Seriously though, you want a bit more information with less exclamation marks and more photos. Don't you? If not you can check out some other blogs. If you do, be prepared for a few long posts. This one will focus on Orange. I will also do one on places near to Orange, one on Canberra and one our roadtrip. I will tell you about the food on offer but as we saw so much of our lovely country, be prepared to just share the sights of this part of Australia with me too.
Orange is a few hours drive west of Sydney. We chose to visit because my sister Fran and her husband John are currently living there. It was fantastic to see them. Upon first impressions Orange is unassuming with neither prettiness nor sights to make much impact. Yet it was a great place to spend a week. It had shops, cafes, a great art gallery (we loved the Robert McFarlane exhibition), theatre (see below) and fun parks. The Adventure Playground above was amazing with so much to do. We also went to Cook Park (top photo) which has historical garden architecture as well as swings.
Lavendilli Blue, despite an inauspicious start. We arrived late for lunch and found that there were no more savoury muffins (which I meant to find out more about but got dispirited). That left me with one option of a toasted cheese sandwich and salad. I asked for a scone for Sylvia but they were out of scones. She had toast with cheese and tomato. It was plain but pleasing. The toasties were crisp and full of melty cheese, and the salad was substantial with a lovely dressing.
Bell Shakespeare had a production of Julius Caesar. I have great respect for this theatre company and this production was as excellent as any other production of theirs that I have seen. Our evening was completed by the excellent food and service at Bodhi Garden Vegetarian Restaurant.
E said this place was the culinary highlight of the trip. I wasn't as bowled over, possibly because the menu was so long and I had to try and find something with no tvp or faux meat so I had problems choosing. What I had was good but the beans had a gloopy sauce that I am not so keen on and I really wanted to choose a tofu dish for a bit of protein but couldn't decide on which one. However I would definitely have gone back if I had the opportunity.
The previous night we had tried to get a table at the Union Bank Wine Bar. It was one of those nights when nothing went right. Instead we ate at Fran and John's house. Travelling with Sylvia was so much easier when staying with family. Fran loves to cook and I enjoyed dabbling in the kitchen with some favourite recipes - rice bake, olive oil bread, vegetarian sausage rolls and flourless chocolate cake. Fran made lasagne, minestrone with GF bread, home made chips for Sylvia, a fantastic muesli slice that I must try, and a mean chai latte for E.
Roberts Bakery. We were tired from the previous day's drive and just needed food. I got a spinach and ricotta pastie that was very nice. Best of all at these old fashioned Australian bakeries are the kiddie treats. Sylvia loved her gingerbread woman, though she mostly loved poking her finger into icing blobs. Who wouldn't!
the Teahouse (which had a cute little tearoom we didn't get to visit), home made marie biscuits from A Slice of Orange, cheese biscuits from the Orange Visitor Information Centre, and wine from The Belgravia Cellar Door. I also returned home with a new vegetarian cookbook as well as gifts and souvenirs. Good food, good company, beautiful countryside and lots of sunshine. No complaints here. I am sure the Orange economy will be grateful too!
41 Sale St
Orange, NSW 2800(02) 6361 9408
Bodhi Garden Vegetarian Restaurant
341 Summer Street
Orange, NSW 2800
(02) 6360 4478
184 Peisley St
Orange, NSW 2800
(02) 6362 1245