Well, the Southern Highlands of NSW might not strictly be called the country I guess – but they are definitely NOT the city.
For Christmas, BookWorm organised her brothers, her grandparents and even one of her close friends into giving us a weekend away in Bowral, including accommodation and a market tour and lunch on the Sunday. It was an extraordinarily generous gift and I am very grateful to everyone who was involved in organising and paying for it.
We stayed at a lovely little studio called Little Gem in a suburban Bowral backyard, that was transformed out of the ordinary by kind and friendly hosts, quirky and wonderful decor and access to a beautiful walled garden that included vegetables, herbs, roses and more.
On the Sunday we ate a spectacular lunch at Biota Dining – I could attempt to describe it from memory, but you will get a much better idea by hopping on over to Not Quite Nigella. The coffee photo in the collage above is from the courtyard outside the restaurant as we were a bit early. Our Biota day included a tour of the monthly Biota market, conducted by Jill from FoodPath tours. Now, we have been to quite a few farmers and produce markets and we love them, but there was something to be said for going around the market with someone who knows all the stall holders, can talk to us about their background and introduces us to them. It was a very nice way to spend time wandering around a market that was admittedly quite small on the weekend we visited.
The other part of our weekend was spent with a walk in the Morton National Park at Bundanoon, where we battled late morning fog to attempt to get a glimpse of the spectacular views from Bonnie View after a short walk through beautiful, whisper quiet bush.
We had a wonderful afternoon at historic Joadja, learning about the kerosene shale mining from the early 20th Century and spending time with the friendly and hospitable new owners of the property, who are about to launch into a whiskey distillery on the property. If you are interested in early NSW history and willing to travel down a pretty rough road to get there, this is a fabulous day out.