Sunday, May 2, 2010

Hawkesbury Farm Gate Trail

hawkesbury farm gate trail apples bilpin shields orchard

Never too many Bilpin mountain apples.

It's nearly the end of the fruit picking season. Most orchards on the Hawkesbury Farm Gate Trail are either closed or allow fruit picking by appointment only. So, we are lucky to be welcomed into Shields Orchard (2270 Bells Line of Road, Bilpin) despite a large "No pick your own fruit today" at the door.

hawkesbury farm gate trail apples bilpin shields orchard

Entertain yourselves with unlimited fruit picking here. Our favourites are the two large persimmon trees that are blessed with abundance of fruits. Owner Bill also explains that the persimmons are of the Fuyu variety, which is less sweet than the Fuji one most of us are used to.

hawkesbury farm gate trail apples bilpin shields orchard

There are rows and rows of green and red apples with plenty of fruits left. Makes me wonder why the apple tree in my backyard only has one apple. Well, at least there's one this year, which is an infinite improvement on the year before.

hawkesbury farm gate trail sassafras creek

Sassafras Creek Food and Design (83, Old Bells Line of Rd, Kurrajong Village) is no 12 on the Hawkesbury Farm Gate Trail. It's a 3-in-1 - a restaurant, homeware shop and art gallery combined into one. Their menu is Modern Australian, which could be anything and everything nowadays. It's such an overused term, isn't it? What does it mean anyway?

hawkesbury farm gate trail sassafras creek

There are eight dishes on the lunch menu, ranging between $19 and $24. Mr foodwink orders the pork fillet char grilled with black pepper and fresh thyme served with kumera mash, saute English spinach and plum and cinnamon ketchup ($24). I quite like the kumera mash. Perhaps that's because there is nothing much to eat on my plate. See proof below.

hawkesbury farm gate trail sassafras creek

This is my plate of pan seared scallops on avocado cream with cucumber ribbons, watercress and lemon dressing ($22). It is sub-optimal. The scallops do not meet the International Masterchef Standards of caramelisation. And I'm still quite hungry after having this dish.

hawkesbury farm gate trail

We head off to Enniskillen Orchard (753 Gross Vale Rd, Gross Vale) after lunch. There's no pick your own fruit here, only a shop selling a wide range of local produce like jams, fruits and vegetables.

The gorgeous Mt Tomah Botanical Gardens in our last stop of the day. No words can express the beauty of this place, so I'll just leave you with some of my favourite snaps.

hawkesbury farm gate trail
beginning and end

hawkesbury farm gate trail mt tomah botanical garden

hawkesbury farm gate trail mt tomah botanical garden
centre of attraction

hawkesbury farm gate trail mt tomah botanical garden
we've been here

hawkesbury farm gate trail mt tomah botanical garden
right here waiting

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14 comment(s):

Sydney Shop Girl May 2, 2010 at 6:35 PM  

Sigh. What stunning photographs. The colours. I could stare at them forever.

Hope you've had a lovely weekend, foodwink.

SSG xxx

foodwink May 2, 2010 at 6:47 PM  

Thanks SSG <3 Hope you've had a great weekend too. Mine was too short!

Amy @ cookbookmaniac May 2, 2010 at 10:00 PM  

Your photos make me happy. YOu make everything look so beautiful and lovely.

Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial May 3, 2010 at 6:52 AM  

Just fabulous photos, as always Wink. You've got an amazing eye. Those apples look divine...

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella May 3, 2010 at 1:13 PM  

I love the Hawkesbury farm trail. There is so many beautiful things to see and eat!

Juliana May 4, 2010 at 8:18 AM  

Great and awesome pictures...thank you so much for sharing them :-)

OohLookBel May 4, 2010 at 5:25 PM  

Your photos are so autumnal and gorgeous. Loved the one with the cute shoes... :)

Xiao Yen Recipes May 4, 2010 at 6:22 PM  

How cool is that to be able to pick your own fruits. I've never done that...but uh trying to grow some fruit trees in my backyard. Not looking at all though :(

Adrian @ Food Rehab May 4, 2010 at 8:36 PM  

pan seared scallops...not enough, but nothing better! hehe Photos are just amazing here- felt like biting into those juicy apples.

Angie Lives to Eat (and Cook)! May 4, 2010 at 8:53 PM  

Food and flowers... my two loves =)

shaz May 4, 2010 at 11:03 PM  

Oh no, sad to hear that the picking season is over, was thinking about taking the kids apple picking but of course left it too late.

Beautiful photos, at least I can enjoy your apples :) And you've got an apple tree in the backyard? Very impressed!

Cheryl May 10, 2010 at 11:48 PM  

Beautiful photos foodwink! The colours and composition are so amazing to look at. I could almost smell those apples.... *sniiiiiif!

Oli Sari-Goerlach May 18, 2010 at 9:09 AM  

This is a lovely posting :) This is another spot that I will keep in mind to hit up while I'm in Australia!

Anonymous May 20, 2010 at 2:40 PM  

Gorgeous photos!

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foodwink is written by a Sydneysider to catalog memories related to food, travel and anything in between. Email: foodwink [@] g m a i l [.] c o m.

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