Destination / Wish You Were Here

Bring me the night: Dark Mofo with Editor in Chief Jess Blanch

There is actually no better way to mark the winter solstice than a weekend (or maybe even a week) in Australia’s cosiest city to experience the red festival.

Stay …
The MacQ1 hotel is the best located for the festival, and the staff are some of the most accommodating in the world. Request a waterfront room and enjoy the bar that stays open late for that final nightcap.

Listen …
Highlight music acts this year were Sharon Van Etten, Nicolas Jaar performing live for the first time as his alias Against All Logic, and again with orchestral partners including saxophonist Mette Henriette, Warren Ellis in conversation, also with The Dirty Three, plus a good dose of John Grant’s tragic synth-pop.

See …
Follow the dark path through the nocturnal neighbourhood of Night Mass – where my stand-out discovery was the teenage rap group Girls Only, followed by Jungle Pussy. Via São Paulo (Teto Preto) also made an impact.

Candlemass for the metal heads, and German festival Berlin Atonal curated AV artistry called Laterne that was dark and beautiful.

The latex wonderland by Japanese artist Saeborg, with dancing human sized piglets was an inflatable technicolour farmyard and more fun than it sounds.

And don’t go, ever, to Hobart without a visit to MONA and book in advance for James Turrell so not to miss out. By ferry, it’s the only way.

Taste …
Despite the size of the city, Hobart’s eating scene is mega. Forever favourite restaurant Franklin is at its best with chef Analiese Gregory in charge. Make it a long lunch with the happiest drink in the world – Domaine Mosse  Moussamoussettes 2018.

Take a short drive to New Norfolk to The Agrarian Kitchen, a sunlit dining room in what was previously the women’s infirmary of a mental institution, brings farm to table deliciousness.

Buy …
The Farm Gate markets every Sunday from 8am are as good as it gets.

Think local Bruny Island oysters, Coal River brie, organic produce and Adam James’ Rough Rice congee that will make you think of nothing else for week.

Take …
Yes, it’s cold. Apres ski boots, a puffer jacket and cashmere socks.