Bowl of risotto and a glass of wine

Contentious Character's Spring Prawn Risotto, pea and mascarpone.

07 September 2020

Floriade: Reimagined’s NightFest is being transformed into Canberra’s biggest NightFeast this year.

On Friday 2 October, Canberrans can join in the territory-wide event by booking a meal at a participating eatery or ordering an at-home NightFest experience.

Foodies will have the option to enjoy a floral-infused gin from Underground Spirits, dessert that tastes like the essence of spring from the creative minds at Frugii, seasonal flavours from Poacher’s Pantry and more.

Contemporary vineyard estate Contentious Character will have a month-long spring celebration beginning 12 September, alongside NightFeast. The estate will leave you spoilt for choice; you can watch the sunset across the vineyard while sipping on signature wines, slurp down oysters, and indulge in tapas and woodfired pizzas.

Contentious Character director Tony Mansfield said the team felt spring was symbolic of a new start, especially for the winery. It is a time of budding vines, which symbolise hope for a better harvest than they had in 2020 – a year of horrific drought, bushfires and then COVID-19.

When David Harrington (partnership guest chef) put the budding vines tasting menu together he was thinking initially of a light, fresh, and a healthy approach to dining for spring, with a couple of richer and indulgent aspects to it as well, such as the duck confit and the oysters and bubbles,” Tony said.

“While almost all local and Australian we also wanted to bring a little of Europe into Wamboin, given many of us have missed out on our European trips this year, so David’s rich European and Spanish background was the inspiration for the traditional tapas menu.”

The vineyard is also a participant in Floriade: Reimagined’s tulip trail where you will spot budding daisies. Tony joked their domestic wildlife and winery dogs have taken far too much interest in the sprouting plants.

Entertainment and lights will still be an option for 2020’s NightFest. With activities such as making the festival’s signature lanterns, enjoying a curated Spotify playlist featuring artists from previous NightFest celebrations, or tuning in to the on-demand Floriade experiences at

This initiative is a Floriade first and will support the hospitality industry which has been impacted by the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To find out more, visit

All Canberra

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