Another beautiful day, another page turned and another inch or two marked on the map. We awoke yesterday to a lovely clear sky and perfect weather for exploring the wonderful Hunter Valley. Firstly into the little township of Branxton for the essentials needed to sustain us for a few days and then over to Lovedale Road for our first call at The Hunter Valley Chocolate Shop and Factory. Yum! I had died and gone to heaven. Woe and behold hidden amongst its shelves were some chocolates from USA and then I saw them.
Peanut Butter M &Ms calling my name, now those that know me know that while in USA in 2007 I fell in love with these little delights. Into my little take away bag went them followed by some white cocoa and some peanut butter fudge and I also added some macadamia nut honey just because. We passed many lovely wineries during the day, some with rather unusual titles such as Ghost Riders Wines and Cockfighter Ghost Wines hidden near the well known names. The scenery was picturesque with rolling hills of neatly maintained vineyards.
We called into the info centre in Cessnock near the Airport and watched the planes flying in and out. From here you can have a ride in a real jet fighter, a L39 Albatros. Imagine Cessnock to Bathurst 13 minutes!! From here we arrived at Polkobin and Bill enjoyed a couple of beers at Potters Brewery, the Hunters only micro-brewery-The Hunter Beer Co.
Heritage Brick Beehive Kilns
From here we went to the Hunter Valley Cheese Factory for the obligatory cheese tasting, I can recommend the Rileys Marinated Fromage Blanc.
It was housed in the McGuigans Winery. From here we went to another Hunter Valley Chocolate outlet attached to a winery and you could have champagne and chocolates. The Hunter Valley Gardens are well worth a visit if you are in the area featuring over 25 landscaped hectares of magnificently themed display gardens. Our next destination was the Smelly Cheese Shop at the Hall of Food @ Tempus Two. They featured cheeses from local dairies Binnorie and Hunter Belle as well as international cheeses. It also boasted of fresh breads and pastries and condiments as well as 47 different flavours of Gelato. The Mango, Macadamia & Yoghurt icecream was delicious. I think we covered a fair bit of the area yesterday having covered most of the Wine Country Drive and through Broke and Kuri Kuri to return home in time for happy hour.Talk again soon