For those of us who have grown up in the hustle and bustle of city life, there’s nothing quite like escaping to a charming country town for a much needed, relaxing holiday.
Fresh, seasonal produce is always easy to find. Beautiful heritage streetscapes and breathtaking landscapes are wherever you turn. Local hangouts provide a friendly environment to bump into a familiar face. And an overall welcoming and homely atmosphere greets you at every turn. It’s no wonder why many people have decided to trade in their city apartments for country cottages.
I was lucky enough to spend a weekend in the Mudgee Region courtesy of Destination NSW. Home to historic architecture, award-winning wineries and some of the best food I have ever tasted, Mudgee quickly won me over. In addition to the hours upon hours spent happily dining and wine-tasting, we got the opportunity to appreciate the many local businesses that have made Mudgee their home, and which help give the town its iconic feel.
Over the weekend, we stayed in the Cobb & Court Boutique Hotel, located in the heart of the town centre. The hotel pays homage to its country location, providing rooms that are stylishly furnished, with neutral brown colour schemes that made me feel warm and at home.
With The Wineglass restaurant just downstairs from my room, good food was essentially at my doorstep and a range of other restaurants, bars and shops were only a few minutes’ walk away. The hotel rooms are all positioned close to one another, meaning you can easily hear someone coming to and from their room or someone dining in the main bricked court. This could be a problem for some people, but for me it was hardly a bother. The overall charming nature of the hotel left me comfortably at peace.
Shopping in Mudgee was a delightful change from what I’m used to, having grown up in Sydney. We had Olivia Morgan of Morgan & Scout Mudgee as our local shopping guide one morning, and she took us through the most noteworthy stores in the town.
Places like The Shop stock an array of beautifully unique products from local Mudgee producers, while Deer Mudgee Boutique brings some leading fashion brands from around the world to the country town.
Stores like Loft and Juliet Horsley Homewares were amongst my favourite to visit, with absolutely beautiful crockery, furniture and furnishings on display. I found myself thinking I could easily have lived in these stores.
It was also a delight to meet the local producers behind some of the high quality products coming out of Mudgee. Georgie Goldsmith of GGUP showed us her upholstery studio, which is also home to her handmade leather bags and wallets.
I couldn’t help myself and just had to purchase one of her totes and was happy to be treated to a demonstration of my initials being embossed on the leather. Stepping a little further out of the town centre, we made a quick trip to Karrabool Olives to sample some of the delicious olive oil made on the property, and to learn of the hard work and dedication that goes into harvesting the fruits.
A visit to the Australian Gourmet Hazelnuts hazelnut farm also provided some great taste-testing and education. With my companions and myself all in awe of the knowledge and skill that goes into producing such delicious results.
Aside from the shop and farm visits, just walking through the Mudgee township was worthy of our appreciation. Everything from the blossoming trees to the historic buildings gave the sense of being in an iconic, charming country town. It was certainly a difficult place to leave.
For more information on the Mudgee region, check out visitnsw.com.
I Ate My Way Through visited Mudgee as guests of Destination NSW.