I was fortunate to have a weekend away with beautiful girlfriends in Byron Bay over the last few days. Everyone raves about Byron, the food, the beaches, the hinterlands and the warm and kind people. Byron has a way of attracting all the best parts of Australia to one spot, like a mini microclimate of everything I love about Australia. The beach is large and sweeping with the little township nestled behind overflowing with boutiques, laid-back cafes and bars and swarming with crochet-tassled tanned beauties. The clean, fresh look of Byroners could be, in part, due to the healthy lifestyle promoted here. Wholefood cafes, juice bars, organic food and coffee and sustainably sourced produce from local farms are the mainstay of Byron Bay which lends it an authenticity not always found at holiday home-studded beaches.
A shining light amongst the food offerings is The Farm Byron Bay, www.thefarmbyronbay.com. From the rustic farmhouses, with parched, sun-bleached timber and corrugated iron to the railway sleeper gardens overflowing with herbs and edible flowers to the solid farm tables with old stools, The Farm feels like stepping back in time to a 1930’s cattle ranch. The food is anything but dated. The Farm grows it produce, farms its animals, harvests its eggs and macadamias on site. The freshness of the food is overpowering with many of the dishes raw or lightly cooked to let the flavours sing.
Three Blue Ducks, www.threeblueducks.com, of Bronte, Sydney, helms the restaurant and brings with them their casual Sydney decadence. The cauliflower & broccoli rice, miso eggplant, kale, sauerkraut, seaweed, pickled ginger, fried shallots, toasted sesame and poached egg was fresh, crunchy, warm and sweet. The Japanese flavours were expertly blended of sweet eggplant, sour sauerkraut, crunch of kale and shallot and warm vegetable rice. It was divine. As was the housemade mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes and freshly baked sourdough from the onsite bakery and patisserie. The Ricotta hotcakes with butterscotch banana, toasted walnuts, burnt lime and maple butter with salty bacon were also a winner after a night celebrating with friends.
Luckily this was the last place we visited, as we would have tried nothing else, lured in by their country charm and ricotta bombolini. Other delights were Byron Fresh, www.byronfresh.com, for a clean, healthy, delicious breakfast and lunch and Miss Margarita, www.missmargarita.com.au, for good old Mex street food and charming waiters. You might even get treated to a sidewalk tango.
Be careful. Byron is a Hotel California. You might never be able to leave…
Enjoy, savour and devour!