Over the month of June, the Southern Highlands in New South Wales is embracing the wintry weather and celebrating it with pies. Whether it’s discovering the Pie Trail with just under 30 local pie makers, getting involved in Pie Making competitions or the Pie Time Festival on 24-25 June, it’s a fun-filled festivity for pie-lovers. Last weekend, I was lucky enough to immerse myself in part of the Pie Trail, exploring mouthwatering pies from Werai to Bowral.
Farm Club Australia, Werai
One of the highlights of our Pie Trail adventure around the Southern Highlands is the Beef & Guinness pot pie served with baguette slices and Pepe Saya butter at Farm Club Australia. Brimming with deep and bold flavours, the pie is even more delicious when we dip the baguette – thickly spread with Pepe Saya’s incredible cultured butter – into the hearty beef pie. Pairing the pie with a glass of tempranillo from nearby Centennial Vineyards rounds off the meal delightfully.
Located near Moss Vale, Farm Club is a one-stop shop for those seeking an authentic farm experience. The family-owned farm features fantastic vegetables as well as free range pigs, grass-fed Angus cattle, and farm fresh eggs. Available for purchase in the farm shop and incorporated within the canteen menu, Farm Club is truly the embodiment of local and fresh. Keen to get the full farm experience? Cottages on the peaceful property are the perfect farm stay for your next weekend getaway.
Centennial Vineyards, Bowral
We stay in beef pie territory on our next pie stop. At the picturesque Centennial Vineyards, we settle back with the Centennial Merlot & Highlands beef pot pie ($34) baked under puff pastry with baby carrots, cabbage puck, and tomato relish served with a glass of Centennial Quattro Rosso or Yenda Hell Lager.
The premium cool climate in the Southern Highlands ensures that the grapes ripen slowly with intense flavour. As a result, Centennial Vineyards produces wines of excellent quality.
Bradman Museum’s Stumps Café, Bowral
It’s not a trip to Bowral without a visit to the Bradman Museum. And why not enjoy a signature Sweet Emily Pie with a tea or coffee ($10) at Stumps Cafe after you’ve explored the world of cricket? The sweet crust pastry is filled with sticky caramel, fresh apple, and fig then served with ice cream and a homemade toffee swirl.
The Bath, Bowral
The Bowral Alternative Tea House, also known as The Bath, is offering a signature pie as part of Pie Time. Rustic and homey, the duck pie is accompanied by mash, gravy, mushrooms, and peas. The matching pot of Assam tea is a joy on this chilly Sunday.
With a menu that’s organic where possible and cultivating a connection with local farmers, The Bath focuses on healthy and wholesome food, catering to everybody whether you’re vegan, paleo, or grain-free.
Cherry Tree Hill Wines, Sutton Forest
An afternoon wine tasting never goes astray. Especially when there’s a pie involved, too. The signature pie at Cherry Tree Hill Wines as part of Pie Time is a Stones Patisserie chicken pie ($8). It goes down nicely with a glass of Cherry Tree Hill Chardonnay.
Known for their Riesling, Cherry Tree Hill Wines is a boutique vineyard producing award-winning cool climate wines. We’re fond of almost every wine we taste, picking up bottles of the Riesling, Rose and, Sauvignon Blanc to take back to Sydney.
Pie Time Stays Package at Peppers Craigieburn
Our Pie Time Stays Package at Peppers Craigieburn in Bowral ($195 per night) includes a pie and wine, which we enjoy by the fireplace in the hotel lounge. It’s a cosy nook and the perfect place to dig into the lamb, red wine, and local tunnel mushroom pie with truffle mash and a green bean salad, paired with a glass of local Tertini Shiraz.
It’s a hearty, tasty pie with a good, crisp pastry. While the mash is incredibly smooth and creamy, the addition of truffle oil doesn’t inspire me, especially considering it’s currently truffle season. I do know plenty of people who love a bit of truffle oil though.
Head to the Southern Highlands throughout the month of June to experience Pie Time. Get a bit adventurous on a Trike & Pie tour, follow the Pie Trail or check out the Pie Time Festival this weekend.
For more information about Pie Time, visit the Southern Highlands website here.