GOURMET BOUNTY AMID THE PICTURESQUE LANDSCAPE OF MUDGEE
STAYING IN TOWN
Mudgee Homestead Guesthouse, 3 Coorumbene Court: A rambling, veranda-wrapped Queenslanderstyle guesthouse, with the look of a colonial estate and the comfort of the modern world, has luxuriously quiet guestrooms opening on to the upstairs wooden veranda. Common areas such as the dining room gleam with dark wood and mirrors. Detail is discreet and elegant. Sumptuous cooked breakfasts involve delights such as french toast and brandied fruits, smoked salmon, frittatas and souffles. Two-night weekend package: $625 a double (breakfasts, Saturday dinner and more). Midweek: $195 a night, double. More: www.mudgeehomestead.com.au. Kurrara Cottages Retreat, Henry Lawson Drive: Has self-contained one and two-bedroom terraced cottages with private entrances, each with its own sunken-spa room, deeply comfortable beds, sitting rooms with flat-screen televisions and gas fires, and private verandas overlooking the wide valley view. Self-cook breakfast supplies include eggs and thick country bacon. Three-night weekend escape packages for two, Friday-Saturday, include one-hour in-cottage massages for both guests, $995. More: www.kurrara.com.au.
PICK OF THE CROP
Hodges Butchery (shops 8-9, Town Centre, via Best & Less): With six generations of specialist butchering behind it, Hodges has recruited deli specialist Gavin Tidbury to stock up on a selective range of cheeses and AC Butchery smallgoods (the Sydney butchery’s farm is at nearby Rylstone), supplying restaurants and discerning locals. From Mudgee Gourmet@ Heart of Mudgee, corner Short and Court streets: Premium Dry Roast Hazelnuts from producer and propagator Mudgee Gourmet Hazelnuts (www.nutsforlife.com.au; it supplies Sydney’s Bistro Moncur, having been discovered by chef and nut enthusiast Brendon Jones); Angela’s Edibles Beetroot Relish, made of local Gulgong beetroot, balsamic and spices; The Grape Alternative Cabernet & Cracked Pepper Wine Jelly, spoonable for use with meats or cheese, intense with wine and pepper, and containing no preservatives (www.mudgeegourmet.com.au). And, from Mainly Mudgee, 78 Church St: Teange Honey (pure raw honey, unheated to retain those vital nutrients, and bottled in glass).
The Wineglass Bar & Grill, in what used to be the stables at boutique hotel Cobb & Co Court, 97 Market St. Chef-owner Scott Tracey has worked in Sydney as Tony Bilson’s sous chef and with Neil Perry. There are entree tasting plates (a tiny tart with cube of roast duck, seared scallop with pickled Szechuan shiitake mushroom, for example). Our favourite main is roasted chicken with braised baby leeks and a white wine and buttered mushroom sauce. There is also slow-roasted lamb, snapper wrapped in prosciutto, risotto of duck confit with roast beetroot, and intense desserts.
Colonial comfort: Mudgee Homestead Guesthouse