Farm-to-Table destination dining
If there’s one thing many of us gained from the 2020 pandemic it’s an appreciation for a healthier and sustainable lifestyle. Destination dining restaurants and distilleries have flourished across the region. These are our picks for paddy-to-platter and paddock-to-bottle places to try…
Long languid communal Saturday lunches tailored to locavores is the ethos of Frida’s Field that opened in September 2020. Set on a regenerative farm in the hinterland of Byron Bay, most of your food is paddy-to-plate and much of it is cooked on an open fire. Frida’s Fields is a family-run farm owned by Edward Rawlings and Jeanie Wylie, who live there with their three young children. The menu is ever-changing. Head Chef, Alistair Waddell (three time winner of the Australian Good Food Guide’s one hat award) serves up Allard dairy cultured butter, wood fired grass-fed meats and seasonal greens. Advanced bookings are required. P.S. They have a cute cottage for farm stays.
A long-standing favourite of ours, Harvest Newrybar is an elegant restaurant set in a 100-year old converted farm house surrounded by lovely verandahs. Open for lunch and dinner on specific days, there is a seasonal menu of creative cuisine made from the best of local and artisanal produce. Many of your greens are handpicked from their native garden. Cozy up around the fire and enjoy sampling wines from smaller vineyards. We also love their rotating calendar of long brunches facilitated by experts in regenerative farming, honey farming and more. P.S. They are opening Harvest House accommodation soon!
Husk Farm Distillers
Another day outing is a visit to Husk Distillers situated on a 60-hectare farm in Tumbulgum which is roughly a 45-minute drive from Byron Bay. Husk is renown as Australia’s first paddock-to-bottle distillery – famous for producing an ink coloured gin infused with 12 botanicals, including Australian native lemon myrtle and Tasmanian pepper berry. Learn about the art of premium gin and rum distilling followed by a craft spirit tasting at the Cellar Door. At the adjoining Planters Kitchen café, graze on simple and seasonal food curated from local produce and featuring some dishes infused with Husk beverages. Alternatively, meet friends for a signature ‘Ink Sloe Fizz’ made with Berry Gin. Book a table for the wonderful weekend Sloe Summer Sunsets where your drinks are complimented with grazing boards of artisanal cheeses, smoked olives and pickles and crackers.
Cape Byron Distillery
Seasonally crafted cocktails garnished with native finger lime and aniseed myrtle in a subtropical rainforest setting is the vibe of Cape Byron Distillery. Located in the hinterland of Byron Bay, the regenerative farm has been in the Brook family for over 30 years. Experience the art of gin distilling and tasting plus enjoy strolling through the trees where you can see, touch and smell the native botanicals used in your gin. The signature tour is 1 hour and 45 minutes and is a must-do when you have visitors in town.