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SAMPLE FOOD FESTIVAL announce festival line-up for 2018

Sample Food Festival is proud to announce the line-up for the annual event, to be held on Saturday 1st September at Bangalow Showgrounds in the Byron Bay hinterland.

This year’s program, launched by long-time supporter of the festival and celebrity chef, Darren Robertson includes headliners, Shannon Bennett, founder of Vue de monde (Melbourne) and Zeb Gilbert, executive chef at Wasabi (Noosa) alongside appearances from Byron Bay Cooking School’s wellness chef, Samantha Gowing, and author and producer, Luca Ciano.

The one day event will celebrate the diverse and rich produce, chefs, artisans and producers Northern Rivers of NSW is renowned for. Since 2011, Sample has evolved into the largest gastronomic gathering in the Northern NSW calendar, attracting over 16,000 locals, travellers, guest chefs and food lovers alike.

Working with Gold Coast Airport as presenting partner for 2018, Gold Coast Airport Chief Operating Officer Marion Charlton said the airport was pleased to partner with the biggest one-day food festival in the Northern Rivers. “ We are excited to increase our sponsorship support in northern New South Wales, which is a key tourism growth area for the airport,” she said. “Sample Food Festival has become a landmark event on the region’s calendar, and we are proud to be part of its continuing growth story.”

Festival Director, Rose Taylor said “Every year we have visitors going through Gold Coast Airport to attend the festival from around Australia and overseas, and we’re thrilled to have them on board as presenting partner. This year holds an exciting array of makers, chefs and restaurants and I can’t wait to showcase the best of the region for festival-goers - whether they’ve travelled locally, or from far and wide!”.

Look forward to $5 and $10 tasting plates showcasing the menus of 26 regional restaurants, including Harvest, No Bones and Balcony Bar & Oyster Co., over 100 market stalls, designers and producers, live music and children’s activities, while cooking demonstrations from attending chefs will come to a head at the TAFE Celebrity cook off. To help cleanse the palate over the day, award winning Byron Bay brewery Stone & Wood will serve a range of beers, alongside offerings of local wines and Husk Distillers spirits.

As part of the lead up to the festival, Sample and Le Cordon Bleu will also offer a season of events, including one-day food photograph & styling and food & wine writing workshops hosted by Fran Flynn (local photographer and designer) and Justin Bergman (The New York Times, Time magazine, New York magazine and Monocle). Guests may also attend the Fabulous Ladies Wine Society Dinner, hosted by Jane Thomson (Thompson Estate) and Rebekah Richardson (Irvine Wines) with food by Byron at Byron, Bangalow Hotel Dining Room and Luca Ciano.

Friday’s opening lunch will be catered for by none other than Shannon Bennett and his Vue de monde team. Always the hottest ticket in town, this year’s menu, designed by Shannon using local produce, includes canapes, three courses, matched wines and Stone & Wood beers.

Sample Food Festival presented by Gold Coast Airport:

Date: Saturday 1 September, 2018

Time: 8am until 4pm
Location: Bangalow Showgrounds, 1 Market Street, Bangalow 2479
Cost: Tickets upon entry are $5 per person and children are free

Pre-festival events:

Food Photography & Styling Workshop with Fran Flynn presented by Le Cordon Bleu Thursday 30th August 10am – 5pm at The Byron at Byron

Fabulous Ladies Wine Society Dinner with Jane Thompson and Rebekah Richardson, menu by the Byron at Byron’s Executive Chef Matthew Kemp and Gavin Hughes, Chef Consultant, author and producer Luca Ciano and Bangalow Dining Room’s Executive Chef Michelle Wright Thursday 30th August at The Byron at Byron

Eat Your Words Food & Wine Writing Workshop with Justin Bergman presented by Le Cordon Bleu

Friday 31st August 10am – 5pm at The Byron at Byron

Sample Festival Lunch by Shannon Bennett & Vue de Monde Team Friday 31st August 12pm at the Bangalow Showgrounds, under the marquee

Visit www.samplefoodevents.com for more information as well as tickets for the Sample season of events leading up to the festival.
 

Byron Writers Festival 2018 re-cap

The Byron Writers Festival 2018 (August 3-5) is now over. And, with over 150 sessions featuring more than 140 writers from Australia and abroad, the three-day event was entertaining, inspirational, and thought-provoking.

Over 12,000 festival-goers were treated to perfect weather all weekend long. In the late winter sunlight, the site’s many sculptures and rainbow flags create a vibrant yet laid-back atmosphere. Plus, the on-site food and coffee were sensational, especially when enjoyed picnic-style by the water.   

The diverse range of sessions, performances, and panel discusses celebrated story-telling in all its forms, from the political to the poetic and everything in between.

We can’t wait to see what next year’s festival will offer.

Crowds on the move

Christine Milne in conversation with Margaret Throsoy

Anxiety: is it just me? with Mat Haig and Sarah Wilson

One of the many sculptures dotted throughout the festival site 

Lunch time at the Byron Writers Festival

Frontier Wars discussion with Tom Keneally

Oliver Phommavanh during the Kids Big Day Out

Enjoying the winter sun

Learning from the resident poet

Captivated audiences

#byronwf2018 - see you next year!

 

5 best burgers in Byron Bay

Hungry? Sometimes there’s nothing better than a good burger.

Here in Byron Bay, the burger-lover is spoilt for choice. We asked our Facebook fans where they grab the best burgers. Here are the top five results in alphabetical order. Get ready to get hungry.

Beloporto

Beloporto, lovingly referred to as ‘Belos’ by the locals, has long been a favourite cheap-eats option in Byron Bay. Their specialty is Portuguese chicken burgers – marinated to perfection and topped with lettuce, cheese, house-made aioli, and optional chilli.

If chicken isn’t your thing, Beloporto serves up beef and veggie burgers, salads, and delicious fries. It’s all tasty, fast, filling, locally-sourced, and affordable. A true Byron staple.

Main Street Burger Bar

Main Street Burger Bar brings together a mix of classic burgers, real shakes, and craft beers. Their extensive menu offers everything from traditional cheeseburgers and BBQ brisket burgers, to truffle chicken burgers and vegan-friendly pulled jackfruit.

All burgers are made with 100% grass-fed beef, free-range pork, and locally sourced eggs.  

The Northern Hotel Restaurant and Bar

The Northern Hotel is a Byron Bay icon serving up classic pub fare including their delectable range of burgers – the wagyu beef burger, the lemon and herb chicken burger, and the baked ricotta and sweetcorn burger.

What’s more, every single day of the week you can pick up a burger and chips for just $10 between 12pm and 3pm. It’s one of the best lunch deals in town NOTE - this lunch special is no longer available.

The Rails Hotel

The Rails is one of the most-loved live music venues in Byron, offering local, national, and international talent every night of the week.

There’s no better way to soak up the laid-back atmosphere of The Rails than with a freshly made burger. Choose from beef, fish, chicken and bacon, pork belly and slaw, and grilled eggplant – all served with chips or a side salad. Perfection.

The Top Shop

The Top Shop is a go-to for many Byron Bay locals. Known for its single-origin coffee, great breakfasts, and exciting burgers, The Top Shop combines the best of hipster cafe culture and small-town hospitality.  

Their burger menu is pretty extensive and changes regularly. So, whether you’re looking for straightforward American beef burger or something a little more inventive, The Top Shop has it all.

Best of Byron

Discover our Best of Byron series. Find out where to grab the best coffee, brunch, burgers, fish & chips, Mexicanbreakfasts, pizza, ice cream, cocktails, and romantic dinners – according to you.

(note - businesses listed in alphabetical order as voted for by our Facebook fans - no 'pay for placement'. However, we do link to, and hope you will best support, business that advertise with byronbay.com)

Splendour in the Grass 2018 Re-Cap

Splendour in the Grass 2018 (20 – 22 July) is done and dusted, and what a fantastic festival it was. All 35,000 festival-goers were treated to perfect weather – clear, warm days and cool nights – and a jam-packed line-up of local, national, and international artists.

The site itself looked more colourful and dynamic than ever, complete with new flags, performers, art installations, and punters dressed-up and decked-out in true Splendour form. 

Alongside the music, we enjoyed the science tent, forum discussions, the comedy tent, the craft tent, and the family-friendly Little Splendour. There truly was something for everyone. Our favourites were Henry Rollins in discussion in the forum and Aunty Donna’s comedy set.

As always, there was plenty of food to indulge in-between sets.

Finally, our musical highlights. 

Photo: Stills in Time

Photo: Jess Gleeson

On Friday, we caught Murray from The Wiggles with DZ Deathrays, who played a few songs including an AC/DC cover. Lorde was the headliner, and she put on a great show.

Photo: Stills in Time

Saturday highlights include Franz Ferdinand, an old favourite, and Lil Xan.

Photo: Jess Gleeson

On Sunday, we watched Ball Park Music in the GW McLennan tent. We’d only seen them in the amphitheatre previously, and it was great to catch them up close on the smaller stage. And headliner Kendrick put on a killer performance – the crowd loved it.

Photo: Ian laidlaw

We can’t wait to see what next year has in stall. Thanks, Splendour in the Grass!

School Holiday Fun for Families in Byron Bay

The school holidays are a wonderful opportunity to enjoy family time in Byron Bay. As well as relaxing it’s a good idea to have some special activities planned to keep little hands and minds occupied. If you’re looking for some school holiday fun for families, read on. We’ve compiled a list of attractions and activities to satisfy all ages that will make these school holidays memorable for the whole family!

Circus Arts

Give the kids an experience they will never forget at Circus Arts Byron Bay. Whether your child is an absolute beginner or an experienced acrobat Circus Arts offers an amazing School Holiday Program to suit all ages and skill levels. Activities range from circus skills, flying trapeze, balloon twisting workshops, indoor climbing and kids play space. The school holiday program runs throughout the QLD and NSW school holidays. 

Farm Kids at The Farm

Let the kids get their hands dirty and learn from a real working farm. The Farm runs exciting programs aimed at teaching kids about topics such as where food comes from, paddock rotation, pollination, organic and ethical farming and much more. There’s also plenty of opportunity for the children to get up close and interact with the pigs and chickens. Workshops run all year round and they also have a School Holiday Program.

Cape Byron Walking Track

There’s something magical and mysterious about a lighthouse when you’re a child. Enjoy the spectacular scenery as you head up The Cape Byron Walking Track to the Lighthouse. The track is not considered stroller friendly in some areas, as there are steep hills and lots of steps. However you can access the track at numerous points along the boardwalk that are flat. All the information you need can be found at the National Parks Cape Byron Walking Track page. There are also tours of the Cape that are suitable for children 5yrs and over.

Byron Markets

If you’re looking for an activity that’s fun for you and the kids the Byron Bay market hits all the right spots. Delicious food, unique local shopping, great entertainment and a relaxing environment. There are a number of different markets on throughout the year as well as the regular monthly market so make sure you check which markets are on before you head out. The Byron Market provides special entertainment such as puppet shows and jumping castles during the school holidays.

Whale Watching

What greater way to inspire awe in our children than with the wonder of seeing a whale in its natural environment. Between May and November each year the majestic Humpback whale migrates north from their southern feeding grounds towards the tropics to breed and give birth. Byron Bay is the east coasts most easterly point so the whales pass by very close to the shore making Byron Bay a premier whale watching location. All you have to do is sit back and watch or there are numerous whale-watching tours available.

Byron KidzKlub

KidzKlub aims to provide kids with so much fun and entertainment they won’t want to leave! KidzKlub runs their school holiday program at the Byron Bay Community Centre. Activities include art and craft, kits, toys and games. Children can play freely or join in the structured art sessions facilitated by fully trained staff.

Horse Riding with Pegasus Park 

Kids love horses. There’s just no denying it. Byron Bay offers some amazing horse riding experiences including beach rides and trail rides. Most equestrian centres will cater for all ages and skill levels. So saddle up and make your kids dream come true these school holidays!

Main Beach Byron Bay

There is no better natural playground for a child than the beach and in Byron Bay you are spoilt for choice. Take your pick from any of the spectacular Byron Bay beaches and the kids will be entertained for hours.

Byron Bay Skateboard School

Did you know that your child could go to Skate Camp? How awesome. The Byron Bay Skateboard School offers Warehouse Day Camps and Skate park Tours during the school holidays as well as private and afterschool lessons during the school year. Founder and instructor Flavio Biehl is passionate about passing on the positive, creative and unique skateboarding lifestyle to his students.

Pighouse Flicks Cinema

Your kids might be a worried about the name but rest assured there are no pigs at this cool cinema. Pighouse Flicks is an independent family run cinema that boasts the latest technology and custom made lounge style seating. A really fun and different cinema experience for the kids during the holidays.

Mother’s Day Byron Bay 2018

Celebrate Mother’s Day (Sunday, 13 May 2018) Byron style. Many of the region’s eateries host specialty breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, with a treat for mum thrown in for good measure.

Here are a few Mother’s Day 2018 events in Byron Bay.

Three Blue Ducks

For relaxed vibes, farm-fresh produce, and a seriously impressive menu, pop into the Three Blue Ducks in Byron Bay. Drop in on the day, or phone 02 9389 0010 to book a table for dinner. Visit www.threeblueducks.com to learn more.

The Byron at Byron

This year, the Byron at Byron restaurant is hosting an indulgent three-course menu handcrafted by renowned Executive Chef Matthew Kemp, accompanied by live music and drinks on arrival. Treat your mum to rainforest luxury this Mother’s Day for $85 per person. Phone 02 6639 2111 to book your table.

Go the extra mile and send your mum to the stunning Spa at the Byron at Byron. Enjoy 20% off all Gift Voucher purchases before 13 May. Drop in, call 02 6639 2110, or visit www.thebyronatbyron.com.au to purchase.

The Balcony Bar & Oyster Co.

Take your mum for a meal at the iconic Balcony Bar & Oyster Co. on Mother’s Day, and she’ll receive a glass of bubbles on arrival, one of Chef Sean Connolly’s chocolate tortes, and a gift to take home. This extra special offer is available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Spoil mum – book your table at balcony.com.au.

The Byron Bay Golf Club

Enjoy the views from the deck of the Byron Bay Golf Club this Mother’s Day. Greg Lyon and the Hip Operation will be performing from 2pm, so drop in for a late lunch. Book now at byronbaygolfclub.com.au to secure a table.

Beach Byron Bay

Join Mandy Nolan and Ellen Briggs at Beach Byron Bay as they launch their brand-new book Women Like Us. With prizes for the best-dressed and a delightful three-course menu, treat your mum to picture-perfect views, incredible food, and a good laugh. Book now at beachbyronbay.com.au

Get Set for the 2018 Byron Bay Triathlon

The 23rd edition of the Byron Bay Triathlon is returning to town on Saturday,12 May. An expected field exceeding 1000 athletes competing in Tempta, Sprint and Olympic distances will be joined by 100 juniors, many of whom are competing in their very first triathlon.

The course, which includes a revised cycle leg and a run under the famous Byron Lighthouse, provides a unique setting for athletes of all abilities to compete.

Organisers are expecting a competitive field comprised of athletes from around the region and nationally. The Men's podium is shaping up to be a battle of the Northern Rivers, with 2017 Mens Open runner up Matt Slee from Suffolk Park back with the gold in his sights, as well as local favourites Harry Jones and Jack Orr. Holly Grice is also back to defend her 2017 title, facing strong competition from Courtney Gilfillan.

"We are pleased to once again organise the Byron Bay Tri," says Race Director Mike Crawley.

"The triathlon in Byron Bay is a celebration of the local area, athletes are able to relax in the morning, have a midday kick off, and celebrate into the night along the beautiful Byron beachside. It is the perfect end to the triathlon season."

"We are also excited to see so much enthusiasm from local businesses, offering promotions and incentives to athletes to welcome them to the community and increase economic benefits throughout town."

Local Byron accommodation houses are already seeing bookings increase, and event organisers are predicting an increase in registration with athletes still feeling the buzz of the Commonwealth Games.

Water safety is once again being managed by the Byron Bay Surf Lifesaving Club, with funds also being raised for the local Byron Bay Scouts and Byron Bay Cycle Club.

The event organisers thank local residents and businesses for working with the event despite any inconvenience caused by road closures from 11.00am to 3.30pm towards Suffolk Park; and until 4.30pm in the CBD.

More information can be found at www.byronbaytri.com.au.

The Byron Bay International Fashion Festival 2018

On 29 April, 2018, the five-star Elements of Byron Resort will play host to the 4th annual Byron Bay International Fashion Festival, an event that celebrates the thriving Byron fashion scene. Attendees will be treated to an afternoon and evening of forward-thinking fashion, music, and performance.  

The Byron Bay International Fashion Festival will bring together talented designers from around the world. Showcasing both local talent, emerging brands, and global successes, the festival’s runway shows will cover swimwear, activewear, resort and casual wear, eveningwear, and lingerie.

In 2018, more than 20 designers will present collections at this boutique event, including Lahana Swim, Vale, Love Revolution, Helan Grant, Jenny Jazz, Niki Teljega, Styelle Bikinis, SASHED, Wild Barra, Miau Swimwear, and more.

Clothing will be brought to life by some of the country’s leading runway models. With a backdrop of edgy techno tracks and choreographed lighting, the catwalk shows become an artistic fashion spectacle.

Between runway shows, attendees can catch over 30 of latest award-winning fashion short films created by acclaimed directors and producers. The extensive film program adds depth to the festival, giving guests an insight into the fashion world.

A series of cutting-edge dance performances will complement the runway features and film program. Combining body art, fashion, design, and dance, these unique performances were commissioned by the Fashion Festival, giving designers the opportunity to collaborate with traditional dance companies.

Finally, an exciting all-female lineup of model DJs will set the scene and kick-start the party. Enjoy a fresh mix of contemporary tunes in the courtyard area and Festival bar from the early afternoon until the “Rock the Runway cocktail party finishes at midnight. 

The Byron Bay International Fashion Festival is an opportunity for industry leaders, emerging designers, established brands, influencers, bloggers, buyers, and fashion enthusiasts to network, discover new trends, and make their mark on the booming Byron fashion scene.

Learn more and buy tickets at bbiff.com.au

Byron Bay Bluesfest 2018 Re-Cap

The Byron Bay Bluesfest 2018 (29 March to 2 April) has come to an end, and what a festival it was. Despite a little wet weather over the long weekend, the world-class musical talent and showmanship, friendly crowds, and colourful festival vibes surpassed expectations.

In true Bluesfest tradition, the festival kicked-off on Thursday with a downpour. Although the mud didn’t dampen the festival spirit, we were all grateful to see blue skies and spectacular sunsets on Sunday and Monday.

This year’s line-up was packed full of incredible artists. Our favourite was Eric Gales, the virtuoso guitarist, who we saw for all three performances last year and all three performances this year. Watching such a master musician play up-close was mind-blowing.

Some performances were truly heart-wrenching. Blues musician Walter Trout – accompanied by his son on guitar – paid tribute to the stranger who saved his life by donating their liver. The crowd went wild as the set ended, and Walter broke down in tears.

Darren Hart of Harts played a killer set before hinting at his retirement and smashing his beloved guitar.

Other highlights included Canned Heat, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, and Gomez.

We also ran into Michael Franti walking among the crowd, singing, and taking selfies with his fans.

As always, the food at Bluesfest was an experience in itself. The coffee tent was a great place for a much-needed rest, and the Byron Bay Organic Doughnuts – the longer the line, the better the doughnut tastes – did not disappoint.

Finally, the vibrant market stalls, kids’ activities, circus performers, dancers, and polite and considerate crowds made the festival a real pleasure to attend. We cannot wait to see what Bluesfest has in store next year for its 30th anniversary.

The Byron and Beyond 2018 Accommodation Guide

Discover the best of beautiful Byron Bay and surrounding towns and villages with the 2018 Byron and Beyond guides. Both the annual What’s On and Accommodation Guides are packed full of inspiring editorial content and informative business and event details, all alongside striking visuals.

What’s On – the Visitor Guide is Byron Bay’s official printed guide. Discover uniquely Byron activities, tours, and attractions in Byron Bay’s township and surrounding areas. Learn more about Byron’s beaches, check out the ever-growing list of Byron’s gourmet eateries, and find out more about watching whales during migration season.

Plus, this year’s magazine offers seven maps, which you can use to navigate the Byron Shire and beyond.

The What’s On Visitor Guide is distributed to over 400 outlets in the Northern Rivers, Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane. Or, read online.

Alongside the What’s On Visitor Guide, Byron and Beyond publish an Accommodation Guide, which includes information about Byron Bay, Brunswick Heads, Ocean Shores, Ballina, Lennox Head, Lismore, Nimbin and beyond.

In addition to the curated editorial content, you’ll find a range of practical information about transport, food, and an accommodation directory that covers the Byron Shire and surrounding regions.

The Accommodation Guide is distributed to more than 800 outlets across Australia. And like the What’s On Guide, it’s available to read online.

For anyone visiting the Byron Bay region, a flick through these popular guides is a must.

Learn more and read these guides at byronandbeyond.com

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