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Orange is a city in the central tablelands region of New South Wales and just over a three hour drive from Canberra. So late last year my two friends and I decided to take a road trip and spend a few days looking around and injecting some money into a place that like many others has done it tough during Covid.

We stayed at a really lovely Airbnb, my favourite form of accomodation these days with a courtyard out the back where we enjoyed breakfast in the mornings and wine and snacks in the afternoons.

Our first evening, my friend Naomi had booked a local restaurant called Sweet Sour Salt with Asian inspired cuisine and an interesting atmosphere with dim lighting, dramatic wall art and upside down chairs hanging from the ceiling.

The restaurant has dispensed with the al-a-carte menu and offers three set menus. One of those was plant based and food was really good especially the red curry eggplant with bamboo and tofu; absolutely delicious!

Only thing that wasn’t good on the night was the local vegan wine; tasted like old socks! Even Mandy and Naomi when they tasted it thought similar.

The next day after a long walk around the city checking out the historic home which are all restored beautifully, we popped into a cafe for lunch. Birdie Noshery & Drinking Est offers tapas, cocktails, wine, beers etc. But we started off with a hot beverage. The peppermint tea arrived in a glass teapot with a gorgeous brightly coloured cup and saucer. I loved the posters and prints on the walls inside the cafe. It really was a lovely place to sit for a couple of hours, which we did.

Well…we started off with tea and coffees but then of course considering it was a wine bar we enjoyed a couple of glasses of Aussie sparkling wine. Whilst Mandy and Naomi shared a few tapas dishes mainly meat and seafood, I ordered a vegan plate which arrived with lots of anti-pasta and olives, which I don’t like at all but the girls enjoyed them. It was a really nice couple of hours, eating, drinking and chatting.

On our way back to our Airbnb, we stopped off at Ferment Wine Centre in the centre of town where we had booked another wine tasting, I think it was $10 per person. I asked the elderly man who greeted us at the door if he had any vegan wines. He really didn’t know but proceeded to tell me why wines are vegan (which of course I know)…so that’s five minutes of my life I will never get back. He was also supposed to pour our tastings and tell us something about the actual wines but he saw someone he knew so went to give her a huge hug and left us for most of our hour on our own… and failed to tell us anything. We were a bit annoyed but then the girls took full advantage of this and just poured their own wines and considering we weren’t driving, they poured with a heavy hand. I think they got their $10 worth!

We stayed two nights in Orange and on our way back to Canberra, we stopped off at Rosnay winery. We had booked a wine tasting the evening before on-line and Naomi had tasted this wine before and said it was very good and a plus is that it is organic. Now this was a great wine tasting. We sat outside and enjoyed wines with the owner who really was a character. We had quite a few laughs listening to the history of his winery and his other antics and enjoyed some snacks too including figs which are also grown on his land.

The winery grounds were quite beautiful and after our tasting we each bought sparkling, rose and white wines along with fig preserve, marinated preserved figs and glazed figs; all I still have in my cupboard. I find I buy these things because they taste good on the day but then never end up eating them. – so now I really must enjoy them with friends over a glass or two of wine. Perhaps the wine I bought from this winery!

It’s really nice to get out and about in Australia and makes it even nicer when I can enjoy time with my friends!