Overlooking the Wimmera River banks, the inaugural 150km feast kicked off on a spectacularly warm evening with blue skies evolving through to a canopy of stars as night fell. The five-course fundraising event aimed to replenish funds for the Horsham Agricultural Society while celebrating farmers, winemakers, and growers within 150km of Horsham.
On arrival at the Maydale Reserve, the dining area emerged from behind a well-assembled hay bale open-air restaurant. We were greeted with a welcoming glass of Taltarni sparkling wine and invited to collect an appetiser before being escorted to our table.
The attentive volunteer staff ensured drinks were flowing as we connected with the fellow diners at our table. Charcuterie boards explicitly made for the occasion provided an enjoyable start to our seated meal.
Between courses, we were encouraged to take a wander through the historical precincts’ expansive property offerings. The Stables lantern-lit pathway led you to the restroom facilities. Beyond the toilets, the Cattle Shed was reimagined as the perfect space to hold a special occasion.
Seated once more, the middle eastern-inspired entree did not disappoint with a combination of lamb, chickpeas, and yoghurt eagerly embraced by everyone at our table.
Using the next break between courses, we introduced ourselves at Mrs. Barkers Gin Bar and enquired about their offerings for the evening ahead. Mrs. Barker’s “Dancing in the Wimmera” gin was specifically created for the occasion, celebrating all that is great about rural living.
Back at our table, the conversation flowed smoothly (I’m sure the wine had nothing to do with it) as we listened to a one-man-band pump out an eclectic selection of crowd-pleasing hits.
The main course arrived under the moonlight with a generous serving of slow-cooked pork, lentils, and seasonal vegetables. Yum!
Before dessert, we devoured a palette cleansing citrus sorbet with the most delectable cardamom toffee crunch. I could have quickly eaten a mountain of it!
After dinner, we made the natural progression to the dance floor on the river bank. We quickly transitioned our wine-induced moves as required for Cotton Eye Joe, Teenage Dirt Bag, and the mandatory Johnny Farnham classic ‘You’re the Voice’, complete with bagpipes. Night made.
Words by Lisa Taylor, She Loves Ballarat.