What is there not to like about the 912 km² that is the Barossa Valley? We have no answer to this question. Stunning Barossa Valley (peppered with picturesque communities including Angaston, Lyndoch, Nuriootpa, Tanunda & Williamstown - as well as hamlets & villages) is steeped in German heritage. Fertile soils. Grape growing & winemaking (home to over 170 wineries & over 80 cellar doors; some unbroken lineages entering their 7th generation). Fruit trees. Meticulous & sophisticated degustation menus promising a culinary journey. Bienenstich. Mettwurst. Streuselkuchen. Vollkornbrot. Artisan cheese. Mediterranean climate. Warm, friendly community. Local characters. Australian landscape of rolling hills & scenic vistas. Live music. Historic churches. Houses built from locally-sourced bluestone, ironstone, sandstone & marble.
Local community is at the heart & soul of the Barossa Valley. With this in mind, we stayed at Pembury Homestead, Angaston (Airbnb). Jonathan and Kate are the lovely hosts of this beautiful home set in superb countryside. They were immediately warm and friendly and helpful. We rarely revisit the same place twice as we both prioritise adventure; however, we are definitely considering going back to Angaston and checking in again for some more (child-friendly) hospitality at Pembury Homestead. Not to mention, the location is central and ideal for day trips around the Barossa (if you want to cycle, Pembury Homestead is located right next to a bike path). Oh, and for the dog-lovers: the stay comes with the added bonus of fur-babies Baxter & Sally.
Maggie Beer's Farm Shop was definitely a highlight of our trip. Maggie Beer is a well-known Australian cook & author (“The Cook and the Chef” is an Australian television series). The Farm Shop is the perfect spot for a relaxing picnic overlooking a dam. Think calm, peaceful surroundings and you have pictured the setting. A visit here is a must.
Apex Bakery still uses slow natural ferment doughs & a wood-fired Scotch Oven, traditions carried on since opening in 1924. Recipes date back to the 1800s (featuring no preservatives & breads with no sugars). We took them at their word & opted for a Bienenstich - it was delicious as promised!
Mengler’s Hill Lookout provides one of the best views of the farming patchwork that is the Barossa Valley; you can see for miles. Fantastic opportunity to stop and take it all in - and we could imagine it would make a fabulous picnic spot, too.
Barossa Chateau boasts 30000 roses. After visiting a cellar door or three or ten, visiting Barossa Chateau and getting lost in amongst the roses is a pleasant palate cleanser. This was officially the most amount of roses we have seen in a day! We have heard really good reports about the high tea on offer at the chateau so we just might be back for research purposes. All in all, a lovely day out and one we recommend.
Lyndoch Lavender Farm introduces you to more than 90 lavender varieties over 5+ acres. The landscape is tranquil & relaxed; we enjoyed a very pleasant afternoon tea here followed by a wander through the stunning gardens. PSA: if you are are allergic to bees, though, don’t leave your Epipen at home.
We were informed that D&M’s Bakery Cafe offers The Best Vanilla Slice in the Valley. Vanilla slice is a favourite of mine (Em’s) since childhood so it is safe to say that I have sampled a few over the years. As I am typing this, I realised that I have not had a vanilla slice since our South Australian adventure at the end of 2017. I suppose that is an endorsement in and of itself. Perhaps I will not bother again until we make it back to the Barossa Valley. Come to think of it, it probably is worth the wait. (Unless Pete offers to make his version in the meantime - in that case, I will be a lost cause.)