I'm an Australian living in Thailand. I like to read, write and travel. I'm currently working on my (commercial) travel website skedaddlecarhire.com.au to make more moolah for my trips.
The Loch Village Food & Wine Festival comes around once a year. The event is a major celebration of the region's food and takes place on the Queen's Birthday weekend, as it has for the past seven years. It's a very anticipated event, with more than sixty of the region's best food and wine producers showing up to get in on the action.
Participants include such local staples as Barn Buddies Mobile Farm, the Clair de Lune Vineyard, Clearly Delicious, Bass Valley Estate Wines, Looney Licorice, Karingal Berries, and many other regional institutions. A simple read through of the program list will have your mouth watering. If you read the menu, good luck; you'll be ravenous by the time the day ends. I know I was.
Luckily for visitors, there are plenty of places to stay. Loch is found in South Gippsland, which is about three hours away from Melbourne. The area includes plenty of cheap, inexpensive campsites, both powered and unpowered. Several local residents also open their homes and offer bed and breakfast services for those coming into town. You should be aware of how crowded the area gets! Start searching for accommodations long before it's time to go, or else you might find yourself going quite a distance away to sleep. I managed to find a great little cottage to stay in, thanks to a friendly local.
In addition to the food and wine, there were plenty of events to keep me entertained. Whether you're into dancing, singing, or simply sitting around and chatting, you'll find something to hold your interest. A Cabaret performance was held on the first night of the events, and then the second day boasted lectures and seminars on the various types of wine and how to best enjoy them. The locals also host get-togethers where they just relax and catch up after a long working and harvest season. Although I may not be a local, they were more than happy to invite me to sit and join them.
The Main Event Street Market Day is held the first Sunday of the event, and boasts a number of different cooking seminars teaching guests how to cook their own tasty dishes. There are also a number of different musical demonstrations, sometimes even including traditional brass band style sounds. Later in the day wine and cheese tastings are held, and the night typically ends with a big musical performance, followed by a dance on the next day.
Australia is a popular destination for the 'major' sights, but the Loch Village Food and Wine Festival is well worth a visit on its own.
Having enjoyed loch food and wine festival in previous years I must say very disappointed in this years (2014) event. Taking it from the village atmosphere and placing it in the muddy environment lacking the buzz and good feelings of the town was a real let down for us, and many others we overheard. Being channeled down the underpass like sheep to a compulsory $10 per person tasting fee. My partner does not drink so was a waste of money. I personally heard many people unhappy with this also ( a good earner for the town but at what cost) many were turning tail and leaving! We were only there for a short time as we found the muddy uneven ground a bit dangerous. I worried about elderly people trying to navigate their way. Sadly if Loch continued with this money over substance approach we will be giving it a big miss as I'm sure many others will also. Please return the festival to what it is supposed to be - a celebration of food,wine and the splendid gem of Loch itself. The vibe if the event that is actually held in the Main Street is a truly wonderful experience. Hoping the powers that be return to a winning formula