PICTURESQUE country landscapes, delicious food and a wine glass hanging around your neck.
Life doesn’t get much better, according to the visitors who travelled from across the state to be a part of the finale of Orange FOOD Week 2014, Forage.
Sydneysider Andrew Jacques had a particularly special weekend after his girlfriend agreed to marry him 48 hours earlier.
“My girlfriend, or rather my fiancee, used to be a medical student here. When I think about what I expected and what I didn’t [from Forage], I didn’t realise it was going to be an open air feel,” he said.
“It had everything and more.”
Forage featured tents spread across three kilometres of countryside with food and beverages from Mandagery Creek Vension, Michael Manners, Bistro Ceello, the Agrestic Grocer, Edwena Mitchell Catering, Vindevie Vineyard, Kate Bracks, Second Mouse Cheese Co and Bills Beans.
Participants walked around North Face Wines at Nashdale and owner Stephen Cantrill was happy to pick up a few jolly stragglers on his quad bike as he made his way to the final stop, where 1000 people ended up listening to live music.
“It’s worked out really well so far,” he said.
Orange resident Jenny Hellsing said theForage walk was perfect and nothing should be changed, it should not become bigger nor run over two days.
FOOD Week committee president James Sweetapple said the event would grow, but it would not be put over two days.
“We’ve gone from 300 to 1000 people in four years and the tickets are sold out in a day and a half and we’ve got a very big waiting list,” he said.
“It’s not an event we can put on a Saturday and a Sunday because the cooks can’t be expected to step up for two days in a row.”
He said this FOOD week proved there were more tourists and residents who demanded a broad range of events.
The FOOD Week night markets had been postponed by one week due to rain and the event was held on Friday April 11.
The heavens cleared just in time for the event to start and 2326 people walked through Robertson Park to experience some of the regions best food and wine.
“It was down by half, but I say to everyone who complained we postponed it, where were they?” Mr Sweetapple said.
“Everyone had a great time and the producers were really happy.”
Mr Sweetapple said in order for the week to be a continued success the committee needed more volunteers, more “brains and brawn”.