Wednesday, 3 March 2021

WHAT TO DO IN ORANGE IN FOUR DAYS

Hello everybody, how are you?

Last week I was completely off the grid.  My husband and I have been talking for some time now about taking a short break from the daily grind and go away but we couldn't go as we were expecting the arrival of my second grandchild (it's a boy and they named him Theodore 👶😍).  Now that the mother and the baby are settling nicely into their routine with the help of his dad who is on paternity leave for three weeks (this is all new to me, there was no paternity leave when I had my two kids) we thought it would be perfect timing to take off.  And so we did.

While leafing through a travel magazine, I came across an interesting article about a place called Orange and its surroundings.  Apparently, the Orange region is a fruit growing district and produces apples, pears and many stone fruits such as cherries and apricots.  In recent years a large number of vineyards have been planted in the area for the rapidly expanding wine production.  Also known for its excellent local produce and fine dining experience and often referred as the “Food basket of Australia", helped Orange region to gain status as one of Australia’s most prominent and sophisticated food and wine destinations.

I liked what I read, did some research and revealed my findings to my husband who immediately agreed that this is the place worth visiting.  We then spent a couple of hours looking for places to stay, eat and see, making bookings and placing enquiries.

So last Wednesday morning we loaded our bags into our car and drove off towards our new adventure.  Orange is about a three to four hour drive from Sydney depending on the traffic.  Usually, any drive that is longer than three hours sends a shiver down my spine and makes my husband tense in anticipation of my impatience but he didn’t need to worry.  The drive was a delight, with an ever changing landscape on both sides of the road of rolling hills, green valleys, vineyards, cattle and lakes I didn’t have time to feel bored.  

VIEW OVER ORANGE REGION

We arrived in Orange in the late afternoon and checked into the RemingtonHotel which just opened last December but has already earned a reputation for its Whitney restaurant that serves casual food by day and fine dining by night.  The room was spacious and well-appointed and we happily settled in for the next four days.  After a quick dinner we got in the car and drove into city centre just to see what is happening there at night.  To our great surprise, the city centre as well as the neighbouring streets were totally deserted apart from a few random passers-by.  

ON THE TOP OF MOUNT CANOBOLAS

MOUNT CANOBOLAS

It was as unusual to us as we live in such a densely populated throbbing hub which never goes quiet.  But it didn’t upset us in the slightest. On the contrary, it felt nice for a change to walk along the streets without the fear of being bumped by a someone or nearly run over by a bicycle and to have a peaceful sleep uninterrupted by the music blaring from the roaring vehicles driving by, neighbours watching TV on full blast or having a party at two am or Council workers collecting the garbage at 5 am in the morning.

Actually, since COVID forced us into lockdown, I’ve completely changed my view over our life style.  Whereas in the past, I would thrive amidst the noise, crowds and hyper activity happening around me, now I crave for peace and quiet.  Sometimes I even contemplate moving out of Sydney and settling into a small country town but don’t think I am quite ready for it yet.  But I digress. 

MILLTHORPE, ORANGE REGION

WHAT TO DO AND SEE IN ORANGE AND SURROUNDINGS

The next morning, refreshed and re-charged we were ready to explore the area and that we did for the next three days.  The first stop on our itinerary was a charming town called Millthorpe, a picturesque heritage-listed town with cobbled streets and relatively unchanged 19th century buildings.  It also houses an award-winning restaurant called Tonic.  
There is a number of country pubs serving traditional pub grub, boutique shops, art galleries, cellar doors and other attractions that enhance its charm, and highlight Millthorpe’s sophistication and eclectic style.  We had our lunch at Millthorpe Provedore, a local café come grocery store that proudly supports local producers and suppliers, then got into the car and after a short drive arrived at a small colonial village called Blaney and after a quick look around, drove to Corcoran, a similarly cosy and charming village nearby.  
APPLE ORCHID BORRODELL ESTATE

In the following days in no particular order we drove to Borrodell Estate where we had a wine tasting and bought a couple of bottles of Sauvignon Blanc, my favourite wine.  As we took a walk around the grounds, we came across an apple orchid full of ripe delicious apples ready to be picked. 

APPLE ORCHARD BORODELL ESTATE

VEIW FROM BORRODELL ESTATE OVER ORANGE REGION

We had lunch at Agrestic Grocer farm where everything on the menu and on the shelves was locally grown organic produce.

BORRODELL ESTATE

We drove up Mount Canobolas and enjoyed the panorama of the whole Orange region sprawled around us in its full beauty, then drove down to the Lake Conoblas and had a picnic.

LAKE CANOBOLAS

LAKE CANOBOLAS

The proximity of one place of interest to another, there was nothing further than half an hour drive away which gave us ample opportunity to explore the area without wasting too much time in traveling.  Although, I must say we enjoyed driving around the area enjoying the beautiful scenery, clear blue skies, absence of traffic and the hospitality of locals.

LAKE CANOBOLAS

BEST PLACES TO EAT IN ORANGE

During our preliminary research, we came across a list of best local restaurants and went ahead and booked a few. The first booking on our list was dinner at award winning restaurant called Charred Kitchen & Bar, a fine dining establishment with the relaxed atmosphere and seriously delicious food.  Due to COVID, only a tasting menu was available like in the most of the restaurants we have been to, which could be tricky as sometimes not all the dishes on the menu came out at the top of the chef’s game but I needn’t worry as all four dishes were absolutely superb.  Each dish was exquisitely presented and has its own providence, most elements of each dish came either from their own garden or was locally sourced.

The following evening we tried another local gem, Lolli Redini, another hatted restaurant specializing in French cuisine.  Despite winning so many food and wine awards, the food and ambiance were rather underwhelming, although their most popular double baked cheese soufflé was superb. 

Last but not least on our list (pun not intended) was a restaurant called Schoolhouse. Its occupies a gorgeous old building previously own by Union Bank, featuring tall paned windows, high ceilings, old fireplaces, timber floors and black and white tiles.  When the waiter brought us some complimentary bread cooked in-house using the flour from the local mill with miso butter, we were sold.  The rest of the meal was as scrumptious, the staff polite, knowledgeable and very attentive without being too familiar.  We couldn’t fault it.  We were so happy that we came here on our last night in Orange, it was a perfect way to end up our perfect sojourn.

The next morning, we packed, paid the bill and came back to reality.

Hope you enjoyed reading this article.  Please free to ask me any questions, your comments are always welcome.

Cheers,

Anna

 













































14 comments:

  1. That is wonderful. I love to go away for a few days just the two of us! Isn't it just so relaxing!

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    1. Absolutely, I think it's very important to have some quality time together without the interruption of day to day routine

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  2. I have vacation envy! While the US isn’t locked down like the UK (although we should be), it’s just not wise to travel. You were in some beautiful country! Sounds like a lovely time. I love your black and white striped capris.

    Michelle
    https://mybijoulifeonline.com,

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    Replies
    1. thank you Michelle, I can fully understand how frustrating it could be not be able to move freely but we were extremely careful when the restrictions were more strict.

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  3. Orange looks amazing Thanks for the guide darling Love all your outfits too Cris

    http://www.photosbycris.com.au/?p=13323

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  4. It sounds like a perfect getaway. We are going to a Goddaughter's wedding this weekend and plan to visit a historic site on the way. I am quite looking forward to that outing. We have a week vacation booked in April and will be exploring a state we haven't. Beautiful hikes and rock formations...
    www.chezmireillefashiontravelmom.com

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Mireille, I am sure you have a wonderful time connecting to nature and sharing new experiences

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  5. What a nice getaway! It sounds like you had a really good time there and I like that white dress you wore for dinner on the last day! :)

    Hope you had a good weekend :)

    Away From The Blue

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  6. Thank you Mica, it was truly lovely, we didn't expect it would be that good :). Wouldn't mind to go there again :)

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  7. It looks really quiet and peaceful Anna. Beautiful scenery xx

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  8. Nice place to relax Anna! You look wonderful!
    Happy Women's Day!
    xoxo

    marisasclosetblog.com

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  9. Such a beautiful, tranquil place with amazing views. I love your white dress!

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  10. What a fabulous getaway, Anna! These photos are so beautiful. I really like all of your outfits, too, most especially your striped cropped trousers and white top. I am like you and have been craving peace and quiet as well. Congratulations on the arrival of Theodore! That is super exciting news and such a wonderful blessings during these trying times. Thanks for linking!

    Shelbee
    www.shelbeeontheedge.com

    ReplyDelete