500 reasons why we love visiting Adelaide

OK, so ‘500 reasons’ might be pushing it a bit. But the reasons why Mrs Romance and I love visiting Adelaide are so good – we have so much fun there – it feels like we have 100 times that many.

Our friends, the food, the wine, the festivals and the beach. Multiplied by 100.

So when as we landed in Adelaide for the weekend, we were very excited at the prospect of filling up on all 5 of those reasons, which brings us to this week’s IG Edition.

I hope you enjoy visiting Adelaide with us here as much as we did in real life.


Jim & Christina x

It just so happens we’ve got two sets of friends here in ‘Radelaide’. Our lovely friends Sonia and Chris, who we’ve mentioned quite a bit before and who we’re staying with while we’re here, we met via blogging. Sonia writes Sonia Styling fashion and lifestyle blog. She’s also the founder of social media consultancy firm Scribe & Social.

And in fact she and Chris were the subject of one of our latest What does romance mean? series you can read here.

Our other friends in Adelaide go back much further. Neil and Jo moved to Australia about 10 years ago from the UK – Neil and I have been friends since university. I always look forward to seeing these guys, but this time we’re even more excited: they’ve just had a baby.

After we’ve settled in at Sonia and Chris’ (and a night on the wine), we head out for breakfast with Neil, Jo and little April. They’ve taken us to Henley Beach for breakfast.

We’ve been in town less than 12 hours and we’ve already ticked three of our five main reasons for visiting Adelaide: friends, wine and the beach.

And we’re about to hit the fourth. Not bad going!

Feed me! Neil and Jo have brought us to Stella here at Henley Beach. It’s about as close to the water as you can go without your feet getting wet, and the food’s awesome.

It’s so good to see these guys and to meet lovely little April. She’s another great reason for us to come back here more often.

And here’s reason number 5! Sonia and Chris have brought us to Ferment The Festival in Rundle Park.

If this festival had been at the beach, we could have all 5 of our reasons in one place!

Ferment is an amazing food and wine (and beer, cider and spirits) festival celebrating produce from the area. And in particular food and drink that’s made through the fermentation process.

This is going to be good!

There’s so much to eat and drink here, we’re almost overwhelmed. Almost.

Resigning ourselves to the fact that we won’t be able to try everything, we start with a beautiful refreshing tipple from the Barossa Cider Company and settle in for the day.

It’s an amazing turn out at Ferment – but there’s still so much space. We’re really impressed with how well this festival’s being managed. So many times there aren’t enough tables and chairs or queues for stalls put you off. Not here though.

We work our way around the festival nibbling this sipping that until we get to this double stall. Adelaide Hills Distillery makes some superb gin called 78° (because alcohol’s specific heat capacity – the point it boils – 78°C). This distillery, run by Sacha Laforgia, also makes an Aussie version of Campari that’s worth checking out.

While Sonia, Chris and Mrs Romance get stuck into their gin cocktails, I’m getting stuck into the brewery next door. Mismatch Brewing Co‘s Pale Ale, might just be one of my new favourite beers. Full-bodied, well-structured and packed with flavour, this is a goodun.

After all the exploring we’ve been doing, we finally decide it’s time to settle down to a table and a couple of bottles of South Australian wine.

The sun’s out, the band’s playing and our bellies are full. Doesn’t get much better than this.

For some reason – I don’t know if any of us really remember why – we decide to head further afield.

We march through the city to East End Cellars – one of the most incredible bottle shops you’ve ever been to. You can buy takeaway bottles if you like, or you can park yourself at one of the tables and drink your purchase there. They also do some amazing looking food here.

Best of all has to be ‘the vault’. Set apart from the racks and shelves of the regular wine population, the wine inside this glass-walled walk-in wine cellar is anything but regular. We’re talking Grange and Hill of Grace level wine. You walk in, you look and you walk out feeling poor!

This morning, Sonia, Mrs Romance and I drag ourselves out for a bite to eat in Goodwood. Our favourite little cafe here – Trouble and Strife – does awesome food and great coffee. We’re talking masses of halloumi, pesto, beetroot puree and perfect eggs. We’re talking smokey poached chicken Waldorf on toasted sourdough.

It sounds fancy and it tastes fancy, but the price says otherwise.

Poor Amalfi – Sonia’s gorgeous little Sheltie – is missing out. If the food weren’t so good, he’d probably have better luck with a face like that. Sorry Amalfi. Maybe next time!

By the way, make sure you check out Amalfi’s Instagram account @Amalfi.the.Sheltie. Just be ready to fall in love a thousand times.

This afternoon, we’ve come out to Glenelg for some more beach time. This was the first place we ever came to in Adelaide years ago – to go to Neil and Jo’s wedding actually. I like it because it’s one of those special places with a palindromic name!

Reads the same backwards as it does forwards – just like the home of my favourite brewery in Tumut, NSW.

The walk up to the beach at Glenelg is so pretty. The Anzac Memorial and the centenary monument guard the way to the water, and the palm trees lead you all the way there.

The politicians of Glenelg really had the right idea: what’s the point in running the place if you can’t have a great view from your office?

The Glenelg town hall sits right at the end of the esplanade looking out over the Southern Ocean… or is it the Indian Ocean? Anyway, this beautiful old colonial building is a focal point of the heritage of the area.

It had to be done, didn’t it? And if you think this one’s cheesy, wait till you see the next couple of shots!

Practising for our catalogue model jobs, we decide to go for some classics.

We have trouble taking things seriously… probably why we’re still together. And also why we’re not rich!

Sonia has taken us to the marina for a spot of lunch – because we haven’t eaten very much since we arrived in Adelaide.

We’ve landed at the Oyster Bar at Holdfast Shores. And while Mrs Romance sticks with tradition and orders their oysters, Sonia and I can’t get past the idea of panko crumbed prawns and calamari.

I think we all choose well – plus the fact that they sell Matso’s alcoholic ginger beer and Pirate’s Life IPA. A lunch of champions.

Back at base, we’ve got a few surprises for Amalfi. K-Mart are selling Halloween costumes for dogs! I think he approves of the vampire bat one.

The pumpkin get-up doesn’t seem to be his entire cup of tea – but we like it, which is what matters.

And as for the giant spider outfit – I don’t think he knows quite what to make it all.

I think it just shows how cute he is if he can still look adorable even in this.

It’s Monday night and Mrs R and Sonia have come home with flowers.

Earlier they headed off to the incredible Austin Bloom, one of the most amazing florists we’ve ever seen. Run by the creative Estee and Stu, this husband-and-wife team aren’t traditional florists. They come from a design background and flowers are just one part of their art.

During this class, Mrs R learned the art of creating a posy, how to shape roses and a trick for bringing extra shine to your floral creations. She’ll be sharing some tips on keeping your flowers looking their best at home soon, so watch this space.

We’re out in the city today to check out the new, exciting things happening at the Adelaide Casino. But first we’re exploring the town a bit.

I don’t think you can get much more Adelaide than this. An iconic SA building that’s now home to Haigh’s – the best chocolate you’ll ever try.

In the Adelaide Casino, we check out Madame Hanoi, one of the latest restaurants to open in the casino. The upper floor has a light, airy feel to it that works beautifully with the colonial styling, stunning vaulted ceiling and the French fusion of the menus.

Downstairs at Madame’s Bar, you’ll find leather couches, and a darker, moodier ambience. Both areas you can enjoy the impressive looking bao that come out of the kitchen and the gin cocktails the mixologists craft at the bar.

Most impressive of all is the hand-painted mural of the restaurant’s namesake, which runs up the wall both levels.

There’s a host of other restaurants and drinking spots opening up at the casino, which will activate this spot as a focal point for more than just gambling. The Veuve Cliquot champagne room looks very promising and chef Sean Connolly of Sydney’s darling The Morrison Bar & Oyster House and Byron Bay’s Balcony Bar has opened Sean’s Kitchen here, which looks as awesome as his other venues.

While the bao at Madame Hanoi look very tempting, we head into the city for something a little meatier. Under the arches of a little a side alley on Peel Street, we duck into the doorway of Bread and Bone Wood Grill. This place is very much to my liking… and not just because call of the day here is burger.

The beer list is strong as is the wine list. Service is prompt, friendly and genuine, and the space is comfortable.

However, it really is all about the burgers. I’ve taken on the B&B Burger and I’m not regretting it. The patty’s perfectly cooked and (as warned) a little pink in the middle. This baddy comes with smoky bacon, cheese, caramelised onion, and kewpie mayo. Simple and spot on.

Mrs Romance has hit the chicken burger: spicy fried chook, guacamole, cheese and smoky bacon. Good choice!

Meanwhile, Sonia’s staring down the barrel of the soft shell crab burger, which comes with roasted chilli kewpie mayo, lettuce and cress.

Needless to stay we roll away from lunch very contented.

It’s not long before we’re heading back to the airport, clambering onto our plane and winging it out across the Adelaide hills back to Sydney. We look back and see the city is sad to see us leave and is crying at our departure.

Don’t worry, Adelaide. We’ll be back. There are too many reasons for us to be gone too long.

Of course, it can’t all be about Adelaide. Back here in Sydney, Mrs Romance is at the launch of beautiful interiors store Totem Road‘s latest collaboration – Curated X.

Known for its sustainability, sophistication and Scandi mid-century style, Totem Road has broadened its reach seamlessly with this new collection. Curated by interior stylist Bettina McILwraith, this range of ‘Multicultural Maximisation’ is a powerful fit for the start of this elegant yet challenging series.

Launching at Totem Road’s flagship store in Paddington, Sydney, the series is here until 27th January 2018 and is well worth a visit. You can also shop it online here.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this IG Edition. Chat again soon. Jim & Christina x

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