From Thursday to Sunday, James St in Fortitude Valley is turning into festival town, celebrating food and wine.
Showcasing the award-winning restaurants, chefs and providores who call James Street home, the James St Food and Wine Trail will see you wander through the area from one gastronomic delight to another.
It’s four days of food fun that proved very popular last year, so here are my best tips for packing the most into your day and surviving the James St weekend’s festival fever.
1. Take a shopping trolley
Saturday will see the streets filled with stall holders including James Street’s locally made honey from Bee One Third, cinnamon roasted almonds from The Nut Market, iced teas and old fashioned lemonades from the James St Cooking School and freshly shucked oysters from The Fresh Fish Co.
Best tip: Open from 10am to 4pm.
2. Get a passport at the Mojito Embassy
Yes, this is a real opportunity to indulge in your (and mine) favourite cocktail, the fresh flavour of this popular Cuban cocktail, perfectly prepared by Gerard’s Bistro’s bartenders.
Best tip: Find this cocktail haven in the laneway outside Gerard’s from 11am to 5pm on Saturday.
3. Dumpling up
Life is full of happy moments for dumpling lovers at Happy Little Dumplings on Saturday from 10am to 1pm when all purchases over $10 will put you in the running to win a free dumpling making session.
Best tip: There are two dumpling making sessions on Sunday.
4. Top up with coffee
Harveys have teamed up with Merlo Coffee with a coffee cart outside the restaurant. Grap a cup and head around the corner where there’s several grassy mounds to relax on.
Best tip: At night this transforms into an espresso martini bar – awesome!
5. Go bazaar!
Indulge your desire for Middle Eastern cooking at Wheel & Barrow with demonstrations on cooking techniques, tastings and Turkish tea.
Best tip: It’s on from 10am to 3pm on Saturday.
6. Wine and cheese taste off
Head to The Standard Market Co for tastings of Tallegio cheese, an ancient smear-ripened Italian cheese that dates back to Roman times, and real Roquefort, aged in the natural Comabalou caves in Roquefort-sur-Soulzon.
Best tip: Pre-purchased tickets essential.
7. Lickedy Chick
Find fried chicken from every part of the world at Scrumptious Reads, a book shop with a decidedly food focus. It’s first in best served here as this scrumptious chicken is sure to lickity split fast.
Best tip: Starts at 11am on Sunday.
8. Sip on a Negroni
It’s Negroni world at Sixes and Sevens where Saturday afternoon should be devoted to this classic drink accompanied by olives and cheese.
Best tip: Starts at 1pm on Saturday.
9. Breakfast class
Take an empty stomach to James St Cooking School’s Breakfast Class and learn how to make eggs benedict, home-made baked beans and pan-fried haloumi with butter field mushrooms.
Best tip: Bookings essential.
10. Don’t drive
Parking in the James Street area is always a challenge and it will be even harder to find with this festival.
Best tip: Walk, bus, taxi will work best.
Browse the full event program online.