Today we went out for a driving day trip, my wife, Scully, and myself. We’d booked a lunch at the restaurant Eschalot in Berrima, which is about 90 minutes drive from home, in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales.
It rained overnight here in Sydney, and cleared up around breakfast time. I checked the rain radar and saw a few showers lingering around the Southern Highlands area, so I suggested we should take umbrellas just in case. We took the M5 motorway out of Sydney, heading south-west and then on to the Hume Highway. Where it started to rain. Heavily.
Really heavily. It got so hard that all the traffic on the freeway slowed down to about 50 km/h for a while, with visibility down to maybe 50 metres or so. The temperature also plummeted. I was expecting warm weather, since it’s summer and it’s been warm in Sydney. But by the time we got to Berrima, it was only 15°C. And pouring rain.
We were there just after 11:00, and so had an hour to kill before our lunch reservation. Normally we’d walk around the small town, but with rain pelting down we used our umbrellas and dashed into a shop to browse around indoors a bit. Then, because the town is spread out, we raced back to the car and drove down the street to find a parking spot closer to the restaurant, where we could dash inside a few other shops. We also tried to get Scully to do a toilet on some grass, but given the rain and wetness and unfamiliarity if the surroundings with people walking by, she was reluctant.
We went into the restaurant and they had a table set up for us outdoors (so we could sit with Scully), under a marquee which was very well protected from the weather by clear plastic sheeting. It was a really nice set up.
They had a few tables out there, but we were the only ones eating outside.
We had a selection of dishes, including pork belly, fresh curd, charred onion & rosemary consomme, garden peas:
And dry aged sweet potato, almond, labneh & pomegranate:
For dessert I had lemon tart, macadamia crumble, white chocolate mousse, frozen curd:
The rain eased a bit as we ate, but didn’t stop. I did manage to take Scully out to the grass and get her to toilet though. We scrambled back into the car, trying not to get too wet, and headed off. We stopped at the nearby town of Bowral to check the Gumnut Patisserie and grab some sweets to take home. I really wanted a vanilla slice, as this bakery has won prizes for theirs and it really is amazingly good. But unfortunately they were sold out, so we left empty handed.
We drove back to Sydney via a different route, crossing the mountains to the coast via Appin, and then north from there. This was an interesting drive, on a road I’ve never been on before. We arrived home about 5:30pm.
Total distance driven: 282 km. Here’s a map of our driving route:
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