Just a reminder before beginning this post to go and enter my international giveaway in my last post 😀
CCU yawned, all relaxed and invigorated after her much-too-long…. I suppose you could call it a holiday…. slightly 😉
Her stomach rumbled and she thought to herself, ‘how long had it been since she had visited a decent place?’
She swung out of bed, and just while brushing her teeth, she decided that, being sick of the whole city scene she was so used to and to appease her growling stomach, she would take a visit to the countryside… Little did she know she would be visiting more than one decent trip…
*Warning: This post has a considerable amount of scrolling involved 🙂
Bowral is a very quaint, cute and lovely tourist town 115km south-west of Sydney. It is a beautiful town, with friendly people, lots of cafes and restaurants and is most popular for its tulips and Bradman Museum. The fact that the day was so beautiful with an ocean blue sky also helped set the mood 🙂
Honestly, it reminds me of those old 1950s towns, where everyone knows your name. The people are generally very friendly and the atmosphere is so relaxing, away from the city life and suburbia of Sydney. I can see why it is a
top notch place to retire, though I have no imminent plans for that right now, I promise you 😉
We were lucky enough to have a Labour Day holiday on Monday, and even though this is one of those political holidays I have no understanding about, all I know is is that it got my daddy a day off work and allowed us to pack up and drive over to Bowral for a day trip (that is 2 hours of solid freeway driving for me :D)
Our first stop was one of the most famous bakeries in Australia. Yep, that’s right, I am driving distance from one helluva bakery 😀
I remember the first time I went, all I could think of was ‘Is it possible to even receive that many awards?’ – obviously, if you are good enough, which this bakery is, it is 😀
Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce, The Gumnut Patisserie. Unpretentious, cute and relatively small considering how popular it is, with a line extending to the outside and limited seating. If you want it you gotta fight for it 😉
This patisserie has become very established, as you can see, it is like the Jack Nicholson of pastry shops. Award, after award, after award. And with good reason, great reason. Look at what they have to offer:
I can only dream of ever working at a place with so much talent, let alone running it – these bakers are absolutely incredible and I wonder how anyone can hold even a finger up to their standards!
I would like to think that considering it was established in 1995, the year of my birth, I had something to do with it though 😉
Anyway, moving along, so what to order with so many scrumptious choices right? (Unfortunately, I cannot remember the prices and the receipt is long gone!)
My parents, who had gone a full 2 hours without a coffee, were falling asleep on their feet so they ordered their coffees – “Extra large cappuccino, skim milk and extra hot please!” 😉
Considering we all arrived at morning tea time, we were pretty peck-ish and each ordered our own little dessert, showing how utterly ridiculously decadent my family was being (not me) considering they would never even dream of doing this on a ‘normal day’ 😉
Dad ordered the date scone. It was not even warmed (need to request that) and came only with butter but it was so soft, crumby and delicious, that my daddy swooned anyway 🙂
On heavy persuasion by yours truly, mum acquiesced to eating a mini pecan tart, one of her most guilty pleasures due to its sugary nature. She ate half, I helped her out with the rest (sue me ;)). The pastry was sweet and buttery and worked very well with the delicious filling which was not abundant with pecans, only moderate quantity. The filling was dripping with the flavour of golden syrup and had a silky texture 🙂
It had a perfect crack and then soft, moist inner which melted in your mouth, especially when combined with the sweet caramel filling 😀
Heaven in my palm!
The sun was shining, there was so much vibrancy because of the number of people there and it was the last day for the festival so we got very lucky without a doubt 😀
Here are some amateur shots I took of the gardens. I wish I could put an album up for you because I have never seen such a beautiful array of flowers in my life before! I may not have the willpower to garden (and have a phobia of bugs) but can certainly appreciate them!
After an hour of getting in touch with our inner selves, no doubt we needed some lunch. And being in Bowral, away from the fumes or whatever, we knew the food would taste fresher, and basically, WAY more delicious than in Sydney. Seriously, whenever we get away from highly urbanised communities the food tastes better. Go figure 😉
For lunch, we stopped by a cute little cafe, going by the name of Palate Pleasure Cafe. I call it small but it is quite established throughout Australia for its exquisite tasting dishes which are simple palate delights 😀
It is loud, bustling with activity, people and a fine looking, young waiter with an incredible tattoo down his calf. Oops…. not meant to be looking there 😉
We were seated easily, which is lucky considering we saw one woman basically run like she had a rabid dog on her heels to get a table! A waiter immediately knew of new arrivals (I have no idea how with the bustle) and casually handed us out our menus. Again, I love how there is a lack of pretentiousness, even though obviously there is a high level of popularity here 😀 – such welcoming ambience!
We order quickly, menus taken and I am amazed that even with the level of laid-backness in the atmosphere, how fast the cutlery is provided and orders are taken 🙂
***Sorry for some poor pictures ahead, the lighting was utterly awful!
First up come the drinks.
I order my staple Strawberry Thickshake ($6.05 + 50c extra because it is a thickshake) and it is cool, tall and very refreshing. I love how it has such a strong flavour 😀
My dad firstly ordered a huge dose of good ol’ Fish & Chips – Beer Battered flathead fillets, fries, tartare sauce, garden salad ($18.50). I can’t say but he claims that the fish was perfectly crispy and delicious with the refreshing tartare sauce. I loved how the garden salad was such a great mix of vegetables as opposed to the usual 😀 – It certainly satisfied his craving!
I got the Spicy Sweet Potato & Lentil Burger – A no bun lentil burger (also known as a lentil patty ;)), mixed salad, avocado, sweet chilli sauce, minted yoghurt and grilled haloumi cheese ($18.40). Admittedly, I refused the cheese and avocado since we are not friends but the rest of this meal was incredible. The burger had a rich undertone of lentil flavour which enhanced the vegetables scattered throughout it. I LOVED the yoghurt-sweet chilli sauce combo and the mixed salad was indeed a delicious concoction of random sautéed vegetables such as squash and zucchini amidst rocket. Very classy and very delicious 😀
Lastly, mum with her ‘I am healthy’, goes for the Chicken Deli Salad (of course without the chicken which is a vegetarian option available :D) – Wood fired ciabatta, mixed leaves, grilled chicken tenderloins, avocado, oven roasted vegetables, Danish feta, mayonnaise, basil pesto ($18.70). Her meal is a ridiculously delicious smelling and wonderful looking platter generously piled high and it is a wonder I am not digging into it myself 😀 – who knew vegetables could be so alluring? Mum also orders a Bowl of fries and tomato sauce ($6.50) because that is her Achilles heel 😉
And one hearty day as well 😀 – we did go shopping and mooching around as well as finished off our day with yet another coffee and afternoon snack but since the cakes were so good, we ate them, forgetting to take pictures 😉
Let me just say that when I go to Bowral again, said cafe will be reviewed, no worries about that. And yes, I am definitely going to Bowral again 😉
So places visited:
- Gumnut Patisserie
- Shop 7 Grand Arcade
Bong Bong Street
Bowral NSW 2576
- Phone #: 4862 2819
- Palate Pleasure Cafe (they do catering!)
- Shop 1-3/ 350
Bong Bong Street
Bowral NSW 2576
- Phone #: 4861 7411
I definitely recommend heading down for a trip to this town, it is gorgeous 😀
I was inspired by Bowral. It did so much just by highlighting the simple pleasures of life. I mean, I like complex, hustling and everyday life but it is nice to get away sometimes and just relax.
Soft, light and scrumptious, it is slightly spongey and very delicious due to the light lemon flavour, which would be more pronounced of course if you add the icing.
I followed the recipe almost to the T and it was just about perfect to cool your heels in the sand with and enjoy cloud watching 😀
Source: Le Cordon Bleu (The Original Masterclass): Cakes
- 60g butter, unsalted
- 180g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3 eggs
- Finely grated rind of 3 lemons (or 2 large oranges or 3 mandarins)
- 230g caster (white) sugar
- 100ml double (thickened) cream
- 1 1/2 tsp rum – subbed in vanilla essence
- 100g icing sugar (icing mixture)
- Few drops lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 170 degree C. Line a loaf tin 18x8x6.5 cm then grease it and dust with flour (I just lined the tin)
- In a small pan, gently melt the butter over low heat. Remove the pan from heat and allow the butter to become cold while still remaining liquid.
- Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, lemon rind, rum and a pinch of salt
- Pour wet mixture (excluding butter) into dry mixture and mix quickly with a wooden spoon until the batter is smooth
- Stir in the butter
- Immediately pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 40-50 minutes or until the cake springs back when lightly touched and a skewer inserted comes out clean
- Allow the cake to cool in the tin then carefully turn out. Pull away the paper from the cake sides
- Fill a small pan of water one-third full of water and bring to the boil then remove from heat
- Sift the icing sugar into a heatproof bowl, stir in 20ml of water and a few drops of lemon juice to taste – at this point the icing should be thick coat consistency
- The icing will thin as it gets hotter so place the bowl over the pan of hot wat for 1-2 minutes
- When the mixture is warm, brush over the cake and leave to let set and dry
- Keep the cake in an airtight container for 3-4 days (otherwise refrigerate up to a week)