GOOD TASTE: Out and about for Australia Day

WHETHER you throw prawns on the barbie, tuck into a pav or a lamington, cook up some damper or simply enjoy a sausage sanga, celebrate Australia Day this Saturday with some good old Aussie grub.

Wickham’s The Albion Hotel is hosting an Australia Day Pool Party and Aussie BBQ. The event includes a Triple J Hottest 100 countdown poolside, an Aussie barbecue lunch, all Aussie beers on tap and the chance to win a pool.

Chef Peter Stones told GT it was all about the barbie on Australia Day, with sandwich steaks, sausages, lamb, chicken and more on offer.

The barbie will be out the back in the courtyard along with the pool, which you can win at the end of the day.

He’ll also serve up three types of salad – mixed leaf, potato and coleslaw – and a few types of bread to keep the punters happy.

Naturally, beer is also important on Australia Day, and manager Dylan Brooks has plenty on offer, including the second batch of Newcastle’s own Grainfed’s Sneaky One, as well as brews from Hunter Beer Co, Murray’s Craft Brewing Co and more.

Merewether’s The Burwood Inn, which recently scored two schooners in the 2013 Good Pub Food Guide, will celebrate with Aussie beer specials, a spit lamb roast, the Triple J Hottest 100 and Aussie giveaways. DJ Timmy Coffey will take over in the front bar after the countdown.

Drink specials include $4 Coopers Pale Ale, $5 White Rabbit White Ale, $5 Little Creatures Pale Ale, $5 Mountain Goat Steam Ale and $5 Stone & Wood Pacific Ale. The action kicks off at noon.

At Honeysuckle, The Landing Bar & Kitchen is hosting an Australia Day party with a free sausage sizzle from noon to 2pm and $3 schooners of Tooheys New during the same period. Dress is bikinis, boardies, singlets and stubbies, with prizes for best dressed.

Wests New Lambton and Wests Mayfield are also getting in on the Aussie action with a special $10 Aussie Meal Deal on Australia Day at Wests New Lambton and Mayfield.

The meal deal includes a beef pie with peas, chips and gravy, and a lamington, served up with a schooner of XXXX Gold, a Yellow/Pink 200ml piccolo or a soft drink, plus a pair of XXXX Gold thongs.  The deal is available for lunch and dinner on Australia Day.

In Pokolbin, Bimbadgen is also celebrating with a barbecue in the courtyard served with a side of Oz rock classics. The barbie runs from 10am to 4pm, cost from $9.

For those looking to toast the nation with a fine-dining experience, the estate’s restaurant, Esca Bimbadgen, will host an Australian-inspired four-course menu. Courses include roasted yabby wrapped in spec with rouille sauce, and barbecued kangaroo striploin, blistered tomatoes, beetroot and Bimbadgen red wine jus. Leave room for the fourth course of deconstructed lamington with chocolate jelly, coconut sorbet, chocolate sauce and sponge crumbs.

The menu will also be available in the lead-up to Australia Day for lunch and dinner until January 28. Four courses costs $75 per person or $95 with matching wines.

In Port Stephens, Murray’s Craft Brewing Co is throwing a Songs and Thongs event that pairs Aussie tunes and thong-throwing competitions with Murray’s beers.

Enjoy free beer and wine tastings alongside the brewery restaurant menu, which includes an all-day brekkie, burgers, chilli dogs, salads, pizzas and pub favourites including a pie of the day, schnitzel and ribs.

Musician Hugh Gordon performs Australian songs from noon on Sunday while thong-throwing competitions (for adults and kids) will be held on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Murray’s Brewery will be open every day of the long weekend, 10am to 6pm.

Finally, if you’re partial to relaxing and celebrating Australia Day at home, show your patriotism with a pavlova, lamingtons, prawns or snags on the barbie or even a lamb roast – see Lynne Mullins’s recipes on page 38. 

The Cheesecake Shop will have plenty of Aussie treats to keep the crowds happy including fruit pavlova, the Aussie Bite and more. The Cheesecake Shop has outlets at Waratah, Wallsend and East Maitland.

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