Food has become a fixation with Australians, and it is said that this country produces more cookbooks per capita than any other. It is little wonder that food tourism is a ‘flavour of the month’ and it looks like getting bigger for the foreseeable future.
Jacqueline Weiley’s Foodscape Tours is tapping into this growing market, showcasing the finest local produce, visiting local artisan foodmakers and wineries — sampling the best the South Coast has to offer and meeting the passionate personalities behind these operations.
The tours comprise relatively small numbers (minimum 8, maximum 20, usually 10-12 people) who travel in minibuses around Berry and the nearby countryside on a 1-day excursion to specialty retailers and farms, produce gardens and manufacturing kitchens, hearing the stories behind the fresh produce, preserves and loally-made chocolates.
The ‘Foodies Indulgence’ tours (held on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays each month in 2013) might begin with a visit to the Berry Tea shop for tea-tasting and a talk about tea processing. Next, it might call in at Pompadour’s Chocolate House to sample and learn about chocolate-making. Next, perhaps a stop-off at South Coast Provedores, who supply the freshest farm produce and also make exquisite preserves and chutneys. Otherwise, The Treat Factory might be on the route, that 4-generation-old Berry institution (it was the original supplier of jams to Arnott’s Biscuits) which offers a myriad preserves, dressings, chutneys, chocolate and all manner of hard-to-find supplies for the kitchen.
Next, a visit to the kitchen garden of a lady who grows a wide variety of culinary and old-fashioned herbs, talks about each and explains what it is used for.
A beautiful, one-course lunch at the Butter Factory in Pyree introduces travellers to a somewhat out-of-the-way, excellent restaurant they might never otherwise have discovered.
More visits to growers, and the afternoon is rounded out with a visit to the scenic Two figs Winery on the top of Coolangatta’s foothills overlooking the Shoalhaven river.
Foodscape Tours does a 1-day winery tour visiting the best of local grape-growers and processors – Coolangatta, The Silos, Mountain Ridge and Two Figs.
In 2014 the company is inaugurating a Foodies Walking Trail around Berry, visiting the growing number of food high-spots in this charming country town that seems to get more sophisticated every year. Full-day tours in 2013 cost $130 per person. Participants always have an opportunity to make purchases along the way. Bookings essential.