Coffee is always high up on our list and first stop will definitely be Fleur Social in Nuriootpa to catch up with the delightful Ryan and Sarah. This venue manages to tick two boxes for us, as while Ryan’s amazing attention to detail allows them serve up amazing coffee, they also use coffee beans from our favourite local roasters, Barossa Coffee Roasters. We use their beans at home through an aeropress, but it is always nice to come and try an espresso, or a syphon or pour-over when on offer. Fleur Social offers a fantastic range of brunch options including a selection of delicious filled bagels, which is usually where we end up landing. They also double as a wonderful florist, which is where Sarah’s skills can be seen. There is a great range of floral options including some awesome potted plants and succulents that we have regularly been tempted to purchase.
While we are here, at the Paris-end of Nuriootpa, we would absolutely pop into Pulp and Thread to say hello to Nat and grab one of her fabulous energising smoothies. As well as an awesome range of healthy choice snacks and meals she also has a great range of women’s fashion.
For lunch it is straight back to our hometown of Angaston to one of the best kept lunch secrets in the region, Casa Carboni. When I think of what Matteo and Fiona do in their little cooking school and enoteca the one word that keeps popping into my mind is integrity. The produce they use is always of the finest quality and using local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients is something they just do without the need to use it as a marketing tag. This is simply some of the tastiest, most authentic and honest Italian food you will try, and not just in this region. They have a cracking selection of natural and minimal intervention wines from across Europe and they will regularly have a couple of selections by the glass. They have all been chosen personally by Matteo and Fiona during their regular Trips back to Matteo home country and they are both more than happy to guide you through the list to help you find something you’re sure to love.
The next leg involves a quick cab ride down to Magnolia Rd in Tanunda to the fantastic little brewery cellar door at Rehn Bier. I love a good chalk board advert and seeing in big bold letters “BEER HERE” makes me grin every time I see it. Brenton and Robyn have created an awesome little space using artificial turf and quirky furniture. It is a great place to cleanse the palate in the afternoon.
With bellies a little on the fuller side it would certainly be time for a stroll down to Tanunda main street to try and catch the last espresso shots at Darling’s Café. Wendy and her team are legends of the region and are always in the know about what is going on around town. The café quite proudly doubles as a pseudo tourist information centre to those who like to rise early for their 6am opening time.
As this is my fantasy day I would have to say that my next cheeky little indulgence would be some bare-foot lawn bowls at one of the fantastic local bowls clubs. We had our recent staff Christmas party at the Nuriootpa Bowls Club and I have to say that their hospitality was warm, their beers were cold and their greens were true. They even have some of those fancy coloured bowls with a tight line for guests to use so you don’t have to send it three rinks over to get it back on your kitty – bowlers will know what I’m talking about.
From here it’s going to be out to Marananga to Three75 Bar + Kitchen and Appellation at The Louise. I have some history with this venue as it was my first landing spot for employment when I arrived in the region and it still holds a rather special place in my Barossa heart. Jim and Helen Carreker have done an amazing job at bringing luxury to the Barossa and everything about my experiences here have been joyful. The thing I love most about here is that you can’t go wrong; the staff will guide you through your experience and you just need to sit back and enjoy. Start in Three75 Bar + Kitchen and have a cocktail, have another, savour the view and the sense of calm tranquillity. From there head through to Appellation and let Dan and the team show you some of the finest and most skilfully presented food the Barossa has to offer. This really is hospitality at its finest.
I have no doubt that at some stage through dinner Beck and I will decide that the best option is to simply stay the night at The Louise. By some miracle their top suite will be available (and because it’s my fantasy we will also be able to afford it), a hero will emerge to look after the kids for the night and we will finish the evening with a night-cap in the suite’s outdoor shower.
There are so many amazing things to do in our wonderful region, make sure you take the time to develop some of your own fantasies, as turning them into a reality will be possible very soon.