The Agrarian Kitchen Eatery has just been voted the number one restaurant in Tasmania. And the best way to experience it? Hop aboard with Alex Palmer of Tas Gourmet Food Tours. That way, you are chauffeur driven by convivial Alex to and from the pretty Derwent Valley and what’s more, he has some special stops along the way. It’s a full sensory day out. Oh, and Tailored Tas readers get a special treat ... read on.
The day goes a little something like this. You’re scooped up at 9.30am from your waterfront hotel or other, and settle in with your new wining and dining friends. It’s always an intimate group in size, or the option is there to gather friends and hire Alex out all to yourselves.
It doesn’t take long in Alex’s company to find he’s a passionate born and bred local. He serves up more than 20 years of food and travel industry experience. So, it’s like winding down the valley with a good friend who happens to know the best foodie stops with a side of history sprinkled in. As a professional photographer and video producer, he also provides a complimentary ‘postcard experience’ of the day. This all-inclusive tour is a step beyond.
First stop is Glen Derwent Tea Rooms for Devonshire tea, with some smart looking peacocks watching on. It’s little wonder, with scones so fluffy and fresh anyone would envy. Glen Derwent is wrapped in history dating back to convict days and sets the scene for a day where old and new meet.
Rolling into New Norfolk is an opportunity for Alex to share snippets about this historic town before chairs are pulled around a table at the Agrarian Kitchen Eatery. This is a place where seasonal produce is the hero. There’s an authenticity about it that weaves throughout – from the eatery’s interior to the wholesome friendly staff to what’s on the plate. Here, there is a genuine sense of place. Naturally, the menu shifts with the seasons but expect the likes of purple mandan corn polenta with calamari, green garlic and chilli. It’s quite the divine fusion of flavours.
The day rolls on with some antique hunting followed by wine tasting at Derwent Estate and Clemens Hill vineyard. The sweeping views from Derwent Estate are rivalled only by the rich calcite soil that deliver Derwent Estate’s distinct flavour. At Clemens Hill, the delicious golden fume blanc is a must try, and heading into afternoon hours, a delicate dessert wine might call.
From here, Alex shifts direction to Hobart’s waterfront. Leaving the countryside behind, it’s onto Mures for an iconic Tassie scallop pie. Surrounded by fishing boats, they are so delish because those scallops weren’t long plucked from the salty waters. Your host isn’t done just yet though. There’s one more stop at the Brooke Street Pier. It’s time to settle in for award-winning Grandvewe cheese and Hartshorn gin and vodka (that’s right Grandvewe just won world’s best cheese at the World Dairy Innovation Awards for their Gin Herbalist cheese and took the gong at the World Vodka Awards in 2018.) And doesn’t gin taste even more divine on a floating pier? Don’t forget to enjoy the River Derwent views! Alex then dutifully delivers you back to your drop off point around 4.30pm, just in time to freshen up and head out for dinner. Ah, that’s if you have room.
Tour: Agrarian Kitchen Eatery and Derwent Valley Gourmet Tour
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
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Words: Alice Hansen Images: Alexander Palmer unless otherwise stated.
*Book your tour by Nov 14 to receive a complimentary Tailored Tasmania book (rrp $39.95) on the day. Just mention Tailored Tas!
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