Category Archives: Cellar Doors & Nosh Houses of the Clare Region!

Cellar doors, wineries, breweries, pubs, hotels, restaurants, cafes, markets, events

Crazy times for all of us :(

Well, this time a couple of weeks ago we probably all thought this ‘C’ virus would blow over. Sadly not. Now life will change and we need to change with it.

Yet life on Da Block is the same. Luckily we live on acreage so ‘personal space’ is not a problem.  Jeda and I keep things rolling along with small projects, gardening & too many ideas in my head!

Before the Cafes & Restaurants were forced to close we took friends to The Olive Bus just out of Clare.  It is casual, open, scenic and wonderful. As per the photos, the kitchen & front counter are inside the bus with more open sitting areas outside under cover. On weekends they serve pizzas and they are scrummy! They can be accompanied with a Clare Valley wine which makes it superb! Double thumbs up!!

I have a couple of furniture projects to get into. Bought an old TV cabinet (and aren’t there heaps of them now TV’s are so thin!?) from the Clare Lions Second Hand Furniture Shop to make into our own Café/Wine Bar!! I’ll keep ya posted on that…and hubby found a round wine barrel with bottle shelves at a garage sale, after a good clean up it should look great.

So to those reading this blog keep safe; stay isolated; be happy; life does go on. 🙂

Nosh Houses: The Olive Bus

This week (just before the heavens opened and we had some much needed rain 🙂 ) I finally made the effort to visit The Olive Bus, 216 Spring Farm Road, Clare.

Being a weekday it wasn’t as busy as it probably is on weekends. The Olive Bus location is lovely – overlooking vineyards and rolling hills, and only 10 minutes from Clare.  The Olive Bus is the cellar door and cafe for the award winning Stone Ridge Olive Grove, a small family run olive grove. They have turned a 1969 British Leyland Bus into a modern cafe / kitchen serving locally made food and drink.

We had a lovely lunch with local wine. It extended a bit longer than normal (which you do in ‘The Valley’) and afternoon tea ensued!! I highly recommend The Olive Bus for morning/afternoon tea or lunch as it has lovely food and great scenery. The staff were very friendly and they offer local produce and gifts.

Cellar Doors: Pikes Wines, Simpson Rices Crk, Matriarch & Rogue, Sevenhill Cellars

Some more Cellar Doors with Nosh Houses….

Pikes Wines,  on the road to Mintaro @ Sevenhill, is a must do when in the Clare Valley. They have a new restaurant called Slate, which is also wine tasting. Just take a look at their website and you’ll see the selection of wine on offer. 1885, Pikes Dorset Brewery to 1940’s soft drinks, cordial & tonic water.

Simpson Rices Creek, Auburn – offers tastings, coffee, a licensed cafe, a gift store & mini golf 18 hole. We did all the above!

Matriarch & Rogue, in the main street of Clare (next to Mitre10). Open Friday, Sat & Sun 12-6. Grab lunch in Clare & do a tasting, all within walking distance!

Sevenhill Cellars, the first winery established in the Clare Valley. Settled by the Society of Jesus (Austrian Jesuits in 1851) and it continues today.  St Aloysius’s Church started in 1864, completed in 1875. The church has the only crypt below a parish church in Australia. After tastings you can wander through the Winery Museum & underground cellars, the church & the vineyards. Also a cheese platter can be supplied to enjoy in the green lush grounds along with your favourite wine selection.

We have spent the past year visiting many of The Clare Valley’s cellar doors, cafes & restaurants. Lots more to see….lots more to taste!

Clare Cellar Doors: Stone Bridge, Shut the Gate, Kirrihill, Taylors, Mr Mick

Some more Cellar Doors we’ve visited over the past few months….

Stone Bridge Wines off Spring Gully Road, Sevenhill is a casual, dog  & people friendly cellar door and family owned winery. Between September & May they offer wood oven pizzas….and DESSERT pizzas! SOOO YUMMM! Their wines are easy drinking & well priced. We often take visitors there for a casual lunch.

Shut the Gate Wines on Main North Road, just south of Clare before the Info Centre, is easy to access, has a lovely area to eat lunch (you can make up your own picnic from their selection of local produce) & the wines aren’t bad too!

Kirrihill Wines, next to Kirrihill Bakery (handy for a cake & coffee after) on Main North Rd south of Clare, is a friendly cellar door with easy drinking wines.

Taylors Wines,  in Auburn is another winery offering tastings with option of cheese platters, pizzas on some weekends and tours. Three generations of winemakers have successfully produced some lovely wines catering to many tastes. We enjoy the ‘Taylor Made’ Malbec.

Mr Mick Wines,  located in Clare, offers cellar door tastings and tapas style dining. We also take visitors there for tastings & lunches. The staff are always friendly and helpful. Our favourite wines are the Vermentino, Tempranillo and the Tawny.

Nosh Houses: Clare to Sevenhill to Mintaro to Saddleworth

Well, I love food. And on the rare occasion we ‘go out for food’ I like to indulge myself and order something that I don’t cook regularly (that could be an endless list!)

I will start by telling you about our experience at a Clare cafe, a Sevenhill Hotel, a Pub in Mintaro and a cafe in Saddleworth.

In Clare we do like to frequent  Zest Cafe – 260 Main North Rd (at the rear of an open arcade). It has lovely food, good atmosphere, happy staff and importantly for us, dog friendly (as Jeda comes everywhere with us). We have taken friends there after showing them Clare’s main street and sat and enjoyed beautiful food whilst catching up. On the occasion in the photo it was Valentines Day….(ooohh that’s coming up again!) and we enjoyed a beautiful (and very rare) breakfast out! It was yum!

The next excursion was my birthday (2017) when my beloved took me to lunch at Sevenhill Hotel – Main North Road at Sevenhill. Instead of eating in the main dining area we were treated to a dining experience….in the cellar! It was quieter, cooler and more cosy (being December). AND we were surrounded by the Clare Valley’s best wines!!! I spent a lot of my time reading all the wine labels. The meal was lovely and staff very friendly (even at the busy Christmas time rush).

Further afar from Clare is the historic town of Mintaro. Love this town and it’s buildings. In the middle of town is The Magpie & Stump Hotel – Burra Street. It has been newly renovated (originally built 1851) and open 7 days a week. It’s a must do when ‘cellar dooring’ around the Valley. We have taken friends there and enjoyed sitting inside as well as outside in the beer garden.  Lunch burgers are recommended along with an array of wines and beers. We have been there on weekends and sometimes the wait for your meal is a bit long but then they are a lot busier too. Take a walk around Mintaro and enjoy the stone buildings, the Maze, Martindale Hall built 1879-1880, a living museum.

On a Sunday after visiting the Saddleworth Country Market, we stopped at Saddleworth Cafe – 12 Belvidere Road. It’s also a grocery store. As we had Jeda with us we were able to sit outside and have our morning tea watching the passers by. The pancakes we had were beautiful (note Jeda eyeing them off!) I enjoyed wandering through the Saddleworth Community Hub Shop (it is jam-packed with retro clothes and bric-a-brac, plants, gifts etc). Also the op shop is in the main street. There’s enough to do here to keep you busy most of a Sunday – also a museum and a pub!

Next post will be some cellar doors that offer meals … and good ones at that!!

#zestcafe #saddleworthcountrymarket #saddleworthcafe #saddleworthcommunityhubshop #sevenhillhotel #magpieandstumphotel #martindalehall

Cellar Door: Mad Bastard Wines

My first blog in this new category is: Mad Bastard Wines, within walking distance to Clare CBD.

We visited here over a year ago, at the beginning of our education in all things WINE! It was Christmas, it was busy, but the person who served us our wine tasting took the time to have a chat and was very friendly. We (moi) really liked their Rieslings & Mataro Rose.  And LOVED the wine glasses!!

We left with a box full (it was Christmas after all). I thought the signs at the front entrance & up the driveway showed a wicked sense of humour, someone maybe who doesn’t take life too seriously. The owner Mark Barry (son of Jim Barry, the family company) as his website says: determined to do things differently with emphasis on quality & distinctive wines.

Cellar Door is open daily 10am – 4pm. 400 Main North Road, Clare SA.  Visit his website before visiting: Mad Bastard Wines