Food and wine lovers from Brisbane to the coasts are readying their tastebuds for the most colourful food and wine event of the year – the 2015 Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers. This year’s event takes place from September 18 to 27 with more than 50 events celebrating colour, flavours and music.

Stunning roses, exotic orchids, striking rhododendrons provide a striking canvas for the real passion of the many foodies that take over Toowoomba during Carnival with the 10 days of local produce, exquisite wines, craft brews and mouth-watering food adventures.

The melting pot of flavours is showcased at the Ergon Energy Flower Food and Wine Festival, which takes over the city’s centre at Queens Park from Friday, September 18 for three days. This year, the Ergon Energy Flower Food and Wine Festival combines food with florals, wine with woodturning and brews with blooms and shines the light on the paddock to plate movement and the stunning range of produce that is sourced from the region.

“Ensuring the festival has plenty of star appeal, this year is Fast ED Halmagyi, cooking presenter on the much loved Better Homes and Gardens and Monica Topliss, Australia’s leading gluten-free, whole food chef. Both will star on stage in the Farm to Plate Space with cooking demonstrations across the weekend,” TRC Tourism and Events spokesman, Cr Geoff McDonald said. “We recommend a three-day pass for this!! And while the grown ups sample local wines and craft beers, the kids tastebuds will be taken care of in The Play Space, with Kids in the Kitchen interactive cooking shows, as well as fairy floss and Dagwood dogs at Sideshow Alley in Lower Queens Park,” he said.

The flavours don’t stop there, however, with a Bites & Brews lane packed with food trucks taking over Ruthven Street on Friday September 25 and the magical Gala Dinner returning for a second year, featuring the best Southern Queensland Country produce from our region in a four-course degustation under the stars in Queens Park’s beautiful garden. If you were prefer to get out and about and enjoy the region’s fare in the company of fellow foodies you can satisfy your needs with this year’s Food and Wine Tours and Tastes of the Region.

The unique Talking Pubs Tour is a must for anyone who loves a perfectly poured beer and a great back-story; the Progressive Food and Wine Tour is a no-brainer for all local and visiting gourmands, and the Paddock to Plate Tour beautifully celebrates the food provenance of this delicious hub. Other events for food lovers abound, from Dinner at Sauce, to Devonshire teas at the Teapot Extravaganza to the gourmet treats at the Apthorpe Farm Market Place g. If you’re a foodie, The 2015 Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers is a festival of flavours not to be missed!

Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers – September 18 to 27, 2014
Program and ticketing at or on

2015 Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers: plate by plate!

Ergon Energy Flower Food and Wine Festival:

The Cellar Doors – more than 20 “cellar doors” create the perfect mini Vineyard Tour in Queens Park this year!
Local award-winning and family-owned wineries will showcase the region’s finest boutique wines, with all the winemakers ready to talk and taste you through each drop, be it a light and crisp white, a full-bodied red, a dessert sticky, or something in-between.

The Farm to Plate Space – headlined by special guest and celebrity chef Fast Ed from Better Homes and Gardens, this is where the regional food story comes to life! Joining Ed is famed wholefoods chef Monica Topliss, a foodie passionate about good food who will talk gluten-free cooking. There’s tasting opportunities from 10am to 5pm daily and live cooking demonstrations by our visiting special guests and a host of other food specialists in the Farm to Plate Space.

Wine Appreciation – education but not as you know it! Free wine appreciation sessions hosted in the Farm to Plate Space will answer those long pondered wine-queries about buttery flavours, earthy tones, floral notes and hints of chocolate – the perfect opportunity to learn about what is happening in your glass, and how it gets there! Then, wander through to the pop-up cellar doors and test this new-found knowledge. Tastings start on Friday 18 at 4pm, two sessions follow on Saturday and Sunday at 12.30pm and 2.30pm.

Ready, Steady, Snip – it’s a floral and food frenzy; the ultimate showdown of designer and chef against the clock! A highlight of the Ergon Energy Flower Food and Wine Festival, this round-robin, floral design competition sees each participant allocated an identical selection of materials and, with the clock ticking, they have to complete a unique floral masterpiece. Creativity clashes with speed in this knockout competition. Top prize goes to the designer who creates the most outstanding table setting for four guests. Meanwhile, guest celebrity chef, Fast ED, will also work against the clock, preparing and presenting one course for each table. It’s a spectacle not to be missed! Semi Finals are held in the Garden Space with the Final on Sunday held at Farm to Plate.

The Play Space – an interactive space designed especially for kids with a dedicated children’s program running over the three days, this space will be busy, bright and bubbly! Children of all ages are welcome to come and play, design, build, discover, draw, dig, cook and create! In addition to an impressive line-up of live shows, there are also Kids in the Kitchen workshops with Chef Carmel, where they can prepare and eat tasty and nutritious pizzas.

Bites & Brews Lane:
For one night only on Friday September 25, from 4pm to 9pm, artists, designers, amazing food vans and craft beer will transform Toowoomba’s newest CBD laneway into a cool twilight wonder-world. Unwind with friends under the stars as you explore South East Queensland’s best handmade designer artisans and feast on street eats from the finest laneway in the carnival.

Gala Dinner:
On Thursday 17 from 6pm, join Mayor, Cr Paul Antonio beneath the stars in beautiful Queens Park to officially celebrate the start of the 2015 Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers. Feast on the best of Southern Queensland Country produce in a four course degustation prepared by Fitzy’s Head Chef, Marc Kennedy, for an unforgettable dining experience. Every ingredient is sourced from ethical, highly-specialised and highly passionate producers, including Banyard quail grown by Clive and Erika Wylie of Pittsworth, baby greens organically grown by Ghost Gully Farms in the Lockyer Valley and beef cheeks from cattle raised by Mort and Co on the Darling Downs. Tickets are $150.

Food & Wine Tours:

The Talking Pubs Tours: Spotted Cow, Five Ways and Irish Club Hotel
If there’s ever a place where secrets are spilled it’s a pub – hence the need for thick walls, staunch bartenders and cold, cold ales! The Talking Pub Tour this year stars three of Toowoomba’s oldest and most famed pubs: the Spotted Cow, Five Ways and the Irish Club Hotel. Together these treasured watering holes have a combined 383 years of stories, moments and memories – just imagine what you would hear if their walls could talk! Each four hour tour promises a journey into the heart of Toowoomba’s history, as told over a bar, a brew and a good meal!

When: Wednesday 23 September; Friday 25 September; Saturday 26 September
Time: Departs 5:30pm, Returns 9:30pm – duration 4 hours
Price: Adult $89 – This tour is restricted to 18+
Includes: Three-course progressive dinner + 1 beverage at each pub and courtesy pick up/drop off to Toowoomba accommodation
Bookings: Book online at or call Stonestreets Coaches 07 4687 5555

Progressive Food & Wine Tour: Picnic Point Café, Inbound Restaurant and Encores
A decadent indulgence and every gourmand’s dream come true, the Progressive Food & Wine Tour begins with stunning sunset drinks and canapés at Picnic Point Café, before moving onto the newly opened Inbound Restaurant in the historic Toowoomba Railway Station for mains. Finish off with a decadent dessert at Encores and you’ll have indulged in an evening not easily matched elsewhere.

When: Saturday 26 September
Time: Departs 5:30pm Returns 9:30pm
Price: Adult $130 – This tour is not suitable for children
Includes: Three-course progressive dinner + 1 beverage at each venue and courtesy pick up/drop off to Toowoomba accommodation
Bookings: Book online at or call Stonestreets Coaches 07 4687 5555

The Paddock to Plate Tour: a celebration of regional flavours
Reflecting a worldwide movement to better understand origins of the food that is served at our tables, the Paddock to Plate tour will celebrate the provenance of our region’s incredible flavours and produce. The full day adventure takes place on Saturday September 26 and meanders through the hamlet of Hampton. Guests will visit a lime farm and meet the grower then continue down the road to a 20-acre self-sustainable farm before sampling (and perhaps purchasing) fresh local produce at an old-fashioned market stall. A wander through the lush ornamental gardens is highly recommended. A tour will be given of the farm’s fruit orchard and vegetable garden where farm animals will be waiting to be fed! Lunch is two-courses, created from delicious local produce. Farmer Kerry will tell stories, share cooking and growing secrets and answer any and all questions. Subject to availability, there may even be fruit ready to pick! As an aside – this farm is also home to the Queensland Automobile Museum’s 120 vintage, veteran and classic cars!

When: Saturday 27 September
Time: Departs 8.30am Returns 2.30pm
Price: Adult $99 and includes Product sampling, morning refreshments, two-course lunch including homemade punch or glass of wine
Bookings: Book online at or call Stonestreets Coaches 07 4687 5555

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