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Things To Do in Hunter Valley

Things To Do in Hunter Valley

I recently travelled to Sydney under the invitation of Destination New South Wales and spent two nights in Hunter Valley enjoying the sights, food and of course, wines. I stayed at Chateau Elan where my room offered a view of the expansive golf course.

My time in Hunter Valley was amazing there was plenty to eat and drink, and I was in the company of wonderful people. Here’s my list of things to eat, drink and see in Hunter Valley. Enjoy!

 

 

EAT: Muse Kitchen

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Muse Kitchen at Keith Tulloch Winery

Muse Kitchen is located at Keith Tulloch Winery and is known for delivering European inspired fare based on seasonal produce. Al fresco dining is highly recommended as the restaurant offers a beautiful view of the courtyard.

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Organic ciabatta with caramelised onion and aged balsamic

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I had the pan fried Barramundi with Jerusalem artichoke, lemon and Brussels sprout

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Amazing weather in Hunter Valley

The wines are lovely as if you’re a fan of fish, opt for the catch of the day. I certainly wasn’t disappointed. Muse Kitchen serves good organic Ciabatta with caramelised onion and aged balsamic. So good that it’s hard not to ask for seconds!

Muse Kitchen
Cnr. Hermitage and Deasys Roads, Pokolbin NSW 2320
P 02 4998 7899
[email protected]

 

DRINK: Tulloch Winery

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Wine pairing at Tulloch Winery

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Tulloch Winery is known for its Verdelho grapes

Tulloch Cellar Door is a must visit when you’re in Hunter Valley. The winery is famous for Veldelho and the Cellar Door carries several Limited Release ranges of wines. I sampled some of the best wines Tulloch Winery had to offer, paired with some light bites to allow us to see how wines can bring out the best in food.

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My favourite was the 2014 Vineyard Selection Verdelho

Tulloch Winery
De Beyers Rd,
Pokolbin NSW 2320, Australia

 

DRINK: Hunter Beer Co.

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Beer tasting

I never pegged Hunter Valley as a beer spot until I visited Hunter Beer Co.. This award winning brewery offers the ultimate beer experience with 10 varieties of beers on tap. Learn about the art of brewing beer through a short induction onsite. Hunter Beer Co. uses traditional brewing equipments and natural ingredients.

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Hunter Pale Ale (a signature)

My personal favourite? The Hunter Pale Ale! 🙂

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Hunter Beer Co.

Hunter Beer Co.
Potters Hotel Brewery Resort,
Wine Country Drive & Fleming Street
Nulkaba NSW 2325
Tel: 61 2 4991 7922

 

EAT: Esca Bimbadgen Restaurant

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Beef-Olution at Bimbadgen

Esca Bimbadgen offers modern Australian cuisine using fresh local and home grown produce. The restaurant interior is contemporary, featuring large glass windows and an all-glass kitchen for a one-of-a-kind dining experience.

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Tataki style — radish, pea and wasabi, sesame, broccoli and rice wine

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Bimbadgen Estate 2013 Shiraz

I had the privilege of sampling the “Beef-Olution” menu – a series of courses dedicated to bring out the best in beef. My favourite dish? The grilled scotch fillet with blackened shallot and crispy beef belly.

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Scotch Fillet — kohlrabi, blackened shallot, mustard and crispy beef belly

Esca Bimbadgen Restaurant
790 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin NSW 2320, Australia
Phone: 61 2 4998 4666

 

STAY: Chateau Elan

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Lobby lounge at Chateau Elan

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Lush greenery

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Golf course and the gorgeous view of the horizon

Chateau Elan is an award winning hotel accommodation in Hunter Valley boasting luxury hotel style rooms and an expansive golf course. The property overlooks the fairways of the Greg Norman designed vintage golf course and houses 17 spa treatment rooms.

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My Spa Suite

The spa suite offers full immersion in the world of luxury spa treatment, promising complete relaxation and rejuvenation to guests. Exclusive to the suite is an open spa bath and an Ergomotion king size bed with massage functions.

Chatrau Elan
Vintage Dr,
Rothbury NSW 2320, Australia
Phone: 61 2 4998 2500

 

EAT: Emerson’s Café & Restaurant

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Warn baguette with seasoned butter, Adina olive oil and caramelised balsamic vinegar and house made Dukkah

Emerson’s Café on Lovedale Road is a lovely venue surrounded by acres of vineyards and an impressive olive grove. The restaurant is committed to producing elegant dishes using fresh produce from trusted suppliers.

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House Made Caramelised Shallot, Tomato and Binnorie Labna Tart with Textures of Olives

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Roasted Black Angus Sirloin with Potato Galette, Beetroot, New Season Asparagus and Reduced Braising Liquid

The ambiance is casual, relaxed and unpretentious, and Chef Emerson’s dishes certainly did not disappoint. I really enjoyed his caramelised shallot and labna tart, and the Black Angus Sirloin with potato galatte and beetroot.

Emerson’s Café & Restaurant
492 Lovedale Rd,
Lovedale NSW 2325, Australia
Tel: 61 2 4930 7029

 

VISIT: Adina Vineyard

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Specialty olives at Adina

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Olives and olive oil tasting

If you’re a fan of olives, you would enjoy a tour at Adina Vineyard where some of the best olives in Hunter Valley are produced. The vineyard also produces good extra virgin olive oils, which I had the chance of sampling and subsequently, purchasing.

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Adina Vineyard & Olive Grove

Adina Vineyard
492 Lovedale Rd,
Lovedale NSW 2325, Australia
Tel: 61 2 4930 7473

 

STAY: Peppers Convent

For a European charm, one can opt to stay at Peppers Convent , once home to the Brigidine Order of nuns in Coonamble. The Convent offers the ambience of an indulgent French Baroque hotel combined with the distinctive character of an Australian country guesthouse.The convent is a combination of grandeur and comfort, perfect for that romantic escape or country-side getaway.

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1876 historic cottage, at Peppers Convent

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Taittinger Lounge

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Wisteria Garden at Peppers Convent

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Peppers Convent

Peppers Convent
88 Halls Rd,
Pokolbin NSW 2320, Australia
Tel: 61 1300 987 600

DO: Candy Making Class at Hunter Resort

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Candy making class at Hunter Valley Resort

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Rocky Road, made by yours truly

One of the activities I enjoyed was the Candy Making Class where we each learnt how to work with different types of chocolates and how to make our own Rocky Road. The class was very hands-on, aimed to allow us to step in the shoes of a dessert chef, even if it was just for a few hours.

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Proof that I did it!

I managed to make a (rather large) Rocky Road which I happily brought home to Malaysia for rif to indulge in!

Hunter Resort
Cnr Hermitage Road & Mistletoe Lane,
Pokolbin NSW 2320, Australia
Tel: +61 2 4998 7777

 

VISIT: Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese Shop

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They carry a large variety of cheeses

This store carries one of the finest local and imported cheese and gourmet foods, including its own product range. They have an extensive range of cheese, some of which I’ve never heard before. Samples are provided to allow you to decide if you would like to buy some home.

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The homemade gelato is pretty wicked too!

Alternatively, try their homemade gelato, made with imported Italian ingredients. The pistachio and rum & raisin is good stuff!

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Smelly Cheese Shop in Hunter Valley

Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese Shop
3/188 Broke Rd,
Pokolbin NSW 2320, Australia
Tel: 61 2 4998 6960

 

VISIT: De Iuliis Wines

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Best wines in the house

Fans of Shiraz should pay De Iuliis Wines a visit, an acclaimed producer with several award winning Shiraz under its belt. I had a private Wine and Cheese Matching Session here where I sampled three very good Shiraz with an assortment of cheese for taste tests.

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Wine and cheese pairing

The wines are top-notch, each with their own strong character and I particularly loved the mouthfeel of all three wines sampled. If you’re lucky, you get to catch Murphy Dog, the resident friendly dog. He’s a darling!

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Hello Murphy Brown!

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De Iuliis Wines, known for its award winning Shiraz

De Iuliis Wines
1616 Broke Rd,
Pokolbin NSW 2320, Australia
Tel: 61 2 4993 8000

 

VISIT: Two Fat Blokes

Two Fat Blokes Gourmet overlooks the beautiful lush grounds at De Iuliis Winery and comprises a dining section and deli next door. This is a place to relax and plan your day, while tucking into lunch or coffee. The deli next door is stocked with an amazing range of cheeses, cold cuts and fresh bread.

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Two Fat Blokes Gourmet Kirchen and Deli, which overlooks the beautiful lush grounds at De Iuliis Winery

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Love the interior!

Two Fat Blokes
1616 Broke Road
Pokolbin NSW 2320 Australia
Tel: 61 2 4998 6699

 

EAT: EXP at Oakvale

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Open kitchen at EXP

A hidden gem in Pokolbin, EXP at Oak is chic and intimate, with hand crafted local furniture and utensils that create topics for conversation. Guests can opt to sit by the bar to watch Frank and his kitchen team prepare the food, at the dining area or in the garden where the air is crisp during spring.

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Bread and butter

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Black garlic risotto with cauliflower and pyengana cheddar

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Braised lamb with eggplant, yogurt, pomegranate and jus

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One of the wines for the night

The menu at EXP is one of the more exciting ones I’ve seen, pushing boundaries and taking all senses to a different level. They serve good wines too – unique, handcrafter ones that are a true reflection of the Hunter Valley region.

EXP at Oakvale
1596 Broke Road,
Pokolbin NSW 2320
Tel: 61 2 4998 7088

Thank you Marina and Edmund of Destination New South Wales, for making sure we had a lovely time in Hunter Valley!

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