When preparing for a trip one of my favourite parts is researching not-to-be-missed food places on the way. So when I heard that Tasmania was famous for its fresh local produce, great wine, and heart-warming, handmade food I got super excited planning our food trail of our one-week holiday on the island. Even though I guessed that it would be an amazing experience the reality still managed to surprise me. We found small/family businesses with real value, places where customers are not treated as numbers but as good friends. When you taste their produce and dishes you feel that you get something real. And also you get true value for your money. People have passion for what they do and they strive for becoming better everyday. They have time for a good talk, for the human touch. They are proud of their state, they respect it and they take care of it. They work hard towards a shared goal: making it an outstanding food destination. And if you ask me they are managing pretty well with it! Below I compiled a list of my favourite foodie spots of Tasmania (so far J). It is definitely food heaven down there, and I am looking forward to discover more and add more entries to this list.
Breakfast at Stillwater
When I first heard about it I knew that if there were only one place I have time to visit while in Launceston, it would be Stillwater! Luckily enough we also stayed very close to the restaurant, which is situated in an 1830’s flourmill overlooking the Tamar River (romantic ticked), so it was the perfect spot for a lazy breakfast.
We could have sat outside, but the weather was still rather fresh so we opted for a nice little table inside with loads of sunshine and a river view. The ambiance was rustic but modern, stylish and effortless.
I loved the simplicity of the design of the menu, which also had a great selection of sweet and savoury breakfast options. One huge plus – which is really hard to come by – was that they offered small and large portions as well. With André we can be pretty boring sometimes, ordering the exact same food. This is what happened here. We both craved for the house made toasted muesli, which came with vanilla yoghurt, fresh apple and pear and poached berries.
Great choice! (Not that I am tapping ourselves on the shoulders here J) Fresh fruit, quality ingredients, perfect portion and great value for money. The coffee was just divine as well, giving us a great aromatic kick for the day. Looking forward to try out some more dishes from their menu on my next visit.
Lunch at 41 Degrees South
Leaving Launceston behind our next stop was the Cradle Mountains. But on the way we scheduled some important stops. A lunch, a dessert, and finally some bites of cheese.
For lunch we headed to 41 Degrees South, the salmon and ginseng farm and wetland. It is situated in the Deloraine area, off from the main road. There were some handmade road signs (like „You are almost there”), which did not only make us sure we were on the right track but also put smiles on our faces. After a warm welcome and tasting we both ordered a salmon burger.
It came with three different sauces and was very tasteful. In fact we loved the salmon so much that we bought some to take home with us. While waiting for our burgers we relaxed in the sweet garden near the house and made friends with the cute dog. But we did not have time to do bush walking or fish feeding in the area, because it was getting too late and we would not want to miss our sweet treat of the day!
Dessert at Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm
So we headed to Elizabeth Town and the Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm, where we just made it right in time before closing – in fact we could only order the sweets as takeaway and stock up some nice jam from the shop. It was lucky that we already browsed the menu online and knew exactly what we wanted. We got a whoopie mudcake (with a hint of beetroots & chilli, chocolate mousse filling served with raspberry sauce & cream) and a baked raspberry cheesecake (with raspberry sauce & cream) and feasted on them once we settled in our cabin in the Cradle Mountains. What delicious treats at the end of a busy day.
Our second visit at the Raspberry Farm was on our way to Hobart. Although we had to detour a bit tasting the good-looking raspberry pancakes was a temptation we could not resist. Such perfect harmony of flavours.
Cheesy bites from Ashgrove Cheese
Also on the Bass Highway, just few minutes from the Raspberry Farm, we stopped to grab some cheese. Once you see some actual size plastic cows painted in cheerful colours you know that you are at the right place!
Ashgrove Cheese, Australia’s premier producer of award winning handcrafted cheeses, offers a variety of Cheddar style cheeses for tasting and purchasing. Apart from the great selection of dairy products the shop also offers wine, jams, and other freshly made goodies at the milk bar.
Our favourite cheeses were the rubicon red, the lancashire and the golden valley – luckily enough we found an assortment with the exact selection, so finally we were all set to have some delish bites to go with our nice bottle of wine that night.
Fish & chips in Hobart
Having some fish & chips when you are close to the sea is kind of mandatory. The salt in the air, the serene view of the water, even the cawing of the beggar seagulls remind you how lucky you are that, as a human, you can just grab some tasty fish and golden fried chips, whenever you like it. And in the old port of Hobart, where there is a fish & chips shop at almost every corner, you will definitely get the appetite for it.
Superb pub food
Still in Hobart we wanted to find out if it was true that the second oldest city of Australia had some exceptional pub food places. Following a local’s advice we headed to Crescent Hotel, which did not only turned out to be a great shelter from the never stopping pouring rain but which also lived up to the urban legend.
At this point I guess a steak would have been the most appropriate dish to order, but since both of us love fish we opted for the fish of the day (cannot remember the name of though)– well-seasoned, excellent taste, served in perfect portion. Craving for something lighter as a dessert we chose the apple and rhubarb crumble, which came with some vanilla ice cream and fresh banana on the side. I have to admit I never eaten this dessert before but I became a fan on the spot.
Puddle Duck on the southern wine route
Exploring some of the vineyards and wineries of Tasmania is something I have on my Aussie bucket list. Although this time we did not have much time for such pleasure we still managed to squeeze in visiting one little boutique winery.
To tell the full story our visit at the Puddle Duck was rather a spur of the moment thing. We were on our way from Hobart to Richmond and since the birthday of André was upon us we wanted to get a nice bottle of wine somewhere. As the southern wine route booklet [by www.winetasmania.com.au] suggested that there were some great wineries on our way we just had to pick one. And we chose it because of its fun email address. But after tasting their chardonnay 2012 we knew that without any joke we made the best choice! The beautiful setting of the winery and the friendly service were just the cherry on the cake. Only after returning home we figured out that Puddle Duck is actually the winner of the 2013 Gourmet Traveller WINE magazines for Southern Tasmania and also that they got the 2012 Tourism Tasmania Award for Best Tourism Winery.
Pie time at Kate’s berry farm
When you have high expectations about something you can easily get disappointed… or experience something even more outstanding! Like what happened to me whilst visiting Kate’s berry farm. Ever since we started planning our Tasmania trip André kept telling me about this little piece of heaven, where he ate the most mouth-watering ice-cream ever, while enjoying the picturesque view of the Great Oyster Bay. So as you can imagine I was almost getting as excited by arriving to Swansea then reaching Wineglass bay!
Once again we were a bit pressed with time but finally we made it! Before indulging ourselves with the ice-cream we decided to taste the signature berry pie of Kate. Since the portions were pretty big we thought of sharing one pie so we have enough space to fit some more ice-cream. But we hardly sat down in the garden our heavenly pie was already gone. Like it evaporated in thin air. So we just had to order a second one straightaway. Besides the tempting desserts, during summer time you can also stock up some fresh berries. But if you arrive in other parts of the year (like ourselves) you can always get some bottled berries in a yummy jam jar.
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