“Violet Crumble should just stop,” I mutter through an earth-shattering mouthful of Leatherwood Honeycomb ($3). I’ve just visited Penelope Ransley’s Norton Street bakery and I’m hooked. So is her Mum, who when pressed for her favourite declares: “Whatever I have in my hand! Okay, peanut butter jelly cups but I'm turning to the salted caramel."
Just before Xmas I took in the Moss Vale Farmers’ and Flea Market in the spacious surrounds of Moss Vale Showground in the Southern Highlands. It’s a not-for-profit market, with a focus on producers and growers from the local district. My favourite stall had to be Beefalicious who raise Ausline and Lowline cattle in neighbouring Suttons Forest. Their beef is grass-fed, tender, fine-grained and juicy; and they make a mean snag-on-a-stick too – the wild mushroom and garlic were a particular favourite. You’ll also find Pepe Saya’s excellent butter and a range of local truffle products at their stall. Other market must-haves include
Summer is here which means one thing: lazy brunches. Now I’ve heard the name Sonoma buzzing around for several years, but not having had one cross my path, I put it down as sandwiches for the elite. (I mean the name sounds like a school for alternative learning.) But after checking out their latest café in Woollahra I realised just how humble their origins are – it's a family business with its roots in small town NSW. Yes, the business is bread, but it’s what they do with it (to quote The Castle).
A Weekend in the Mountains
After the success of my recent weekend in wine country, I set off in search of another foodie adventure within an easy drive of Sydney. My destination was Lilianfels, a picturesque Blue Mountains retreat, about an hour and half drive from the CBD. Well unless you make the same mistake I did, and leave straight after work on Friday afternoon…
The Pie Tin
The pie’s practically an Aussie icon, and we’ve all got our favourite spot. This one’s clearly on the way to becoming part of the fabric of the new Newtown. It’s set in an airy refit of a modest 1912 Federation warehouse, historically framed on a plaque by the door.
Bondi’s Heartfelt Organics
“I found the community spirit in Bondi to be absolutely rocking,” says an impassioned Ben Soutter. “Here on Bondi Road you’ve got soul, and integrity and community; at B.J. Westfield, you just don’t.” Ben owns Katipo Café on Bondi Road, where I’ve arrived for a chat about Bondi’s organics food.
Glass Brasserie *UPDATED*
When your marriage is at the point where choosing a weekend brunch café morphs into a fight, pack yourselves into a cab and come here. Drive in from Pitt Street to ensure a man in a uniform opens your door - somehow it’s transformative. As you enter the elegant glass surrounds of Luke Mangan’s Hilton enclave, collect a newspaper to avoid further conversation.
The Hungry Traveller
My day just wouldn’t be complete without a coffee. Left to my own devices; I’d probably punctuate most days with my favourite cup (yes, it’s still The Golden Cobra). Like most of you I'm sure, I often find myself time poor. If you’re running late for an interstate date, spring for a cup at the new satellite branch of Toby’s Estate at the T2 Domestic Sydney Airport.