The Air Chatham’s Sunshine and a Plate’s food festival beginning on the 29th of February has reached a new record in its fifth year with the first sold-out event occurring within mere hours of presales. Exclusive sales were offered to Hospice and Sunshine and a Plate supporters on Friday 29th November, 36 hours before being released to the public on December 1st. This saw a mad rush on Friday night to buy tickets to the events, with the return of the iconic Sunset on the Wharf event, sponsored by Focus and Hamertons, being the first to sell out in 2.5 hours.
The sold out Sunset on the Warf with Focus Chartered Accountants and Hamertons Lawyers already has a waitlist of hopefuls for the extended ticket sales once a favourable weather forecast is in sight. This iconic event features the same stunning venue and catering as the 2018 event but with a new theme, new menu, Foley Family Wines to taste, and speaker, Master of Wine Alastair Maling. Paired with live music, a view over the harbour and the classic Eastern Bay of Plenty sunsets, this event is the grand finale of Sunshine and a Plate 2020 and the most requested since it ran in 2018.
Other events are expected to sell quickly as there has been a lot of anticipation surrounding the festival’s fifth year, says Hospice Fundraising Manager Anna Hughes. “We’ve had phone calls and emails for the last couple of months enquiring about the events. Since the sales launched we’ve been thrilled with the response to our foodie festival, with tickets flying out the door faster than ever before. Luckily we have a variety of incredible events available. These are popular with locals and tourists alike, and they make great Christmas gifts”.
The agenda has been released for the foodie festival and includes a variety of events ranging from $5 to $150.
The lineup features:
The Sunshine Gourmet Markets sponsored by Ocean Ford and Fairview Aluminium is going to be at the Rose Gardens this year, giving more space, close parking, and a large volume of shade trees. They have a variety of gourmet food trucks coming with sweet and savoury delights, a garden bar, live entertainment for adults and children too. Held on Saturday 29th of February, this year gate entry will be $10 but earlybird tickets are online for just $5 per adult and children under 16 are free.
The annual scenic flights in the Air Chatham’s DC3 has a new offering with a coastline flight towards Opotiki, over the land to views of Putauaki and Lake Rotoma, as well as the classic White Island views flight. Avid flyers can enjoy bubbles and sumptuous food on the iconic DC3 plane.
New this year on March 1st is a self-driving Foodie Tour sponsored by MTF and East Coast Heavy Diesel, which much like a garden ramble allows keen foodies to drive around the Eastern Bay and tour around the region’s incredible food producers including Antipodes, Gregoli Olive Gardens, Ohiwa Truffles, White Goose Winery and NZ Manuka.
The Lunch with Jo Seagar is picked as the next to sell out with 70% of tickets now sold. This is at the stunning rural venue Magnolia Estate, with the styling and equipment provided by Meadow Hill, featuring a grazing table styled lunch by Cracked Pepper Catering.
A Gourmet Beach Barbecue sponsored by Harcourts will be set at Surf & Sand on Thursday the 5th March with a lavish BBQ styled meal, live music, games and a bonfire, set in the beautiful marquee overlooking the ocean.
Ginstronomy, a gin tasting event sponsored by Haddocks and Williams & Wilshier on Friday the 6th March is also proving exceptionally popular with half the tickets sold already and featuring five courses of bespoke New Zealand gin-based cocktails, served with delectable gin-infused hors d'oeuvres by Chef William Mordido and the team at Buko.
The foodie festival was created as a way to give back to the community, while raising awareness and funds for Hospice. The theme is celebrating life and living every moment, while enjoying the best the Eastern Bay of Plenty has to offer.
The goal for Hospice is to raise at least 10% of their annual $500,000 shortfall between government funding and basic operational costs. “It’s a great cause to get behind because you know it has a local impact” says Mrs Hughes. “the money stays here in the Eastern Bay and helps a significant number of people. 1 in 3 people receive Hospice care in their final months and it’s an essential service that everybody deserves access to, free of charge. Receiving support to live as well as you can with dignity and comfort, and being at home where you can spend precious time for your family, that’s what the festival is supporting”.
Tickets for the events are on sale at www.sunshineandaplate.nz and at the Hospice EBoP shops. Numbers are strictly limited and avid foodies are urged to get in before Christmas.