A Weekend In Bowral

Leave a comment
Drinking & Dining, Travel & Outdoors

With its amazing food and wine, cool little boutiques, and stunning landscape, it doesn’t get much better than the Southern Highlands for a weekend winter mini-break. Armed with my bestie and a sensible winter coat, the number one priority on our first pleasingly chilly Bowral morning was coffee and breakfast at The Press Shop, a gorgeous light-filled space adjoining a lovely stationery shop and print studio. The latter is chock-full of gorgeous wrapping paper, cards, ribbon, as well as beautiful ceramics, homewares, and old-school letterpress gear like wax seals and hand-embossers. Back in the café, the concise breakfast menu focuses on all things fresh, wholesome, and filling, the winner being the Breakfast Plate of sourdough, hummus, nuts, figs, quinoa, eggs, and prosciutto.

IMG_0040

IMG_0020.jpg

IMG_0009

IMG_0006

IMG_0007

IMG_0010

IMG_0013

IMG_0014

IMG_0016

IMG_0017

Just next door is Green Lane, a leafy open space housing some great little shops and restaurants that are all about greenery, good produce, and recycled treasures – there’s a wine bar, a casual take-away eatery, an indoor plant and homewares store, an outdoor nursery, and an incredibly vast and endlessly interesting antique and gift shop. The latter, Dirty Janes, is the kind of place you can while away hours, pouring over room after room of retro kitchenware, vintage clothing and jewellery, as well as beautiful modern furniture, ceramics, and homewares.

IMG_0075

IMG_0025.jpg

IMG_0026

IMG_0027

IMG_0028

IMG_0029

IMG_0081.JPG

IMG_0033

After a solid morning of coffee-sampling and boutique-perusing, it’s all about getting back to nature and with Mt Gibraltar right on Bowral’s doorstep, it’s easy-as. A lovely walk through town, over the river, and up Ellen Street plops you at the start of one of the mountain’s short but steep walking tracks, this one climbing a series of stone steps all the way to the summit. A ring-road links three separate lookouts, looking south across Bowral, west all the way to the Blue Mountains, and north to Mittagong and beyond.

IMG_0041

IMG_0043.jpg

IMG_0049

IMG_0052

IMG_0053

IMG_0057

IMG_0061

IMG_0063.jpg

Back in town, Biota Dining is where it’s at for dinner. This two-hatted restaurant focuses keeps things well within Bowral’s general theme by offering local wines and produce (a lot of the menu is grown on-site), in an earnest but surprisingly unpretentious way. The service is top-notch too, with genuinely lovely staff who make the whole meal pleasingly chilled out, despite the dark and moody fine-dining vibe. We picked a culinarily unfortunate day to visit, the kitchen being sold out of the much-hyped slow-roasted lamb with figs, and the squid, and the kangaroo, so settled instead for a bunch of dishes from their lounge menu – duck patê with spent fruit jam and native pepper lavosh bread, smoked globe artichokes with cultured cream and seaweed, roast pumpkin with cured pork and wild plants, a garden-fresh pea and mint salad, finishing up with whipped butter chocolate with plum sorbet and cacao praline. The patê and whipped chocolate were definite standouts, but the whole meal, paired with a local Tempranillo, was both genius and memorable in equal measure – a perfect cherry on top of a most excellent weekend out of town.

IMG_0064.jpg

IMG_8761.jpg

IMG_0078

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s