Ding dong, the bells of St Peter's Cathedral are ringing...loudly. And it seems like they're ringing in the changes. Forget the sleepy churchy backwater image you might have of Adelaide and think again.
I'm attending the South Australia 'block party' in the heart of the trendy west end district. Laneways are filled with hipsters, beards, craft gin, sangria stations, pop up BBQs and gourmet street food with a soundtrack of pulsating music from a great Mariachi band.
Everyone is celebrating...and why not when you've just been voted fifth best region in the world to visit by Lonely planet.
Yes, that's a pretty big deal, and after my quick stint down south, I'm blown away by the vibe of the festival state.
Apart from the recent Lonely Planet accolade, the New York Times last year named Adelaide as one of the world's most exciting Australian cities.
"A casually sophisticated city whose dedication to refined taste extends beyond the plate to the arts, in all its forms."
Some great things have happened in the CBD over the past couple of years, and the best has been the growing number of 'Melbournesque' laneways popping up around town.
Go bar-, café- and restaurant-hunting around Leigh Street, Peel St, James Place, Lindes Lane, Gilbert Lane, and Gawler Place to name but a few. And like all hideaway spots, this is where the best treasure is waiting to be found.
Before you hit the lanes, start your night with a cocktail at the 2KW rooftop bar (so named as its located at 2 King William Street) It's a great way to start the night off drinking in the extensive wine/cocktail menu and the fabulous view.
ECO CADDY TOUR
You won't find open top buses in Adelaide, but you can book an Eco Caddy tour (www.eco-caddy.com). This is well worth checking out as it's a unique, eco-friendly and fun way to explore the city and all those nooks and crannies into which four wheels cannot venture.
My guide/rider was a mine of great information about the city and surrounds.
You can't go to Adelaide and not go to the Oval (www.adelaideoval.com.au). The iconic cricket ground, widely regarded as the most picturesque Test Cricket ground in the world, is a short walk from the city centre.
Do the roof climb for an unforgettable Adelaide/Australian experience taking in the city and parkland views whilst being regaled with the history of the ground that included the fascinating scoreboard story. They still have real people putting the scores up just like in Edwardian times.
Stay at the very stylish 5-star Mayfair Hotel in the heart of the city a stones throw away from everything.
I loved this place. The staff and service were great as were the big comfy beds and the massive bathrooms.
With a nod to the past, a fantastic pianist was playing in the lower hallway and this soothing soundtrack was the perfect anetedote to the hustle and bustle of city life right outside the door.
TOP RESTAURANT PICKS
There are so many great restaurants to choose from in Adelaide - it is indeed a foodie's paradise.
For the freshest and tastiest Vietnamese head to Gondola Gondola at 1 Peel St, where it's spicy, spectacular and surprisingly great value.
Enjoy a long lunch at Andre’s Cucina and Polenta Bar located at 94 Frome St, where there's superb Italian food – try the beef cappachio, and I definitely the 'Menu Fisso' for an unbelievable Italian feast.
Subscription successful! Thank you for subscribing.