Over the weekend, we decided to head up to the Hunter Valley wineries once again to experience something new: Lovedale Long Lunch.
You’re probably thinking, What’s so damn good about a long lunch anyway?
That’s exactly what I thought. In fact, I was ready to call it quits when the line to the first winery was 200m long! But the call of the wine, the music and more wine was just too strong. So we stayed.
As luck would have it, we met a couple of 4o-somethings in the line and ended up having a ball with them – at least from what I can remember. And from the half blurry, unfocused photos on my camera. Nicole and Matt if you’re reading this, thank you for holding my hair back during those trying times on the way home. Classy. Just. Classy. I digress!
Anyway, for you first timers to this annual event – now in its 22nd year – thought I’d share a few tips before we get into the half decent photos.
Book in advance – tickets, accommodation and your transportation. We booked 3 weeks before the event, only to find that the ‘cheaper’ accommodations have all been booked out. We managed to find a fantastic cabin, however, it was a good 25-30min drive to Lovedale.
We also decided that I would be the designated driver. Wrong! The hubs ended up behind the wheel (bless him!). There are buses you can book that will pick you up from (some) accommodations in the area, as well as from Sydney, Newcastle and surrounds.
Do not take a bulky camera unless you really have to. I took my OM-D and luckily I didn’t misplace the darn thing!
Bring some tissues and anti-bacterial wipes. You will thank me when someone hurls red wine your way, or you need to ‘break the seal’ in one of those portaloos.
Eat. Unless you’re planning on staying sober and alcohol free the entire weekend, eat! Line your stomach. Even if you’re only planning on having a “sip” of wine.
Saturdays are sort of like a field day/day club. Think bands and mosh pits – well, sorta! According to a local we met, there are at least 20,000+ people on the Saturday between the seven participating wineries. Sundays are mostly locals and a much more chilled atmosphere.
Have fun. Dress up. Get into it. Enjoy the vibe. As I said, I was ready to leave when I had to line up for almost 40mins, but gave myself a silent scolding when I realised I was being negative Nancy! It’s all part of the experience, and I was being a whinger!
For all you social butterflies and globetrotters, you know what I’m talking about when I say network like crazy! Make friends, even if it’s only for a few hours, after which, they probably won’t remember your name – or theirs for that matter! No really, we met a number of fantastic people during this trip and we’re so glad we got to experience it. So here’s to Lovedale Long Lunch 2017!
Ok, now for the photos. Enjoy!
I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank these wonderful wineries for your delicious wines: Gartelmann Wines, Saltire Estate, Tatler Wines and Sandalyn Wilderness Estate. Next year, we’ll give Emma’s Cottage Vineyard, Allandale and Wandin Valley Estate a try for the Lunch.
For more info visit www.lovedalelonglunch.com.au