If you've hired a car from Bayswater Car Rental and are looking for somewhere to drive to, anyone heading to Canberra in August is assured of a cosy welcome, as next month the annual Fireside Festival celebrates everything that's good about winter. If things like cracking open a bottle of local red by a roaring fire and eating hearty gourmet cuisine sound your kind of thing, you'll love it. And Canberra, and the surrounding villages that also take part, is putting on an extra special show this year as it's the capital's centenary.
Head to more than 20 venues
The line up of events spread through 20 venues is as varied as it is exciting, and all can be booked through the Fireside Festival website. Whatever your passion, you'll find it catered to, whether it's sipping on award-winning cool climate wines, hearing a performance by the Canberra Symphony Orchestra in a cellar room, eating the new season's truffles, learning about local art or trying your hand at a new skill – what about making your own chocolate? What better way is there of lifting your spirits during the cold winter...
Experience the Fire Truffle Weekend
One highlight – that is actually at the end of July – is the Fireside Truffle weekend on 26 to 28 July. In many restaurants in Canberra, Yass, Hall, Murrumbateman and Gundaroo there will be lots of locally grown truffles on the menu - with special degustation dinners and tastings, all involving the evocative and aromatic flavour enhancer on the menu.
Canberra's reputation for fine food grows stronger each year, and no wonder considering the fine locally-grown produce that is available here. You can find out more about Canberra's increasingly important Slow Food movement during the festival as there will be slow food cooking classes in an organic kitchen.
Take a tour in the local vineyards
Wine-lovers are spoilt for choice too during the festival: visitors can tour the Lake George vineyards and meet local winemakers who will tell you about the region’s many diverse styles.
After all these events, you must take the opportunity to relax too – why not book a festival-themed massage or spa treatment before retreating to your comfy bed. Whatever you choose to do during the festival, you'll find the warmth of Canberra’s welcome hard to resist.