Ahead of our weekend away in Orange, we asked Gillian Serisier to share her local favourites with us. Gillian, an art writer and editor, made the move from inner-city Waterloo to Orange with her husband, artist David Serisier, in 2015. The pair haven’t looked back since. Their property in Summer Hill, just outside of town, is a rustic country oasis. We will be joining them for a local growers’ lunch as part of Contemporaries’ weekend away in central west NSW.
The best coffee in town is Good Eddy (pictured above). It’s a hole in the wall cafe with a gallery out the back (pictured top). They make a great espresso and the gluten free cake is fab.
187 Lords Place, Orange
My favourite in-town cafe is Factory Espresso – they have a summer salad that is amazing and fabulous breakfasts with local eggs and Trunkey Creek Bacon – which is probably the best bacon going.
135 Kite Street, Orange
The Old Convent (pictured right) serves the best brunch to be had in the district. It’s open Sundays only, with a set menu that always changes and is always brilliant. Last week we had prosciutto and baked ricotta, then potato pancakes with smoked fish and a cream dressing. The main was slow cooked lamb with lentils, an endive salad and pumpkin roasted with pepitas (like Fox Mulder ate). Baked rice with poached pears and coffee followed. Josie and Geoffrey are divine chefs and hosts, and they run an exceptional bed and breakfast in the convent part of the property. It’s set in absolutely idyllic rural splendour.
Convent Lane, Borenore
The Agrestic Grocer (pictured right) is another favourite lunch spot, they do apulled lamb salad that is amazing and the little grocery store attached is full of great things: Romanov cauliflowers, golden beetroots, local cheese, pomegranates, local apples, plums, limes – whatever is in season.
426 Molong Road, Orange
Hawkes General Store is Orange’s lovely spoil yourself shop. Gorgeous Danish rugs, local leather bags, gorgeous bits and pieces and they do a mighty fine job of wrapping. If you’ve ever experienced a lumpy wrapped gift from me, you know how vital this is!
46 Sale Street, Orange
Lolli Redini (pictured below, left) is our favourite dress-up-for-dinner spot. The soufflé is amazing, but I kept missing it because it’s in the vegetarian section! We went there years ago when Alan Sisley was Director of the Orange Regional Gallery so it has lovely memories as well as stunning food, impeccable service and really, really great wine according to our wine drinking friends.
48 Sale Street, Orange
We don’t drink so I’m not so hot on the wineries, but last year we had a do and bought all local wines, and the big hit was an Icely Road Riesling from Mayfield Vineyard (pictured above, right).
954 Icely Road, Orange
The Farmers Market, on the second Saturday of every month, is another place to get fat on Trunkey Creek Bacon, who do a bacon and egg roll that warrants the perpetual line of locals and visitors alike. If you get there, buy loads of the Three Jays Hazelnuts – they are local, super fresh and moreish like you wouldn’t believe. The honey from the Beekeeper’s Inn is amazing. They travel their bees all over Australia pollinating crops – from canola to almonds – so they have a whole range of plant specific honey (Claire can give you the rundown on each one). The olive oil and apples are the other clear highlight, as are the boutique nursery stalls who specialise in iris, fuchsia, maple etc. and will only be there when it’s seasonally right to be selling their stock.
May to October: Orange Showground, Leeds Parade, Orange
November to April: The Northcourt, behind Orange Visitors Centre, 149 Byng Street, Orange
Millthorpe is a small historic town about 10km from Orange – it has a couple of cafes, a pub and some antique shops. I’m more a fan of mid-century than colonial, but I like the shop right next to the Old Mill Cafe – which is kind of handy as the cafe has excellent cakes. The rest of the antique shops are worth a look, if you can get past the pervasive candle smell and baskets of old-looking new bits and pieces. Millthorpe also has the best nursery in the district, and Ian Rogan is a great nurseryman. He can get you just about anything, knows his stuff and knows what can and can’t be grown where – vital information in these frosty parts.