1 June 2023

Winter time in the Southern Highlands is wonderful ... and so are the pies

| Graeme Burrill
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gourmet pie and sauce

The Southern Highlands are very proud and particular about the quality of their pies. Photo: Destination Southern Highlands.

On a cold winter’s day there’s nothing better than a hot meat pie and, over the next couple of months, the Southern Highlands is the place to find the best pies and more.

The Pie Time festival, traditionally held during June each year, has been expanded and incorporated into a larger Winter’s Wonderful campaign that not only focuses on pies but all the other wonderful things there are to do in the Highlands.

For pie-lovers there is still lots to choose from, according to Libby Bain from Destination Southern Highlands.

“You can go to many of our wineries and have an experience like Pie and Pinot. Some wineries do mini pies and match with up to four wines,” Libby said.

“Another example is Sweetie Pie and Bubbles, which is particularly popular with women, where you can have a sweet pie and a glass of sparkling.”

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If you’d like to continue your Highlands’ pie experience at home, Libby said there was also a “take me home and let’s get saucy” range.

“[It’s] all about the pies that you can collect in the region from the various outlets that meet the high pie criteria, because we’re very particular about the quality of our pies,” she said.

A high pie is made in-house or purchased from a gourmet pie supplier like Samuel Gee’s in Balaclava or the Gumnut Patisserie in Mittagong, Bowral and Berrima.

“The Highlands is famous for our pies because they’re farm fresh. You can go to the Farm Club [at Werai near Moss Vale], and you’re eating beef pies. It’s real paddock to plate stuff,” Libby said.

Women tasting wine

Match your pie with a wine-tasting at one of the many wineries in the Highlands. Photo: Destination Southern Highlands.

Along with a pie from many of the local bakeries, Winter’s Wonderful, which runs until the end of August, highlights plenty of other attractions and events including winter walks, markets, truffle hunts and the famous Bradman Museum.

The spectacular Borealis in the Vines at Centennial Vineyards, which brings the Northern Lights to Bowral, runs until the end of June.

Another amazing light show will be held at the Ngununggula Southern Highlands Regional Gallery in Bowral on Friday 23 June, as part of its Midwinter Festival. Come to the Light is a choreographed and responsive First Lights drone show. Along with other features, there will be a food and wine component onsite over the three-day, two-night event.

For garden-lovers, there’s also Retford Park on the outskirts of Bowral which was owned by James Fairfax until he donated it to the National Trust. Visitors can follow a self-led art and nature trail suitable for children and families to help discover highlights of the beautiful gardens.

Other popular attractions are the historic Harper’s Mansion at Berrima, along with Fitzroy and Carrington Falls.

Winter’s Wonderful runs until 31 August. For more information on Winter’s Wonderful, visit Destination Southern Highlands. Ngununggula, Southern Highlands Regional Gallery is open every day. Access via 2 Art Gallery Lane, Bowral. Retford Park Gardens are open Thursday through Sunday every week, house access by guided tour only on Saturdays and Sundays.

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