Monday, May 24, 2010
A hidden beauty is the town of Rylstone
We escaped the city life for a weekend in the NSW Central Tablelands, staying on a cattle farm in the gorgeous little town of Rylstone. There was a stack of reasons why we chose to drive 4hrs west, over the Blue Mountains, past Lithgow, passing through Cullen Bullen, Running Stream, Ilford, Kandos and on to Rylstone. Our eldest son is trying to clock up one hundred & twenty hours of L plate driving, Rylstone happens to be the home of two Organic Olive Presses and nearby Mudgee, had a handful of organic wineries I wanted to visit too. So we took a three day weekend, the log book and lots of fresh organic produce to sustain us and headed off. On the recommendation of a dear and well researched friend, we booked accommodation at "Franks' Breakaway" a Farmstay about 20 minutes out of Rylstone in a picturesque hidden valley.
"Franks' Breakaway" provides basic, budget accommodation. Jenny the owner of the property was a delight, she was a woman who really knows what it is to work hard in life. I had come away from my life in Sydney for a bit of a break with my family and to enjoy organic food & wine & olive oil. However, I was more inspired by this hospitable widow, who continues to run almost single handed the farm, after losing her husband Reg last year. This more than anything else I experienced over the weekend impacted me.
Our accommodation in the Rockhouse, which is a converted dairy, was clean and cosy. We were surrounded by the silence you can only find in the country, sustained by my cooking and warmed by the comfort of a woodfire, we would have liked to have stayed longer.
The town of Rylstone is a pretty little place.
We enjoyed afternoon tea at "Number Forty Seven Gallery Community Art Space & Cafe" it was like stepping back in time. Retro furnishings, hot chocolates, books to read, and my daughter Molly bought herself a lovely handmade woollen hat.
We also visited the "Rylstone Fruit Deli" who sell the "Rylstone Olive Press" Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which I currently use in my recipes and sell in my janeCOOKS Cooking Classes.
"Lakelands Olive Press" is also located in Rylstone and they have a tasting room in the main strip.
It was lovely to taste their many organic and biodynamic products, both extra virgin olive oils and olives, which you may also experience in my classes soon.
Day two of our time away we took a day trip to Mudgee, which was about a 40min scenic drive and will make up next week's blog entry!
On our final morning in Rylstone, after a lovely sleep in, we took a walk up the hills behind the Rockhouse, the property backs onto Wollemi National Park. Our walk was followed by a hot organic breakfast cooked by me, "Organic eggs scrambled, served on Organic grain sourdough, with lamb & rosemary sausage and baby tomatoes done with parsley & garlic" as well as freshly squeezed juice.
Kids chopping wood, monopoly, laughter and reading in front of the fire, was all cut short, when mid afternoon we had to pack up and return to our real city lives!
A last stop off at the "Bizzy Birds Cafe & Homewares" in Rylstone for a parting snack was enjoyed by the kids. One and a half hours later we had a driving break in Blackheath, for a very late lunch of delicious gourmet pies, from the "Blackheath Bakehouse". Finally we arrived home in Sydney in the early evening.
Tom had acquired 12 hours of driving time, and although we returned home well fed, with some lovely fresh feta cheese, olives & organic wines, really it was a weekend without luxury. This only confirmed to me that surrounded by the beauty of nature and those you love, home cooking, warmth and lots of laughter is all you need. (and my camera!!!)
Whether for a week or weekend getaway or just passing through on you way to somewhere, take the time to visit Rylstone.
Rylstone Olive Press & Bentivoglio Olives
Lue Road, Rylstone NSW 2849
Lakeland Olives Tasting Room
Louee Street, Rylstone NSW 2849