The Village Feast will transform the tiny town when Australia’s biggest names in food, including Matt Moran, Shannon Martinez and Victor Liong, along with iconic local producers, come together for an exceptional drinking and dining experience.
The event will showcase the state’s undiscovered food bowl in a truly unique setting, and shine a spotlight on the passionate producers, brewers, distillers, wine makers and chefs who are behind Gippsland’s growing culinary reputation.
The region, just 90 minutes east of Melbourne, may be more widely known for its vast natural beauty - from unspoilt beached to snow-capped mountains - but the untapped rolling hills of the south are a foodies’ dream destination.
Visitors to the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival (MFWF) event on Saturday 30 March looking for a truly indulgent short break can continue their culinary adventure with these top places to eat, stay and play in Gippsland.
Cannibal Creek Vineyard
This award-winning French-inspired single estate cool climate vineyard is just 30 minutes west of The Village Feast in Jindivick. Recognised by Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine as the Cellar Door with Best Food in Gippsland, the architecturally stunning corrugated iron and timber Cannibal Creek sits on the hillside in Tynong North. Visitors can enjoy wine tasting with cheese and charcuterie by the fireplace in the warm and relaxed setting. The restaurant celebrates produce from Gippsland and the onsite kitchen garden. 260 Tynong North Road, Tynong North, Victoria, 3813. (03) 5942 8380.
The Gippsland gem, located at the famous Wild Dog Winery, overlooks the vineyards and the Great Dividing Range. Gippsland chef Trevor Perkins showcases the region, bringing together the best of artisanal butchery, farm fresh vegies and charcoal cooking. Hogget Kitchen offers up a menu that speaks of simplicity, seasonality and generosity. The Warragul venue also acts as the unofficial cellar door for the popular small-batch biodynamic and minimal intervention wines by Patrick Sullivan. 6 Farrington Close, Warragul, Victoria, 3820.
Loch Brewery & Distillery
Small batch beer, gin, vodka and single-malt whisky with a cellar door located inside a former bank on the main street of picturesque Loch. After opening in 2014, the Loch Brewery & Distillery has since expanded production into the former butcher shop next door due to the growth in popularity and demand. Despite the expansion, the working hand-beaten alembic copper pot still is a centre piece of the converted cellar door with gin produced right in front of the eyes of guests. The brewery specialises in English ales with locally sourced wild hops while the distillery uses traditional methods with a quality or quantity mentality. Visitors hoping to pick up a bottle of the single-malt whisky will be disappointed with the latest release sold out within an hour online however a Gippsland 75 - a local take on the famous French 75 cocktail - will quickly easy the pain. 44 Victoria Road, Loch, Victoria, 3945. 0414 590 474.
The Village Feast Sleepover
Visitors to The Village Feast can come for the event and stay for the weekend with an indulgent glamping experience. Foodies can camp in style with a glamping package, including two nights in an Under Sky luxury tent, a chance to see life on Gippsland Jersey’s dairy farm and participate in the morning milking, and tickets to The Village Feast. Guests staying the weekend can relax and unwind on Friday night with an optional dinner menu from Mamasita and breakfast menu from Hotel Jesus Collingwood. After a day of exploring the Village Feast on Saturday, visitors can venture out to explore the south Gippsland region on Sunday. 335 Main Jindivick Rd, Jindivick, Victoria, 3818.
Walhalla’s Star Hotel
Located in the heart of the historic township of Walhalla, the Star Hotel features 12 larges suites. A reconstruction of the original gold-era Star Hotel which was destroyed by fire in 1951, Walhalla's Star Hotel has been designed for the modern visitor. Guests can enjoy the hotel's a la carte restaurant, which serves quality country style meals and a comfortable guest lounge where visitors can unwind with a book on a leather chesterfield. It’s the perfect time of year to visit Walhalla when the leafy town transforms with the spectacular red, orange and gold autumn colours. 130 Main Road, Walhalla, Victoria, 3825. (03) 5165 6262.
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Jindivick may take centre stage on Saturday for The Village Feast however foodies can satisfy their culinary appetite with a host of unique gastronomical experiences curated for those visitors still hungry. After the Village Feast, Melbourne Food and Wine and Visit Baw Baw have partnered together to offer some incredible once-in-a-lifetime activities that will delight and inspire the senses, including:
- The Secrets of Fly Fishing with Fly Addiction Fishing
- Wine Tasting with Patrick Sullivan Wines and William Downie Wines
- Tour of Tarago River Cheese
- Experience the Alpine Trout Farm
- Learn the secrets of sourdough with Real Bread by George
- Honey Hive Skills
- Tour of Butterfly Factory Dairy
- Open Studios West Gippsland
Surrounded by towering gums and lush ferns in the Toorongo Falls Reserve in Noojee is an impressive, tiered waterfall. Trekkers can take the 750-metre, mostly uphill, track to the viewing platform to watch the water tumble over the rocky cliff-face into the valley below. Visitors can immerse themselves in nature with a one-hour, 2.2-kilometre easy circuit walk to see both Toorongo Falls and neighbouring Amphitheatre Falls. The walk starts and ends at the Toorongo Falls day visitor area. Toorongo Falls Road, Noojee, Victoria, 3833.
Noojee trestle bridge
Set in beautiful tall forest, the majestic Noojee Trestle Bridge is the tallest surviving wooden trestle bridge in Victoria. The bridge is a legacy of the old railway that ran from Noojee to Warragul. It was originally constructed in 1919, but in 1939 was completely burnt down and rebuilt in the same year. The historical bridge spans 102 meters and is 21 meters high. Amidst scenic eucalypt and fern forest, the Noojee Trestle Bridge makes the perfect break for visitors to stretch their legs and enjoy the peaceful surrounds. The bridge also marks the starting point for walks and cycling. The Noojee Trestle Bridge Rail Trail is a short scenic cycling trail that climbs gently for three kilometres along a smooth dirt or gravel track. The Noojee Trestle Bridge Walk is six kilometres return, taking around two hours to complete. Mount Baw Baw Tourist Road, Noojee, Victoria, 3833.
Brandy Creek Estate
After over indulging in Gippsland’s culinary delights, visitors can complete their short break at Brandy Creek Estate’s day spa with signature spa packages designed to relax, restore and re-energise. With a peaceful valley outlook across rolling vineyards to the Baw Baw Ranges, Brandy Creek Day Spa offers five treatment rooms, a tranquil relaxation area, luxurious change room facilities and a Turkish Hammam. Those still hungry can enjoy the property’s tasty tapas dishes, paella feasts and churrasco barbeques with uninterrupted views over the vineyard, olive grove and neighbouring farms. 570 Buln Buln Road, Drouin East, Victoria, 3818. (03) 5625 4498.
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