Australia, Travel

Weekends Away: Orange and Millthorpe, NSW

A group of friends and I recently went to Orange for a weekend of nice wine, food and chats. It’s around a 4 hour drive from Sydney and yes, you do have to stop on the way and eat McDonalds (the only time I permit such a thing!) We arrived late on a Friday night to be graciously met with cheese and wine by our lovely friend Kat. Soon our tiredness got the best of us and we turned in for a good night’s sleep in preparation for lots of eating and drinking tomorrow.

We piled into 2 cars the next morning and set off for brunch at Tonic in Millthorpe, a 20 minute drive from Orange.

Tonic is located at 30 Victoria St, Millthorpe NSW 2798. The coffee was great and the range of foods tasted was delicious. Since I can never make up my mind I chose the sweetcorn cakes and pizza and shared with a friend.

Sweetcorn cakes with mascarpone and prosciutto, $16

Ham, bocconcini, egg and pesto pizza with rocket and parmesan salad, $16

Then we set off to explore Milthorpe. First stop, Galvanised (17 Pym Street, Millthorpe), a converted century old galvanised iron shed that sells everything from homewares and lollies to birdcages and coffee supplies.

The boys preferred eating their sherbert they bought from Galvanised instead of our next stop, the antique store!

Peppertree (23 Pym Street, Millthorpe) had a lovely assortment of antiques, homewares and modern furniture. I had my eyes on this pink and white floral tea set.

Our next stop on our tour of Millthorpe was Tomolly (7 Blake Street, Millthorpe), a store filled with cute gifts, homewares and stationery. The owner was lovely and very excited I was featuring her store on my blog!

It was well into the afternoon now and therefore a suitable time to commence wine tastings! Our first winery was Mayfield Vineyard (954 Icely Road, Orange NSW 2800).

Now, I am no wine expert so don’t expect me to go on about the heady aromas and nuances of blackberry or whatever. But the wine was tasty and affordable, the lady extremely friendly and helpful and we purchased quite a few bottles.

We returned to “downtown Orange” for some coffee and yet more shopping at Hawkes General Store (46 Sale St, Orange). The store was filled with gorgeous homewares and gifts. I loved the Paris gift tags.

Back in the car, we head off to another vineyard – the Philip Shaw vineyard (45 Caldwell Lane, Orange NSW). The views of vineyards on the way there were superb.

Philip Shaw has produced a line of wines called “The Character Series” with titles such as The Dreamer Viognier and The Wire Walker Pinot Noir. I adored the illustrations on each bottle.

The vineyard also had a lovely dog who wanted to play ball!

Our third and final vineyard for the day was Hedberg Hill (701 The Escort Way (Forbes Road), Orange). This vineyard had come highly recommended by my father who is quite a wine buff and personal friend of the owner, Peter Hedberg. We were greeted by more beautiful scenic views of vineyards on the way there.

Peter was a lovely host and we learned (and tasted) a lot. His Riesling and Viognier were delicious! We ended up buying about 3 cases of wine I think! Ooops…

The views from his cellar door was breathtaking, particularly as the sun started to set and cast a yellow glow over the landscape.

Then it was home time for a power nap before dinner!

We went to Bistro Ceello (179 Anson Street, Orange). The food was delicious, the service unfortunately not great. I think we must have gotten the new girl as she made quite a few rookie mistakes – not knowing what the specials were, failing to change glasses between wines, pouring the champagne into a wine glass (!!) etc etc. Nothing to ruin our evening but anyway… Here are a few samples of what was eaten.

House cured ocean trout gravlax, potato pancake, cucumber spaghetti and dill cream, $20 entree

Venison shank sausage, parmesan pudding, roasted tomato and balsamic reduction, $20 entree

Twice cooked pork belly, roasted root vegetables and fennel mustard, $32 main – I swear I could eat this everyday.

Beef sirloin, caponata, creamy polenta with veal jus, $32 main

We were all completely stuffed to the gills, but you know I am never one to miss dessert! We settled on 2 tasting plates and shared them.

Dessert tasting plate featuring lemon cheesecake, nougat ice-cream and choc cake terrine, frangelico panna cotta and steamed marmalade pudding, $30

The next morning we arose and cooked 1kg of bacon. I do not have a photograph of this as we don’t need a reminder. Oh god.

Then we drove off to Totally Local (426 Mitchell Highway, Orange) in search of MORE food. It has an amazing array of locally produced honey, cheese, olive oil and more.

And then we sadly bid adieu to Orange and started the 4 hour drive back to Sydney. What a lovely weekend away!

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