A writer sharing travels, experiences, a love of festivals & events. Life is a journey and I hope to inspire others. Visit my blog at https://www.travelwithirenke.blogspot.com
Celebrate an Aussie icon
One of many things the Southern Highlands is renowned for is its gourmet pies and they have a two day festival at the end of June celebrating the Aussie icon. From savoury to sweet, pair them with wine, beer or cider, and indulge in mouth-watering pie themed activities.
Kicking off at 10am, Bong Bong Picnic Racecourse in Bowral is the location for pie lovers and connoisseurs to taste their way through the weekend with the Pie Bar, Sauce Street and a number of delicious stalls. Vote for your favourite pie in the People's Choice award, watch cooking demonstrations and more.
Pies, pies and more pies will fill your stomach, from meat pies to pumpkin pies, apple to cherry pies, custard to cream pies, lemon meringue and pecan pies, vegan and gluten-free pies. The famous Robertson Pie Shop will be there, as will Heatherbrae's Pies, Mary's Pastries, Gumnut Patisserie, Moonacres Farm and Stones Patisserie. You're sure to find your favourite pies and new pies to down.
Spend some time and meet some of the clever bakers as well and be sure to check out the winning pies and runners up of the NSW/ACT Best Pie Competition. Taste them all too and see what it is that makes the perfect pie. Is it the crust, the filling, the taste, the consistency or that little something different?
When you're all pied out, try some other delights in the market place from the likes of the German Sausage Hut, Smoking Barrels, Red Belly Pizza, Japanese Dumplings, Spuddy Buddy, Brasserie Bread, Lush Berries, Crazy Crepes, Dos Churros, Pimp My Chimney, Black Hen Kitchen, Gelato Man, Yoghurt Paradise and so much more.
Stalls providing liquid refreshment include 3 Sons Cider, Cherry Tree Hill Wines, Joadja Estate Wines, Light Bulb Soda and Magnificup Mobile Cafe Espresso, to name but a few.
Competitions will certainly be a highlight at this event. They include the following –
This one is not going to be easy. We're not talking a single pie in this eating competition.
How fast can you eat a standard, family-sized mince pie?
The current record from last year's inaugural event stands at 1minute, 15seconds and the man that took it out will be back. His son reckons he can beat him and will take him on in an epic father-son battle.
You may also run into a celebrity footballer. Former Parramatta Eels captain Nathan Hindmarsh is a Robertson boy and he competed in the competition last year. You never know he may be back to try again this year.
Easy as pie, there's only one simple rule – be the first to finish. Great prizes are waiting to be won.
There are 3 sessions each day – 11am, 12.30pm and 2pm – and it's free to enter, so if you think you've got what it takes then register here for your ticket.
Another fun competition happening is that of pie throwing and my first thought was 'Oh no, you're gonna waste all those beautiful pies' but this is not the case. Reading on, I found this one is for the kids and they're toy pies that are being thrown.
Running all weekend, children just need to get the toy pie through the pie mouth to win a special stress ball pie.
Fabulous vineyards and beverage producers will be on hand to pair your pies with a drop of red or white as you enjoy the day. Find your perfect partner and take a bottle or two home.
Young Piefest Cooks Classes
Young chefs (8-12yrs) will have fun making a savoury pie in the Sunbeam Pie Maker and, whilst waiting for it to cook, will design their own paper pie bag to keep. There are 3 sessions of 30minutes each per day. The cost is $20. Bookings can be made here.
Watch and learn from local cook Anna Phillips on how to make the perfect pie. Pick up tips in sessions that run daily at 10.30am, 12pm and 1.30pm. No bookings are required.
Pie races will provide lots of family fun throughout the weekend, along with children's rides, mini jeeps, jumping castles and free face painting.
Live music, wandering characters (meet Penny Pie & Sammy Sauce) and a magic show with Julian Bull on Sunday will entertain onlookers.
Digest your pies with a full program of entertainment
Take the train to Bowral station and a courtesy bus, run by Meals on Wheels, will depart for the racecourse at 10am and 11.30am. It will return from the racecourse between 1.30pm and 3pm. A donation of $5 to cover petrol costs is appreciated.
Got more time?
For something different, enjoy a pie and wine tour in a military vehicle
Pie Fest is a flagship event and just part of the month-long Pie Time, featuring different experiences around multiple venues in the region. So if you've got more time to spare prior to the weekend of Pie Fest, then a great 'sauce' of pie fun awaits with such things as the Sweety Pie & Bubbles Trail, Pie Time Pie Teas, Military Vehicle Pie & Wine Tours, The Giant Pie, Saucey Painting, and exhibitions around the history of the meat pie and vintage pie making equipment. You can have your finger in every pie should you wish.
Whether it's for the weekend or a longer escape, have fun at this and many other events in the Southern Pie-lands (sorry, couldn't resist one more pun)!