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Wellington’s epic food festival is now a month long which means there’s five weekends for you to experience the best of the culinary capital’s eats and drinks. Over the 31 days of August, Visa Wellington On a Plate will be serving up over 120 Festival Dishes, more than 230 burgers, 90 cocktails and over 150 events. To help you navigate your way through this feast of epic proportions, we’ve created five weekend itineraries with something for every taste.
Kick off the first weekend of Visa Wellington On a Plate with two of Wellington’s favourite beverages: craft beer and locally-made wine. Sample some of the region’s top offerings made by local producers and enjoy the best of both worlds.
Get set for a wine vs beer contest hosted by a winemaker from Wairarapa Matahiwi Estate and a brewer from Wellington’s Whistling Sisters’ brewer Bede as they battle it out to win you over.
Check out Garage Project's special one-off exhibition of the art and artists behind the brewery's colourful and ever-changing beer labels created by some of Aotearoa’s most talented graphic designers, painters, game designer and tattoo artists.
Spend the afternoon getting up close and personal with Wairarapa wines and winemakers, from industry legends and international names, to boutique producers of small volume and special varieties.
After an afternoon nap, it’s time for dinner with local Wellington eatery Sterling is teaming up with leading Wairarapa winery, Palliser Estate for a special five-course dinner with matching local wines.
For lunch, go and try the Festival Dish at Boulcott Street Bistro which carries on the wine theme with long-line caught Cook Strait fish, mussels and tuatua paired with native seaweeds steamed in a saffron white wine broth.
Afterwards, head to Garage Project Taproom to try their beer cocktail, Rhubarb Fizz, which combines their Rhubarb Rhubarb Rhubarb Garage Project sour beer with elderflower Vermouth and Martinbourough's Lighthouse gin.
In the afternoon, take a trip to the French Alps with Le Samouraï as they serve up different French cheeses paired with natural wine.
Beer and BBQs go hand-in-hand, so we’ve picked out some brewing and barbecueing events to make for a smokin’ hot weekend.
Get Cooking with Smoke with a fun-filled evening where you’ll learn smoking techniques and sample your smoked feast washed down with some local Double Vision Brewing beers.
Time to Wake and Bake with 1154 with breakfast-inspired pasta bakes are served up in fast-paced, canteen-style service. With pasta, eggs and organic bubbly wine – you’ll be set for the day.
There’s no better place to celebrate craft beer, or ‘beer’ as it is known in Wellington, than at Beervana. Choose from hundreds of different beers to suit everyone’s taste, from the novice to the enthusiast, the curious to the critic; add outrageously creative brewery displays, live music and delicious food by top local eateries.
Go hang out with Garage Project and Friends and enjoy a rare and exclusive selection of beer and natural wines from their cronies from around the world while sitting amongst the foeders (giant oak barrels) of Garage Project’s Wild Workshop.
After hanging with your GP buds, go and warm your toes and belly at Mac’s Brewbar's outdoor circular fire pit and enjoy smoky, wood-fired eats.
This is definitely the weekend to have a burger for brunch - head to Heyday Beer Co. on Cuba Street to try their Heyday Burger Co made with a bun made from Heyday’s spent grain.
End your weekend on a final beer and BBQ note at Pickle & Pie for a relaxed evening learning about the craft of smoking and barbequing meats, brining cucumbers and seasoning fish. Beers by Garage Project and Wellington region wines are matched with each course.
As well as popping up in Wellington city's laneways, bars, cafés, restaurants and venues, Visa Wellington On a Plate takes over the entire Wellington region, from Kāpiti, to Hutt Valley to the Wairarapa making it the perfect time for an out-of-town day trip.
Take a day trip to Kāpiti Island for a four-course feast using ingredients unique to Kāpiti Coast plus an opportunity to explore the beautiful Kāpiti Island Nature Reserve.
Head over the hill to the Wairarapa for a unique over-night stay in the breath-taking Wairarapa with walks, a feast cooked by Michelin Star-winning chef Adam Newell.
Take a short drive to Boomrock Lodge for a six-course degustation with stunning views of the South Island from the comfort of the lodge perched 750 feet above the Tasman Sea, and surrounded by 3,000 acres of rolling farmland.
Spend an afternoon amongst the olive groves with a tour of Olea Estate near Martinborough and the chance to make up your own extra virgin olive oil blend and then enjoy a lunch that showcases locally-pressed oils.
Take the whānau out to the Hutt Valley for a family fun day of cooking over wood fires. Learn how to make the best pizza dough and the kids can have a go at cooking their own pizzas in a wood-fire oven.
From lunches with winemakers and foraging for your supper, this is the dream weekend for the discerning foodie.
London-based mobile popup restaurant Māhī is coming to Wellington for a special tasting menu at Glass Wine Bar and Bistro of seasonal Kiwi ingredients prepared with clever techniques.
Spend a morning of foraging and learning about wild ingredients, sourced around Wellington with Hillside chef-owner Asher Boote and head chef Max Gordy. Kick back at home for the afternoon, then head back to Hillside for a seven-course meal where your foraged food is put to good use.
Before you head back to Hillside, head to Forresters Lane for a selection of aperitifs designed to stimulate and awaken the senses matched with tasty fermented snacks.
Sundays are made for long lunches - take your pick of an Italian style lunch at Cicio Cacio with a multi-course event matched with the best Italian wines, stories and laughter, cooked as if you were at an Italian home. Or how about a Winemakers Long Lunch in the company of Wairarapa’s finest wine folk with family-style shared platters prepared using local produce.
How about a masterclass to start your weekend? Take a dumpling workshop with Wellington's Dumpling Queen, Vicky Ha and learn how to create vegan dumplings with Italian, Indian, Cantonese and Vietnamese flavours. Or take a masterclass for chocolate lovers where you'll learn the insider secrets of chocolate and create your very own delicious chocolate bars.
Cheese and wine are combined in this innovative twist on the traditional high tea, featuring an array of cheese-themed and infused treats made with locally-made cheeses and specially paired with local wines.
See the culinary crochet creations of Aussie Instagram sensation, Chili Philly (@chiliphilly) a.k.a. Phil Ferguson - think sushi, cereal, tacos and pavlovas recreated in wearable wool.
Learn the secrets of great pizza making with Wellington’s pizza experts at Fratelli as you sit close to the wood-fire oven and then enjoy pizzas fresh out of the oven.
Lashings owner Jackie Lee Morrison, and Michelin pastry chef Sam Dinsdale bring you a delectable evening of affogato, brownies, house-made ice cream with live music from local musicians.