Six of the best stops on the NSW South Coast food trail

WINE AND ALPACAS AT SILOS ESTATE

When the Currowan bushfire ravaged the NSW south coast last year, Silos owner Rajarshi Ray and his wife, Sophie, opened their winery doors at Berry to provide free food and board to evacuees and their pets. Then floods damaged the bulk of their grapes, so as well as a smaller vintage, they bottled hand sanitiser when COVID-19 hit. Roadwork from the Berry to Bomaderry Princes Highway upgrade right at its front gates has meant one of the best views and cellar doors in the Shoalhaven has been easy to miss. No more. Sip wine (the tri colore of dessert wines makes a great souvenir) or visit the alpacas and purchase their woolly products. See silosestate.com

FEAST AT PILGRIMS

Pilgrims is a 40-year-old Milton icon, now with several outposts including one recently opened in Bronte. The mothership on the main drag in Milton remains a mecca for vegetarians and vegans. Will it be a Bliss burger (mixed grain pattie) or a millennial (curried lentil pattie) for lunch? Buy a big bag of home-made granola so you can take home some South Coast crunch. All this food can fuel your shopping spree to help revitalise the local economy – still hurting since the bushfires. Think of each purchase as a community service. Pop into fancy frock shop Sarah Gabrielle, for Saturday afternoon bubbles while you peruse the sale rack. See pilgrims.cafe

TOUR AND TIPPLE AT CUPITTS ESTATE

Sun setting over the scenic grounds of Cupitt's Winery, Ulladulla in the Shoalhaven region. The town of Milton in NSW.

 Photo: Destination NSW

Former landscape gardener Rosie Cupitt used to run her own garden tours of France until she and her husband, Griff, who ran the Bowral pub, bought this Ulladulla farm in 2003. They converted it to a winery, restaurant, brewery and fromagerie with one of the region's best views over the Budawang Ranges' Pigeon House Mountain. Now chief cheesemaker, Rosie and her family are the main cheerleaders of the Slow Food South Coast movement. Sons Wally and Tom make the wine and beer. Daughter-in-law Libby, Tom's wife, runs the restaurant. Take a tour of the cool stone underground cellar forged from local Milton monzonite rock, to taste any of its 24 varieties or enjoy their brews with views. See cupitt.com.au

MOSEY INTO MILTON' HOTEL'S MICROBREWERY

Former chef and professional bodyboarder Damian Martin started brewing beer for a family wedding. Now he runs microbrewery Dangerous Ales, out of the 1870 Milton pub. The beautifully restored building re-opened after three years of work in December 2019, just before bushfires devastated the region. A variety of beers (stout, pale ales and even gluten free) are on tap, and are a great accompaniment to the pub's home-made bread, house marinated olives and tasty counter meals. A new children's playground will keep the kids happy, while you take in the view to Narrawallee from the new timber deck. Raise a glass in memory of Laurie Andrews who died fighting bushfires at nearby Yatte Yattah during the fires. This was his last timberwork. See themiltonhotel.com.au

RICK STEIN AT BANNISTERS

If there is a more beautiful view than Bannister's pool bar where you can see frolicking dolphins at sea, it's yet to be discovered. Come for cocktails or pre-dinner drinks before dining at Rick Stein's onsite restaurant at Mollymook Beach. The menu changes with the seasons and attentive staff will find you the perfect accompaniment to whatever you order. It's hard to beat the platter of fresh oysters and prawns. The blue tiled feature wall looks more like Morocco than Mollymook, but taste the fresh seafood and you will understand why foodies flock here for its freshness. See bannisters.com.au

BANNISTERS PAVILION

Mollymook Bannisters Pavillion
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The penthouse pool is the go here at the Rooftop Bar and grill. Lounge poolside and just gaze at the canopy of gumtrees from this elevated position among the treetops. Or sip 'n swim, order a coffee or cocktail post-plunging into the pool. You can order fresh baked goods for breakfast, a la carte, or binge at the buffet. Mediterranean- Australian fusion food for lunch or dinner (burrata with grapes and charred sourdough are recommended.) Even though it is just 80 metres from Mollymook Beach, it is hard to leave the comfortable reclining sun loungers. See bannisters.com.au

Helen Pitt stayed as a guest of Bannisters Pavilion.

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