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The Melbourne Food & Wine Festival is unlocking Ballarat again

Eat & Drink

Uncover the region’s best chefs in some of the city’s most historic buildings at the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival’s Ballarat Unlocked this spring.

From 10-18 November, the event’s Regional Edition will be packed with adventures in eating and drinking all over Ballarat.

Use the code UNLOCKED for pre-sale tickets at

General public tickets go on sale from Thursday 7 September at 10am.

Dining in the Mines at Sovereign Hill. Image: Matt Dunne.

Dining in the Mines at Sovereign Hill

Friday 10 November 6pm-9.30pm

The miners of Sovereign Hill invite you to join them underground as they share 1850s gold rush tales over a three-course feast.

Head down the mine shaft for canapés and a gold-smelting demonstration, before resurfacing and heading to the historic Charlie Napier Hotel for main courses and dessert set among some of Sovereign Hill’s most treasured museum pieces.

Book now

World’s Longest Lunch at The Goods Shed Ballarat. Image: Matt Dunne.

World’s Longest Lunch at The Goods Shed Ballarat

Saturday 11 November 12pm-3pm

MFWF’s flagship event makes its Ballarat debut this year at The Goods Shed – the city’s brand new hospitality precinct.

Award-winning chef Konstantin Putkin will put Ballarat’s best produce to delicious use in an inventive, local and seasonal menu featuring the likes of 1816 Bakehouse, Saltbush Kitchen, Salt Kitchen Charcuterie and Inglenook Dairy. 

The team from The Goods Shed’s new distillery and bar, Itinerant Spirits, will provide the libations for the event, which will be hosted by local MasterChef alum Tim Bone.

Book now

Gin de Soif at Renard. Image: Renard.

Gin de Soif at Renard

Saturday 11 November 2pm-6pm

Take a closer look at Ballarat’s burgeoning gin scene in an all-out daytime knees-up at Renard.

There’ll be a cocktail tap takeover from local producers Grainery Lane, Red Duck Brewery & Distillery, Kilderkin Distillery and Itinerant Spirits, there’ll be petit burgers and delicious hors d’oeuvre, and it’ll all be backdropped by the local musical stylings of Fizz Ed, Xander Fly and Rupa Anurendra. 

Book now

Mr Jones Goes to the Gallery. Image: Tony Evans.

Mr Jones Goes to the Art Gallery of Ballarat

Saturday 11 November 6.30pm-9.30pm

Roam through one of regional Australia’s most interesting art collections while enjoying some of Ballarat’s best modern Asian food.

Damien Jones of celebrated Thai restaurant Mr Jones Dining will be on the pans for the evening, with local wines from the top-shelf likes of Attwoods, Bended Knee and Blue Pyrenees.

Book now

Lunch with Perridak Arts at Mitchell Harris Wines

A Long Sunday Lunch with Perridak Arts at Mitchell Harris Wines

Sunday 12 November 12.30pm-4pm

Pull up a chair at Mitchell Harris Wines for a Sunday lunch put together in partnership with Perridak Arts, a First Nations-owned gallery that showcases local Indigenous artists and creators.

Over a leisurely long lunch full of Indigenous flavours, you’ll meet some of the artists currently showing their work at Perridak and examine the role art plays in First Nations advocacy over multiple delicious courses.

Book now

Peasant’s Once Upon a Time event in the rarely seen basement of the Ballarat Mechanics Institute. Image: DreamCave

Once Upon a Time with Peasant at the Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute

Friday 17 November 6pm-10pm

Once Upon a Time will be a five-course degustation matched with a superb collection of wines, delivered in the Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute’s basement, a room that was intended to be a restaurant but never came to be.

Now, 153 years after its creation, it’s coming to life for one night with Peasant‘s signature modern take on European peasant food, an ethereal progressive musical performance by Amie Brulee and some excellent wines.

Book now

The Golden City of Beer at Grainery Lane. Image: Tony Evans.

The Golden City of Beer at Grainery Lane

Saturday 18 November 1pm-4pm

Is Ballarat the craft beer capital of regional Australia? It’s certainly mounting a compelling argument and these breweries have a lot to do with why.

Local speakeasy Grainery Lane will investigate the question over a four-course feast while celebrating the strong food-matching potential of beers from the likes of Dollar Bill Brewing, Aunty Jacks, Red Duck Brewery & Distillery and Cubby Haus Brewing

Book now

Stunning Lake Wendouree. Image: Chip Shots

Sunset on the Lake at the Ballarat City Rowing Club

Saturday 18 November 6pm-10.30pm

The Ballarat City Rowing Club is teaming up with Hotel Canberra Ballarat chef Jigs Liwanag for a four-course waterfront feast at Lake Wendouree.

Start on the pontoon with canapés and drinks as the sun sets before moving upstairs to celebrate the best of Ballarat produce.

Local winemakers Michael Unwin (Michael Unwin Wines), Ian Watson (Tomboy Hill Wines), Jean-Paul Trijsburg (The Happy Winemaker), Terry Jongbloed (Clyde Park) plus Red Duck Brewery & Distillery will come to the party with outstanding drinks.

Book now

Main image: Gin de Soif at Renard

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04 Sep 2023

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Across Victoria’s Midwest, we acknowledge that we travel across the ancient landscapes of many First Peoples communities.

These lands have been nurtured and cared for over tens of thousands of years and we respect the work of Traditional Custodians for their ongoing care and protection.

We recognise the past injustices against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in this country. As our knowledge grows, we hope that we can learn from their resilience and creativity that has guided them for over 60,000 years.

As we invite people to visit and explore Victoria’s Midwest, we ask that alongside us, you also grow to respect the stories, living culture and connection to Country of the Ancestors and Elders of our First Peoples.


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