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18

| BNE March/April 2017

ESCAPE

A

nyone arriving in the New

South Wales country town of

Orange expecting to see oranges

might be sorely disappointed for, in spite of

its name and its reputation as a food bowl for

the state, oranges are not actually grown in the

area. It’s a misconception common enough

that there’s a long-running joke among locals

that “Orange grows great apples”, and its cool

climate does indeed make it a thriving producer

of stone fruits such as cherries, peaches, apricots,

plums and apples as well as berries, vegetables,

nuts and wines.

Food and wine has become such a drawcard

there are now three annual festivals that celebrate

it – from Food Week in April and the Apple

Festival in May to the Orange Wine Festival in

October – all just a two-hour flight direct from

Brisbane with the launch of new services by

regional airline Fly Corporate.

With flights departing on a Friday morning

a short break can be timed to coincide with the

Farmer’s Market held on the second Saturday of

every month, a perfect introduction to the local

produce and a chance to meet the local farmers.

Nine new cafés have opened in Orange in

the past 12 months alone to bring the total

to 56 – that’s a lot of cafes for a town of only

40,000 people! For out-of-towners like us the

good news is a lot of the best cafes, restaurants

A short break to explore the foodie highlights of

Orange is easier with the launch of new flights from

Brisbane, writes

Sarah Shrapnel

and bars are within walking distance in central

Orange and rental cars are available to explore

further afield. There are also half day or full day

tasting trips with Orange Wine Tours for a fun

yet informative tour of the region’s wineries.

I’ve been travelling to Orange quite a bit over

the last few years – full disclosure, my parents

own a winery there – and my how it’s changed.

Not only has the number of cafés changed but

the standard has too and many wouldn’t look

out of place in the inner city. One of the most

popular stops is The Agrestic Grocer (426

Mitchell Hwy), a café and speciality food shop

started by couples Katie and Beau Baddock

and Danielle and Lucas Martin. They serve

up locally sourced and seasonally influenced

breakfast and lunch items which are easily

washed down with a cup of Orange Roasting

Co Coffee.

The Ploughman’s lunch is a signature dish

on the menu, a board filled with a selection

of Second Mouse Cheese, Trunkey Creek

cured meats and antipasto – a great way to

try a selection of Orange produce. There’s an

adjoining grocery with local delicacies such as

olive oil, craft beer from Badlands Brewery and

fruit for picnic snacks or self-catering travellers.

Second Mouse Cheese is also onsite at

Agrestic and it’s highly likely you’ll find owner

and cheesemaker Kai Woltmann there willing

orange

A TASTE OF