the guide. orange Quality restaurants, elegant wines and old-fashioned country hospitality make the New South Wales town of Orange a great destination for food lovers. WORDS SARAH NICHOLSON PHOTOGRAPHY EMMA REILLY range is an everchanging Enthusiastic locals delight in showcasing landscape. Right now, the the best the region has to offer on their countryside is on ﬁre with reds, varied restaurant menus, at a burgeoning yellows and oranges. In a farmers’ market, and with lively annual couple of months, it’ll be all food and wine events. about snow, open ﬁres and red wine. The area produces excellent cool-climate Blossoms will appear in spring, then wines, so you’ll want to set aside plenty of summer will see laden fruit trees and time for wine tasting... and space in the grapevines. But these four distinct seasons boot. A winery visit can be a personal affair, are not the only reason why Orange, as the owners and winemakers often man three-and-a-half hours’ drive west of the cellar doors, and their zeal for the wines Sydney, is such a rewarding spot to visit. makes them taste even better. delicious. 57 Previous page: the view from Sister’s Rock Restaurant at the Borrodell cellar door. Clockwise from far left: the smart interior of Lolli Redini; chocolate and hazelnut torte with candied oranges and chocolate sorbet from Selkirks; outdoor dining at Union Bank; the grounds of the Old Convent; chef Michael Manners of Selkirks is one of the founders of the local food scene. WHERE TO EAT food is so highly regarded. The generous Tonic, 30 Victoria St, Millthorpe, Selkirks, 179 Anson St, Orange, dishes she creates with regional produce are tel: (02) 6366 3811. tel: (02) 6361 1179. matched by the equally brilliant ﬂoor service. In the charming historic village of Millthorpe, The stalwart of the Orange restaurant scene, The stylish restaurant, housed in a federation 22km from Orange, is Tony Worland’s Tonic. Selkirks is run by chef Michael Manners and brick cottage, has a striking red banquette After spending time in the kitchens of Sydney’s his wife Josephine Jagger-Manners. They have loaded with cushions running down one wall Aria, as well as local restaurants Selkirks and been serving superb contemporary Australian and interesting artwork adorning the walls. Lolli Redini, Tony went out on his own and food in the relaxed setting of a country house Belgravia at Union Bank, cnr Sale & garnered his own Chef’s Hat award. The for nine years, and have supported many local Byng Sts, Orange, tel: (02) 6361 4441. menu has lots in the way of comforting producers along the way. The fabulous Right next door, in a heritage-listed building, country-style dishes, such as delicious roasted Mandagery Creek Venison is always on the Simonn Hawke has also designed the menu loin of lamb with crushed kipﬂer potatoes, menu and might be served with sweet onions for the hot new place in town. Everyone’s olives, tomato, and a basil and rosemary jus. and a date-and-almond pilaf. The Baldwins’ buzzing about Union Bank, which is a wine Also memorable are the rich, earthy ﬂavours Fourjay Farms hazelnuts, another of Michael’s and tapas bar, as well as the cellar door for in the mushroom and leek ravioli in mushroom favourite local products, feature in a chocolate Belgravia Wines (also see Cellar Doors & broth. The indulgent crispy pork belly is hard torte served with candied oranges and Bars). The all-day menu features an antipasto to go past, too. Dishes vary according to what’s chocolate sorbet. Charcuterie is a specialty, plate that offers a good selection of the small good on the day – Tony says Millthorpe is the which you can enjoy as a plate of patés, dishes on offer, including hummus and kind of place where locals may turn up with a rillettes, terrines and sausages. The wine list is roasted capsicum tarts, pastizzi and spicy glut of fresh produce from their yard, which also a showcase of what Orange does well, Italian sausage. Simonn’s sister, Georgie will then appear on the menu that night. and local wines by the glass are suggested Hawke, designed the slick space, where you Provvista, 129 Summer St, Orange, with every dish on the menu. can enjoy a glass of wine perched on a round tel: (02) 6361 2129. Lolli Redini, 48 Sale St, Orange, red ottoman beside an open ﬁre, sit at long This casual restaurant has a good range of tel: (02) 6361 7748. communal tables with high stools, or dine woodﬁred pizzas, with traditional offerings Savour the incredible ﬂavours of piquillo alfresco in the leafy courtyard. Wednesday is such as Napoli, and vegetarian options like pimientos stuffed with brandade, shredded movie night, there’s live music on Fridays, kumara with caramelised onion, gorgonzola, sorrel, king prawns and sugo, and you’ll see and each Sunday sees a two-course set menu rosemary and pine nuts. Plus, there are pastas, why owner and chef Simonn Hawke’s modern from a different Italian region on offer for $25. and daily specials including veal and ﬁsh. 58 delicious. the guide. 17. 24. 14. 20. 21. 25. 19. 22. 5. 26. 23. 10. 18. 4. 6. 1. 7. 11. 2. 3. 13. 8. 12. 9. 15. 5. WHERE TO EAT 20. Belgravia at 8. La Colline Union Bank 9. Sister’s Rock 26. Hotel Canobolas Restaurant 16. 12. Lakeside Café WHERE TO SHOP & Cellar 1. Norland Fig 15. The Schoolhouse Orchard Mod French, authentic Italian, ﬂavoursome tapas or Restaurant 16. Tonic 4. Hillside Orchard generous country-style food – Orange has it all on offer. 9. Borrodell on 17. Saplings the Mt 19. Lavendilli-Blue 18. M & J’s Butchery Saplings, Orange Botanic Gardens, Winery restaurants 20. Belgravia at Orange, tel: (02) 6369 1666. The Schoolhouse Restaurant, 20. Hawkes General Union Bank Store If you have kids in tow, you may well ﬁnd Mayﬁeld Vineyard, Icely Rd, Orange, 20. Hawkes General 22. Bakehouse on yourself at this small cafe beside the adventure tel: (02) 6365 9295. Store Wentworth playground. Grab a takeaway coffee or sit The captivating setting of Mayﬁeld Vineyard 20. Lolli Redini 24. Orange Region 21. Provvista down for a BLT, Simmone Logue quiche, or makes it worth the trip alone – the vines run Farmers Market 23. Selkirks one of the sweet options, which include down to meet the lake and geese glide on the 25. The Essential Ingredient Manna from Heaven goodies. water, but the inside is just as delightful. The WHERE TO DRINK For central coffee spots, Lavendilli-Blue (41 turn-of-the-century schoolhouse has recently 2. Canobolas-Smith WHERE TO STAY Sale St, Orange, tel: (02) 6361 9408), essentially been given a chic makeover, with warm ILLUSTRATION: PRISCILLA NIELSEN Wines 3. Cargo Road 5. Old Convent a cute body-care shop, serves Fairtrade coffee neutral tones on the walls and furniture, Winery 9. Borrodell on and house-made cakes. (A masseuse works restored original ﬂoorboards and lots of 6. Orange Mountain the Mt here, in case you have any lingering city natural light. Executive chef Paul Wilderbeek, Wines 11. Black Sheep Inn stress.) And just across Summer Street is who most recently owned the local Proven 7. Philip Shaw 13. Arancia Bed & 10. Bloodwood Breakfast Hawkes General Store (46 Sale St, Orange, Bakery, has worked in Australian kitchens Wines 14. Belgravia Cottage tel: (02) 6362 5851), where you can enjoy Caffè for the past 26 years. He aims to create wine- 15. Mayﬁeld Vineyard 16. Hockey’s Bianchi coffee with biscuits and friands. friendly food, and his classical French training the guide. Clockwise from this picture: beautiful countryside surrounds Orange; the newly revamped Schoolhouse Restaurant; chef Tony Worland of Tonic in Millthorpe; Tony’s delicious rabbit pie with sweet potato puree, buttered spinach and red wine jus. is reﬂected in the ﬂavours of his dishes. He’s a restaurant at their cellar door. Think crumbed shiraz. The bar’s wine list is supplemented known for braised duck and it will appear veal with gorgonzola sauce and zucchini, and with a few other Australian wines chosen by on each new menu with a seasonal sauce. asparagus with lemon, oil and pepper served wine expert and Orange local Peter Bourne, (Also see Cellar Doors & Bars.) with fresh bread. Borrodell wines are served, who also runs wine-appreciation classes here. La Colline, Lake Canobolas Rd, Orange, of course, including interesting drops such as Mayﬁeld Vineyard, Icely Rd, Orange, tel: (02) 6365 3275. méthode champenoise and gewürztraminer. tel: (02) 6365 9295. A lot of care goes into the dishes at La Colline. And on the way back down this road, the At one of the newest cellar doors in Orange, Aline Prudhomme, who owns the restaurant Lakeside Café & Cellar (tel: (02) 6365 3456) sits the wines include a crisp sav blanc, sangiovese, with her husband Philippe, works with chef in a pretty location beside Lake Canobolas. a cab-merlot blend and hand-picked riesling Bernadette McGilchrist and her young team This is also the Burke & Hills cellar door. from the Icely Rd range. The reserve label, to design a menu of satisfying lunches with a Mayﬁeld Vineyard, offers a pinot noir and French skew. Flavoursome red-wine-braised CELLAR DOORS & BARS méthode champenoise with a delicate blush. rabbit is cleverly paired with a slice of chestnut Orange produces great cool-climate wines, (Also see Where to Eat.) and eschalot tart, and the blackboard specials, including some quality chardonnay, sauvignon Cargo Road Winery, Cargo Rd, Orange, such as creme caramel, ensure morning and blanc, cabernet sauvignon and pinot noir. tel: (02) 6365 6100. afternoon tea are a treat. It’s also the cellar There are lots of great wineries in the area, but This cellar door is full of art and personality. door, so you can taste La Colline wines here. the highlights that follow are open at least one A cafe overlooking the vines operates on the Sister’s Rock Restaurant, day a weekend. Many wineries are only open weekend, serving up simple food and Toby’s Borrodell on the Mt, Lake Canobolas Rd, by appointment, but don’t let that put you off, Estate coffee. Winemaker James Sweetapple’s Orange, tel: (02) 6365 3128. as that’s the beauty of Orange – you get to passion is a dry-style gewürztraminer, and Drive a little further up the road to Sister’s meet the owners and winemakers, the people be sure to try the rich-ﬂavoured zinfandel, a Rock Restaurant and you’ll be rewarded with who are most passionate about the wine. more unusual red wine for Australia. magniﬁcent views of the countryside, as well Belgravia at Union Bank (see Where to Eat). Canobolas-Smith Wines, Cargo Rd, Orange, as authentic Italian fare. Two talented cooks This centrally located cellar door, which tel: (02) 6365 6113. from Rome, Patrizia Fiorini and Marina doubles as a wine and tapas bar, offers tastings One of the area’s ﬁrst vineyards, this winery is Fedelli, once visited the property (see Where until 5pm. The Union Bank label is great now up to its 18th vintage. You’ll be in Justin to Stay) and didn’t want to leave, so owners value, while the Belgravia range offers a large Byrne’s capable hands at the cellar door, and Gaye Stuart-Nairne and Borry Gartrell started choice, including good viognier and reserve may get to meet winemaker Murray Smith if delicious. 61 Clockwise from far left: The Schoolhouse Restaurant has views of Mayﬁeld Vineyard; sampling fresh produce at the Orange Region Farmers Market; a taste of the tempting local fare on offer at the market; Belgravia at Union Bank – a new cellar door and tapas bar – is currently the hottest place in town; an antipasto plate is a great way to sample the range of tapas. he’s passing. They excel at chardonnay and WHERE TO SHOP duck and pheasant, ﬁve types of gluten-free the premium red, Alchemy – a blend of cab Orange Region Farmers Market, Orange sausages, and snails farmed locally by Sonya sav, cab franc and shiraz – is also a highlight. Showground, Leeds Pde, tel: (02) 6362 0039, Begg at Ross Hill Vineyard. Orange Mountain Wines, cnr Forbes Rd & www.orangefarmersmarket.org.au. Hillside Orchard, 1209 The Escort Way, Radnedge Ln, Orange, tel: (02) 6365 2626. The buzzing farmers’ market has about 50 Borenore, tel: (02) 6365 2247. Owner/winemaker Terry Dolle specialises stalls, including Waru Organic Farm (selling Whatever the season, Hillside has lots to offer, in viognier – and his big shiraz viognier, seasonal vegies such as mizuna, sorrel and including 18 varieties of apples, 15 types of from the Manildra vineyard 50km away, is cocktail tomatoes), Yuri’s Organic Produce cherries, plus peaches, nectarines, raspberries, deﬁnitely a highlight. He also makes apple (with horseradish, salad leaves and 12 types of blackberries... Local vegies are available, too. and cherry liqueurs, and verjuice, and sells basil) and Mandagery Creek Venison. A local Norland Fig Orchard, Bradley Rd, Borenore, local Abilene Grove olive oil. Terry’s wife, chef or cook prepares dishes using seasonal tel: (02) 6365 2225. Julie, puts together platters of produce from produce at the Chef’s Tasting Table, and also From January to April you can pick up a tray Bathurst and Orange farmers’ markets, too. takes a kids’ cooking class. From 8.30am to of ﬁgs from Warren Bradley, who has been Not open every weekend, but worth a noon on the second Saturday of each month. growing them for more than 25 years. “Handle visit for serious wine lovers is Philip Shaw Bakehouse on Wentworth, 26B Sale St, them like eggs, store them like ﬁsh,” he says. (Koomooloo Vineyard, Caldwell Ln, Orange, Orange, tel: (02) 6360 0722. Borrodell on the Mt, Lake Canobolas Rd, tel: (02) 6365 2334; open second weekend of Formerly Proven Bakery, at the time of writing Orange, tel: (02) 6365 3425. each month). The former Southcorp head this bakery had been sold and was undergoing Believe it or not, Peasgood Nonsuch and winemaker launched his label last year. a revamp, but you’ll still ﬁnd favourites such Dr Hogg are apple varieties, and at Borrodell Bloodwood Wines (Grifﬁn Rd, Orange, tel: as white chocolate and macadamia tarts, and there are a staggering 170 varieties of heritage (02) 6362 5631; by appointment only) offers a quiches and pies, plus breads including spelt (heirloom) apples. You can pick your own, wide range of top-quality selections, too. loaves, and olive and rosemary sourdough. and they’re also sent out by mail-order. This For those who are dying for a cleansing ale M & J’s Butchery, 30 Moulder St, Orange, year they’re hoping to unearth their ﬁrst after all that wine tasting, there are a number tel: (02) 6362 2037. trufﬂe, after planting them eight years ago. of pubs in town that have been renovated Chef Michael Manners of Selkirks helps In town, Hawkes General Store (see Where in recent years, including Hotel Canobolas butcher Michael Borg develop the marinades to Eat) sells kitchenwares and some local (248 Summer St, Orange, tel: (02) 6362 2444), for his ready-marinated meats, including local produce, as does The Essential Ingredient which has an outdoor area. lamb, beef and venison. There are also poussin, (205 Summer St, Orange, tel: (02) 6361 8999). 62 delicious. the guide. the guide. Clockwise from far left: the Old Convent, now a two-bedroom guest cottage, sits beside this historic church, where Josie Chapman caters for functions; Hockey’s, in Millthorpe, is a former chemist shop that has been converted into a romantic getaway; Belgravia Cottage has a warm country feel. WHERE TO STAY Annette Ross serve poached fruit and yoghurt, a romantic cottage, which features a double Black Sheep Inn at Bed of Roses, followed by a cooked breakfast. Doubles from spa bath with garden views. Owner Belinda Kyalla Park, Forbes Rd, Orange, $185 per night, including breakfast. Satterthwaite has decorated the rooms in tel: (02) 6362 6946, www.bedofroses.net.au. Belgravia Cottage, Belgravia Rd, Orange, warm hues with rustic artworks made by her This old woolshed now houses ﬁve stylish tel: (02) 6365 0663, www.belgravia.com.au. husband, Stephen. From $185 per night. bedrooms and two living areas, but still keeps Situated between Orange and Molong, this its sheep chutes, wool press and wool-sorting old worker’s cottage has a wisteria-covered FOODIE EVENTS table, where Dee Napier serves breakfast. The verandah that overlooks Belgravia vineyard. Orange Regional Cooking School, rooms all have ensuites and mohair blankets It has a homely feel, claw-foot bath, open 169 Hill St, Orange, tel: (02) 6361 3336, on the beds. From $195 per couple per night. ﬁreplace and air-con. The cottage has a double www.learntocook.com.au. Borrodell on the Mt (see Where to Shop), and a twin room, and there’s also a bunkhouse Take a class at Lesley Russell’s school, where www.borrodell.com.au. that sleeps two. From $132 per double per the best foodies and chefs from Orange and Set among fruit trees and vines, Trufﬂes and night (minimum two-night stay), including beyond demonstrate. Chardonnay are two self-contained cottages breakfast provisions and a bottle of wine. F.O.O.D. (Food of Orange District) Week, with three double rooms. They cost $80 per Old Convent, Convent Ln, Borenore, www.orangefoodweek.com.au. person per night, which includes a breakfast tel: (02) 6365 2420, www.oldconvent.com.au. F.O.O.D. Week will be back for its 16th year in hamper. There are also two antique railway Locals are still trying to mend their broken 2007, from April 13 to 22. This year’s festival carriages that serve as accommodation – one foodie hearts after Josie Chapman decided to had more than 70 events, including degustation for sleeping and one for dining. The sleeping close her cafe here. But you can still enjoy dinners, cooking classes, opera under the carriage has a double and a twin room, and Josie’s breakfast if you stay at her cottage, a stars, grape treading and winery tours. costs $65 per person per night, including converted 1870s convent and schoolhouse Orange Wine Week, breakfast. Half-price rates for kids under 10. with two double rooms, and a modern kitchen www.winesoforange.com.au. Arancia Bed & Breakfast, Wrights Ln, Orange, and bathroom. Doubles from $175 per night. This festival runs from October 20 to 29 and tel: (02) 6365 3305, www.arancia.com.au. Hockey’s, 28 Park St, includes The Orange Wine Show, winery Arancia (Italian for orange) has comfortable Millthorpe, tel: (02) 6366 3643, tours, tastings, dinners and concerts. d. modern rooms for couples, one with a spa and www.hockeysaccommodation.com.au. Thank to Tourism NSW for its assistance with private courtyard, and all with views of Mt Just down the road from Tonic restaurant, a this story. For more information on Orange, tel: Canobolas. In the morning, hosts David and former chemist shop has been converted into (02) 6393 8226 or visit: www.visitnsw.com.au. 64 delicious.