The ice rink was packed, the lines for food steady and the markets stocked. Music rang out from stages and speakers and DJ booths while the lines at the bars were a couple deep, but not unpleasant. Everyone could find a seat, a space to call their own and the boardwalks and bark chips ensured the majority of the sodden ground was hardly noticeable.
Adelaide, you have your very own Alpine Winter Village open at the Torrens Parade Ground for the rest of the month. And here’s what to expect.
The first thing you notice as you enter this quaint and condensed area will be the Winter Chalet to the right. A clear ceiling decorated with fairy lights sparkles in the evening, much like the majority of the Village itself. Bringing back a similar feeling at the bar to some of the spaces seen in Barrio (we all remember that adventure don’t we?), longnecks of beer and wine on tap aren’t the only novelty on offer. You’ll find gin & tea, spiced eggnog with rum and mulled wine all on the menu to warm the belly, and a dance floor in front of the main stage to get your blood flowing.
Entertainment is certainly a focus on each space and to the left of the entrance are a pair of tipis housing another bar shared by Alpha Box & Dice and Kata & Co, with live music that wafts out amongst the milling crowd seated on cut logs and benches leading out beneath the trees, laden with light fittings that would rival the Lobethal Lights, at least for atmosphere.
To the North, the food stalls are nicely grouped with offerings Andre’s Cucina new pursuit Mangia Mangia including gnocchi, brisket, pasta and ragu. You can use your imagination for what Pizzateca serve, while Brat Haus are smoking the sausages right in front of you. Sweet treats from The Creperie Cart and legitimate Espresso are a welcome sight. You can enjoy that in a martini if you like as well.
To the south a beautiful array of stalls peddling crafts and clothing very much in keeping with the Winter theme can be found in one of the few more peaceful parts of the Village. Which is important because to concentrate on shopping, you need some space.
But we’ve said it before, the ice skating rink really is the draw. Surrounded by floats and props that have been provided by the Christmas Pagaent, including a working giant snow globe, it in this a simple idea that the magic of the space is revealed. Sure, we have pavilions, plenty of seating around, the wafting scent of mulled wine, 5 spice, cinnamon and chestnuts. But without the rink, and more importantly the families surrounding it, the magic simply wouldn’t be. Though we must say that the Xmas trees for sale as soon as you enter, are a charming touch too. Will anyone be game to grab one?
Photography by Melissa Donato
The Little Miss team have avoided kitch and provided an impressive debut for the space. No doubt there will be a lot of lessons learned over the coming 3 weeks that will form the direction and expansion of the space into next year. But with the backing of Renewal SA and the Adelaide Riverbank Precinct, this is already an impressive and welcome debut.
Alpine Winter Village is open every day until Sunday, 31 July at the Torrens Parade Grounds. Entry is off King William Road. Opening times will be Sun–Thu 10am–midnight and Fri–Sat 10am-1pm.
You can enter for free, except on Friday and Saturday after 7pm ($5 charge for those nights). Ice Skating will be $7.50 for children; $12.50 for adults; $30 for families. You can pre-purchase the tickets here.