Guest post by Marika McMahon
from Orders and Directions
So you’re heading to Bendigo for the Bendigo Writers Festival. The jam packed festival program has lots of food for the brain and the soul, better make sure the stomach is taken care of as well.
There are as many choices for eating and drinking as there are sessions for the festival so spend some time plotting your path.
First up, make sure you hit town early on Friday so you can head to Chancery Lane for The Dispensary‘s Friday night Sharing is Caring laneway drinks from 4pm. Great priced drinks including bubbles, an amazing beer list, gin and cocktails. Something for every budding writer.
There is also a great selection of bar food that varies from week to week. if the pork sausage rolls are on the menu make sure you have some. The perfect warm up before the Friday night opening event with Blanche, wouldn’t it be exciting if a certain Rhodes scholar/epic sköller dropped in.
The next morning, get to one of Bendigo’s happening weekend breakfast spots and work on the cryptic so you can formulate any questions you have for DA before his session at 10.30am. Brewhouse, Old Green Bean or Percy and Percy would all be great spots for that.
If you are feeling peckish during the Saturday sessions, the Bendigo Community Farmers’ Market is on 9am to 1pm in Sidney Myer Place, next to the old post office on Pall Mall. That’s just a short stroll through Rosalind Park from the festival.
At the market, you may want to gather some local provisions or just purchase a snack there like the great dumplings from Castlemaine, a sausage from the community barbecue or Indian from Kyneton’s Dhaba truck.
If you think you might need a pick-me-up during the course of the afternoon, make sure you get down to Indulge Chocolates in Fountain Court and select some of their Belgian chocolates to add some extra zip to the afternoon.
With the Festival centered around View Street, you are blessed for dining and eating options so close. A bowl of pasta from Simon at Cafe Borchelli is an obvious choice, just make sure you don’t leave without having the tiramisu. A real tiramisu. A tiramisu that reminds you why it wasn’t just a fad but something to return to time and again.
Of course, a glass or more of a big local red and some cheeses in front of the crackling fire at The Winebank will warm the soul and could be just the place to start penning your (next) prize winning novel.
If you can squeeze in time for a full sit down dinner, Rocks on Rosalind is at the bottom of what will be known as writers hill for that weekend. The Royal Thai Yellow Curry with moreton bay bug tails and other seafood goodies is the standout dish.
If you have a larger group who want to debate and analyse all they have heard that day, this would be best done over shared plates at Masons of Bendigo.
If you need to dine more lightly or quickly (a good book to head to bed with perhaps?) maybe a couple of craft beers and some small plates at Mr Beebe’s right on the fountain.
These options are deservedly well patronised and should be booked pronto.
As the festival draws to a close on Sunday, you need to unwind and debrief, the perfect spot for that is The Goldmines Hotel. There will probably be some good music playing, it’s cozy inside or you may like to sit outside in the huge garden and catch some fresh air. Again at the Goldmines you can choose from a wide selection of great beers. Some of the food might sound as if it was straight out of a fantasy novel, but it’s definitely worth a try.
So be inspired at The Bendigo Writers Festival and hopefully you’ll fit in at least a novella’s worth of Bendigo food and drink.