Tag Archive | Food

Easter happiness on the Goldfields

Come celebrate Easter with us, there’s so much to see and do.

Harcourt has it

Get in on the hunt

Join in on the annual Easter Egg Hunt put on by the Harcourt Progress Association and enjoy a day filled with live music, craft activities and age based egg hunts.

Wear your very best bunny ears for the chance to win tickets to see Peter Rabbit the movie this Easter at Castlemaine’s Theatre Royal.

Normally in the Oak Forest, this year the event will be held in the lush green parkland surrounding Harcourt’s Goldfields Track Café (who’ll be serving hot cross buns and Easter donuts!). With all the extra visitors to the new mountain bike park the association has decided to take a bit more time before conducting large events in the vicinity of the park.

Book now at www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=367305&

Try our new world-class mountain bike park

Harcourt Mountain Bike Park Image: Castlemaine Rocky Riders

Easter is the perfect time to explore the new Harcourt Mountain Bike Park. La Larr Ba Gauwa opened on Labour Day and features 34kms of trails featuring stunning views and making the most of the natural features.

There are trails for all skill levels from a gentle loop for beginners right through to technically challenging rides for the most experienced riders.

www.forestsandreserves.vic.gov.au/initiatives/harcourt-mountain-bike-park

Enjoy the best in local food and wine

Head out to the Harcourt Valley Easter Festival at the Harcourt Valley Vineyard for fantastic local food, wine, beer, cider and cocktails in the sunshine with live music all day and children’s entertainment including an Easter Treasure Hunt.

Exhibitors include Boomtown Winemakers Cooperative, Sutton Grange Winery, Shed Shaker Brewing and Burnt Acre Vineyard, with food from Pizza de Wheels, Lady Sultan Turkish, Ice Cream Social and more.

Tickets on sale www.trybooking.com/UEEO

Don’t want to drive? No problem. Shuttle buses will run from Castlemaine Railway Station to event all day.

Maldon celebrates its 141st Easter Fair

The parade at the Maldon Easter Fair Image: Maldon Easter Fair

The Maldon Easter Fair started in 1877 making it one of the oldest in Australia and it’s still going strong. A special Easter tradition for locals and visitors alike, the Fair runs from 30 March to 1 April culminating in the fabulous Easter Parade on Easter Sunday with an Aussie egg toss and Chinese Lion dancers.

Enter the scone baking competition, enjoy the torchlight procession, pick up a treat at the Easter market, try your hand at the hole in one competition at the golf course ($2,000 first prize!) or visit the quilt show. The Vintage Engine Rally is an annual highlight featuring a variety of old, antique and very rare working machinery from the horse drawn and steam eras.

For more information visit www.facebook.com/maldoneasterfair

Waller Realty has been a sponsor of the Maldon Easter Fair for the last 25 years and is pleased to be able to support this wonderful community event.

Advertisements

A night under the stars in historic Maldon

Main Street Maldon will be transformed into an open air theatre and restaurant

Enjoy the magical atmosphere this weekend at Maldon’s highlight event of the year, the Maldon Twilight Dinner.

For one night only tables will line iconic Main Street Maldon, declared Australia’s first Notable Town by the National Trust in 1965, transforming the streetscape and creating an utterly unique visual spectacle.

Share fabulous food from local providers, wine from the region and enjoy wonderful entertainment from international duo Pavarotti and the Diva and the Beatles Show Band, Rubbersoul.

Now in its 13th year, the Maldon Twilight Dinner started as a way to showcase Maldon’s cafes and producers and was originally called Tastes of Gold. Now three times the size, the dinner draws crowds from the local community and interstate.

“This year we’re bringing back the idea of showcasing local producers by providing hampers as part of the ticket price,” says Pamela Jewson, Secretary Maldon Eat Drink Events Inc.

“They’ll be packed with local delicacies including baguettes from LeSel, Harcourt cherries, chocolates from the Maldon Lolly Shop, cheese from Goldfields Farmhouse Cheese, southern fried free range chicken, beef and salads from the Spotted Cow, Miss Pritchards Pantry and The Gold Exchange Café. ”

The Twilight Dinner is historically a sell-out event but spectator tickets are still available so you don’t have to miss out on the atmosphere and entertainment. Why not book a table and have dinner at one of the town’s many restaurants, pubs and cafes?

The Maldon Twilight Dinner is on this Saturday 13 January. For more information, event tickets, or, for something extra special, a ticket to get there in style on the Victorian Goldfields Railway, call 0417 150 709.

Summer in the Goldfields: our top picks

We’re on holidays this week, spending time with friends and family and having a rest after a busy year. While we all like to travel we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to things to do over the summer right here at home.

Here are some of the ways we like to relax, cool off and have fun when we’re not busy selling houses!

On the water

Lake Cairn Curran is a great place to swim, fish, ski and sail. Image: Cairn Curran Sailing Club

Golden Point Reservoir is one of the most picturesque spots in the district (if you watched the ABC series Glitch you might just recognise this little beauty). Built in 1868 it’s a spot loved by locals for swimming, fishing, canoeing, walking, picnicking and just general lazing around and relaxing.

Turpins Falls is a little further from Castlemaine, a little trickier to access, but this deep pool with high rock wall sides is another favourite. It’s one of several waterfalls along the Campaspe River and when the falls are running there’s a great view from the lookout.

We’ve been enjoying summers on Lake Cairn Curran for generations. It’s home to the Cairn Curran Sailing Club and a super spot for water skiing, jet skiing, fishing (Golden Perch, Brown Trout, Murray Cod and Redfin) and swimming. On a balmy summer night there are few betters spots for fish and chips or a BBQ.

Like to spend your summer’s poolside? We have four Council-owned outdoor swimming pools located in Castlemaine, Harcourt, Maldon and Newstead and they’re open from December to March. Chewton also has a much-loved community-run pool open for the season.

Sharing great food and drinks

The newly re-opened Bridge Hotel in Castlemaine is a great place to spend a sunny afternoon. Image: The Bridge Hotel Castlemaine

Our many, award-winning wineries are great places to while away a summer afternoon, especially when visitors drop by. Sutton Grange, Harcourt Valley, Bress, Guildford, pick your favourite or make a weekend of it and see them all. Many also serve great food.

Summer picnics are popular, especially when there are kids around. We like to walk up Mount Alexander and enjoy a picnic with a view, settle under a tree in the Oak Forest at Harcourt or even just find a shady spot in the Botanical Gardens in Castlemaine or Maldon.

Speaking of food, there are a few new local places we’re all pretty keen to try while we have some down time. The new Ice Cream Social ice cream parlour in Castlemaine and the recently re-opened Bridge Hotel in Castlemaine and Red Hill Hotel in Chewton are high on the list.

Hopefully there’s a little inspiration here for you if you’re headed our way these holidays, but whatever you do and wherever you go we hope it’s happy, relaxing and safe. See you in 2018!

Spring is on the menu in Castlemaine

Shake off winter and celebrate the abundance of the season at some of Castlemaine’s best (and newest) eateries.

Theatre Royal Castlemaine

The longest operating theatre on the mainland, the Theatre Royal recently opened their new restaurant, Bistro Lola, to complement their existing Espresso Bar.

Head chef Sarah Curwen-Walker describes Spring food as fresh and colourful. “Everything is lighter, brighter and more fragrant.”

A Spring menu must is the pan fried gnocchi with fresh spring vegetables like broad beans, peas, asparagus and the spectacular romanesco cauliflower and served with fresh horseradish, mint, mascarpone and garnished with beautiful pink and purple pea blossoms.

Freshness is key at this time of year so Sarah suggests making the most of our wonderful farmers markets and buying ingredients straight from the source.

Visit this Spring for pizza and wine specials, new films and exciting live music. Follow them on Instagram @bistrolola @theatreroyalcastlemaine on Facebook @theatreroyalcastlemaine or call 03 5472 1196.

Bress Wine, Cider & Produce

Crafting fine wines, ciders and produce using biodynamic practices, Bress welcome Spring each year with the re-opening of the Bress Kitchen.

Founder and Head Wine and Cider Maker, Adam Marks, describes Spring food as fresh and life affirming.

Broad beans are a favourite ingredient. Delicious raw, lightly blanched or cooked in the pod and a perfect match for another Spring staple, the Bress Kitchen overnight wood fire roasted 2 tooth lamb shoulder, which is served on a bed of broad beans sautéed in the lamb jus.

“I love lamb and with all the fresh grass about Spring lamb, and particularly 2-tooth lamb, has great flavour,” says Adam.

Join Adam for lunch on the last weekend of each month from October, starting with their fabulous spit roasted pork.

Follow them on Instagram @bresswinecider on Facebook @bresswinecider or call 03 5474 2262.

Fig Cafe

Each day the enticing display cabinet at Fig is filled with mouth watering, freshly baked cakes and pastries, platters laden with salads of seasonal vegetables and grains, and savoury delights.

Fresh is everything and the influences are broad, reflective of modern eating. Julia Bandelli, who co-owns the business with her mother Victoria Falconer, says as the season changes their menu moves away from roasted dishes to lighter foods like salads and raw foods.

The edame tartine, a charred sourdough base topped with vibrant green Japanese peas and drizzled with fresh olive oil screams Spring and raw or lightly pickled vegetable like zucchini and cauliflower deliver great flavour and texture.

“With the start of Spring comes the promise of delicious things like tomatoes, basil and stone fruit,” says Julia. “That’s the great thing about seasonal eating.”

Follow them on Instagram @figcastlemaine on Facebook @figcastlemaine or call 03 5472 5311.

 

Togs Place & Mulberrys Delicatessen

Known for great coffee and homemade food Togs Place is a family-friendly café with a roof top deck that’s one of the best spots in town on a sunny Spring morning.

The menu changes daily and in Spring it’s out with casseroles and in with dishes like pasta prima vera, light Spring minestrone soup and zingy Vietnamese chicken salad.

Next door is Mulberrys Delicatessen, stocking Australian and European cheeses, meats, house made products like chutneys and biscuits and eclectic gifts.

Manager Cas Davey’s pick for Spring is local soft goat cheese from small producers like Holy Goat in Sutton Grange.

“The goats have just kidded so the milk is abundant, sweet and light and this makes for a really delicious cheese,” she says. “Try pairing it with our smoked Harris Gravlax and New Zealand Oat Crackers for your next Spring party.”

Follow them on Instagram @mulberrysdeli on Facebook @togsplacecafe call Togs Place on 5470 5490 or Mulberrys on 5472 1652.

Cadillac Shack

Spring has brought a new American-inspired family-friendly eatery to Castlemaine. Cadillac Shack is the vision of Castlemaine locals, Graeme and Gilda Ayerst, who have transformed the Mostyn Street premises into a 100-seat diner.

Featuring burgers, ribs, fries, salads, sundaes, shakes and a range of freak-shakes (extreme milk shakes) as well as a more extensive international menu. The range of burgers on the menu was voted the best in Melbourne by The Age Good Food Guide 2014/15.

“One of our business partners runs a very successful restaurant in outer Melbourne and their award-winning burger range has been included on our menu,” says Graeme.

We can’t wait to try.

Follow them on Instagram @cadillac_shack on Facebook @cadillacshack or call 03 5416 1486.

 

Part of the Phamily

Sisters Nhung and Lani in their restaurant, Phamily Kitchen, Castlemaine. Image @lynchmobmedia

It has been a year since sisters Nhung and Lani Pham (the Pham in Phamily Kitchen) opened their own little slice of Vietnam in the heart of Castlemaine and we couldn’t be happier to help them celebrate.

The sisters describe their food as home-style. These are the dishes they grew up eating, but with their own twist, and Phamily Kitchen has wound its way into the hearts of Castlemaine locals and visitors.

The menu is focused on seasonal eating. Lunch is all about quick, fresh options for people with limited time. Dinner is more relaxed, encouraging sharing, talking and lingering over many delicious communal plates.

“Our passion for food is reflected in our dishes which are tasty, fresh and flavoursome but still traditional,” says Nhung.

Both sisters had careers in finance, brief for Lani, longer for Nhung, but they shared a vision of opening their own restaurant.

“We just had to find the right time and the right town,” says Lani who manages the kitchen after years honing her skills in restaurants in Melbourne’s north.

Once they decided on Castlemaine it took them six months to find the perfect location. When Narelle Waller of Waller Realty showed them an unassuming little shop on Barker Street they say they knew it was the one.

“We had debated whether to buy an established business or take a leap of faith and completely fit out a place ourselves,” says Nhung. “Once we saw this space we knew straight away this was it.”

It’s not hard to understand why. Towering ceilings wrapped in centuries old pressed tin reveal the building’s ancient past but the new fit out is totally contemporary. Long banquet seating is just made for cosy conversations over dinner and a collection of intricately woven light fittings of odd sizes, shapes and heights bob above diner’s heads, reminiscent of traditional fishing baskets. A delicate mural painted by an artist friend depicts scenes of rural Vietnamese life.

Ask them about their favourite menu items and Lani picks the classic beef noodle soup, especially over the colder months. From the seasonal menu, a kolrabi and beef salad takes both women back to their youth in Perth. Kolrabi is popular in Vietnamese cooking and for the Pham girls growing up, there was no escaping it in winter.

“Dad was an avid vegetable grower,” says Nhung. “We didn’t grow up with traditional lawn to play on it was just garden beds and in winter half the garden was Kolrabi!”

For Nhung it’s the braised pork.

“My Dad loved having braised pork with rice and stir-fried vegetables so for me this is total comfort food.”

The sisters are thrilled Castlemaine has embraced their concept and welcomed them so warmly.

“We’re just ecstatic and so grateful for the way the town has taken us in,” says Lani.

Phamily Kitchen is open Tuesday – Saturday for lunch and dinner. Call them on 03 5470 6051 for bookings. You’ll also find them on Facebook or at www.phamilykitchencastlemaine.com.au

A Very Castlemaine and Maldon Christmas

castlemaine christmas

Whether you’re looking for handmade gifts, someone to cook your Christmas lunch or a spot to share some carols with friends and family, our region has it all.

Shop local and handmade

The Castlemaine Artists Market showcases over 40 established and emerging local artists, designers and craftspeople. At this year’s annual Twilight Market on Friday 16 December they’ll be joined by the Castlemaine Farmers’ Market so you can shop for presents and produce from over 100 stalls. While you’re there enjoy some great food, cool tunes, a craft workshop or even a cocktail!

Light up the night

Each night, as the sun sets, we put on a show. Local homes and businesses are transformed by everything that twinkles, glitters and glows. Bundle the kids in the car and take a tour. You’ll find maps in the Castlemaine Mail and Tarrangower Times.

Carol under the stars

Gathering with friends and family and a picnic dinner for carols under about a billion stars is the stuff Christmas memories are made of round here.

You’ll find the Maldon Carols by Candlelight in the Shire Gardens on Saturday 17 December where you’ll hear the Maldon Brass Band and other local artists thanks to the Maldon Lions Club. Castlemaine Carols by Candlelight is the work of Rotary Castlemaine with musical theatre company Three’s A Crowd, the Thompson’s Foundry Band and plenty of other local talent in Victory Park on Wednesday 21 December.

Celebrate with food and music

Whether you’re after something kid friendly or a night out with friends we’ve got you covered.

Take someone special for a meal at the Public Inn, housed in Castlemaine’s Old Fire Station, before the Christmas rush. Sample a local craft beer or cider at The Taproom at The Mill, Castlemaine’s recently transformed historic woollen mill. Or grab some friends and celebrate the return of the Criterion Hotel Castlemaine’s famous Christmas Eve Party.

Want a year off cooking the Christmas lunch? Locals, The Bridge Hotel (who recently won Best Regional Venue at The Age Music Victoria Awards – congrats!) and The Five Flags Hotel Campbells Creek are both open with delicious set menus sure to make your day a happy one.

Be part of a country Christmas tradition

Thought Santa only travelled by sleigh? Think again. In Castlemaine and surrounding towns the man in red delivers lollies and icy poles to excited kids from the back of a ute on Christmas morning.

It’s a tradition that started nearly 80 years ago when the Castlemaine Apex Club would deliver food hampers to families in need. It continues today thanks to the dedication of the Castlemaine Past Apexians and it’s a special part of our Christmas morning that’s loved by everyone regardless of age.

Whatever you do this Christmas we hope it’s a safe and happy one for you and your loved ones, from everyone at Waller Realty.