Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Festival a Perfect Showcase; Food, Wine, Song and Dance Made the 2016 Brisbane Event a Buzz

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Festival a Perfect Showcase; Food, Wine, Song and Dance Made the 2016 Brisbane Event a Buzz

Article excerpt

Byline: Emma Clarke

A DEGUSTATION menu featuring quail eggs and apple truffle strudel followed by a burlesque-inspired champagne and hot tub filled stage show would be more at home in Western Europe than in Brisbane.

Australia's "new world city" is slowly but surely making itself known on the travel itineraries of domestic and international tourists but events like Brisbane Festival are making the river city's transition to the world stage all the more dramatic.

One of Australia's most significant international arts festivals, Brisbane Festival takes hold of the city each September and involves a brimming program of theatre, music, dance, circus, opera and public events.

It was at the centre of a recent familiarisation trip to Brisbane as I, and evidently what would be close to one million other people throughout the program, descended on the city for the opening night of the festival.

Before we were subjected to the champagne and hot tub extravaganza that was Blac de Blanc, Eagle St's Esquire restaurant fuelled us for the weekend ahead.

The degustation menu was a first for me, but perhaps not the last.

The experience would be at home on one's bucket list, as were some of the many dishes delivered to the table, but don't go looking for a hearty meal to address a day's hunger.

Instead, expect multiple courses of flavours you didn't know were edible (they are) and dishes you won't see in too many other Brisbane venues.

The champagne fizz kept up for Strut 'n' Fret's Blanc de Blanc show - and by champagne fizz I mean to pick up a bottle on your way to your seat because you're going to need it.

The show opened Arcadia on Southbank's forecourt, an entertainment hub festival artistic director David Berthold describes as "the most gorgeous place".

Fast forward what felt like 20 minutes but was more like an hour and a half and, with the persistent champagne fizz enduring, the show ends in a flurry of feathers, sequins, hot tub water and a similar vibe to the Moulin Rouge. …

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