From art galleries to vineyards, there’s nothing you can’t fit into an Adelaide weekender.
Talk about Adelaide with anyone who’s been and 9 times out of 10, they’ll join you in singing the city’s praises. It’s just so darn charming. Filled with heritage buildings, framed by parklands, and sporting a burgeoning small bar scene, Adelaide isn’t just a holidayer’s playground; it’s also known as one of the world’s most liveable cities.
There’s so much to do and see, but if your time is limited, this 48 hour itinerary should give you a good taste of all that Adelaide has to offer.
Fuel up for a busy day with a hearty breakfast at Market and Meander, the colourful eatery at Adelaide’s newest hotel, Hotel Indigo Adelaide Markets. This all-day cafe and restaurant serves up modern Australian fare, taking inspiration from the melting pot of cultures in Adelaide. All the breakfast favourites are there, like waffles and a delicious egg royale. But, you can’t go past the breakfast heavyweight, avocado toast. Piled on top of a whipped goat’s cheese-covered sourdough and topped with a poached egg, it’s an absolute winner of a dish.
Work off a big breakfast with a wander and a gander around the famed Adelaide Central Markets. Officially opened in 1870, this historic market now has some 70 fresh food, small good, and health food retailers housed under its roof. Start by perusing the range of new and second-hand books at Central Book Store, before picking up some weekend snack supplies from the Smelly Cheese Shop, Barossa Fine Foods, and Jagger Fine Foods. If you’re feeling peckish, pull up a pew at Cumbia Bar and Kitchen for a Colombian-inspired lunchtime feast.
You don’t have to be a modern-day Picasso to enjoy a few hours soaking up the visual delights at the Art Gallery of South Australia. There are some 38,000 art pieces on display in the stunning heritage building, covering just about any genre and medium thinkable. From Aboriginal art and giant period portraits to Yayoi Kusama’s famed spotted pumpkins, there’s something to catch anyone’s eye. Before you leave, pop your head into the gallery shop and pick up an artsy book or a pair of earrings by Aboriginal artists.
While you’re in the area, you may as well drop into the SA Museum too. Within a similarly beautiful heritage building right next door, the museum caters to all the amateur palaeontologists, geologists, and biologists out there. Marvel at the 200-million year old ichthyosaur skulls, learn the rainbow of naturally occurring minerals, or take a trip to the Great Wall of China without actually taking a trip to the Great Wall of China (there’s a brick from the wall in the museum’s collection).
After a day of exploring, you deserve a relaxing tipple or two. Make your way to Peel St in the city’s east, and spend a few hours doing the bar-hop. This cute pedestrian street is lined with funky small bars, each with a distinctly unique aesthetic. Stop in at Clever Little Tailor for a jalapeño-laced ‘Neon Ballroom’ cocktail, pop across the road to the Mediterranean themed Paloma Bar and Pantry for an apperitivo hour special with a side of anchovies and sourdough, and finish up with a nip of something malt or juniper based at the aptly named, Malt and Juniper.
Get acquainted with one of Adelaide’s most celebrated restaurants, Africola, before retiring for the night. The menu is packed full of African-inspired vegetables, grilled and smoked meats, flatbreads, and pickles, all complimented with a bangin’ natural wine list. If you’re hankering for a bit of seafood while you’re there, you can’t miss the pipis with fermented chilli and short noodle.
Kick off the weekend with brunch and a coffee at Crack Kitchen. Yes, it’s aesthetic as anything, but this place is more than just its looks; the menu is packed full of fun alternatives to all your breakfast favourites. Think gingerbread pikelets, black rice pudding, and zucchini baked eggs.
Take a break from the city and head out to the rolling hills of McLaren vale, aka ‘wine country’. McLaren vale is just a short, 45-minute ride from the CBD, but it feels a million miles away.
Take your wine-tasting experience one step further by booking in on an Ultimate Winery Experiences wine blending masterclass at the iconic D’Arenberg cube. Held at the specially built blending bench on the top floor of the cube, this 1.5-hour class takes you through the basics of wine blending. Come for the educational experience (and taste experience, obviously), leave with a bottle of your very own shiraz blend.
Hint: book yourself a chauffeur for the day so everyone can join in on the fun.
Head a little further into the hills for a special tasting experience on Gemtree Wines‘ biodynamic farm.
It starts with a guided tasting through a selection of the winery’s bubbles and whites, before you head onto the farm to take a closer look at their processes. Expect another few tastings while you’re meeting the resident alpaca and sheep, and again while you’re learning about the different biodynamic practices the vineyard uses to keep their soils and vines happy.
Post-farm tour, enjoy a picnic by the dam catered by the vale’s most-loved eatery, Salopian Inn. Bonus: there’s a mini koala sanctuary on the buggy ride down to the dam, so there’s every chance you’ll spot a baby koala hanging out in the gums.
Back in town, keep the wine theme going with a few some stop in’s at some of Leigh Street’s best haunts. The most obvious place to start is Leigh St Wine Room, followed by a quick stop in at the adorable, cabin-esque Pink Moon Saloon, and the very well hidden Maybe Mae cocktail bar. It might take a few goes, but once you’ve found it hidden behind the handleless wooden doors in the tunnel between Leigh and Peel streets, you’ll wonder how you ever missed it.
Francophiles needn’t look any further than the vibrantly green-hued Hey Jupiter for dinner. The Parisian-style brasserie is as french as they come – right down to the french onion soup, escargot, and cane alfresco chairs. Come for the french fare, stay for the 150-bottle-strong wine list.
It’s colourful, it’s quirky, and it’s a hop, skip, and jump from the Adelaide Markets; Hotel Indigo Adelaide Markets is the ultimate city stay. The design takes inspiration from all things Adelaidian – the markets, the copper mining history, and even former SA premier Donald Dunston’s iconic pink shorts. Uniformity throughout the hotel isn’t acheived with a neutral palette and minimalism. Instead, it shows itself in the details like the range of local festival poster bedheads, geometric rugs, and beautiful copper detailing. The hotel’s story is expertly intertwined with design, creating a warm, fun, and exciting stay.
Monique was a guest of Hotel Indigo Adelaide Markets and Ultimate Winery Experiences. All thoughts and opinions are her own.
Feature image: Monique Ceccato
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