An indulgent trip to the Orange region
From winery escapes and hatted restaurants to grocers that double as cellar doors, Orange does decadence very well. Here are 10 ways to indulge yourself.
Celebrate the bounty
The best way to get a taste of Orange’s revered wine-making and produce industry? Join the party! The region hosts many festivals throughout the year to celebrate the literal fruits of its labour. During the annual Orange Wine Festival in spring, wineries invite visitors to their vineyards, cellar doors and restaurant kitchens for a deeper dive into their cool-climate wines. There’s also a sprawling night market where you can taste the region all in one place. The famed Orange F.O.O.D Festival, held every autumn for the last 30 years, celebrates the region’s diverse and high-quality food and wine, as well as the farmers, chefs, makers, restaurateurs, and caterers.
Enjoy a Sparkling Masterclass
As you head up the slopes of Mt Canobolas to the new cellar door at Printhie Wines, a sense of wellbeing will wash over you – with picturesque vineyards, orchards and a lake to explore, a visit will leave you totally rejuvenated. During a Sparkling Masterclass, you’ll take a guided walking tour of the vineyard, head into a private cellar for an immersive tasting of the much-lauded Swift Sparkling range, then settle in for a three-course lunch at Printhie Dining, with views of the valley below.
Taste and glamp
Nashdale Lane Wines produces whites, reds and rosés sustainably on the site of an old apple and pear orchard, where the former packing shed has been converted into a cellar door. After your tasting (with a panoramic backdrop of grapevines and mountains), grab a bottle of your favourite drop, head off to your couple’s glamping cabin for a night sitting in front of the fire as you watch the stars emerge from an inky sky.
Bliss out in a day spa
Bella Spazio, a boutique spa in the heart of Orange, offers pure indulgence. The Decadence package includes a coffee, macadamia and fine pumice body scrub that will capture all the senses, a rich mineral-clay mask, a full-body massage and a facial using plant and botanical extracts. It’s 3.5 hours of bliss that will leave you feeling fresh and rested.
Just a 5min drive outside Orange, a tasting at the family-owned Swinging Bridge Wines is inspiring and fascinating – the staff are extremely passionate about the great things winemaker Tom Ward does with cool-climate chardonnays and pinot noirs. Taste, compare and savour at your leisure and go deeper into why this is such a special wine-growing region.
Feel the burn
At Charred Kitchen & Bar, chef Liam O’Brien combines some of the region’s best local produce with international inspiration and a wood oven by the name of Lucifer to create some unique flavours and remarkable creations (such as Cowra lamb rump with rosemary and honey marinade, cooked ‘dirty’ peas, mint, stonecress and sheep’s milk yoghurt). The atmosphere is relaxed and intimate – perfect for a four-course tasting menu adventure.
A restored 1896 homestead with a contemporary wing out the back makes for a winning combination at the Byng Street Boutique Hotel in Orange’s beautiful heritage precinct. Whether you choose a suite or room in the heritage or modern wing, you’ll find the focus is on luxury, comfort and great service, and the included two-course breakfast in the Yallungah Dining Room is a fine way to start the day.
Dine at an Orange institution
Simonn Hawke and Leah Morphett opened Lolli Redini in 2001, and this Italian and French-influenced fine diner has been awarded a Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide chef’s hat just about every year since. The dishes – made largely from local and sustainable produce – are creative but approachable, the atmosphere sophisticated but relaxed, the wine list small but perfectly formed, and the service just right. For a more casual vibe, head to the team’s Birdie Noshery and Eating Establishment just around the corner.
Picnic in style
Boutique, hand-harvested, small-batch wines are just part of the attraction at Rowlee Wines. Enjoy a tasting, order a picnic hamper to take into the grounds, or indulge in the Ultimate Wine Escape: two nights in a secluded, stylish villa on the Rowlee Wines estate (complete with a king-size bed, private deck, heated bathroom floors and freestanding stone bathtub) plus a sensory tasting and a selection of wines to take home.
Stock up on goodness
A visit to a grocer doesn’t usually equate to indulgence, but this is Orange and this food store is a perfect way to really connect to what the region is about. The Agrestic Grocer sells great seasonal produce, can put together a custom hamper, serves as a cellar door for the Badlands Brewery and Pig in the House Wines, offers breakfast and lunch in the Agrestic Kitchen Restaurant, and hosts live music.