Monday, September 11, 2017

Travel Diary :: Mayfield Garden in Oberon, NSW Things to see, taste and do Part 2

This is the third time I’ve visited Mayfield Garden. I always have seen it as a place that provides acres, 160 acres to be exact of botanical profusion that promotes an equal amount of introspection. Mayfield Garden is one of the largest privately owned cool climate gardens in the Southern Hemisphere situated in Oberon in Central West, NSW, about a 2 hour 45 minutes drive from Sydney. Mayfield Garden was inspired by the great gardens of Europe. The garden is owned by the Hawkins family and is open 363 days of the year. 

The first time I went to Mayfield Garden was for a wedding in 2015 with family friends, second time in Autumn earlier this year and now in September. The last time I went to Mayfield it bucketed with rain and wind in the morning with the afternoon sunshine emerging to reveal the lush greenness of the gardens. In September, coming out of Winter, you learn to recalibrate observations to detect the slow evolution of nature and the unfolding of blooms. But going to Mayfield Garden is not only for some introspection. Mayfield Garden is transforming into a major entertainment hub in regional NSW. I went to Mayfield last weekend this time to experience one of many events that are scheduled throughout the year and to discover what I could ‘see, taste and do’ at Mayfield Garden this time round.
In addition to seeing the beautiful manicured gardens at Mayfield, you can now see one of the many events scheduled at Mayfield Gardens. Last weekend, Mayfield together with Cirkus Surreal created a whimsical ‘Alice in Wonderland’ inspired event - The Mad Hatter of Mayfield, where a local high school, Kelso High in Bathurst has a talented performing arts team all dressed up in Alice in Wonderland characters, popping in and out along the way in the gardens to surprise us and performed acrobatic acts for an audience to see at the new amphitheatre lawn area in Mayfield Gardens. The event was well attended with many families and children spending a beautiful day out in Mayfield. The bonus is that 100% of the proceeds from tickets & entry into the garden will be donated to Cirkus Surreal.
You can check out Mayfield Garden’s What’s on section of their website to plan you trip down there for their next events. They have yoga retreats and the next major festival is the Spring Festival that runs from October 14 – October 29 as well as the National Cool Climate Wine and Food Festival on October 21. At this upcoming festival you can get lost in the traditional English inspired Maze, see the Croquet Court, the Chapel, the Chook Hilton, the 80 metre Cascade with Temple and much more. In Spring, their row boats will also available on Mayfield Lake (at no additional cost) and interactive games are scattered throughout the garden for your family and friends to enjoy. There is a courtesy bus making several stops around the garden which is great for less mobile visitors. 

For breakfast and lunch, Mayfield Café and Produce Store looked after us serving a seasonal paddock and garden to plate menu with 80% of the produce grown onsite. If it’s on the menu, chances are it’s been picked that morning from our 1.5 hectare garden beds in the car park, Kitchen Garden and Walled Vegetable Garden, from their 2 hectare orchard or sourced from Mayfield Farm. The Cafe & Produce Store also sells a handpicked selection of local products from our own delicious jams and chutneys to homemade soaps, candles and other goodies.
The food and coffee at Mayfield Garden café and kiosk was so delicious too as everything tasted so fresh. This is what we tried.
For breakfast:
  • Celeriac rosti with poached eggs, roast mushrooms, fried kale, chorizo and smoked paprika hollandaise

  • Mayfield breakfast with your choice of eggs served on sourdough with mapled bacon, smashed rosemary potatoes, blistered vine tomatoes, goats cheese and sausage
  • Mixed berry French toast with vanilla mascarpone, quince and rosewater syrup.

For lunch:

  • Braised Mayfield lamb served with celeriac puree, smashed peas, bean salsa and jus

  • Local trout topped with anchovy, caper and parsley butter and baked in "a bag” served with chips and garden leaves.

Also, I tried the delicious pizza at the Mayfield kiosk too. I tried the Pear, Pancetta and Goats Curd; Kitchen Garden Herb and Moroccan Lamb, Spiced Yoghurt and Soy Crisps pizzas which have delicate but extraordinary flavours.

As we stayed overnight, Mayfield Garden organised for us to dine at Tommy’s in Bathurst which was 40 minutes drive away and serves up some of the finest Mexican food I tried. Tommy BX is run by Tommy Griffiths who left the citylife and moved to Bathurst to set up a bar and Mexican restaurant. Tommy told me he studied in Bathurst but then went to Melbourne to work in bars. “You know the colours on your Instastories as you were driving along Oberon? I just love it” and this drew him back to the country and settle in Bathurst to set up a Mexican bar and restaurant. His restaurant and bar just buzzes with people on a Saturday night. These were the Mexican dishes we tried and recommend you try too if you head out that way.
Jalapeno Poppers
Pork Chorizo Empanadas
Fried Cheese
Totopos with Guacamole
Sharing Plate of beed with pico de galo, salsa verde, salsa cruda, salsa de chipotle, black beans, guacamole, sour cream, cheese and jalapenos served with corn chips and totopos.
Taco al Pastor with coca-cola slow cooked pork taco with salsa verde, fresh pineapple salsa, ranch and fresh jalapeno

I went down to Oberon the day before the event and was lucky enough to stay at the stunning gated private guesthouse residence of the Hawkins family which accommodates up to 9 people. It was so peaceful and you really are secluded because there isn’t any internet access at all which a perfect way to unwind for the weekend is.

On the Saturday we arrived we explored the Central West Handmade and Artist Markets where you can browse and shop for local fine quality work from local artisans.
Or if you want something more hands on, you can try one of the workshops at Mayfield. I tried Lanny McKenzie's weaving workshop. Lanny, an accountant by trade, decided to follow her passion in weaving and is an award winning fibre artist and weaver from Orange, NSW. Lanny weaves natural and recycled materials, baskets and sculptured forms and she taught me how to weave a coaster on Saturday. Looks like my mum's sewing lessons when I was younger has paid off in this workshop. Proud and love my weaved coaster!

I’ll leave you with some  more photos from my weekend at Mayfield Gardens! This is a regional trip is worth planning for!

For details of upcoming events at Mayfield Garden, visit

See.Taste.Do travelled as a guest of Mayfield Garden




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