Merivale will be a feast for all the senses next month, when its annual food and wine festival returns for the eighth incredible year. Inspired by our most decadent and outrageous guilty pleasures, March into Merivale 2016 will take place from 14 February to 20 March, with the spectacular launch party providing a tempting taste of what’s to come on Wednesday 10 February. For over five jam-packed weeks, bon vivants can indulge in world-class food, wine, cocktails and champagne from dozens of Merivale’s incredible restaurants and bars. Tickets to all events are on sale now from www.marchintomerivale.com.au
Justin Hemmes, CEO of Merivale, said: “Over the past seven years, March into Merivale has transformed from its humble beginnings into one of the most anticipated events on Sydney’s culinary calendar. Across five incredible weeks, the 2016 festival shines the spotlight on our diverse hospitality portfolio and celebrates the wealth of talent leading Merivale into our most exciting year yet”.
The March into Merivale 2016 programme includes:
LAUNCH PARTY: The Merivale Launch Party kicks things off on Wednesday 10 February, taking over the entire ivy complex and surrounding laneways. With pop-up stalls from world-renowned restaurants including Mr. Wong, The Paddington, Coogee Pavilion, est., Papi Chulo and the soon to be launched Queen Victoria Enmore, The Newport and Fred’s, alongside live music and roving entertainment, it’s everything people love about Merivale in one place, for one amped-up night. ($45 includes eight food and drink tokens, with top-ups available on the night).
MONDAY – SHOW AND TELL: Wannabe connoisseurs can get their kicks from a host of classes every Monday. Join celebrated pastry and dessert chef Lorraine Godsmark for a delicious and decadent night of chocolate (Chocsessive, 15 Feb, 14 March, $75); indulge in limited edition reserves with Villa Maria’s Josh Hammond and Merivale’s Franck Moreau (Wine Not?, 22 February, $45); learn the tricks of the Instagram trade from Insta-star DJ Dumpling, Dan Hong and Patrick Friesen (#Instaskills, 29 February, $45); and get inside the brains of Merivale’s talented design team – Justin and Bettina Hemmes, Kelvin Ho, Emilie Delalande and Amanda Talbot – to discover what it takes to create awe-inspiring venues that set the standard the world over (Style Me Merivale, Hosted by Neale Whitaker, 7 March, $45).
TUESDAY – FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS: Every Tuesday, dining devotees can rally their mates for the deal and meal of a lifetime, with a two-course meal, a drink of their choice and a few fun surprises at some of Merivale’s most-loved restaurants – Ash St. Cellar, Ms. G’s, Papi Chulo ($45 pp); Felix, Uccello, Bistrode CBD, The Paddington, sushi e ($55 pp); est. ($75pp).
WEDNESDAY SHOW-OFF: Food lovers can enter a new world every Wednesday with a host of spectacular showcase series:
· Between Two Buns, 17 February, Palings ($45): Which of the talented Merivale chefs makes the best burger? From a dozen entries, a panel of burger experts have whittled the naughty cheat-day treats down to six finalists. Guests can try each on the night and vote for their pick of the pack.
· European Laneway, Darling, 24 February, Ash St. Laneway ($45): With stalls from Felix, Ash St, Bistrode CBD, Lorraine’s Patisserie, The Paddington, Uccello and Palings, this fabulously frivolous event under the stars encourages all guests to embrace their Inner European and indulge in the pick of the continent’s food, wine and entertainment.
· Wok On, 2 March, Establishment ($45): Following the incredible success of its debut last year, this wild and enticing mix of Asian fare, cocktails and old-school hip-hop beats is upping the ante in 2016. Featuring signature dishes from Ms. G’s, Mr. Wong, Sunee’s Thai Canteen, sushi e and the soon-to-be-launched Queen Chow.
· Room for One More, 9 March, Establishment Hotel ($75): Taking over sixteen rooms of the super luxe Establishment Hotel, this is an extravagant night of cocktail exploration and theatrical escapism. From retro pop to French baroque, each room has a theme, with creations from Palmer & Co., Hemmesphere, J&M, ivy Pool Club, Coogee Pavilion, Papi Chulo, Ms. G’s and El Loco.
· Bubble with Guilt, 16 March, Hemmesphere ($85): Showcasing all things champagne, this intimate and seductive affair offers a taste of over twenty luxurious vintages at the iconic cocktail lounge.
THURSDAY – CHEF SIGNATURE: Food enthusiasts can join Merivale’s most illustrious chefs for once-in-a-lifetime dining experiences:
· Chopsticks & Dope Kicks, 18 February, Ms.G’s ($150) – Sneaker devotee Dan Hong collaborates with Subtype, Sneaker Freaker mag and Ms.G’s head chef Paul Donnelly to create a limited addition sneaker exhibition and curated Asian feast.
· Shellfishness, 25 February, Secret Location ($200) – Coogee Pavilion’s Jordan Toft and est.’s Peter Doyle come together for a spectacular seafood banquet in a top-secret location.
· All Pleasure, No Guilt, 3 March, est. ($300) – An ode to silver service, seven hatted Merivale chefs combined their talents for a five course, nine hatted dinner in the grandiose est. dining room.
· A Night in Paris, 10 March, Ash St. Laneway ($200) – The Paddington’s Ben Greeno and Felix’s Nathan Johnson join forces for a long table Francophile fest under the stars.
· The Kitchen Table, 17 March, Uccello ($200) – Danielle Alvarez, Chez Panisse alum and head chef of the hotly tipped Fred’s, and Nadine Levy, home cook, author and wife of Rene Redzepi, share their passion for local, organic produce to create home-cooking at its finest.
FRIDAY – GUILTY PLEASURES: The UK’s biggest, boldest and brashest night hits Sydney, exclusively at March into Merivale for 5 weeks only. With outrageous DJs, cabaret performances and Chandon’s Unplanned Band this dazzling discotheque is a shameless celebration of the wonderful world of pop (every Friday at Palings, $20).
SATURDAY – PACHA PRESENTS ABSOLUT NIGHTS: Australia’s No. 1 club night, Pacha Sydney, presents Absolut Nights with headline performances by a host of local and international DJ talent – Trance Nation feat. EXIS (20 February), Thomas Jack (27 February), Yolanda Be Cool and Nicky Night Time (5 March), DJ Fresh (11 March), Robin Schulz (26 March) – alongside cutting edge productions and extravagant performances.
SUNDAY – FESTIVAL:
· Sunday Sundown,6 March, Coogee Rooftop (free) and ivy Pool Club ($20) – Merivale’s new live music experience at dusk joins the March into Merivale line-up with performances by electro wunderkind Yahtzel (DJ set) at Coogee Rooftop and tropical-trap don L D R U at ivy Pool Club.
· Coogee Foreshore Festival, 20 March, Coogee Pavilion ($25/$45, three/six food and drink tokens) – Merivale hits the beach at this fabulous wacky seaside celebration, where guests can enjoy an amazing array of food from Coogee Pavilion, Papi Chulo, El Loco, sushi e and Mr. Wong, roving entertainment, live music performances, family games and plenty more surprises.
MYSTERY FEAST: Throughout the festival, adventurous diners can add a little excitement to their day by booking a Mystery Feast. From the grand dining room at est. to the edgy Potts Pott hangout Ms.G’s, guests could end up in any one of Merivale’s award-winning restaurants. (Dinner, $75 including three courses and three glasses of wine; Lunch, $35 including one course and one glass of wine).
#LIVELIFEUNPLANNED: Merivale fans can enjoy March into Merivale the unplanned way with the ultimate access pass. The $180 Chandon Unplanned Pass includes a Mystery Dinner and choice of any two events (events include Wednesday Show-off series, Friday Guilty Pleasures, Pacha Presents Absolut Nights or Coogee Foreshore Festival).
Throughout March into Merivale, head chefs across each of our venues will be introducing their own guilty pleasure dish to their menus – from Lorraine Godsmark’s chocolate caviar tart at the patisserie to Jeremy Strode’s seafood, tomato and turmeric curry at The Fish Shop.
MARCH INTO MERIVALE FILM: https://vimeo.com/152130282
TICKETS ON SALE NOW. Go to www.marchintomerivale.com.au