GOURMET BOUNTY AMID THE PIC­TURESQUE LAND­SCAPE OF MUDGEE

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Indulgence -

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).

TOP TA­BLE

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

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