Edwina George, AYO alumna and violinist with TSO, shares her top tips for a perfect weekend in Hobart, ahead of the Australian Youth Orchestra’s Turbulent Times program at Federation Concert Hall on Saturday 6 April.

A view of Hobart at night with fireworks in the sky.
Credit: Alastair Bett Photography

A classically Hobart weekend begins at Salamanca market, where food, artisan, and produce stalls combine. Take your time strolling the galleries in former Georgian warehouses and take in the views of our glorious kunanyi, Mt Wellington. When you feel peckish, stop at Machine Laundry (and put a load of laundry on while you finish brunch).  

From there, it’s a short stroll to the Mona ferry terminal to take in the weird and wonderful MONA. If you’re not too full from brunch, Faro is amazing for lunch or dinner and a uniquely MONA show. Back in town, I’d book Fico, Aloft, Peppina or Templo for dinner, and following a dazzling performance by TSO or AYO, drinks at Mary Mary, Willing Bros or Evolve.  

Sunday morning often entails a walk through Farmgate markets, a take-away coffee, food stall bites, and some delectable produce. If you’re more into a sit-down meal, Criterion Street Cafe or Berta will sort you out. If you have littleuns with you, head to Room for a Pony in North Hobart, affectionately known as Room for a Pram, for plenty of outdoor but gated space for the kiddos to run.  

Aerial view of Hobart.
Credit: Alastair Bett Photography

If you’re a gallery-a-holic, TMAG has informative and thought-provoking permanent exhibits on Tasmanian First Nations people and the thylacine (Tasmanian tiger). If you’re more of a hiker (required pastime of every Tasmanian), head up our beautiful mountain to one of the many tracks and trails. Reward yourself with a drink and a bowl of chips at the Fern Tree tavern afterwards. Sunday dinner is a relaxed affair in Hobart, so head to Ogee, Sonny, or any of the gastropubs around.  

Before your flight out on Monday, grab a coffee from Zimmah or Pilgrim and a pastry from Little Missy Patisserie or Pigeon Hole.  

While it’s unlikely I’ll make the concert (at 39.5 weeks pregnant), I’m looking forward to sinking my teeth into Szymanowski’s second violin concerto. I know the first very well, having performed it at ANAM, but the second is quite different musically. I’m a huge Prokofiev fan, with his irony, humour, and darkness, quite the contrast with the light whimsy of Ravel and Debussy. If I can’t attend in person, I’ll be sure to find a recording so baby can attend their first concert on the outside – what a treat! 

Edwina and her family are generous supporters of AYO. Recently, Edwina’s parents Cass and Ian George committed to sponsoring the concertmaster chair for the International Tour.

Click here for more information on the International Tour and how you can support the next talented wave of artists to represent Australia in Europe by contributing to the fund or donating an orchestra chair.

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