Adelaide is small but mighty, bursting with culture, events and entertainment – not to mention some of the world’s best wine, exceptional places to eat and one of the country’s most beautiful footy ovals. What’s extra great about Adelaide is that everything’s easy to get to: drive 20 minutes west for sprawling white-sand beaches or 30 minutes east to discover wineries and cosy pubs in the gorgeous Adelaide Hills. Not that you need to leave the city to fill a weekend – here’s our guide to the perfect two-day stay in Adelaide’s centre.
Located within the iconic Adelaide Oval is the boutique Oval Hotel. Seamlessly integrated within the stadium, it is a hidden treasure that often goes unnoticed by passers-by; it’s tucked away within a few minutes’ walk of the city centre, alongside tranquil parklands. The rooms are slick and comfortable, but what’s most impressive are the views. Looking out to lush, tree-filled parklands and Adelaide’s River Torrens, you’ll forget you’re within jumping distance of the city’s main attractions. It boasts two exquisite restaurants, both overlooking the hallowed turf of Adelaide Oval. There’s Bespoke Wine Bar & Kitchen, where you can enjoy anything and everything from breakfast to after dinner cocktails, and Five Regions Restaurant, which offers a five-course degustation paired with wines from South Australia’s five world-famous regions: the Barossa Valley, Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale, Clare Valley and Coonawarra.
For brekkie, head to the newly expanded Exchange Coffee, which has long been at the front of the pack in the city’s specialty coffee scene. Since 2013, Melbourne’s Market Lane Coffee has supplied Exchange with its seasonal house blends and single origin beans. You can also try coffee made using a Tricolate, a filter device designed to extract coffee with a greater balance, sweetness and clarity. The new food menu skirts around brunch staples in favour of produce-driven dishes – think chive waffles with beetroot-cured salmon, poached eggs and whipped ricotta, and baked eggs with red lentil dal, tomato salsa, mint yoghurt and pappadums.
If you’re in the mood to explore (and eat more), wander south to the Adelaide Central Market. Get an after-breakfast dessert from Providore – the one with the chocolate fountain – or French patisserie Les Deux Coqs. You might also want to pick up some snacks for later; the Central Market is bursting with stalls selling straight-from-the-oven breads, cheeses from around the world (plus local beauties), locally grown fruit and veg, charcuterie, and old-school lollies – the iconic 100-year-old Blackeby's hard-boiled fish-shaped sweets are our pick.
If you’re a sports fan – or a fan of great atmosphere, picturesque scenes and fun times in general –Oval Hotel offers a bunch of experience packages that make good use of the stadium location, like the VIP footy experience that includes overnight accommodation for two; best-in-house tickets to an AFL game at Adelaide Oval on the day or night of your stay, plus valet parking if you need it. There’s also an option to do the thrilling RoofClimb – what better way to take in the views of the stunning city skyline, Adelaide Hills and coastline, as well as the hallowed turf of Adelaide Oval itself?
Before dinner, head to the laneway bars of Peel Street and Leigh Street where you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to wine and cocktail bars. It’s hard to go wrong at any of them, but our top picks are the cosy underground Maybe Mae; Clever Little Tailor, which transports you back in time to a 20th-century gin bar (its Dirty Martini is one of the best in the city); Leigh Street Wine Room (order the gnocchi fritti and Wagyu bresaola, it’s 10/10); and Proof, which you’ll find a worthy five-minute walk away, serving the best toasties in town.
After quenching your thirst, head to Arkhe for dinner. If the weather’s nice, hop on an electric scooter, otherwise it’s about 10 minutes' drive out of the city. This sleek neighbourhood bar and restaurant is from Jake Kellie, former head chef of Michelin-starred modern Australian barbeque restaurant Burnt Ends in Singapore. In ancient Greek, Arkhe refers to the principal element of fire, so no prizes for guessing where the action is here. The open kitchen revolves around a three-and-a-half-tonne wood-burning oven and hearth (there’s no electricity used in the cooking process). Glazed kingfish collar, duck leg with caramelised orange, barbequed asado beef rib and barbequed leek with romesco sauce are just some of the knockout dishes on offer. For snacks, the sourdough crumpet served with Two Gulf's crab, and the parfait tartlets à la Burnt Ends are a must. Don’t look past the desserts – the quince tart with yoghurt sorbet and lime is chef’s kiss.
Afterwards, head back to the city for another drink or two, or a boogie at Bank Street Social. Or you could head straight to your comfy room at the Oval Hotel – then wake up and do it all over again.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Oval Hotel at Adelaide Oval.