Yesterday York and I headed to Barossa Valley – one of the most famous and oldest wine region in Australia for a “gourmet food trip”. Mainly because I was a bit disappointed that we missed out the Barossa Gourmet Weekend that happened last week, it coincided with our mini getaway to Melbourne. After finding out that I missed out one of the major events in South Australia (obviously made a huge fuss), I think York noted down all the major events for next year so I won’t miss out on anything in the future 😛
Our first stop was Lyndoch Hill near the town Lyndoch. I have seen the beautiful Barossa Chateau on Groupon deals for the art gallery tour and lunch & wine tasting session. However since York has already booked lunch for us, we decided to drop by just to take a look. Lyndoch Hill and Barossa Chateau shares the same botanic garden. In particular the rose garden in front of the château itself was opened by Queen Elizabeth II back in 2002. Inside the Barossa Chateau there is one of the largest collections of porcelain that you will ever find in Australia. There is a tour at 11 am everyday for the art gallery.
Lyndoch Hill itself operates like a hotel as well, where they provide accommodation for guests visiting the area. I loved the appearance of Lyndoch Hill Restaurant, it looks very contemporary. Unfortunately they are only open for breakfast and dinner. The place produces their own wine called “creed wines”. People can do wine tastings in the Chateau itself. This place is about 1km from the actual town- Lyndoch.
We then took a short drive to Lyndoch, the lunch was booked at 1 pm. I was already starving by then since we didn’t have breakfast. York recommended Lyndoch German Bakery and said it is one of the best bakeries in Barossa. We got a loaf of bread from the bakery. They didn’t have rye bread, had to go for the next best option wholemeal. Luckily they do slice their breads for their customers. I hate some gourmet bakeries how they don’t cut their breads for customers, since it keeps the bread “fresher”. Seriously, my bread knife cutting skill sucks, they all ended up looking dog chewed.
They have a huge selection of pies, we ordered a “Barossa” pie and a “Steak & Shiraz” pie. The “Barossa pie” pretty much was cheese and mince. I asked York why is the pie called Barossa pie, he said Barossa is famous for cheese as well. I like my steak and shiraz pie, however after finishing off the pie I started worrying about whether I have room left for lunch.
Before we head to Tanunda for lunch, York took me to one of the famous attraction here in Barossa Valley- The Whispering Wall at Barossa Valley Reservoir. It was completed in 1902, the first arch dam in South Australia and the highest in Australia.
It has acoustic properties where sounds at one end of the dam can be heard clearly at the other end. This is because the dam is curved and the sound waves reflect obliquely off the wall and travels 140 metres to the other end. To demonstrate this, York ran to the other end and started having a conversation with me…It was interesting to see something you usually see in a science museum comes to live.
After a long morning we have finally made it to our lunch place 1918 Bistro & Grill (Barossa Valley, South Australia). I have written a detailed food review about this place. Please click on the link to read further. The desserts were seriously to die for. I totally regretted having that pie! While in the restaurant, I saw a picture of Chateau Tanunda. Apparently it is only 10 minutes walk away, which is perfect for an after lunch stroll!
The Chateau Tanunda is quite beautiful and grand. The lawns were nicely trimmed, and the staffs were very friendly. After we finished taking couple photos using the timer on my camera, a man came and said Hi, offered to show us the ballroom area where they use for weddings and conferences! He then took us to the main cellar doors for wine tastings. Apparently he packages the wines here and has only been here for 10 months. He loves his job though!
We didn’t do much tastings here, I was too excited about this place. It reminded me of the Queen of Heart’s croquet ground from Alice in Wonderland. I could so imagine live flamingos used as mallets and hedgehogs as balls! This was when I started to have sudden cravings for cheese. York wasn’t sure where to take me for cheese, so he drove us to a safer option – Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop.
This place is like a must-go for every wine, food, tourism group visiting the Barossa region. I think this is because Maggie Beer is famous for her recipes and shows. However judging from the reviews, the food seemed average. It felt very commercialized with lots of tastings for jams, sauces, dried fruits. York said you can buy her pates from supermarkets too. I went in and tried all the jams, which I think were average, so I left without trying to find cheese. I think this place is more for tourists so they can look over the dam and watch turtles.
Since I was still craving for cheese, York googled on the spot and found a place called Barossa Valley Cheese Company at a town called Angaston. The shop was small but was packed when we arrived there at 4.10pm. Since the store closes at 5pm, we decided not to get a cheese platter, instead we bought some cheese home. I didn’t quite like the cheese we tried but I was quite interested at the “lemon & oregano halloumi” and “mint halloumi & grilled zucchini”. Apparently the original Greek halloumi were made with mint. York wasn’t very keen on buying the mint halloumi, but I got one anyway 🙂
By the time we finished buying the cheeses, it was almost 5 pm. According to York, it was a failed day trip to Barossa since we didn’t end up going to any famous wineries in the region, such as Penfolds, Jacob’s Creek, Wolf Blass, etc. “Who comes to Barossa and not go to any wineries?!” he was pretty disappointed that I screwed up his planning. However I think that we live in South Australia and Barossa is only 60 km from CBD, we can always come back (although to people in Adelaide, this is like a huge number!). I was pretty happy with my new loaf of wholemeal bread for this week’s breakfast and trying a different flavored halloumi cheese. Hopefully York will still take me back next time and do a proper Barossa day trip.
PS. 中文版本請看這邊 酒莊沒去成的Barossa Valley酒莊食物之旅
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