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This Week In Food: A GF tip, and a new regional beauty

HALF TIME AT THE HALL – Time to start planning where you will watch the AFL Grand Final at the end of the month. Stomping Ground Beer Hall in Collingwood has a few options – before the game, they’re putting on a feast-style brunch plus bottomless filter coffee or juice for $30 (10am – 11.45pm). Come first bounce, you can get a pew in the beer garden for $65, which includes house beers and wines, soft drinks/juices and one of five main meals, and eight screens on which to watch the match. Or just show up in the front bar and pay as you go. www.stompingground.beer
YOUR LOCAL TEAM – The Local Taphouse in St Kilda is hosting an event in their downstairs bar area, with three-hour beverage package in front of the big screen. Includes Aperol spritz, beer, wine, and sparkling for $60 per person. There’ll be AFL themed food on offer during the day; or the game will also be showing on the rooftop with free entry. https://thelocal.com.au
 
GOODBYE GLADIOLI – Yes, terrific regional restaurant Gladioli has closed, but in it’s place, Inverleigh Cellar and Kitchen is born. Matt Dempsey still holds the keys, but the kitchen will be headed up by Lyndon Betts, who’s had experience in some of Geelong’s best kitchens including Terindah Estate & the Vue Grand. The vibe is European, with plenty of charcuterie, handmade pastas and smoked goods; and there will be great wines available for both take away or to drink in. www.gladiolirestaurant.com.au
 
THE EARLY MAIL – Speaking of regional … there are HUGE things happening at Dunkeld’s Royal Mail Hotel. There’s a new fine diner due mid-October – Wickens at Royal Mail; the casual diner Parker Street Project will become an all-day eatery; you’ll see a wine bar will with wine flights and chef “snacks”; and great new accommodation packages available. This will really make this a place you can spend the weekend and enjoy a whole host of experiences, rather than turn up for one fancy meal.  www.royalmail.com.au
GIN ROYALTY: The Gin Queen meets Gin Royalty, Caroline Childerley is hosting a pretty special evening for real gin afficianados. Held in the newly refurbished Garden’s House in the Botanic Gardens, Master Distiller for Hendricks Leslie Gracie will share some of her secrets. You’ll get a Hendrick’s gin and Strangelove tonic on arrival, plus 2 further cocktails as well as a selection of canapés. This will be Leslie’s only event in Melbourne during her whistle-stop tour of Australia. http://theginqueen.com
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