"THERE CAN BE NO DOUBT WITH CRICKET LOVERS THAT THE LEGACY OF SIR DONALD BRADMAN RESONATES STRONGLY AT THE ADELAIDE OVAL."
World-class food and wine, stunning landscapes and unique native wildlife. It is little wonder Adelaide and South Australia have become high on the list for British holidaymakers heading down under.
Adelaide is preparing for an invasion of English cricket fans for the first ever day-night Ashes Test in December. It presents the perfect opportunity for these visitors to get out and explore the state of South Australia before, during and after the match itself.
There can be no doubt with cricket lovers that the legacy of Sir Donald Bradman resonates strongly at the Adelaide Oval. However, when we met his granddaughter, Greta, she is keen to stress there are many non-cricket reasons to visit South Australia.
The Don played for the state until 1949, but Greta has found fame of her own. The Australian soprano is an award-winning recitalist, concert and stage performer, not surprising then that she has been described as “one of the foremost sopranos of her generation”.
Born and raised in Adelaide, she knows the area has everything covered, not just great coffee!
“The Exchange Specialty Coffee on Vardon Place is amazing,” she says. “I love a place that takes their tea seriously, as well as their coffee.
“It’s quite a Mediterranean climate here, which explains the combination of delicious foods. You really can’t go past Adelaide Hills heirloom tomatoes. Oh and my favourite chili sauce in the world is The Kangaroo Island Source company ‘Fuego’ hot sauce – it is out-of-this-world incredible! And don’t forget Coriole Kalamata olives! Don’t get me started on the local cheese, it’s fantastic!”
This sounds delicious. You’ll need something to wash all that down. Luckily, to the east of the City, The Adelaide Hills are marked by unusually cool nights, which go some way to explaining the exceptionally high quality of the wine. “An Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir is pretty amazing,” says Greta. “For example, a glass of Ashton Hills or Ochota Barrels. With so many beautiful wine districts and passionate wine makers, it’s hard to choose!”
Then we ask about dinner... “Occasionally I like to get out of Adelaide and the Olfactory Inn in Strathalbyn is the best. The service is fantastic and the food is amazing, including a focus on using local produce.”
For a relaxed glass of wine afterwards, she recommends we visit East End Cellars. “It is fantastic for sourcing bottles of wine,” she says. “It also offers some of the best local and overseas wines by the glass, which you can pair with one of their famous cheese boards, featuring local and imported soft and hard cheeses and local olives. Sitting in the midst of Adelaide, yet in a quiet lane with leafy trees and vines – fabulous.”
“For a catch-up with friends, the Edinburgh Hotel in Mitcham is still somewhere I always enjoy going, as is the Bath Hotel on Norwood Parade. But having said that, the Crafers Inn in Adelaide Hills has been refurbished in the last few years and is brilliant for a gastronomic delight and a bottle of something special from their wine cellar. It’s great for special celebrations but equally good for an impromptu get together.”
For those looking to venture out of town, Greta recommends a drive up through the Adelaide Hills and south to McLaren Vale – part of a self-drive route known as the Epicurean Way. “If you make it to McLaren Vale, do the wine and cheese trail from Blessed Cheese. You pick up a cheese hamper and it comes with a map to wineries along the trail, then you drop in and they give (yes – give!) you a glass of wine that is coordinated with one of the cheeses in your hamper. It’s a great way of getting to some of the wineries in McLaren Vale too – and the views are spectacular.”
Everyone coming to Australia should meet the wildlife.“ Cleland Wildlife Park is great for anyone who wants to get up close and personal with native wildlife, the opportunity to hold a koala and feed kangaroos from the furry and cuddly to the slithery and scaly. For those who like a day’s hike, head to Waterfall Gully and climb up to Mount Lofty Summit to take in the view. There is a fab café and restaurant at the summit so you can grab a bite while you are there, or do what my dad and I do on occasion, and wait until you reach the waterfall at the bottom again and head to the quaint and super-friendly tea rooms and restaurant for a bowl of the best soup around.”