When you hear the phrase “Down The Rabbit Hole”, your mind should instantly teleport to the wonderful world of Alice in Wonderland. And rightly so!
Located in a little, tucked away lane just off Light Square (aptly named Playhouse Lane!), Gypsy Lane is a 2-day pop up cellar door event that is organised and hosted by Down The Rabbit Hole wines.
The brains behind the event are the husband and wife team, Elise and Domenic, who spent 3 hectic but incredible days putting together the mystical venue of Gypsy Land.
The couple’s love for wine is translated in the products that they manufacture and produce for our enjoyment, and make us feel as wonderful as Alice in Wonderland!
Decorated with fairy lights, there are a number of little spots that are scattered across the warehouse-like establishment, where people can enjoy an intimately social experience with their loved ones and friends. There’s always something happening in every corner, so be prepared to be an animated world for a couple of hours.
First up, we were treated to a wine tasting, where we trialled Friends and Lovers Rosé. This drink was very smooth and had a subtle sweetness to it, different from most other Rosés. It would have gone down so well with a bit of cheese on the side. It’s a drink that you can enjoy with the girlfriends for those nights where you just want to chill and enjoy everything around you.
Next, we had three forms of red wine, of which the stand out (and newest member to the family) was the 2013 Tempranillo. Not being a huge fan of red wine, I was surprised at how delicious this drink was! It was not too strong and not too subtle – it fit just perfectly in that wine glass as the drink. I’m not sure if it was the gorgeous fairy lights or the caravan and Woodstock vibes that were felt at the venue, but this drink certainly made me feel like I was going for a worthwhile adventure with one single sip!
While the event centres around wine, there were other options (such as beer and cocktails) available for consumption. As a cocktail lover, I decided to go for the Vagabond Cocktail and it was as fancy in taste as it was in presentation!
When it came to food, there were 5 delicious dishes to choose from, all provided by the Mullygrub crew. The meals ranged between $10-$20, and were simply divine.
We tried the Gypsy Meatballs, which was served with a slice of crust bread. The meatballs had a crispy texture on the outside, with tender and juicy minced meat on the inside. The Swedish gravy served with it was equally divine and had a burst of flavours from the Dill emanating from it. I made do without the bread, because the meatballs in themselves were pretty fulfilling.
Next, we had the Cider Braised Pork with white bean pureé, braised red cabbage, figs and crispy Jerusalem Artichoke. The pork was beautifully cooked and presented with a practical melt-off-the-bone style presentation. The pureé it was served in was subtle and worked well with the cabbage, the figs, and the artichoke.
We were then served the Porcini Mushroom Arancini with gypsy goulash (sour cream and parsley). The arancini balls had the perfect texture to it and broke off beautifully to present with a scrumptious filling of the goulash underneath. There were also mushrooms served alongside the balls, which the mushroom lover in me thoroughly enjoyed!
We also had the Duck L’Orange with contreau jus, slices of orange, walnuts, carrot pureé and chervil. The duck may not have had a crispy skin layer to it, but it still tasted good with the combination of the other ingredients. I loved mixing in the crunchiness from the walnuts with the softness of the orange slices – it may not sound appealing, but I suggest you try it nonetheless! The carrot pureé was sweet, but counterbalanced the savoury flavours from the duck nicely.
Lastly, we had the Crispy Potatoes with paprika, salt, lemon herb and garlic butter. If anyone knows me well enough, they know that I have proclaimed myself to be a potato because of my undying love for it. They are often seen as a very ordinary dish, but this was anything but ordinary. Reading those flavours alone should have brought in a little bit of drooling and salivation for you guys, as it did for me. The potatoes were certainly crispy, but had a subtle softness underneath.
This event is only on for another day, so I’d highly suggest getting your tickets to go check out this experience and enjoy the beauty of all things w o n d e r f u l.
As Lewis Carroll eloquently stated, “Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality”. So go forth, enter a world that celebrates the mutual love for sweet poison in the form of wine, and dance the night away to some seriously good tunes, while being at a party that brings out the magic in everyone and everything around you!
Words by Fatema Sitabkhan
WHERE: Queen’s Theatre, Corner of Playhouse Lane and Gilles Arcade