Category Archives: Regional

Peach Picking and Pies at Bilpin

Millions of peaches, peaches for me
Millions of peaches, peaches for free!

Ok, so they’re not exactly free but they were for me! I’ve been wanting to go fruit picking for a long time, so the summer break seemed to be the perfect time to do it since my favourite stonefruit, peaches, were in season. We looked up some fruit picking places on the interwebs and the ones in Bilpin seemed to be the closest to us, so Sir D and I road tripped it out one sunny weekend.

The drive took us about an hour and 15 minutes (via M2 and M7) and by the time we got there, we were feeling peckish. On the way to the orchards, we stopped by this Pie in the Sky roadhouse on Bells Line of Road. I’m not sure if it’s affiliated with Pie in the Sky in Cowan but it was a similar set up. You can park your car pretty much anywhere around the little shed that houses the pie shop and head in to select your pies and drinks from the counter.

Steak and mushroom pie – $5

There’s a selection of savoury pies that are mainly chicken- or beef-based, and they’re all made in-house. We chose a steak and mushroom pie from the warmer which had a delicious flaky, buttery puff pastry on top and a thick gravy with tender beef cubes inside.

Apple pie with ice cream – $4.50
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Muse Cafe, Hunter Valley

Muse Cafe

A trip to the Hunter Valley is never complete without some wine tasting. And wine taste we did! It was about 2.30pm when we reached Hungerford Hill Wines and after sampling some fruity whites and robust reds, I couldn’t ignore my rumbling stomach any more and we decided to have lunch at the restaurant.

A sneak peek into the Muse Restaurant area

The Muse dining area is split into two, with a cafe area by day and a more formal restaurant setting at night. Both are surrounded by large glass doors and windows, allowing the daylight to stream into the dining room and giving it a bright, open feel.

Pan fried Canadian sea scallop - $23
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Pie in the Sky, Cowan

On our way back from The Entrance, we stopped at Pie in the Sky in Cowan. I’d read about this place on Not Quite Nigella and Here Comes The Food, and since Sir D is a big pie-lover we decided to grab a couple of pies. 

It is definitely a pie-lovers paradise with so many different pie fillings to choose from. You can either choose to get your pies in a paper bag or put on a plate for you with cutlery. There’s also other delicious additions to your pie such as mash, peas and gravy and although they were very tempting it wasn’t quite lunchtime yet so we took ours home.

Pies galore!

We stood at the two pie cabinets for a good 10 minutes trying to decide which pies to get. Sir D firmly announced that we were getting one savoury pie and one fruit pie each – excellent! I had decided on the peach pie but was tossing up between the chicken and asparagus and the lamb, honey and rosemary. 

More pies!

We got our pies and hopped back in the car before we got too many stares from the many bikies that seem to congregate here, who were probably wondering why this strange Asian girl was taking photos of everything…

Beef Burgundy pie – $4.70
Beef Burgundy pie innards

Before we ate the pies we put them in the oven for a bit to heat up, including the fruit pies which were not warm. Sir D was quite ravenous by this time so he dug into his Beef Burgundy pie with gusto and declared it a success! The beef chunks were tender and fall-apart with a thick, rich sauce. 

Chicken and Asparagus pie – $4.70

Chicken and Asparagus pie innards

My chicken and asparagus pie was not too bad although in hindsight I somewhat regret not ordering the other pie! The chicken was just a tad dry but the sauce was nice and creamy with a distinct asparagus taste. The best part of the pie though was definitely the flaky puff pastry – absolutely delicious!

Peach pie – $2.50

Onto the fruit pies which were both fantastic! The shortcrust pastry was so buttery and the sprinkle of sugar on top gave it an extra bit of sweetness. The peach pie had small pieces of canned peach inside with what I think was an apple sauce/gel. 

Apple pie – $2.50

The apple pie had tender chunks of apple and neither of the pies were too sweet. Sir D preferred the apple pie over the peach but I loved both of them and would definitely return to Cowan just to get my hands on more of these pies and their awesome pastry!

Pie in the Sky 
1296 Pacific Hwy
Cowan NSW
Ph: +61 (02) 99857018
Open 7 days
Monday – Friday, 9am-5pm
Saturday & Sunday, 8am-5pm

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DCE Cafe and The Lolly Barn, The Entrance

Recently, Sir D and I went to The Entrance for a little getaway. After taking much longer to get there than anticipated (since it seems like whenever I drive on the F3, I always get stuck in traffic because there’s an accident), we were absolutely ravenous and we popped into this little cafe for a late lunch. We ate here the last time we went to The Entrance and fell in love with their crunchy yet fluffy fries, so we ordered burgers since they all came with a generous serving of said fries. 

Beef Burger: with homemade 100% beef pattie, tasty cheese, beetroot, salad greens, tomato and gourmet tomato relish, served with chunky chips – $13.50

Both the burgers were enormous with lots of salad and sauce to go with the meat. Sir D opted for the beef burger which had a homemade beef patty topped with two slices of melted cheese and lots of salad. Underneath the beef patty you can see some tomato relish poking out and this tasted sort of like bolognese sauce but went pretty well with the beef. 

Chicken Caesar Burger: with chargrilled chicken breast, bacon, shaved parmesan, salad greens and a light Caesar dressing, served with chunky chips – $14.50

I went for the chicken caesar burger which had grilled chicken breast, lots of bacon, salad and parmesan. One side of the burger was also slathered in a delicious, creamy caesar dressing. Despite the fact that we were both starving having sat in the car with no snackages for a few hours, these servings were so large that we couldn’t finish them. Sadly we had to leave some of those delicious chips behind.

Iced chocolate – $4.50

To wash it all down, we ordered an iced chocolate. I think the person who made this went a little crazy on the chocolate but it was nevertheless a nice drink to go with the burgers.

Afterwards we walked up the street away from the waterfront to The Lolly Barn to stock up on some sugar-laden snacks. I remember as a child that there used to be heaps of lolly stores in shopping centres with all the lollies arranged in plastic see through containers, and you scooped out your favourite lollies into a paper bag with a metal scoop. They seem to have dwindled away and now the only place I can find anything other than the supermarket brands is in Sugar Fix, and the British Lolly Shop.

This little shop has plastic tubs of lollies all along the walls from chocolates to gummy lollies to old-school favourites like milk bottles and strawberries and creams. 

Spotted some favourites amongst the myriad of lollies – ears, clouds, peach rings and Sir D’s favourites the sour peaches.

Behind the plastic tubs are prepacked 100g bags of the lollies which are priced at $2.50 per bag or $6.50 for 3 (unless otherwise stated). If they’ve run out of the prepackaged ones just take the tub to the counter and the lady there will kindly weigh out 100g for you and seal it in a plastic bag.

3x100g bags of lollies (clockwise from top – peach rings, sour cola bottles and strawberries) – $6.50

Of course we got 3 bags – the peach rings, strawberries and sour cola bottles. And they were all comforting in the way that only sugary lollies from your childhood can be.

Facing off with the pelicans!

DCE Cafe

Shop 3, 91-95 The Entrance Road
The Entrance NSW
Ph: +61 (02) 43345122
10% surcharge on Sundays and public holidays

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The Lolly Barn

Shop 2, 38 The Entrance Road
The Entrance NSW
Ph: +61 (02) 43325282

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