When approached by friends to plan for a surprise birthday trip there, I did mentally wrinkle up my nose, but because I knew I could trust these guys' taste (they know which foods and wine are generally to die for), I decided to throw caution to the wind and go along to see.
We all drove up to Poacher's pantry as the meeting point and also to 'surprise' the birthday boy who was expecting to spend just a romantic brunch with his newly wed wife. Tip for other wives planning similar bonanzas, if your husband is really clued on then, this is no easy feat to pull off. We didn't realy surprise the Birthday boy at all, other than with how good the menu was at Poacher's.
|Clockwise from top: Beautiful peony roses; The Dingy you are welcome to take out on the lake; The four guestrooms; Lakeview from the rooms|
|Marinated Prawn & Buffalo Milk Mozzarella/ cherry tomato & fresh basil|
|Roasted Red Snapper Fillet / roquette, cherry tomato, confit lemon, kipfler potato|
Having feasted on such divine seafood creations, we didn't have room for anymore big meals but was greedy to try more wines. Tis was the reason we were drawn to make the trip to the real cellar door for Capital Wines. This was actually located behind The Royal Hotel on Cork Street in Gundaroo. The Grazing restaurant looks really refined and if I could have a meal there I would (perhaps next time). They boast of an impressive kitchen garden out the back, and they kid you not:
On Capital Wines, one must give the tongue-in-cheek Minister series a go. I loved the easy to drink Foreign Minister which was a light sangiovese with refreshing berry flavours.
I must say that we actually parted ways after Shaw Vineyard with another team setting out to amass local produce for grazing in lieu of dinner. They remained in Murrumbateman and visited Gallagher's cheeses and Robyn Rowe's Chocolates as well as Homeleigh Grove Olives. Between them and our find of the delectable Brasserie Freshly bakes Ciabatta breads and imported Ossau Iraty sheep's milk cheese available for purchase at Capital's cellar door, we were able to assemble a rather gourmet assortment for the night:
The next morning, we woke up Bright and early and hit Helm Wines as soon as we had breakfasted, cleaned and checked out. I was really impressed with their Museum Chardonnay which was released for the Queen's Birthday long weekend and just a buttery drink that needs no accompaniment.
|Left to right, Top to bottom: Lerida Cafe's Specials menu, Their wine tastings setup, The East facing vineyard, Mr.HEA's Beef Onion and Tomato pie, Terrine of the Day.|