall for a good olde knees up. Unfortunately the camera changed placed with the mulled pinot (from Two Bud Spur) and we danced the night away to a truly amazing reggae band - I didn't get the name so if anyone knows do tell!
I didn't get to try food and drinks from all of the vendors but I heard that Tasman Quatermasters had some pretty epic wallaby croquet's, did anybody try them?
Also I saw that Crumb Street Kitchen, The Apple Shed and Mountain Pepper Pizza had some impressive menu items - too much good food! Tasmania should definitely have more food festivals, I would be a willing customer!