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A perfect summer weekend in Adelaide

Hire a car and spend the weekend wine tasting and feasting around Adelaide and the hills. If you're lucky, there's a swim on the itinerary, too.

Pink Moon Saloon


6pm: A meandering journey is required to uncover Adelaide’s best small bars. Start the night off at buzzy new hotspot Superfish (188 Grenfell St, Adelaide). The outdoor courtyard which flanks grungy music pub The Crown & Anchor was previously styled as Little Miss Dive, then Crab Shack, and is now dressed in fresh party colours. Its fit-out and theme combine the energies of pop-up venue specialists The Happy Motel and The Social Creative, taking food cues from South America’s west coast. Expect smoky slow-cooked skewered meats and seafood, plus Chilean street favourites such as churrasco a lo pobre (a spin on a beef and egg burger) and barbecued vegetables. You could settle here all night, but it pays to keep making your way across the city.

Pink Moon Saloon

8pm: Slip into cosy Pink Moon Saloon (21 Leigh St, Adelaide), Gourmet Traveller*’s Bar of the Year, to enjoy crisp cocktails and sensational hot chips.

Related: A perfect summer weekend in Brisbane.

9pm: More boozy surprises are discreetly concealed elsewhere in the city centre. The Thrift Shop (behind 12 Waymouth Place), which serves a quandong gin made by Kangaroo Island Spirits, for instance, or Lindes Lane (off Rundle Mall), which has a curious sibling, The Barlow Room, hidden, speakeasy-style, in the basement, its entrance concealed behind a false fireplace.

11pm: End up at rowdy hangout Sunny’s Pizza (17 Solomon St, Adelaide) for craft brews, savvy wine and great pizza. It’s open until 2am.

Sunny’s Pizza, Adelaide.


8am: The summer months are the perfect time to spend a day on the Fleurieu Peninsula. Make an early start and drive 40 minutes along the Southern Expressway to the Willunga Farmers’ Market. It’s been South Australia’s essential producers’ market since 2002, and more than 80 stalls line the town square. Afterwards, wander down to Four Winds Chocolate (30 High St, Willunga) for Wendy Ashwin’s hand-made chocolates and pastries.

Doughnuts at Four Winds Chocolate, Willunga.

11am: Investigate some of the region’s interesting wines at Hither & Yon (17 High St, Willunga), a 19th century cottage that provides an intimate tasting space for the Leask family’s impressive minimal-intervention portfolio.

Noon: Pizzateca (319 Chalk Hill Rd, McLaren Vale) presents juicy V. Mitolo & Son wines beside Tony Mitolo’s old school Abruzzo-style pizza, delicious arrosticini, Abruzzo’s thin lamb skewers, and zucchini fritti.

2pm: Ace winemaker Stephen Pannell promotes delicious modern drinking with his touriga, grenache and tempranillo blends, and magnificently lean, savoury shiraz at the SC Pannell cellar door (60 Olivers Rd, McLaren Vale).

Vineyards at SC Pannell, McLaren Vale.

3pm: At The General Wine Bar & Kitchen (55a Main Rd, McLaren Flat) chef Ben Sommariva offers smart plats du jour in the company of cellar door tastings for Mr Riggs and Zonte’s Footstep wines.

5pm: Drive your car onto the beach at the Silver Sands boat ramp for a refreshing late afternoon dip in the crystal clear water that laps Sellicks Beach.

7pm: Stretch out on the lawns at The Victory Hotel (Main South Rd, Sellicks Hill) for a sunset beer, check out the expansive wine cellars, stay for dinner, then spend the night in cabins among the vines next door.

Related: A perfect summer weekend in Melbourne.


8am: Now’s the time to make your way from Fleurieu to the Adelaide Hills. Start with an informal breakfast of beet and carrot fritters with poached eggs and a fresh juice on the deck at Rosey’s Café (206 Port Rd, Aldinga). Next, drive on for a coffee stop at Dawn Patrol Coffee Roasters (65 Days Road, Kangarilla), which offers a cellar door-style approach to coffee with nine varieties of single-origin beans available from the roasting shed.

10.30am: Take a scenic drive east, along the spine of the Mount Lofty Ranges into the heart of the Adelaide Hills for the Stirling Market (Druid Ave, every fourth Sunday, next on December 18), which has about 40 interesting food, art and craft vendors.

Noon: Basket Range’s innovative wine producers don’t have cellar doors, but a big selection of their wines are available at Lost in a Forest (1203 Greenhill Rd, Uraidla), a former church transformed into an idyllic pizza lounge with loud music and good vibes.

Basket Range Wines winemakers Alex Schulkin, James Erskine, Anton van Klopper and Gareth Belton.

2pm: Cut a lap of the Hills’ winding laneways, stopping to pick fresh cherries at BP Organic Cherry Farm (437 Mawson Rd, Lenswood; one of 14 pick-your-own orchards) before having a glass of chardonnay or pinot noir on the deck at Mount Lofty Ranges Vineyard cellar door (166 Harris Rd, Lenswood); chef Matt Fitton also does a smart degustation lunch.

5pm: Bring your weekend to a gentle close at The Summertown Aristologist (1097 Greenhill Rd, Summertown), a seriously relaxed wine bar/eatery/hangout offering an enticing array of small plates constructed from local produce, complemented by a vast range of low-sulphur wines and sake.

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