Hey! As you guys would know from the On The Spork Instagram, I’m the guest blogger covering the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers and Food and Wine Festival.
Last weekend I went to the annual Carnival of Flowers, which is held in Queens Park Toowoomba. Spring is the most amazing time in the Darling Downs, as its cool weather and wet winters create the perfect conditions for the most beautiful flowers and plants, which each year just get better and better. As part of the carnival, the Food and Wine Festival is held as a celebration of local food and wine, with a few well-renowned national wineries there as well.
There was live music from many Australian bands, including Emma Louise, Birds of Tokyo, Eurogliders and Models, a parade through the town centre and an art and flower display. While the Food and Wine Festival was sectioned off from the rest of the park (entry was $28 for students and $33 for adults), it was packed full of people and families gathering on picnic blankets, under trees and under umbrellas, taking advantage of the only sunny and warm day of the carnival.
While the flowers obviously stole the show, I’m here to talk about the food! There was a huge variety of foods available, from Indian, Thai and Hungarian cuisines to burgers, fish and chips and the classic potato spirals on sticks. Every second stall sold wine, and the Spotted Cow had a bar tent with plenty of beer and cider. Most of the food stalls were from local restaurants, however some had come from as far as Byron Bay.
My Order: Butter Chicken Curry and Rice from Everest Spice ($10) with Na’an ($3), Hillbilly Cider from the Spotted Cow ($8), Traditional Doughnut from Byron Bay Organic Doughnuts ($5).
The first thing I had was a butter chicken curry with rice and naan from Everest Spice, which is one of the best butter chickens I have ever had, and by far the best in Toowoomba. It was so tasty, if maybe a little too mild (I like a bit of spice), but super creamy and warming. The naan was perfect, however I did have trouble eating the very orange curry with the naan while trying not to get any on my white dress! I had some rosé with my meal, however if I’m really honest I’m more of a cider gal, and I also tried some of the pineapple sangria, which tasted so fresh, not too sweet and had a hint of orange.
Surprisingly the sangria didn’t actually have any alcohol in it, though last year when I went I had sneakily added some white wine to it, and it was great (it is the food and wine festival after all).
The last thing I had while there, which I had been looking forward to the most, was the traditional cinnamon doughnut from Byron Bay Organic Doughnuts. Last year I tried the chocolate one, however this year I was craving a good old fashion cinnamon doughnut, and it really hit the spot. The doughnut was huge, you nearly needed to use two hands to eat it, and it was still warm and super fluffy. While it was a little bit too oily, I think that was just because it had come straight out of the fryer and was dusted with cinnamon sugar just as I bought it.
Other Order: Thai Chicken Salad from Claud’s Kitchen ($12), Pineapple Sangria from Tutti Fruiti ($8), Caramel Slice ($5), Death by Chocolate ($6) and Raspberry White Chocolate Cupcake ($6) from Reid St Kitchen. (Reid St Kitchen is a regular at the Jan Powers Markets in Brisbane, and Tutti Fruiti is a regular at Eat Street Markets).
My friend had the Thai chicken salad from Claud’s Kitchen, which I had never heard of before, but was told that it was also one of the best Thai salads she had ever eaten.
We had also bought some cakes from Reid St Kitchen to take home for later, which all looked great, however were a little let down by their icing. The caramel slice was way too sweet, and while the cupcakes were really moist, there was too much icing that tasted very average.
I would definitely recommend you check out the Carnival of Flowers next year and get a doughnut, and if you’re ever in Toowoomba and are looking for a meal out or takeaway, go check out Everest Spice!