Flickerfest in the vineyards and free burritos | Food Bites | Newcastle Herald

UNIQUE: The Around Hermitage Wine, Food and Film Festival returns in May.

UNIQUE: The Around Hermitage Wine, Food and Film Festival returns in May.

Films, fine food and wine in a vineyard setting. It’s a winning combination. Now in its third year, the Around Hermitage Wine, Food and Film Festival continues to grow in size and stature. 

On May 5 international short film festival Flickerfest will be screening the “Best of Australian” short films at Peter Drayton’s Ironbark Hill Winery and Brewhouse. Guests are invited to wine and dine from 5.30pm while watching the sun set over the vineyards before the screening kicks off at 7pm. Tickets are $20 per person film only; $55 for film, wine tasting and a platter of food plus a souvenir wine glass. Group discounts are available. 

And on May 26, following on from the success of last year’s Life of Brian, the Around Hermitage team will screen a film produced entirely in the Hunter Valley and based on Australia’s first cookery book: Cookery for the many as well as for the upper 10,000, published in 1864.

The Around Hermitage festival coincides with the two-month-long Hunter Valley Wine and Food Festival.

For more information go to aroundhermitage.com.au

Martha The Monster is one of the short films screening at Flickerfest in the Hunter Valley on May 5 as part of Around Hermitage Wine, Food and Film Festival.

Martha The Monster is one of the short films screening at Flickerfest in the Hunter Valley on May 5 as part of Around Hermitage Wine, Food and Film Festival.

Made with love

It’s not local but Food & Wine likes the concept. Paul Dickson, of Nature Engagement Tours, has come up with the idea of showing people the plants and animals unique to Macquarie Pass National Park on a bushwalk. Afterwards, you get to indulge in scones and your choice of jam, all made by his mother, Jan. Cute.

Twilight feast

Feast Fest’s Twilight Food Market returns to Speers Point Park this Saturday, March 17, from 4pm to 9pm. Last time the hungry hordes caused some food trucks to run out of food. Organisers say more than 20 food trucks have already been confirmed – there are a few new faces, too – and will be serving a wide variety of cuisines. There will also be live music, market stalls and activities for the kids.

Plan ahead

Easter is approaching and venues are starting to publicise their plans. The Hungerford Hill Easter Festival (March 31 and April 1) will have food trucks, live music, helicopter rides, a jumping castle, cheese platters, a wine sale and more. 

That same weekend Dalwood Estate is celebrating with an Easter treasure hunt, face painting, a jumping castle, miniature pony rides and a petting zoo. 

Rustic menu

The Greenroof at Hamilton has a new menu courtesy of Rustic Flair. Joshua Schoupp’s Newcastle-based mobile catering business has taken over the kitchen and is serving unpretentious food rated by taste, not looks. The venue has freshened up the courtyard with new chairs and heaters and is now taking bookings on weekends. 

Hotel ambitions

It has been interesting to watch the gradual transformation of the Commerical Hotel at Branxton on social media through the eyes of new owners David and Kim, and to read historical anecdotes about the building. 

On March 25 the couple will be opening the hotel’s doors to the public from 9am to 11am for a sneak peek of the renovations so far. They hope to create a community or business hub at the hotel and, to that end, are applying for a Heritage Activation Grant through the NSW government. Any support would be appreciated.

Let them know you’re coming on the hotel’s Facebook event page so there is enough coffee to go around.

Two for one deal

The Gunyah Hotel at Belmont is offering two-for-one mains on Monday nights. You can choose from dishes including baby back BBQ pork ribs, seafood mixed grill, maple-glazed salmon, chilli king prawn risotto, Mediterranean pasta and chicken mignon.

Fresh faces

The Ssett is a wine bar and restaurant at Morisset with a focus on tapas and share plates. There is a lounge as well as a dining area and live music is played there regularly. On Wednesdays and Thursdays you can grab two share plates and one side of your choice for $40. 

Organic event

You might be familiar with Daniel Honan, who writes regularly for the Herald’s Weekender food and wine pages? He is hosting the Naturally Delicious wine dinner at Nanna Kerr’s Kitchen, Pokolbin, on March 21 to talk about organic and biodynamic wines from Australia and New Zealand, and guide a tasting. 

More and more wine lovers are asking questions around the provenance of wine – what’s in it; where does it come from; how is it grown? Many are turning to wines that market themselves as natural, organic or biodynamic.

The event is a chance to ask questions and enjoy a locally-sourced, two-course dinner made from organic produce. 

Tickets are $65 (Hunter Valley Sommeliers members) and $95 (industry non-members). Book by this Friday, March 16 at hvsommeliers.weebly.com.

Open invitation

Street Feast Newcastle has invited you to dinner at Foreshore Park, Newcastle East, on March 24. From 4pm to 8pm there will be a fleet of food trucks to choose from and entertainment for all ages.

Party time

Free burritos anyone? To celebrate the opening of Guzman y Gomez’s 100th restaurant in Australia they are throwing a party at the newest kid on the block –  Guzman y Gomez Greenhills East Maitland. You can find them in the outdoor dining precinct just outside the food court. Be there on March 22 between noon and 8pm to take advantage of this generous offer. 

Pop-up bar

Rumour has it Felix of Kid & Cat fame is organising a pop-up bar at Bank Corner. It might open as early as next week.

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