Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Miss Heidi's Tea House, Cooma, NSW

Miss Heidi's Teahouse, Cooma
Miss Heidi's Teahouse, Cooma
The Style: Miss Heidi's Tea House is like a little bit of Austria landed smack bang in the Snowy Mountains. The log cabin dates back to the days of the Snowy Hydro scheme when migrants wanted something to remind them of home. It sits perched on a hill with lovely views to the mountains in the distance. Inside, it really feels like you are in a super-exaggerated version of an Austrian grandma's house complete with paintings of the alps, hats hanging in the entryway and wooden chairs and tables. One word of warning - in a former life, Miss Heidi's was some kind of fairytale adventure park and there are some uber-creepy ceramic princesses with their faces peeling off, one sans-head as well as a handsome prince who has seen better days lurking at the rear of the outdoor eating area. 
Miss Heidi's Teahouse, Cooma
The Taste: Sometimes the simple things done properly are much nicer than something fancy which tastes horrible. Miss Heidi's has a pretty simple menu but oooh, the taste!! So good. From the pot of tea brewed properly to buttery pancakes which were crunchy outside and meltingly good inside, every bite was heaven! The menu features Austrian treats including gulasch, schnitzel and strudel as well as scones, tea and coffee. 

Schnitzel and saurkraut, Miss Heidi's Teahouse, Cooma

Wurst and saurkraut, Miss Heidi's Teahouse, Cooma
Pancakes, Miss Heidi's Teahouse, Cooma
Apple strudel, Miss Heidi's Teahouse, Cooma
Tea in the mountains, Miss Heidi's Teahouse, Cooma

Hot chocolate, Miss Heidi's Teahouse, Cooma
The Price: Reasonable considering it tasted so yummy although a bit more than you would normally expect to pay in a country town. Our morning tea of pancakes, strudel and a pot of tea came in around the $35 mark. Expect to pay $15-20 for the lunch menu - when you factor in that the portion size is huge, the food is delicious and the setting is, well, unique to say the least, it is worth trying at least once if you are in Cooma.
View over the plains to the Snowy Mountains, Cooma
Miss Heidi's Teahouse
The Location: Miss Heidi's Tea House is located near the Mount Gladstone Lookout about 1km off the Snowy Mountains Highway in Cooma. (The turnoff is just south of town). Miss Heidi's is open 7 days per week from 10am - 5pm and for dinner by appointment.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Flying the coop...

A couple of months ago, the other half and I were lucky enough to find two acres of paradise near Cooma in the New South Wales Snowy Mountains. We moved in a few weeks ago and have been madly painting, planting, mowing etc. ever since. 

As well as being really excited about the move, I can't wait to explore our new home town and it's surrounds and the good news is family and friends in Cootamundra mean we wont lose our links to that area either.

Here are some springtime photos from Cooma...

Narlia the Aussie Bulldog

Bruno the Bull Mastiff

Our dogs Bruno and Narlia haven't been too bothered by the move...

Two new chickens for the flock
We have a couple of new chooks to join our old girls - their new run is pretty big and should be a nice home for them when it is done. Dan is in the process of building it and has the main poles and stays in, just waiting on some wire and they should be right to move in.

Chicken run

 Granny Smith Apples

We inherited some fruit trees and have also added some of our own - we are starting to see some fruit already which is exciting!

I look forward to sharing my Cooma adventures!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Dog on the Tuckerbox and Bullocky Bills, Gundagai, NSW

Dog on the Tuckerbox, Gundagai
Bullocky Bill's, Gundagai
The Dog on the Tuckerbox is right up there with the Big Trout on the road trip must-sees in southern New South Wales. Made famous through a bush ballad, the Dog on the Tuckerbox sits proudly overlooking the back end of the Hume Highway just north of Gundagai township. Its a little bit hard to know why he looks so pleased with himself because his surrounds have become less than idyllic but still, in that way dogs do, he seems happy none the less. There have been suggestions that the dog be moved to try and maximise his visits but this has met with resistance so for now, he is still firmly in place. 
Bullock dray, Dog on the Tuckerbox, Gundagai
If you decide to stop off and pay him a visit, PLEASE don't expect him to be a 'big thing' along the lines of the Big Banana at Coffs Harbour - in actual fact, he is tiny. I was a bit surprised that there wasn't more to him but when I looked a bit harder, I noticed that he is quite a handsome little fellow and slightly less tacky than some of Australia's other road trip stop offs. Just near the Dog, there are some old bullock drays and other bits and pieces to look at as well as a small shop selling souvenirs.

To find the dog, look for the BP Service Station which seems to dominate the area - rather than race in there, follow the signs from the service station a little further north. 
Bullocky Bills, Gundagai
Local produce, Bullocky Bill's, Gundagai

Local produce, Bullocky Bill's, Gundagai

Local Produce, Bullocky Bill's, Gundagai
Right near the dog, there is what may be his saviour from obliteration - Bullocky Bills. This place is a treasure trove of locally produced food from Gundagai, Tumut, Cootamundra, Wagga Wagga and Young including sauces, chutneys, olives, licorice, lollies, soap, cleansers, dried fruits and also craft. If you are the type of person who likes to sample what the area you are visiting has to offer, you will seriously not be disappointed if you stop here. 
Bacon and egg roll, Bullocky Bill's breakfast
Alongside the preserved foods, there is also a Dean's Fruit Shop which sources locally grown fruit and vegetables at really reasonable prices. Last but not least, there is the Bullocky Bill's Restaurant which dishes up decent food(burgers, sandwiches, salads, pies, cakes) to power your next stretch of driving. Bullocky Bill's has been Good Food Guide reviewed and recommended and whilst it isn't five star dining, it is fresh, generously portioned and a lot tastier than anything the big fast food chains have to offer up. 
Bullock dray, Gundagai
So next time you are on the Hume Highway in Gundagai, resist the urge to stop under the Golden Arches. Pay an Aussie icon a visit, support local growers and get a decent meal before you continue on your way. I'm pretty sure the old dog would be pleased with the attention.
Dog on the Tuckerbox, Gundagai

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Wild Brumby Schnapps Distillery and Cafe, Thredbo, NSW

Wild Brumby Schnapps Distillery and Cafe, Thredbo, NSW
Schnapps, Wild Brumby Schnapps Distillery, Thredbo
The Style: Wild Brumby Schnapps Distillery and Cafe is a one part classy art, one part Alpine Kitsch and a lot of fun! The Distillery is located on a few acres of landscaped grounds. These are scattered with sculptures, polished granite and even the odd fibreglass horse! There are nice touches like the little orchard of pink lady apple trees which are a key ingredient in the schnapps of that flavour as well as potted tulips in the spring time.

Inside, you could be forgiven for thinking you are inside an old style ski lodge but for the huge copper distilling vats which dominate one part of the cafe. And yes, there are even home made pretzels hanging from a deer antler light shade!
Deer antler light shade, Wild Brumby Distillery and Cafe, Thredbo
Wild Brumby Schnapps Distillery, Thredbo
The Taste: Delicious! The menu features a range of European inspired goodies but the pick has to be the German sausages and kraut. They come served with mustard and bread and they are cooked to sizzling, popping perfection. As I cut mine, little beads of fatty flavour oozed out and I can tell you I mopped up every last bit with the bread. (I did make sure to share a little piece with Booza the resident Jack Russell Terrier.) Other continental treats on offer include schnitzel, gulasch and Austrian salad.The Wild Brumby Cafe also offers up sweet treats and has German beer on tap. Breakfast is served from 10am - 12pm and lunch until 5pm.
Sausages and kraut, Wild Brumby Cafe

Icy cold beer on tap, Wild Brumby Cafe
Lemon Cake, Wild Brumby Cafe, Thredbo

Lovely latte, Wild Brumby Cafe, Thredbo
The Service: It was hectic and the staff were clearly rushed off their feet. They weren't bursting with excitement to help but they were efficient and got the job done pretty quickly. When I have visited on quieter days, there has been a lot more help offered so I think they get the benefit of the doubt.
Booza the resident Jack Russell at Wild Brumby
The Location: Wild Brumby is located off the Alpine Way between Thredbo and Jindabyne overlooking the peaks of Kosciuszko National Park's Snowy Mountains. The spectacular views and crisp, fresh mountain air are hard to beat. Take advantage of the outdoor tables in summer and you wont be disappointed!

Wood and stone garden sculptures, Wild Brumby, Thredbo