Friday, 15 August 2014

Stanthorpe getaway Part 2-and Felsberg winery Bell Tower Cafe

Our second full day away involved a lot of eating and driving around the countryside, which was very dry but still quite beautiful in that understated Aussie way of muted colours, tall twisted trees and dry grassy paddocks.

I love signs!  And the sunlight gleaming thru the tall grasses was lovely

Before the drive, we had lunch at Felsberg winery up on the ridge.   There are a number of wineries around Stanthorpe but not many do lunch; and as we have been here before, it was a no-brainer.  There is a long gravel drive up to the main building which looks Bavarian-kind of cute if a bit far from home.

beautiful views from the windows

Luckily we got to the restaurant just before a coach came up the drive, so were able to order and eat without having to wait for the huge hoard to be fed.  We sat by the front window with the sun streaming in, and actually getting a bit hot even though it was a cool Winter's day.  The Bell Tower Cafe currently has its Autumn/Winter menu in place.with soup, pizza, pasta and some meaty mains.
Mr Pickings usually eats vegetarian when we are out, but this time it was I who chose the haloumi and roast veggie stack, with chickpeas and home made tomato relish.  This was filling and so delish, so I was very glad I chose the small size.  Especially 'cos we also had those ubiquitous sweet potato chips. (I must have missed the memo as to when they became the staple chips on menus!)  And they were yummy- crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.

entree size $18 M $24

sweet potato chips $7 for a large side

Mr Pickings chose a pizza which came out on a wooden paddle and was substantial.  Actually this was also a vegetarian choice with potato of the normal kind, onion, mozzarella and goat's cheese.  It almost defeated Mr Pickings which is not an easy thing.

tasty and filling potato pizza $20

Sadly we were too full to try the cakes and coffee though judging from the delicious lunch, I feel sure they would have been equally tasty.  And I would love to try some of the other dishes like lamb shanks ($26), and Beef Wellington ($28). You can sample the wines in the tasting room before your meal, and then choose to have a glass of your favourite with your repast.
This is a very pleasant place to spend some time; the food is filling and tasty, the staff are friendly and helpful, and the atmosphere is relaxing.  The chef came out when we had finished to check if all was ok; we were happy to tell her we had had a great lunch.  And on our way out, we came across this flying pig.

very cute!

After lunch, we went driving in the countryside.  It was a gorgeous sunny day with those lovely polarised blue skies you get in a Queensland winter.  The wattle are just coming out so everywhere we went, we drove past bright yellow balls of sunshine cloaking the trees.  Really wonderful!

the fire on the left was a controlled burn, the other was some poor farmer's tractor ablaze

Next day we had to head home, but we took it very slow.  We stopped off for coffee and damper at the Info centre which has a little cafe, then headed north by way of the cheese factory.  The cafe is really popular here, and there were lots of people enjoying that Jersey milk.  We bought more relishes, and a locally crafted wooden spoon.

Mr Pickings looking pensive after scoffing down that damper and jam

lots of people were enjoying the sunshine and Jersey milk here

a country lane full of pinecones

just so you know-no rabbits allowed in Queensland:)

typical country house

We will be taking another short trip to Stanthorpe next month to pick up an artwork I bought at the local Gallery- cant't wait!

Felsberg Winery 'Bell Tower' Cafe on Urbanspoon


  1. I have been to Stanthorpe but wasn't there long enough to take a good look. I'm really eager to go back.

    1. Hi Maureen
      It is a quiet country town and you have to look around to find its hidden charms. But we always enjoy it!

  2. I'm glad you made it to the restaurant ahead of the busload of tourists! I love beef wellington but haven't seen it on menus for ages. Stanthorpe looks like a gorgeous country town with much to offer xx

    1. i think stanthorpe is old-school in a lot of ways but we like it:)

  3. Such Australian landscapes in these photos Sherry! Looks like you uncovered some faraway gems :D

    1. hi lorraine
      it is very beautiful in a typical aussie understated way. we love it.


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