The Flying Foodie: Moreton Bay

Food from Honey PeppersIf you are after a true inspirational paddock to plate experience in Brisbane, set the GPS, head out of the city and in 30 mins you will find yourself surrounded by open green pastures, market gardens and passionate foodies ready to share their bursting-with-flavour produce with you.

Start planning your trip to Moreton Bay straight away with Virgin Australia flights to Brisbane.

Here is my ultimate paddock to plate Moreton Bay hinterland itinerary:

First stop on your green change is the quaint historical village of Samford. It’s the perfect day trippers spot or spend a night or two to explore further afield. The route out of the city takes in jaw-dropping views and my recommendation would be to leave some time to explore bush and rainforest walks along the way, working up an appetite.

Honey Peppers

Honey Peppers is your first stop on this paddock to plate food trail of the Hinterland. Nestled in a lush setting overlooking the cool waters of Samford Creek, Honey Peppers, blends into the tranquil environment and if you are lucky, local turtles swim up and perch on an abandoned log on the opposite bank.

The sub-tropical rainforest cafe sources locally and sustainably produced fruits and vegetables along with free range eggs and organic meats where possible.

The menu is filled with plenty of familiar items or try something a little different such as North African eggs for breakfast or for lunch, the kangaroo burgers with a zoodle (zucchini noodles) salad.

Wine and food tasting at ocean view wineryOceanview Estate Winery

Venture further into the hinterland, approximately another 30 minutes towards Mount Mee and you will find Oceanview Estate Winery. Nowadays it seems it isn’t enough for wineries to create great tasting wines, they are now expanding into other specialities.

Oceanview Estate Winery, established by the Honnef and Irons family, has recently opened Oceanview Brewing Company, helmed by Head Brewer and eldest daughter, Hannah Honnef.  Collaborating with the winery and brewery is Executive Chef, Tony Tierney, formerly of Bretts Wharf and Tank. Tony has developed a modern Australian menu with Japanese influences. He sources produce as local as possible including from the gardens at Oceanview Estate and just down the road at Blue Dog Farms. 

The Vine and Bine Tasting menu is the perfect option to taste a cross section of what is on offer up here in Mount Mee. Tony has created a selection of dishes and matched them with the hand crafted wines and beers. House cured salmon, avocado crème fraiche, compressed watermelon, horseradish, Yarra Valley caviar paired with the 2016 Sparkling Chardonnay vibrantly kicks off the tasting platter.  My pick is the local confit pork jowl with the crispy pig’s ears washed down by the She’s Gone Pale beer.  The refreshing citrus flavours cut through the rich oils of the pork. Finish this dish with a final slug of the pale ale to balance the palate ready for the Mushroom dumplings.  The dumplings are soft and slippery, just as dumplings should be, but textural with the puffed quinoa and is perfectly complimented by the chocolate porter, French Kiss brew. Earthy, rich and flavourful with every taste.

Keep an eye on their website for winery tours and special events and if you arrive without a booking, don’t despair, there is the picnic in the vines options, grab a blanket, a picnic basket and enjoy the day under the canopy of the lush leaves.

Quick tip: On your drive from Samford Village to Oceanview Estate Winery, keep a lookout for the cosy Dayboro Antiques, pop in and have a look around at all the English and Australian early 1900’s furniture.

PrawnsDog Farm is fabulously local. The small organic micro-herb garden is just down the road from Oceanview Estate and is lovingly tended to by the hands of the owner, Jacki Hinchey and her trusty cattle dog, the aptly named Blue Dog. Her philosophy is about getting back to the basics of growing nutrient dense produce for direct sale to locals and restaurants.  Nasturtium flowers and salad leaves of baby kale, rocket, mizuna, red russian kale, red vein sorrel, chervil, dragons tongue mustard greens, amaranth microgreens, radish microgreens, malabar spinach, warrigal greens, dill, parsley, and mint.  The sorrel is zippy and citrus, but a whole handful of mixed leaves in the mouth is distinctly piquant and peppery and honestly the most intense pleasurable experience to eat straight from the ground.

Head back down the mountain towards Samford Village towards Millen Farm.

Seasonal fruit at marketsMillen Farm

In a nutshell, Millen Farm is an organisation created by the community in Samford that is focused on sustainability. The market garden is onsite and they also sell direct from their Farmer Markets on a Wednesday afternoon. Their produce also pops up on the menu at Honey Peppers, so keep an eye out. There is a great selection of heirloom varieties, particularly all colours of tomatoes.

At it’s heart, Millen Farm where the entire supply chain uses local processes and resources and it is wonderful to see this initiative in a working model.  It’s a real feel good moment to see the farm, buy the produce and know it has been grown by the community for the community. 

If you are planning more than a day trip out into the Hinterland, there are some great accommodation options to choose from.

Clear Mountain Lodge Spa and Vineyard

This is a beautiful spot up in the hinterland. It’s peace, tranquility and charms of the lodge spa and vineyard has guests in pure bliss. They have their own vineyards, bee hives and market gardens that harvest most of the herbs and vegetables which the restaurant uses. 

Oceanview Estate

Set into the rolling hills of Oceanview on the Mount Mee Tourist Drive, Oceanview Estate Winery also has accommodation cottages. Nestled among the vines and overlooking the lakes, you can relax and unwind, there is even a pooch friendly cottage.

Virgin Australia flies direct to Brisbane every day from Sydney, Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and other domestic airports. Search and book flights to start planing your foodie getaway. 

Alana Lowes was a guest of Visit Moreton Bay Region and Virgin Australia.

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