Believe me, I was lucky to get this snap of Millthorpe looking like the goldrush-era village that time forgot. Because in real life it’s bustling with action on the weekends, with visitors and locals all swarming to the Millthorpe honeypot of its award-winning restaurant and pub, as well as its cafes, hotels, cellar doors, antiques and boutiques.
I’d intended to do a focus on the pure magic of Millthorpe at some stage, but I’ve landed my first bite for a group of Sydney visitors to make the trek over the Blue Mountains to experience this year’s Slow Summer Festival in February, in which Millthorpe plays a starring role. So here’s my suggested Magic Millthorpe itinerary for them, which you might like too.
Millthorpe is awash with charming cellar doors all in stumbling distance of each other. This is why I am recommending my Sydney friends actually stay in Millthorpe for the weekend of the festival they’re coming up for. All the accommodation is also in stumbling distance of the cellar doors – very handy.
Next, the Angullong blue stone cellar door is gorgeous, and used to be the stables for the hotel next door. Very cosy in the chilly months with a roaring fire to go with the roaring reds. The cellar door is open Friday, Saturday + Sunday.
Then wander down to the Bantry Grove cellar door and order a charcuterie or cheese platter to wash down with your wine. Open Friday, Saturday + Sunday.
For starters, The Old Mill Cafe is a well-regarded institution. You can’t go past it. And just across the road is the new-ish contender, The French Press which makes very good coffees, homemade pizzas and with pastries supplied by Racine Bakery.
Then make the pilgrimage to the destination gourmet experience of Tonic Restaurant, awarded a SMH Good Food Chef Hat in 2014, 2010, 2009, 2008 & 2007. Chef Tony Worland has worked with high-profile chefs such as the UK’s Gordan Ramsay and Australia’s Matt Moran and he’s a bit of a local legend.
There’s also Gerry’s Commercial Hotel which won ‘Best Burger in NSW’ and ‘Best Steak in NSW’ in 2014 and 2013 respectively in the Sydney Morning Herald Good Pub Food Guide. Gerry’s Hotel was also given a ‘2 Schooners’ rating by the guide in 2014 and 2013, and it has some wonderfully reasonable pub accommodation.
As they say, a visit to Millthorpe isn’t complete without a visit to tomolly for lifestyle, design + homewares – it’s a little treasure trove. There’s also the Blue gift shop, Galvanised at Millthorpe, the Peppertree En Pym Emporium, the gloriously named Salon des Refuses and more little gems to discover.
This isn’t a definitive list by any means, but here’s some of the choice picks for lingering longer in Millthorpe.
- Hockey’s at The Old Chemist
- Millthorpe Truffles
- Millthorpe Bed & Breakfast
- Millthorpe Motel
- Rosebank Millthorpe
- Stebel @ Millthorpe
Millthorpe – heritage with style, you’ll love it
Oh yes you will, you won’t want to leave. Most people who visit start casting around for ways to make a permanent move. It’s just so charming. Take a look at Millthorpe Village’s Facebook page to keep up to date with the action.
How to find Millthorpe: if you’re coming from Sydney, it’s 15 minutes outside of Orange on the highway. It’s clearly signposted, swing a left. To visit the vineyards on the Eastern Heritage Trail, just get back on the highway and head towards Orange, you’ll see signs to the individual vineyards signposted on the way. If you’re not feeling overly energetic, just stay in Millthorpe, drink in Millthorpe and eat in Millthorpe. It’s entirely possible :0)