A disappointing experience at The Forage, Barton

  • Not many savoury gluten free options
  • Not many gluten free options generally
  • Huge crowds and queues
  • Great music

In summer last year, Michael and I headed down to Barton to the Forage for a tasty Canberra food date. It was a lovely, boozy, foodie afternoon and I was keen to return to the Forage so when I saw it was happening again in winter, I expected lots of lovely hot nibbles.

We decided that at almost 2 years old, Milly would love roaming round at the Forage so we bought her with us which may have been our first mistake. There was a small children’s area which was good but packed, and the Forage is not pram friendly.

Even without the pram, there was the huge number of people. It was unpleasant getting through the crowd and the pram added an extra component of difficulty. The baby couldn’t walk through the crowds so needed to be either in the pram the whole time or carried. In addition to this, some people were surprisingly stroppy when asked to edge out of the way to let me past with the pram.

Get Crackin’ crème brulee

I was hoping that there might be a few new stalls this year, particularly some savoury options and something to help me warm up in the chilly air. There were lots of stalls but very little had gluten free food. The ones that did offer something gluten free were cold dessert dishes, and they were the same as I had seen in summer. Cannoli Brothers, Get Crackin’, Jasper and Myrtle Chocolates, and Canberra Distillery were there.

I was pretty disappointed to see Cannoli Brothers are now marking their cannoli as gluten intolerant instead of gluten free so I unfortunately dismissed them straight off as an option, and I ended up picking up some Get Crackin’ crème brulee.  These were OK but, like last year, they take the sugar too far and burn it. It was so burnt that it was unpleasant to eat and I had to scrape the sugar off!

The Po Boys

To make up for the average food options, the entertainment was great again! There was a band strutting round playing big, brassy versions of Bruno Mars, Macklemore and Mark Ronson called The Po Boys. It was great and created a really energetic atmosphere!

I’ll be skipping the next few Forages after this one. Despite the hipster vibe, the fully gluten free options just aren’t there for coeliacs. It’d be good to see a stronger push by the organisers for more uncontaminated gluten free options.

The Little National Hotel
21 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600

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