Road Trip to Byron
How long has it been since you 'did' Byron? We went for the chill factor, but found ourselves immersed in yet another foodie adventure!
I tried for the first time in ages, to go somewhere new without obsessively trawling through my phone to ensure our food stops were the best of the best. Didn't last long as our 10 hour road trip had to be filled in somehow, but I just did a quick look this time so as to not annoy my other half as after all, it was his holiday too.
If you are looking for a nice little 'Aussie' beach week or weekend away, here's a snapshot of some of the yummy places we ventured out to...
A collection of all things that I love and all tucked under the one roof, or should I say 'working farm'. Beautiful 'honest' food, farm animals (my fave were the piggy's), rows and rows of garden beds full of vegetables, baked goods to die for, produce shop, workshops (think bee keeping, permaculture design), farm walks and even a little nursery and flower shop tucked in there too.
With a motto of "Grow, Feed, Educate" this place really hit's all the spots as far as an experience goes and with the guys from the award winning Three Blue Ducks (Bronte/Rosebery) running the restaurant, cafe and produce store, together with the stunning baked goods from The Bread Social, there is nothing else one could want.
Was it too much for us to eat a scroll, roasted peach and pistachio Danish AND a giant warm and gooey Portuguese tart all in one sitting???
Just 20min drive from Byron and you come across Federal, one of the tiny villages in the rolling green hills of the neighbouring hinterland. We popped in here after 2 referrals and we in awe of the freshness of the items on offer. We ordered a chicken burger which, yes weird at a Japanese cefe, but it was one of the referral items, and we were not disappointed, seems these guys can do anything. My hand rolled sushi cone was by far, the best one I have ever had - big call I know. We were sorry we couldn’t get back there, but it's at the top of our list for next time.
Owner is from Milan and you can just tell as it's truly authentic fare, with the classic charred and bubbly pizza crust and minimal 'quality' toppings. True Italian food let's the simplicity of the produce shine and that is what we experienced here. Our recommendation would be to make sure you order the bruschetta as the locally grown tomatoes are 'off the charts' as far as colour and flavour goes, and try asking for your pizza's to come singularly to your table as it is a tiny restaurant so we saw many of the uninitiated, balancing their second pizza in their arms as they ate hungrily through their first order. Hahaha!
As if we need to eat more pasta in our household, but yep, we are glad we did this one. We started with Gnocco Fritto which is a golden fried little hot pocket of Italian bread, which was paired perfectly with my most favourite San Danielle prosciutto and a beautiful creamy Burrata cheese. The roasted beetroot and goats cheese ravioli with toasted walnuts was not to be outdone by the house Casarecce pasta which was folded through an 8hr braised lamb shoulder ragu, one word, amazing! My husband said it was probably the best Italian he has had outside of Italy. It was worth every bit of the bellyache on the way home.
Yes I know it's hard core for some, but for me, you just have to do it (at least once), to immerse yourself into the true Byron Bay experience.
It's just been sold to Melbourne based investors for $70M, so an afternoon session of Led Zeppelin covers could soon be a thing of the past. Mullet's everywhere and dance moves I haven't seen since the 80's, what's not to love!
Just a couple of doors up the road from Doma was a stunning little surprise. At Moonshine coffee, this small family owned and run Roastery and Espresso Bar, we were greeted by a beautiful young lady, who really knew her stuff when it came to coffee. The piccolo here was one of the best I’ve had. Again like the beautiful Doma, this tiny handful of shops in Federal was worth more than the one visit we had time for. Put it on your list for sure folks.
Speaking of coffee, we also had another great coffee moment at this hole on the wall, up a small lane, facing a brick wall, spot. Let's just say, perfect coffee doesn’t need an audience! Pull up a stool out front, enjoy the sunshine and more importantly a beautifully crafted brew. It was worth seeking out.
A few of our other notables -
Harvest Newrybar - breaky on weekends and a stroll through both their deli next door and the fully planted veggie patch is a must.
Byron Farmer's Market - fresh organic local produce, on each Thursday.
Pig-House flicks - tiny little old fashioned cinema. When the doors fling open, run to the front row for 'laydown' viewing.
The Tree House on Belongil - tucked away from the crowds, this place is perfectly cruisy for an afternoon beverage and some tunes.
Balcony Bar & Oyster Co - $1 oyster hour on Wednesday's between 5pm-6pm, team it with a stunning cocktail from their carefully crafted menu.
All in all we were pleasantly surprised with what we found up there and we really did only scratch the surface, as there was so much more we just couldn't get to (next time).
Grab a bit of the 'tradition' and mix with with a good bit of the 'new' and you will have a destination worth a road trip for.
LOVE YOUR FOOD MOMENTS... ENYOY!