Postcards From The Barossa Valley

Barossa Farmner's Markets - Cook Republic
 
 
Dear Diary,
 
A few weeks ago I boarded a Qantas plane from Sydney for a three day adventure int the Barossa region of South Australia. On the plane I sat next to Peter who authors the visually stunning and fabulously moody Greek-inspired food blog, Souvlaki For The Soul. Peter also talks a lot. With zest and jest. For more than half of the duration of the flight, we leaned forward and craned our necks to have a conversation with Fouad who reminded me a lot of Shane Delia and Sarah who when she was first dragging her cabin luggage up the plane aisle made me think of a pretty French girl with big glasses who ran a quaint little bookshop in Paris and knew the life story of every little person who walked in her door.
 
 
Seppetsfield, Barossa Valley
 
 
Hentley Farm, Barossa Valley
 
 
Hentley Farm, Barossa Valley
 
 
Squid Pasta, Hentley Farm - South Australia
 
 
Upon landing in Adelaide we were greeted by Bianca Alosi, a lovely girl with gorgeous eyes and a penchant for adventure and good food. As our car whizzed off to the Barossa, there was a continuous chatter with topics ricocheting wildly from Foaud’s impeccable knowledge of  grains, Sarah’s upcoming debut novel, Peter’s knack for doing impressions and Bianca’s interesting snippets about the culture and future of Barossa.
 
 
We had the most spectacular 5 course lunch at Hentley Farm. The food was innovative, full of pleasant surprises, modern, fresh and immensely flavourful. The matched wines were stunning. The lunch here was my highlight of the Barossa trip, so if you are ever there; make sure you go and experience their fabulous food and ambience (The restroom was so stylish, I could’ve lived in there!). Lunch was followed by a leisurely visit to Laughing Jack’s wines. Owner Sean Kalleske took us through the process of their winemaking and led us through a tasting of some beautiful wines, amongst which I discovered a passion fruit wine which was out of this world. A quick check in at Novotel Barossa was followed by dinner at fermentAsian, a modern Asian restaurant housed within a heritage property and run with warmth, finesse and flavour by chef and owner Tuoi Do. 
 
 
Hentley Farm, Barossa Valley
 
 
Wine, Barossa Valley
 
 
Wine Barrel, Barossa Valley
 
 
Wine Barrels, Laughing Jack's Wines
 
 
Novotel, Barossa Valley
 
 
Novotel Barossa
 
 
Casa Carboni Cooking School, Barossa Valley
 
 
After a restful night at Novotel, we had our bags packed for a day packed with more food, more wine and a cooking class. But first stop was the farmer’s markets at Angaston in Barossa. Half the size of the Everleigh markets, there was a distinct feel of small town community and familiarity at the markets. Friendly faces, families, knowing nods and warm greetings: it was evident that everyone knew everyone else and we were equally welcome. My breakfast was a delicious bacon and egg roll, strong coffee and a cup of balsamic roasted strawberry ice cream by ex-gastronaut Julie.  I also stocked up on nuts, cute golden nuggets and more nuts.
 
 
And then we headed off to Casa Carboni, an Italian enoteca (a place where you taste and buy wine) and cooking school where I was about to have the most fun I was going to have in the Barossa. A quaint little place on the Main Street of Angaston, Casa Carboni was guarded by a duo of potted olive trees. The windows adorned with wine bottles suspended from the ceiling, beckoned us. I was instantly smitten by the single community style table commanding centre stage.  At the back, just a step up on a podium all of it’s own was the cooking school. 
 
 
Casa Carboni is a dream venture by husband and wife, Matteo and Fiona who moved to the Barossa from Italy and set roots with their children in Angaston. Matteo spent the next hour and half gently guiding us to create handmade nettle pasta. He had a lot of helpful advice and techniques to share peppered with interesting stories. As we explored the open shelves stacked with jars, bottles and kitchen goodies; Matteo finished off the dish and Fiona set the table. The meal matched with a lovely wine was homely and fantastic. We took turns leaving handwritten notes on the wall and practically bought the entire basket of Matteo’s  handmade nougat, the best nougat I had ever eaten. Modest, rustic but with a modern industrial charm; Matteo and Fiona had made this Casa one to remember. 
 
 
Casa Carboni, Barossa Valley
 
 
Casa Carboni, Making Nettle Pasta
 
 
Nettle Pasta, Barossa Valley
 
 
Peter G , Souvlaki For The Soul.
 
 
Nettle Pasta With Cherry Tomatoes - Barossa Valley
 
 
Highest Lookout Point in Barossa Valley
 
 
Bianca And Sarah - Barossa Valley
 
 
Bianca and I - Barossa Valley
 
 
View From My Room - The Louise, Barossa Valley
 
 
Barossa Valley - Cook Republic
 
Clouds - Cook Republic 
 
City Of Churches, Adelaide - Cook Republic
 
 
  Barossa Farmer's Markets - Cook Republic
 
Barossa Valley Ice Cream
Roasted Balsamic Strawberry Ice Cream - Cook Republic
 
Carrots - Cook Republic
 
 Vintage Car - Barossa Valley
 
Casa Carboni - Barossa Valley
 Peter G and Foaud - Barossa Valley
 
Nettle Pasta - Casa Carboni
 Making Fresh Pasta - Cook Republic
 
Fresh Pasta - Cook Republic
 Casa Carboni, Barossa Valley
 
Broccoli Tree - Barossa Valley
 Maggie Beer's Pheasant Farm
 
Maggie Beer, Barossa Valley
 Pioneer Antiques - Prop Shopping in Barossa
 
Dressing up for dinner at Appellation - Barossa Valley
 
 Appellation - Barossa Valley
 
The Louise - Barossa Valley
 
 The Louise - Barossa Valley
 
Appellation - Cook Republic
 
 The Lousie - Barossa Valley
 
The Louise - Cook Republic
 
 
 
The rest of the day was spent wandering down the streets of Angaston exploring cheese shops, prop shopping ain antique shops and homeware stores (food bloggers!!). A whirlwind visit to Maggie Beer’s pheasant farm and shop meant we had more goodies for our pantries. And then we arrived at The Louise. A stunning retreat set amidst the rolling lands of the Barossa, my stay here was one I will never forget.  A luxury suite all to myself, electric fireplace by my bedside, a stunning bathroom and an outdoor shower, vineyards in my backyard, lighting for every mood, screens and gadgets galore, decadent food at Appelation and waking up to the sight of a hot air balloon soaring over my head. 
 
Throughout the trip I kept struggling to take pictures because it was my first time using a Nikon (a short loan from Zing Australia) and it can be a bit crazy especially if you have been using Canon for 10 years. I kept adjusting the manual settings and experimenting on the go on the Nikon D600 fitted with a 24-85mm lens. I think the photos turned out quite alright. The last 20 odd photos or so were shot on my iPhone 4S.
  

It was a beautiful time in Barossa, an explosion of all my senses but with memories so poignant and vivid; I would remember them for years to come. Barossa’s new television ad says "Be Consumed!" and I was. I came back with fond memories of time by myself for the first time since having children in nearly 10 years. I came back to the warm hugs and smiles of my boys. 

 

Sneh
x

 

Note – A huge thank you to the South Australian Tourism Board and the Barossa for my memorable trip to their part of the world. A big shout out to Pepper PR and Bianca Alosi for organizing and co-ordinating a bunch of misfits to perfection.