To outsiders, Adelaide can seem dry and hot – and it is, in summer. But come late April/early May, the rains arrive – and the showers stay put for a good few months. What to do when the rain sets in? Here are some ideas…
Cosy up beside the fire
A roaring fire is perfect when it’s wet and wintery; it’s even better with a glass of wine in hand and the promise of excellent food. Look to Botanic Bar – home to contemporary Thai eatery Golden Boy, The Queen’s Head for bistro-style fare and wood-fired pizzas, and Ruby Red Flamingo for flavourful Italian.
Catch a song and dance
Matilda the Musical will bring sunshine into your heart, regardless of how dreary it is outside. The limited season run (May 21 to July 9) at the Festival Theatre is just one of the 160-plus performances in the Adelaide Cabaret Festival (June 9-24).
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Hit the SA wine trail – without leaving town
Fancy some vino tastings without driving in the downpour? The solution is the National Wine Centre’s Wined Bar – a reinterpretation of the cellar-door concept, offering 120 wines for punters to sample. You pay per taste, and can choose from an ever–rotating roster that includes the likes of Penfolds Grange, top drops from Hentley Farm and Jim Barry as well as boutique establishments like Ministry of Clouds and Tomfoolery.
Cook up a storm
Adelaide Central Markets is entirely undercover and just the place for culinary inspiration. If you need tuition before taking to the kitchen, try Sticky Rice, with its strong Asian focus, in the Adelaide Hills and Sprout, just outside the CBD, which prioritises “healthy, fresh, tasty meals that you can easily recreate at home”.
Reduce the cabin fever
Parents on the edge should make a beeline for Bounce where the kids can let loose on myriad trampolines, or Latitude where bouncing is combined with rock-climbing and an elevated obstacle course. For littlies, head straight to indoor play centre Wacky Warehouse.
Escape the showers while expanding your mind at Adelaide’s impressive artistic and cultural institutions: the Art Gallery of South Australia boasts more than 38,000 pieces while the South Australian Museum houses more than four million objects and specimens, including the largest collection of Australian Aboriginal ethnographic material in the world.
In the hills, Red Cacao is a charming café-cum-chocolatier, serving creations that are exquisite to look at – and to eat. Nearby, Hahndorf Hill Winery offers a unique and indulgent wine-and-chocolate tasting menu called ChocoVino, while back on the plains you can learn how to craft your own at Adelaide Chocolate School.
… Or dumplings
The pillow-like morsels at Korean hole-in-the-wall, Mandoo (3/26 Bank Street), are some of the best dumplings in town (perhaps even in the state). Handmade, crammed with pork, chicken, kimchi or vegetarian options, and served steamed, fried, or in a noodle soup, this is one of the best rainy-day (or any day) meals around.
Read a bestseller
While away time by browsing an independent bookstore. We like Matilda Bookshop in Stirling and Imprints on Hindley Street. What to buy? Try The Good People from Adelaide-native literary wunderkind Hannah Kent, or the latest from Adelaide-born (now Sydney-based) author James Bradley, Clade, which has been long-listed for the International Dublin Literary Award 2017.
Hit the flicks
The recently refurbished GU Film House Adelaide in the West End features plush leather-style seating and all six cinemas are licensed, which means you can enjoy the big-screen entertainment with a cocktail in hand. Afterwards, bunker down in one of the nearby laneway bars for a post-screening debrief; La Buvette Drinkery is our choice.