Foodie Road Trip – Central West & Southern Highlands (2 nights)
So, you’ve ‘done’ the Blue Mountains? Maybe it’s time to venture a little further west to experience some truly unique and memorable dining experiences that are mostly new to the region. Closeburn House at Mount Victoria lies at the very top of the Blue Mountains and at the gateway to the Central West. Here’s a road trip I’d love to eat my way through, the journey taking in some beautiful countryside with relaxed easy driving.
Politely excuse yourself from work early and hit the road, get ahead of the traffic. First stop of course is Closeburn House, about a two-hour drive from Sydney CBD. Breath in the fresh mountain air, exhale! Take some time to relax here and wind down, leaving the stress of the week behind. Maybe sample a few of our local wines and ciders from our bar.
Then, at your chosen time we’ll drop you just down the hill to Ambermere Inn at Little Hartley. Ambermere Inn is one of the region’s most historic buildings dating back to 1845 with a rich and colourful history, recently reopened following a stunning refurbishment. The food focuses on fresh seasonal ingredients that pay homage to the local grower, brewer and winemaker. Sit in front of open fires in winter or outside in the warmer months overlooking rural pastures to the escarpments of Mount York. After dinner, return to Closeburn House for a restful night.
The delicious breakfast at Closeburn House is substantial and should nearly see you right through the day. A scenic two-hour drive (150kms) will have you in the village of Taralga where you’ll stay and dine at The Argyle Inn. En-route you may like to ‘take the waters’ at the Japanese Bath House, explore Jenolan Caves or the amazing Mayfield Gardens. The Argyle Inn is the oldest still trading hotel in Taralga, first built in 1875 in the Victorian tradition. In mid-2016 two local farm owners committed to sustainable farming practices and who shared a love of the area and its heritage collaborated with a vision to create a venue that would offer the best of country hospitality.
Their aim was to restore the heritage of the building, create a world class kitchen that would offer locally sourced, simple and delicious food and create a destination where everybody feels welcomed – locals and travellers alike. Well they’ve done just that to much acclaim and have put this little village on the map. The food, in a word, sensational! And don’t just take my word for it.
You could head back to Sydney retracing the same route, though I’d continue to Bowral which is about a 90-minute drive (122kms). This bustling prosperous country town has an array of stores and boutiques to explore. Think bookstores, antiques, fashion, homewares – this town has them all. And when you’re hungry again, why not complete this culinary tour with a visit to the much-awarded Biota Dining? Ok, so Biota isn’t exactly new. In fact, it has been around since 2011 and was doing regional fine dining long before anyone else. Hard to go past their Sunday Long Lunch, a shared style feasting menu, featuring some of the Biota favourites from the past 8 years. From Bowral, the journey back to Sydney is but a short 90 minutes (120kms).