The 20-minute city of churches

Work took me recently to Adelaide for three nights, and it was my first visit to the Southern Australian city.

My sub-editor had sighed, “Oh, poor you, there will be nothing fun for you to do there” as I was packing up to leave office the day before I was due to fly off.

It didn’t bother me, as my work programme was packed with interviews, site inspections, presentations, seminars and social functions from 7.30am to 9.30pm daily. It was going to be a productive trip and I didn’t mind not having anything fun to do.

Then I got there, walked around the city centre with the publicity officer to get to the various offices of the people I had to interview, and fell in love with the compact city that was bursting at the seams with fancy restaurants, trendy bars and laidback cafes.

Adelaide, I was told, is known as the 20-minute city. People lived within a 20-minute drive to their offices in the city centre, and one could walk from one end of the mile-by-mile city to the other.

My hotel, the InterContinental Adelaide, was an easy stroll to the museums and a gorgeous library with an ancient Harry Potter-esque hall (below) that hosted a grand dinner for us all one night.

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I had the chance to dig into some of the freshest and most appetising salads for lunch at the hipster-vibe Peel St Restaurant. I had a fantastic dinner of fresh Coffin Bay oysters, melt-in-my-mouth roasted beef ribs and endless rounds of wine from the local vineyards, at the buzzing Sean’s Kitchen.

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And I had a quick minute to stock up on chocolates from my favourite chocolatier, Haigh’s. I found out only then that the Australian chocolatier has its roots in Adelaide! There is even a factory tour which I had no time for.

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In the end, I was desiring so much to explore the city centre but found no time at all to do so.

That only means I’ve got to return to Adelaide, and next time with Awesome Husband and Titus in tow. I bet they will love the city and all its wide, open green spaces where we could run around and sit down for lazy picnics.

On a brighter note, my work trip included a day excursion to the lush Adelaide Hills where I got to visit The Lane and Penfolds vineyards for wine-tasting at both and a gorgeous lunch at the latter.

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Meanwhile, if you are still wondering if I was going to explain why the “city of churches” in my title – sorry, I almost forgot to tell this story.

Adelaide was home to many, many churches since the early days but only a few remain today. These churches are lovely to look at and to visit, regardless of your religion. I subscribe to none but I found St Peter’s Cathedral to be a soothing sanctuary. Mass was on when I stepped in after dinner on my last day in Adelaide, and I stayed to hear the hymns.

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It was a beautiful way to end my trip. 🙂

See you soon again, Adelaide.

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