Subscribe to enews

On tour dining tips with Jess Connell

1. What is the longest you’ve stayed in an apartment/hotel room for one period of time…

The longest I have every stayed in one place was my first trip with Circa, four years ago. We went to Berlin and stayed for 8 months. Since then the longest has been 2 months in Lyon or a month in Melbourne.

2. What’s the most elaborate meal you have made on tour?

Berlin Christmas by far the most elaborate! A  pot luck, table of food from lasagne to quinoa salad, grilled vegetables, sweets and more!


3. Is there any type of ingredient that you haven’t been able to find overseas?

So many ingredients are hard to find overseas. Not speaking the language you can spend many hours in France, Germany and Spain supermarkets wondering through the aisle trying to find the right food. I have spent a lot of money buying the wrong things like sour cream instead of yogurt or bread flour instead of all purpose flour. Baking ingredients always seem to be a challenge. I could not find yeast in Berlin for about 5 months and icing sugar in France is always in the weirdest place.


4. Where do you usually source your foods from when you’re on tour?

I love to shop at markets and organic local shops when possible but often you do end up just shopping at supermarkets or corner shops. With travelling so much sometimes it’s about what is the easiest and quickest option.


5. Do you often have dinner parties in your room with the other artists?

When we’re on tour around regional Australia our shows often finish when the restaurants or shops in the town are closed. We would often drive to a supermarket before the show and all buy a few little things, bread, dips, salads, drinks. Then after the show we would all hang out in someones room and have a hotel picnic on the floor! This happened a lot on this tour and it was actually a lot of fun.


6. Do you have any tips for how you make your apartment feel more homely for long term stays?

I love little things like always playing music in the background and having a photograph slide show as my computer home screen. Buying a bunch of flowers at a market when I’m doing my food shopping and I also love baking for the group. Nothing is more homely then the smell of fresh cookies!


7. What has been your most favourite apartment you’ve stayed at?

My Berlin home was one of my favourites because I was there for so long and it really did feel like a home. But you know the Hilton in Athens was not bad, nor were the rooms in the Seychelles!


8. Anything else you’d like to add?

Sometimes it is hard staying healthy on tour. Pub meals can get boring very quickly and eating out can become a chore. Keep it adventurous, try local foods and mix it up between group dinners, a meal with a friend and eating alone.

I always carry my favourite muesli in my suitcase and a hotel room Cous-cous salad is awesome… Boil some eggs in your kettle and the Cous-cous only needs boiling water and a closed container to cook. Stir in some raw veggies (or a antipasto mix from the supermarket) and you have a hotel meal.


Circa is based in Meanjin (Brisbane) on the lands of the Jagera and Turrbal people. We respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the many lands on which we create and perform. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.
Always was. Always will be.