It’s good to get out of the house now and then. My day job requires me to sit in front of a monitor for 8 to 10 hours a day, sometimes even more. When I get home, I’ll have dinner, usually in front of the tv and then I’ll ‘relax’ in front of my laptop reading blogs and catching up on the latest news. For me, gone are the days of actually watching the news on TV, or reading a magazine to find out what the latest gadgets are because by the time it hits the magazines it is yesterdays news.
I needed a weekend out of the house, and not just on the soccer field. After a few days of emails, we decided to go for a bushwalk in the Blue Mountains. It was 29 degrees and hot in Sydney, but 20 degrees and raining in the Blue Mountains. Factor in humidity, wet surfaces and leeches, some of us wished we had stayed back at home.
The walk itself was quite easy-going, except for the one thousand steps we had to take to get to the top. It was wet and misty, which made the trek a bit more adventurous. We didn’t come across many other bushwalkers, but we did come across copious amounts of leeches. There was one stage where five of us had to spend a good few minutes picking out leeches off our bodies. They mainly targeted our legs, I don’t think wearing shorts was a good idea after all.
The leeches were an absolute pain in the ass. Every thirty seconds we would have to check our legs and shoes to see if they were there or not. Though in hindsight, it did make us walk faster and avoid the heavier downfall of rain while we were eating at the Megalong Valley Tea Room.
At the end of the walk we were all fully drenched by the rain and hungry. Squishies suggested we recharge ourselves with a pie at the Megalong tea rooms, at that stage we were willing to eat anything.
Megalong Tea Room is about a 15 minute drive from Echo Point in Katoomba . It’s a nice drive with long and winding roads through the bush, which were particularly scenic due to the fog and rain. Once you come down the valley you’ll hit a main road with bush and mountains on each side. On your right will be the Megalong Valley tea room, look for the Peter’s ice cream sign and you can’t miss it.
There is an old school feel about the place, with everything from the floorboards to the interior. The place is 54 years old so they must know a thing or two about feeding hungry bushwalkers, particularly ones drench from the rain.
As common courtesy we decided to sit outside, it just looked too nice inside for a bunch of dirty bush walkers. The decor is minimal and looks like someones backyard, but it’s a nice and relaxed feel.
After a long walk in the rain, a soup would hit the spot. Teresa opted for the leek soup which was the soup of the day. It’s hearty, thick and sweet, definitely hitting the spot when eaten with the soft bread rolled slashed with creamy room temperature butter.
I opt for the Plougman’s lunch which I’ve heard of, but never tried. It is apparently a cold snack or meal originating from the UK, with many considering it a cultural icon. A bit like our meat pie though isn’t it ? Anyway, it’s a generous selection of cheddar and Brie cheese, Leg Ham, Corned Beef, Selection of Home-made Pickles and Chutneys served with fresh Bread. It’s a hearty choice but I’m a bit let down by paying $16 for this. In saying that, what more could I expect for a Ploughman’s lunch ? Tasted bloody good though, all I needed was an ice-cold beer to wash it down as I’m sure that is what they did in the 50’s.
We came here for the pies after endlessly hearing glowing references from squishies and F in the car. “Best pies ever” and ” These shit over Harry’s ” were some of the claims we had to put up with. Also for $9.50, they better be bloody good right ?
Thankfully the pies were amazing. The puffy, crispy and buttery pastry encased all the different pie flavours. My favourite was probably the non meat version of creamy cheese, onion and garden sage. The aroma let out by the onion and sage engulfed the table, making me have seconds thought about not ordering a pie. Each pie comes with a side of chutney, a nice home style alternative to tomato sauce.
They say it takes two to tango, the same can be said about apple pie and vanilla ice cream. I don’t often see this combination on dessert menus, it’s simple but a classic in my opinion. One spoon of the pie and ice cream brought back memories of when my parents use to buy me a Macca’s apple pie and a 30 cent cone, except this pie was a million times better. The apples were soft but still had a bit of texture to them and I could still see slices of apple in the pie. The pie pastry was a tad crunchy too, with a bit of effort required with the spoon to crack it open.
Scones would have to be one of the most fail proof desserts of all time. The scones were nice but not spectacular, but it was the fresh cream and blackberry jam which we kept coming back for. The jam in particular had everyone talking, it was made up of fresh ripe berries with the perfect amount of sweetness and tartness. We suspect it’s all from the freshness of the berries, and not with excess sugar. What I liked about the jam the most was the texture, I could taste lumps of berries as well as the delicate crunch from the seeds.
After a long day walking it was a relief to be able to kick back with some good food, good views and a good coffee. The food at Megalong tea room is honest and home made style rather than modern cafe style which you expect back in Sydney. As a result, it’s a great throwback to what country style food could be like. If I’m in the area, I’ll definitely come back as this sort of comfort food is exactly what you need after a long walk in the bush.
Megalong Tea RoomMegalong RoadMegalong Valley NSW 2785Phone (02) 4787 9181web : http://www.megalongtearooms.comNote : Cards not accepted, bring cash. 10% surcharge on weekends, which I thought was a bit rough.