Packed to the Rafters star Hugh Sheridan is bringing his musical talents to the Adelaide Fringe festival (12 February to 14 March; adelaidefringe.com.au) with the world premier of the music show, California Crooners Club.
Adelaide-born, LA-based Sheridan came up with the concept for this show while hanging out backstage at Hollywood’s jazz clubs with muso friends Emile Welman and Gabe Roland. It will combine jazz standards and chart hits from Sia, Calvin Harris and Justin Timberlake – think Sinatra singing Taylor Swift. But before Sheridan takes to the stage on February 12, we caught up with him to garner his local tips. Here are some of the best things to do in Adelaide, if you find yourself in the city for the festival.
“Pollen 185 is a new café with great coffee and vegetarian and vegan food. The breakfast and smoothies are healthy, delicious and well-priced. While I’m not vegetarian myself (though I do avoid factory-farmed animals) I can assure you that you won’t miss meat in your dishes at Pollen.”
“Sean's Kitchen at the Adelaide Casino is a sunny spot to enjoy lunch or dinner before heading into town for a boogie, wandering to Adelaide Oval to catch a game or to the Festival Theatre for a culture hit. The restaurant offers fantastic food and a sensational array of South Australian wines. If you’re looking for something more casual, take a stroll through the world-famous Adelaide Central Market and sample its gourmet delights.”
“There’s a new cocktail bar in town called La Buvette, just off Hindley Street in the city. I visited a few weeks ago and was so impressed by the delicious drinks and swanky vibe – I’ll definitely take the California Crooners in there during Fringe!”
Where to stay
“The new Hilton looks fantastic! It’s always been a classic hotel in the centre of Adelaide, conveniently located close to Adelaide Central Market. It’s so great to see the old girl come back to life with a whole new look.”
Best place to shop
“King William Road, Hyde Park, has always been my favourite shopping strip. I grew up near there and have seen the quaint leafy street transform into a vibrant shopping and eating hub. When I was born, my dad was the mayor of Unley and half way down King William Road is a plaque where my mum laid the first brick of the longest paved road in the Southern Hemisphere. I know reinventing King William Road was dad’s baby so I guess I'm biased here. By the way, my dad Denis is also doing a jazz show at Adelaide Fringe called Aardvark Swing with the Sheridans… It's a family affair!”
A not-to-be-missed sporting experience
“A highlight of last year was flying home from Los Angeles to sing the national anthem at the first AFL game at the new Adelaide Oval. Catching a game there is quickly becoming a must-do for all sports fans across Australia.”
A great bar at the Adelaide Oval
"Located in the memorial drive complex at the new Adelaide Oval, Gameday Village is an amazing set up. Whether you’re a Port Power fan or not, you can march in with the supporters or meet them at the lawn marquees set up alongside the beautifully restored stadium."
The best day trip
The Fleurieu Peninsula
"The Fleurieu Peninsula is a must-see and probably my favourite stretch of coastline in the world. Even after seeing Amalfi or the islands off the coast of Sicily, I think South Australia’s rustic golden hills and rocky cliffs are like no other. Head to either the Victory Hotel or The Star of Greece for a sunset meal and a glass of vino."
Top wine trip
"Conveniently close to the Fleurieu coast is the McLaren Vale wine region, where you’ll find some of Australia’s most beautiful vineyards. My pick is Primo Estate, a family-operated cellar door with a great selection of wines. I'd say 'Joseph', a wine named after the father of the family, is the best-kept secret in the world… that was until this interview."
A place for contemplation
"I’m not all booze and sports, so let me add the State Library of South Australia as another of my favourite locations in Adelaide. It was central to my life growing up and we attended many recitals and shows here. We spent a hot day inside letting our imaginations run wild, with our heads in the books. Dad’s performed there and now I get that chance too – at the library’s gorgeous Mortlock Chamber, as part of the Adelaide Fringe season."
California Crooners Club runs from 12 February – 14 March. Tickets available at adelaidefringe.com.au.
SEE ALSO: Our Insider's Guide to Adelaide