Eat, Drink Blog Conference

I’ve had quite a few questions regarding the conference so rather than keeping it a secret, I’ll tell you EVERYTHING.

Eat Drink Blog is in it’s third year and each year it’s held in a different city with the host city being able to show off not only their region but also their produce.  Bloggers were asked to apply to attend the conference and those organising the event selected a total of 80 delegates.  There was no cost to attend the conference that was held all day Saturday, Saturday night and Sunday.   Meals and beverages were included thanks to the generosity of the sponsors.

There are pigs in the Rundle Street Mall!

I arrived on the Friday afternoon and after checking into Fawlty Towers I went for a walk around Adelaide city then met for the first time, Claire from Claire K Creations for afternoon tea.  Except that we didn’t eat anything, we just had a drink.

A fountain in Rundle Street Mall with a gorgeous doggy

A sculpture in the Rundle Street Mall

Adelaide Arcade

This teddy bear was too big for my suitcase

Haigh’s Chocolate Shop – I spent a lot in here!

On the Friday night a group dinner had been organised for all those who had arrived from interstate and as I walked to the restaurant I met Maureen from The Orgasmic Chef.  It was quite funny to me that having just met two bloggers I’ve been communicating with on-line for about a year, that we didn’t greet each other with a stiff handshake but instead threw our arms around each other like we were life-long friends who hadn’t seen each other for ages.

Just so you know, just like every city in the world, Adelaide has a China Town.

On the Saturday we had a tour of Adelaide Central Market which is an indoor market that is almost 150 years old, has 80 stalls and over eight million visitors per year.  As soon as I walked in I bumped into Daisy from Never Too Sweet who I had just met a few days before.  She’s from Melbourne, I met her in Sydney, then saw her a few days later in Adelaide.  Weird – but only in a good way.  We had breakfast together in a cafe inside the Market.

I thought, ‘Why not order the Big Breakfast!’

What I liked about this market, apart from the fact that it was bustling with people all dragging granny trolleys behind them, (just the way I shop), is that the vendors are all very well supported by the locals and that is what is keeping them in business and so the city hasn’t been taken over by big supermarket chains like so much of the rest of the world.  Small businesses in the Central Market are alive and thriving and selling better quality produce than you can buy in a giant supermarket chain.  We met some of the vendors and they were all so proud of what they do and spoke about their produce with enormous enthusiasm; very different to shopping in a supermarket where the staff know little or nothing.  At the Market the vendors know the region the produce comes from, how it was grown, the quality of the soil, the air temperature, how it was transported and how it was the best they could buy.

After the tour I jumped on a bus for d’Arenberg Winery.

Everest style chocolate crackles, Adelaide Central Market

The view from the top of the Hilton Hotel. This is why they call Adelaide, ‘The City of Churches’.

The table setting

On the Saturday night that was unseasonally warm and balmy, we had a dinner outdoors on top of the Hilton Hotel that was sponsored by South Australian Tourism.  At the dinner I found Tania from My Kitchen Stories, another blogger from Sydney who I had met a few weeks earlier.  We sat together for dinner along with Claire and some other new friends.  The executive chef from the Hilton, Dennis Leslie, designed the menu that was with Mexican and South American influences as he believes that Australia, having had the influences of cuisine from the ‘Mother Country’, then French influences, Mediterranean influences and now Asian, the next wave of cuisine in terms of trends, will be South American.

These were called ‘Snow Cones’ but I have to say I didn’t like them very much. I found them to be very sweet which is not what I wanted with a pre-dinner drink.

Pork sliders. I didn’t have these either as I was worried I’d be too full to eat the dinner especially as I ate an entire bag of Haigh’s chocolates prior to heading out for dinner!

Empanadas

Bar-be-cued corn with lime aioli and parmesan

Now that’s Claire! I promised I would post a picture of her eating with her fingers and I don’t think she believed I actually would!

Just so you know, there was enough cheese.

The menu was extensive as well as generous and started with pass-around food then we were taken to tables where about a dozen different dishes were placed in the middle of the table and we all helped ourselves to an incredible range and variety of food.  To accompany the food we were provided with the best of the wines from Chapel Hill and Zema Estate.  I made sure I sampled plenty of both.

Walking to the conference on Sunday morning. Very little traffic. Already hot – 39C at 8am.

On the Sunday we went into a conference room on top of the Adelaide Central Market and attended a series of talks on all things to do with food blogging including writing, photography, styling, SEO, dealing with PR companies, legalities and building a community.  Before these talks began we were given breakfast then halfway through we stopped for lunch.  The Adelaide Central Market is closed on Sundays but some of the vendors came back in and joined together to put on a pop-up lunch for us.  It was so very kind of them given the long hours they already work.

A fairly large paella.

You can always fill up on bread.

Jamon, Prosciutto and Salami and all the medals the vendor has won.

Antipasto Pizza

A bit of theatre with the strawberries

That’s Maureen rubbing shoulders with celebrity chef, Simon Bryant.

The event finished at 5pm and then sadly a lot of us had to rush away to the airport to catch flights home.

A farewell at the airport. Bye, bye Tania and Claire.

I’m so glad I attended the event and on my next trip to South Australia I’m going to make sure I stay a whole lot longer (but in a different hotel!)

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Comments

  1. WOW! Wonderful moments and photographs… Thank you dear Charlie, have a nice weekend, love, nia

  2. Now that looks like an incredibly fun event. Thank you for sharing it with us. So much food, and that market looks like such a great place. So nice that they came back on the Sunday to make you lunch. Did they pay your airfare too? I hope they do something like that in Canada.

  3. I LOVE blogging conferences…not even so much for the conference itself but for the opportunity to meet other bloggers who I’ve been infatuated with in a creepy online stalker kind of way! And make it LESS creepy by actually meeting them in person. :P I’m so glad to hear you had fun!

  4. What a gorgeous and fun event and the opportunity to meet blogging friends in person, how precious. If I attended I would probably leave with an extra 20 pounds around the waist. Thanks for sharing,

  5. Sounds like a great get away, learning experience and networking opportunity. I know what you mean about meeting a blogger you’ve connected with online but never met in person. When blogger Gretchen and her family came to my home last summer, I embraced Gretchen upon meeting her for the first time. I felt like we were long-time friends.

    Thanks for sharing details, including all those photos, of the bloggers conference.

  6. Aw, I love that when you met the bloggers it felt like you’ve known them for a long time! That market sounds totally amazing…kind of like Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia here. Man, that dinner you got sounds AMAZING! so jealous…

  7. Sounds like a fantastic experience! It’s always fun to attend events like this, a great way to connect with other bloggers and gain some true friends too! Speaking of gaining, I think I gained weight just by looking at your pics from the weekend! LOL

  8. Thanks for all the great pictures. I hope no one was on a diet cause all that amazing food would have been an unfair temptation. I loved the market. Just the kind of shopping I like to do early in the morning.

  9. what a wonderful moment to capture

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Thanks so much for your comment. I have visited your blog but unfortunately I’m unable to comment as you don’t have the Name/URL option on your commenting system.

  10. I had to laugh when I imagined a dinner full of bloggers. You must have all been snapping pictures like mad. Now I am hungry. The pictures are lovely.

  11. I’m so jealous … Looks like you guys had a great time :-)

  12. Haha what a trip my friend – I am so jelly!
    Thank you for sharing!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  13. What a wonderful adventure! I’m absolutely loving reading all the posts about EDB! It’s sounds like such a fantastic experience! I have my fingers crossed that I get to go some time.

  14. What a fantastic event! Thanks for sharing, I always enjoy reading about those events and bloggers friendship… :)

  15. It was a fantastic weekend and all because you were there as part of the excitement (and entertainment)

  16. What fun! It looks like you met up with great people and there was certainly ample fun. And Fawlty Towers. Never forget that.

  17. I’m so glad you had a great time at the conference Charlie! I so hope I get too come next year :)

  18. Love the photo of the corn! That looks delicious. What a fun time.

  19. It is my dream to one day experience paella from an enormous pan. Preferably street-side.

  20. Haha no I believed you. I wasn’t exactly delicate was I?!
    I thought about greeting people as well. It’s funny how well you can ‘get to know’ someone online isn’t it?
    Great recap of the weekend Charlie and I’m looking forward to seeing you again and meeting the rest of the family over Christmas! x

  21. That conference looks like a lot of fun! I especially like the chocolate shop :)

  22. Looks like it was a wonderful experience and foodie heaven! It’s always amazing to meet fellow bloggers in person :)

  23. It looks like you had so much fun, loved all of your pictures!! What in the heck was in the “snowcones” drink? Looked like corn and beets. lol

  24. And a wonderful time was had by all – I am quite jealous!

  25. I’m so glad you made the most of the wine at dinner time, Charlie.
    Next time you come I hope I won’t be so busy and preoccupied!

  26. I am very glad you shared – what a great trip! I’m also glad you had such a good time. I remember those Rundle Street fountains / statues fondly but you saw much more of Adelaide and surrounds than I ever had, with very good edible results by the look of things.

  27. You met up with some of my favourite people! How wonderful! I knew you’d all find each other :D

  28. Oh can you believe it is a week ago already Charlie!. this is the best blogging event Ive ever been to, and so great that we bot to see people for more than 1 day

  29. Mary Galea says:

    Oh Charlie, I wish I’d known you were in town! I would love to have met you. I love my little Adelaide town, and shop at the market as often as I possibly can. And yes, I can fill you in on hotels other than the Hilton! LOL :)

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Hi Mary, that would have been excellent. I wasn’t staying at the Hilton though. I stayed at Quest on King William Street. I was in a studio apartment. I’m sure the Hilton would have been so much better than Quest but a lot more money too! xx

  30. Magnolia Verandah says:

    Apart from the hotel – what a great weekend.

  31. Such a fun weekend – I wish it was longer as it was so nice to catch up with old & new friends (and so nice to meet you)!

  32. What a fantastic event and weekend, Charlie! The food looks oh, so good but that paella. Jeez I wish I could have had some of that. Best of all, though, you met and spent time with some blogging buddies. Like I said, fantastic!

  33. Wow Charlie, what an awesome conference and really cool to meet fellow bloggers.
    :-) Mandy

  34. Everything looked delicious. And, I liked the non-food photos as well!

  35. What fun! And what a great opportunity to meet so many blogging friends. :)

  36. So much food!

  37. Looks like you had a great time and ate quite well!!! What fun!

  38. What a wonderful opportunity to spend time with blogging friends! I am not aware of any opportunities like this event anywhere near where I live, Charlie, but I’d be “all in” if I could. The food looks like it was quite exciting, too…that may be the largest paella I’ve ever seen! :-)

  39. What an awesome weekend it was. So lovely to meet you Charlie! Sorry it wasn’t for a bit longer but it was sooo hard to meet everyone in such a short time. Next time it should be a blogger’s week? :P hehe

  40. You met two of my blogger friends, Maureen and Daisy! Sounds like a wonderful conference. I’ve never attended any yet but it must be fun to finally meet people you have been talking online for many months/years. Thanks for sharing the event with us!

  41. So nice to see you all! As I said before, I so wished I could attend such an event, its a dream. So many goodies too, I couldn’t stop cooking at the jambon and salami picture. The salami looks different to what we have in Europe. I am such a salami freak, maybe my middle name should be salami. ^.^ The pork sliders, mhmm, the paella, wow!

    lol I had to smile where you wrote another china town. You have to know that I have never seen a china town in my life. not in europe and not in west asia. ^.^

  42. Sounds like a great time…that corn looks outrageous!!!

  43. Charlie, it was a treat to “see” this event thought your eyes — and pen — and delicious wit. ;) So glad you got to attend and meet your blogging friends in person! Also enjoyed hearing about the pride and personal treatment from smaller vendors — bravo!

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