Eat, drink, art, repeat: delectable experiences at Manningham

Savouring coffee, sampling grappa, creating fresh pasta, sipping Sangiovese and taking in the local art were great ways to discover what Manningham has to offer.

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It turned out to be a perfect day for us to explore nature, encounter art and experience taste through one-of-a-kind art and food famil in Manningham recently.

In the beautiful setting of this iconic suburb of Melbourne, we were invited to a culinary experience complemented by diverse art, and the combination of the two made for some magical memories.

Indulging in our specialised itinerary, we savoured coffee, sampled grappa, created fresh pasta, sipped Sangiovese and tasted the local produce. In the process, we discovered the delights and flavours of cultural immersion, uncovering the best of what Manningham has to offer.

Indulging in our specialised itinerary, we savoured coffee, sampled grappa, created fresh pasta, sipped Sangiovese and tasted the local produce.

 

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Heide Museum of Modern Art

A bright sunny day under a clear sky made for a great drive. Our trip started with a visit to the famed Heide Museum of modern art. The vast grounds of this culturally significant home of art patrons John and Sunday Reed stood sprawling and impressive in the middle of suburbia.

We learnt about the fascinating history of Heide, from its establishment in 1934 to its current status as a public art museum and sculpture park. We marvelled at the creative concept behind collaborative works of Janet Burchill and Jennifer McCamley and their philosophy of material conceptualism.

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This was followed by the visually stunning collection of photographs by acclaimed artist John Gollings, featuring indigenous sites. Spirit of place delves into the historic art and architecture of First Nations people around the world.

Curator Sue Cramer also guided us through other exhibitions, sculptures and Heide 1: House of ideas, presenting works from various artists supported by the Reeds.

The artworks currently on display include Albert and Barbra Tucker’s exploration of the apocalypse in the landscape and body, Isadora Vaughan’s Climarte-inspired installations and some of Mirka Mora’s distinctive art.

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The morning was taken up admiring the ever-expanding repertoire of art mediums and enjoying the bucolic idyll in an urban setting.

The wonderful coffee at the trendy and welcoming Heide café helped set the cogs of wheels in my brain into motion.

Stonehouse Gallery, Warrandyte

Next, we were driven to the scenic setting of hilly Warrandyte, where we were dumbstruck by the indigenous and eclectic art created by local artists at the Stonehouse Gallery.

In 1972, eight potters dedicated to promoting ceramics created this artist-run art gallery and shop. The location has since changed and the new gallery with its stained glass windows is the ideal backdrop for the large variety of exhibits.

The Stonehouse Gallery was created in 1972, when eight potters dedicated to promoting ceramics created this artist-run art gallery and shop.

The Collection showcases several styles of art grouped by artist. Items range from clothing and other textiles, sculptures to jewellery and paintings. I went completely trigger-happy with my camera with the many beautiful pieces on display.

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I now have it down as my go-to place for gifts and special occasions.

Olivigna Restaurant and Pietro Gallo Estate

Saving the best for the last, we arrived at the picturesque Pietro Gallo estate. Famous for its award winning artisanal grappa, liquor and fine Italian dining, we discovered how this famed winery creates its diverse range of liquid gold.

For John and Anna, the owners of the estate and Olivigna restaurant, grappa is more than a tipple. The passion for fresh produce, knowledge of the fine art of distilling grappa, and the management experience of a team that’s been doing business for generations, are key to their success.

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Anna offered us a taste of Grappa Al Caffe – a grape spirit with coffee inspired by the Italian classic Caffe Corretto. An insider’s tour of the premises followed, which also offered an informative session on the production process by master distiller Nathan Rigby.

We tasted some more refined grappa and Limoncello and saw the purpose-built grappa still, named Scarpone after John’s father.

Next up was a fun pasta making class under the guidance of an experienced Italian chef. Our attempts at making different varieties of pasta were awarded with a sumptuous lunch prepared in-house, using our freshly, though not expertly made batch of pasta.

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Paired with the most amazing Sangiovese from the estate, the meal was exceptional in quality and taste, lulling us into a sense of pure decadence. We could easily have spent the entire afternoon sipping the excellent wine and soaking up the ambience of the private dining room, but sadly it was time to leave.

Paired with the most amazing Sangiovese from the estate, the meal was exceptional in quality and taste, lulling us into a sense of pure decadence.

On the way out from Olivigna, I purchased a bottle of their unique Grappa Al Caffe. I have to admit – I have polished off half of the contents, already.

The exclusive famil was part of #Explore Manningham – reflection of the artistic diversity and distinctive dining experiences within Manningham city.