As you know I visited Tasmania for the New Year holiday and LOVED it… I recommend you spend a couple of days in Hobart and so, here is the lowdown of what to do and where to go when you are not totally consumed with the wonder that is MONA!
Hobart has some very fine dining options, try the number one hot-spot Garagistes … its located in North Hobart where it all seems to be happening and while I didn’t get to dine here the feedback is all good. Garagistes doesn’t take bookings so get there early and I mean early…say 6:30pm and pray you get a table. If not, leave your name with them and head to their sister establishment around the corner to sit out the wait at Sidecar which is possibly the chicest bar I have seen. Here you can also eat at the bar as we did… it’s super fabulous and totally unique. Try the Wagyu Hot Dog… I loved it. The Calamari is good too and they really know their wines, you will try something completely different and most of them are Italian. You sit right at the bar and they serve all the food on fabulous table wear made in Sanford, Tasmania by Ben Richardson of Ridgeline Pottery. It is chic, fabulous and delicious.
P.S – Just near Garagistes and Sidecar is Ethos eat/drink … I stuck my head in and thought it looked fabulous. I loved the fresh vertical garden out front in the courtyard and the place was buzzing. I will check this one out on my next visit for sure.
Smolt was good option too… it was dinner here, from the team that bring you Mud Bar & Restaurant in Launceston. It has a snappy, local menu and extensive local wine list with breezy service to match from a young, enthusiastic team.
Shopping in Hobart is great, I loved the Handmark Gallery which must have the best collection of Tasmanian artists and ceramicists. It’s a beautifully curated collection of the best local artists and the gallery also represents Tasmanian painter Robyn McKinnon (whose Mrs Vemeers Kitchen hangs at MONA – it’s stunning!)
Around the corner was A Common Ground, a gourmet providor with the best local produce and they sell the Ridgeline Pottery too! A joint venture from cheesemaker Nick Haddow from Bruny Island Cheese Co, Gourmet farmer Matthew Evans and Chef, Ross O’Meara… A Common Ground may be just about the smallest providore you have seen but it’s filled with the most intoxicating local produce and the range changes with the season. Take it home with you or you can buy it online!
Across from A Common Ground is another great store called the maker (all of these stores are located in the heart of Hobart’s historic Salamanca Place). the maker is the exclusive stockist of Tasmanian clothing labels lj struthers and lj junior and is the go-to store for a range of other contemporary Tasmanian artists, jewellers and designers. Oh and you can pick up the latest Kinfolk magazine while you are there.
I didn’t have time to do much more… but word on the street was that I missed a lot. Go now and explore the city like I did and visit MONA, you will love it. Oh and stay at Islington or The Henry Jones Art Hotel (I can recommend the best rooms) . Contact me and I can organise the perfect Hobart escape weekend for you!