By Jonathan Porter
Mulled wine, ski chalets, après drinking and dining on a picturesque river. Close your eyes and smell the fire-pits and roasting chestnuts and bratwurst sausage.
Where are you? Austria, Germany, Switzerland?
Nein to them all. You are in fact in Adelaide at the Alpine Winter Village, on the River Torrens or perhaps I should say Adel-Dorf am Torrens, a Christmas-inspired event to showcase the Adelaide Riverbank as a year-round destination.
The Village, which opened on July 7 2016 and runs for the remainder of the cruellest month is the brainchild of the team behind the Royal Croquet Club, The Social Creative, and this was is its inaugural year.
“The first of many, many more,” says The Social Creative’s managing director Tom Skipper.
“The Village is about encouraging more people to experience the Adelaide Riverbank by offering affordable activities that appeal to many – including ice-skating, alfresco dining and après drinking in an authentic ski lodge atmosphere.”
“Think Christmas in July with a European Christmas market atmosphere, family fun during the day, kicking on for the young at heart with warmth and good times well into the night.”
The winter playground comes complete with an ice rink, themed bars, warming food and children’s entertainment will run daily, making it an all-ages go to destination this winter.
“It will be the perfect spot for a lunchtime or after work warm up for the 89,000 people who work in the city,” says Skipper.
“It’s unique. It’s an aesthetically beautiful site that will host great food, bars with brilliant ambience and innovative immersive performance and ice-skating.
“There will be mulled wine French champagne, beers, and cocktails while looking over the ice rink to one side and a Euro-themed village market curated by Gilles Street Market and lots of Euro-themed eateries with great winter warming treats.
There wasalso be a series of open fire-pits to keep everyone warm as well as a huge tepee.
Alpha Box & Dice hosted a wine experience in a heated double tepee that can fit 170 people in comfort at communal tables with Persian rugs underfoot.
“It’s basically a great area where people can sit and eat and drink.
“We are aiming to bring Adelaide out of hibernation over winter and provide something beautiful and stimulating.
“Adelaide is cold and wet in winter and we want to keep things going out of the traditional party season, which seems to be Mad March.”
The Village overlaps with school holidays so provided ultimate experience for families by day.
The Winter Village already has a huge social media following – over 250,000 – and Skipper is hoping the place will be filled to capacity every night.
The Village was free most days with a minute $5 cover charge on Friday and Saturday nights to offset programing and entertainment, which includes international musicians from the Umbrella Winter Guitar Festival, which hit the city in July and August.
To book ice skating tickets and find out more information here visit Riverbank SA.