Today’s post marks the return of our Lovely Locals column and this one looks at the beautiful NSW South Coast with one of it’s loveliest locals Freya Hilkemeijer. Freya lives in Berry, NSW, where she is co-owner of that town’s Sourdough Bakery and Cafe and more recently, owner of one of my favourite shops ever, The Picnic Shed. So if anyone knows where to eat, drink and play in this part of the world it’s Freya. And she tells all on the blog today…
Thank you to photographer Samantha McAdam for the above photo of Freya which appeared in the June issue of Country Style.
Tell us a little about your local area…
I live on a property in Berry which is a gorgeous little country town situated between the mountains and the sea, just two hours from Sydney, an hour from the Southern Highlands, 45 minutes from beautiful Jervis Bay and five minutes to the local beach! Surrounded by rolling green dairy countryside and a stunning coastline, I feel pretty lucky to live here!
What would be the perfect Winters morning in Berry for you?
Taking my dog for a walk along our road in the early morning sun, then having a yummy brekky with the kids out on the verandah at Berry Sourdough Cafe. If its chilly I’d head home, light a fire and hang out playing games or baking with the kids.
Say I was heading down your way for a nice couple of days with the family…Where should we go for breakfast, lunch and dinner?
Owning Berry Sourdough Cafe, I am a bit biased on this one but I think a sunny table out on the verandah or a cosy one inside on freezing days is a lovely way to start the day (especially when the wood fire behind the counter is on). If you’re early enough on the weekend Drew makes a big pot of the best porridge I have ever tasted! The french chef at Milkwood Bakery also makes pretty incredible croissants.
For a sit down lunch again I’d recommend The Sourdough Cafe or The Burrows. Or for a pretty rural setting, Silos Estate has gorgeous views across their vineyards and plenty of room for kids to run around. For lunch on the run, Milkwood Bakery has a delicious selection of both savoury and sweet goods. There’s a great range to choose from for Dinner in Berry at the moment….South on Albany, Hungry Duck, Wharf Road, Silos, Leaf or Mezzadellas Pizza are all fun for a casual family dinner.
What if we fancied a nice beach picnic, what about picnic supplies? And can you share your favourite picnic spot in the area?
For picnic supplies (after a visit to The Picnic Shed of course to pick up some essentials… basket / bread board / thermos / enamel crockery etc), and then head to Milkwood Bakery for all the treats you need including gourmet pies, pizza, savoury tarts, sourdough breads and a delicious selection of cakes, pastries and biscuits. My current favourite picnic spot is Cabbage Tree Beach, Jervis Bay. Closer to home I love anywhere along the coastal walk between Gerringong and Kiama. If in Berry, there are some pretty bends along the creek in Camp Quality Park.
Any good tips for second-hand and vintage foraging?
In Bowral: Dirty Janes Emporium & Antique Market has lovely old European Antiques (I love the drive from Berry to Bowral through the gorgeous Kangaroo Valley, it takes about an hour and is just spectacular). For vintage foraging I tend to head to Milton, about 45 minutes south of Berry.
We love discovering beautiful fresh produce on our travels, where should we go in Berry to taste, browse and buy the best of the area’s goodies?
Kiama markets on wednesday afternoons 3pm-6pm have local organic produce, jams, cheeses, meat, flowers, bread. Il Locale has amazing gelato made from a local dairy in Kiama and the Providores in Queen Street Berry for their hand made conserves, chutneys and relishes. Oh, and Pompadours make their own divine gourmet chocolates
Anything else we should definitely try and see/do/try while in the area?
• The walk between Gerringong and Kiama along the coast is truly stunning, I feel like I am in Wales when I walk there.
• I think its really worth visiting some of the beautiful beaches of Jervis Bay….Honeymoon Bay, Cabbage Tree, Greenfields.
• Abrahams Bosem beach in Currarong is dog friendly and there’s fab fish and chips at Zac’s Place at the end of the day.
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