Warm your heart and fill your stomach next to a roaring fire this winter. That's the seductive call of the Fireside Festival, held each August in Canberra and neighbouring villages such as Yass, Hall, Murrumbateman and Gundaroo. Their month-long program of food, wine and entertainment is guaranteed to lift your spirits alongside some chill-combating flames.
Foodies will love this cozy celebration of the region's famous produce and cool-climate wines. Start your day with roasted marshmallows and a cup of hot chocolate at a fireside brunch in Hall, just 25 minutes from Canberra. In the gourmet village of Gundaroo, you can sit down to wood-fired pizza in the old stables or a degustation dinner, where fire twirlers dance light across each course.
Afterwards, tour the Lake George vineyards or sip muscat in a candle-lit Murrumbateman cellar. Local winemakers will tell you about the region's diverse styles - from sangiovese to riesling, chardonnay, pinot noir and shiraz - and the different microclimates that produce them.