Tag Archive | Winery

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!

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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.