LOCAL businesses hope that the new Taste of the Beaches will bring much-needed vitality - and customers - back to Manly and beyond.
Northern Beaches Council has exclusively revealed to the Northern Beaches Review that they are launching a huge new food festival, or Taste of Manly "on steroids".
Called Taste of the Beaches, the mega Food Festival will run throughout all of May. Mayor Michael Regan said it would occur "from Manly to Palm Beach to Terrey Hills and everywhere in between" and attract wine lovers and foodies.
"Council is taking the ever-popular Taste of Manly event and transforming and expanding it into a month-long celebration of the best wining and dining experiences on the beaches," he said. "The northern beaches will be the place to eat, drink and enjoy. By organising events across the whole region, we are helping support local businesses, particularly hospitality, who have been hard hit over the past year."
The program will include more than 30 events at venues across the northern beaches, centred around three key venues to be established with local hospitality businesses: the Manly Beach Restaurant, Manly Beer and Wine Garden and Palm Beach Wine Garden.
Council has also provided grants to local businesses to participate in the event, creating a series of other special events featuring unique food and wine experiences in restaurants, cafes and businesses across the beaches.
- The Food Truck Party will host up to 15 food trucks at Winnererremy Bay, Mona Vale on May 15 from midday to 8pm.
- Palm Beach Wine Garden is a ticketed cellar door event with 12 Australian wineries at Governor Phillip Park on May 29 and 30 with 11am-2pm and 3pm-6pm sessions across the weekend with a maximum 1000 people. There will also be live music.
- A large space will be set up on Manly Beach, partnering with Hotel Steyne, over the May 1-2 weekend. The Manly Beach pop up Restaurant will highlight what makes wining and dining in Manly so great with a focus on fresh, delicious food on the beach.
- The Manly Wine and Beer Garden will be open every weekend in May from Friday to Sunday, 11:30am-9pm. This pop-up event will be a unique experience, with mini golf on the Corso, live relaxed acoustic and jazz music in the day, and DJs in the evening. It will feature drink and food from Modus Operandi Brewing Co, 7th Day Brewery, Seadrift Distillery, Manly Spirits Co and Bucketty's Brewing Co, as well as Biltong by African Vibe at Brookvale, fresh meat skewers and tasty cheese platters.
- Various local cafes, bars and restaurants will host their own festival events.
Carolyn Whitely, who owns Seadrift Distillery with her husband Alastair, said they were looking forward to being a part of the bar on The Corso as well as running a ticketed food and spirit matching festival event, Adrift, from their Brookvale venue on May 21 and 22. Because of COVID-restrictions, they have had limited opportunities to showcase their non-alcoholic, handcrafted spirit to northern beaches' residents.
"We only launched a year ago and being able to get tasting events has been impossible for us during COVID. Getting people to taste our product is absolutely critical and this will make a huge difference," she said. "It is just so nice to have these events outside and The Corso is such a great place to have it. It's starting to feel like you can go out and socialise and enjoy yourself again."
Lauren Paterson, Marketing and Events Manager at 7th Day Brewery, is planning a family-friendly brewery Tour and Tasting event on May 22, featuring live music and partnering with Sale Pepe pizzeria next door.
"It's great for small businesses like us to get back out there and remind everyone that we are still here," she said. "We have been open for just over two years and we used to be at max capacity every night, but we lost a lot of our traction. We had to change our platform and hire a new salesperson to get into bottle shops."
Vanessa Wilton, co-owner of Manly Spirits Co. Distillery, said that food and drink events had picked up hugely in the last month, with five events happening in the last month.
"We stepped in to manufacture sanitiser when there was none available but now I'm not manufacturing so much sanitiser, which wasn't my passion," she said. "Instead, I'm organising events all over Australia."
They are hosting their own three-week Spirit of Manly festival at the distillery for three weeks in May, with $10 tasting flights, live music, giveaways, cocktail specials and cocktail making classes and workshops where you can make your own gin.
Cr Regan said he hoped Taste of the Beaches would have something for everyone. "The program will be unique and varied, and we are proud to support a very vibrant line-up of local restaurants, brewers and wine producers," he said. "You never know what fantastic restaurant or café or local brewery you may discover, just around the corner from you."
Keep an eye on the council website as more information will be made available soon.
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