For the perfect country escape, look no further than Bowral. Located just 90 minutes’ drive from Sydney and nestled in the Southern Highlands, this charming town offers great food, wine and shopping options, making it the ultimate weekend away!
First up here’s a video I made from our trip to submit to the #ILoveNSW campaign. Keep reading to learn how to enter for a chance to win an amazing Canon prize pack!
Ten Thousand Paces – Shop 10, Springetts Arcade, 302 Bong Bong St, Bowral
We arrive in Bowral around midday and head straight to Ten Thousand Paces for a wine tasting (tough gig, hey). This store, nestled in an arcade, is much more just a regional wine shop and also has an ever-changing art gallery featuring local artists and operates as an event space.
Owner Hamish used to live in Sydney before having a “tree change” and moving South, enjoying the slower pace and lifestyle Bowral has to offer. His passion for supporting local businesses is strong and he has big plans for the store – including bringing an Australian whiskey collection onboard (my partner was very enthusiastic about that part).
Biota Dining – 18 Kangaloon Rd, Bowral NSW 2576
Next up is a late lunch at Biota Dining, a 2-hatted restaurant which began life as a country motel. It has since been given an impressive makeover and boasts a huge restaurant, courtyard, lush green space and 12 rooms to stay. The restaurant serves up a delicious range of Modern Australian meals sourced from local producers and their very own kitchen garden.
As it was such a gorgeous day, we opted to sit in the courtyard whilst enjoying a 3 course lunch. To start were these Whipped Roe Profiteroles, which were plated so beautifully on a bowl of stones that it deserved an Instagram.
The wine and cocktail list was impressive, and we opted for a glass of Pinot Noir from nearby Tertini Wines which paired perfectly with the duck pate.
Another impressively plated (and tasting) dish was the Clay Cooked Beetroot with Brunt Leek Dressing and Smoke Ricotta. Biota really focuses on simple, seasonal ingredients prepared with minimum fuss to let the produce speak for itself.
For my full review of Biota Dining, check out the post here!
By now we were very full and sleepy, so decided a walk about town and some shopping was in order.
Cloth and General – 1/23 Boolwey St. Bowral, NSW
Cloth & General offers a highly curated range of amazing fashion, accessories and homewares from both Australian and international designers.
Three Wise Monkeys – 312 Bong Bong St Bowral, NSW
Three Wise Monkeys is chockfull of an eclectic mix of wares from abroad with an ethical, handmade focus. I had to stop myself from leaving with an armful of succulents!
Dirty Jane’s Vintage – 13-15 Banyette Street Bowral, NSW
Dirty Jane’s is as close to vintage heaven as possible. This antique market is filled with over 70 store holders peddling their wares from clothing and furniture to homewares and quirky souvenirs. I could easily spend hours pottering through the huge warehouse.
Green Lane – 15-17 Banyette Street, Bowral
Next door to Dirty Jane’s is Green Lane, which features a cafe, homewares store, garden shop and wine bar. Filled with an array of plants, gardening supplies and unique furniture, this space is the perfect place to get your shopping fix. And once you’ve exhausted your feet or wallet, grad a bite to eat at Green Lane Kitchen or nearby Harry’s Wine Bar!
Bespoke Letterpress and The Press Shop Cafe – Shop 5, 391-397 Bong Bong Street, Bowral NSW
As a graphic designer, I am a huge fan of letterpress, and stumbling across Bespoke Letterpress and its adjoining cafe was quite the treat! They have a huge range of handmade stationery and gift items, and there are 3 antique letterpresses out the back which you can see in action.
Once you’ve shopped your heart out, head through to the cafe (named The Press Shop) for a handmade treat and delicious coffee. The fit out is gorgeous and filled with lots of wood, marble and pale blue throughout. If I wasn’t so full from lunch I definitely would have ordered one of their jaffles from the menu.
Gumnut Patisserie – Shop 7 Grand Arcade, Bong Bong Street, Bowral NSW
No matter what time of day you arrive, Gumnut always seems to have a queue snaking out the door. But fortunately, it moves quickly and you are rewarded with award-winning croissants, pies and cakes. They also have shops in Mittagong and Berrima, so you have multiple opportunities to try their treats in the Southern Highlands.
Onesta Cucina – 5 Boolwey St, Bowral NSW
For the best Italian food in the Southern Highlands, Onesta Cucina is the place to go. The menu is extensive and we may have gotten a little excited – we stuffed ourselves silly!
Highlights of our meal included Italian Buffalo Mozzarella with Pickled Organic Beetroot and Rosemary & Parmesan Crumbed Cotoletta with Watercress, Lemon & Porcini Salt.
I loved that the sides were all available as half serves, so we could sample several – we got the Polenta Chips with Parmesan & Truffle Oil and Honey Roasted Carrots. These are the best polenta chips I’ve ever eaten in my life!
And a special shoutout to dessert is deserved, as this Individual Banoffee Pie with Fresh Bananas & Vanilla Bean Cream was mind blowing. The layer of dulce de leche was thick and rich and this dish was the perfect end to our meal.
Thanks Bowral for being an absolute pleasure (I liked it so much I started looked at real estate prices). We managed to fit a lot into our day, but I already have a list of places to go when I come back. If you have an extra day or two up your sleeve, I highly recommend you take some time to explore the rest of the Southern Highlands – stay tuned for my next post featuring Berrima, Mittagong and more.
Make sure you post your own NSW video or picture at visitnsw.com/ilovensw using #ILoveNSW and you could win a Canon Prize Pack!
Love Swah visited Bowral as a guest of Destination NSW. All thoughts and opinions are my own.