It would be so easy to start this tale with the obligatory ”Millthorpe, what a gorgeous and charming village it is. With its Heritage listing making it a stylishly historic gem, it is in my opinion one of the jewels in the Central West NSW crown”. Now this is pretty much fact, but I have to say after my midweek visit to this little beauty, it is the citizens that make it such an inviting and delightful part of Australia.
Let’s start with who I see as being the matriarchs of Millthorpe, the absolutely divine Clark sisters, Ada and Kathleen. These two delightful humans have called Millthorpe home since 1994 and at the tender ages of 87 and 90 show no signs of slowing down their stimulating lives. I was welcomed into their home and treated not only to entertaining stories from their travels all around the globe, but some delicious home-made cake and freshly brewed tea.
Ada has been sharing her artistic flair with the world for many years and Kathleen boasts artistic ability as well as a wicked sense of humour. Do not miss out on popping in to see the girls when you visit. Open house is every Saturday from 9am -5pm, otherwise by appointment.
Another couple of local identities would have to be Russell and Charlie, who are also happy to invite you in, if not to their home, definitely their garden. The boys are super proud of what they have created and are a big part of the Millthorpe Garden Ramble which takes place early November every year.
Then we have some of the occupants of Victoria Street. There’s Jules at Old Bowerbird Wares with its eclectic collection of antiques. Drop in and check it out, there may just be something that you have been hunting for and the Bowerbird herself may just have it hidden away.
Just across the road from Jules is Joey at ‘Le Billet de Boucher’ (The Butcher’s Block). French Café by day and restaurant by night, fresh ingredients are served up in the charming rustic surrounds, with a lovely alfresco garden to relax in through the warmer months, and log fire to warm you on those cooler days.
A short stroll from Joey, pop in for a tipple and maybe one of the enticing Salumi plates at The Slow Wine Co. This is where I met Terrey and his delightful daughter Jen. Equally welcoming and producing some absolutely outstanding wines.
Opposite Terrey you will find Pattie McKenna and Millthorpe Providores. This lovely lady just always seemed to be smiling and had such a positive vibe going on. I guess that’s why her store is always well frequented and the place itself has a friendly feel about it.
With delicious looking treats and apparently the best coffee in the village, you can also get your paws on smallgoods such as bacon from nearby Trunkey Creek, Bills Beans, freshly baked breads and Huntley Berry Farm jams.
At the top of town, you may like to visit another cellar door where they are also kicking goals when it comes to mastering the grape. Angullong Cellar door sits just behind the top pub and here Cynthia will gladly guide you through a tasting while imparting her knowledge of the wines and the region at the same time.
Another local treat was delivered at dinner with an amazing meal hosted by renowned chef Tony Worland at Tonic. There is a good reason that Tonic has been regularly awarded chefs hats during his 14 years at the helm. The best local seasonal produce delivered in an imaginative and inspiring way that had me from the first bite.
Accommodation options include Rosebank, a former Bank of NSW which sits proudly at the top of town. Not only does it have charming rooms that have that old-world charisma, the property also doubles as a gallery, filled with many engaging pieces. The gardens are also a delight.
Before you leave, you must visit the town’s bowlo (currently closed) and its fabulous Japanese restaurant! Yes, that’s right Japanese, and it is as good as any you will get in the big smoke. Also, if you love a little history then The Golden Memories Museum is a must. It’s not a little history, it’s a LOT and it is really engaging.
That’s just a smattering of the lovely folk that will make a trip to Millthorpe so memorable. I suggest you take a little break there. You will be more than welcome!