Let me just start by saying that if you’ve learned anything from our previous posts you’ll know just how special a place Mudgee is. Located around 3½ hours from Sydney, this picturesque country town has everything you could want in a weekend getaway, beautiful scenery, amazing accommodation, phenomenal food and wine wine wine.
One place that encompasses all these features is Blue Wren. Taking the reins 2 years ago, self-taught chef Kip Harris takes the helm as executive Chef, owner and the brains behind Blue Wren.
“I have a long and wonderful history with Blue Wren having worked as General Manager for the previous owners over ten years ago. I have always loved this place and Mudgee, so when the business was listed for sale I felt it was the next natural step in my career to make the purchase”.
This place really has it all, boasting a full and productive vineyard pumping out some of the best wines in Mudgee, a gorgeous function hall fit to hold a 150 person function, a first class restaurant hosting the only Chef’s Table experience in the burgeoning Central West NSW wine region and a stunning new homestead, launched earlier this year, for accommodation called The Farmhouse at Blue Wren.
The recently refurbished, The Farmhouse at Blue Wren offers country hospitality coupled with contemporary style, and provides guests with an unforgettable and luxurious experience amongst the vines.
Feel at home in one of their 5 king beds after a long day out wining and dining, then dine some more at Blue Wren’s decadent dining experience.
As guests you will be spoiled with luxury accommodation as the property offers an open plan lounge and dining area, boardroom, swimming pool and alfresco; the surrounding landscape will allow you to reset and unwind while taking full advantage of secluded privacy.
Check out their cellar door to sample some of the amazing wines made here. Favourites of ours were the Verscato (a cheeky moscato style made with verdelho) and the famous Blue Wren White Port, a delightful way to end a meal.
Tastings are held here with a tasting flight that equals around 2 glasses in total. If you’re lucky enough to get the manager Paul, you’re in for a real treat. Pleasant and welcoming with a witty sense of humor, Paul loves a chat and brings an extra special touch to Blue Wren with his passion for what he does and knowledge of the area.
If you get a chance, take a stroll through the Wisteria Hall. Impressively decorated with hanging wisteria flowers, this function room is perfect for weddings, celebrations, work functions and more. Blue Wren provides a delicious and elective range of menus, best suited to whatever your occasion.
What really blew us away was how much money, time and hard work has been invested into making everything exemplary. The gorgeous dining room, the buzzing kitchen full of technology, the stunning accommodation, even a little pond for the ducks, geese and chickens that call Blue Wren their home. Whats even more impressive is that this isn’t even half of it, with plans in place to move the dining room to a bigger area, add a lounging space by the roaring fire and did someone say Glamping???
The real cherry on the cake for us was our dinners at The Restaurant. Sitting on the Chef’s Table we had the pleasure of being able to watch Kip in action, all the while, drinking copious amounts of wine and chatting all things Mudgee. It was delightful, as is Kip.
We sampled 2 different menus during our say, the first being a test menu for their upcoming winter season while the second being their current Autumn menu. The winter menu centered around warmer comfort food. Whilst there were so many amazing dishes, here’s a few that really stood out for us:
A standard in both menus was the crispy skinned duck breast, pickled radish and Cauliflower, duck liver ice-cream brûlée, croutons, dehydrated raspberries, Pedro Ximenez vinegar pearls. Words cannot describe how good this was – but i’ll sure as hell try! The duck liver ice-cream is like nothing I’ve ever tasted – subtle at first, but as it warms up in the mouth the rich moreish flavors comes out. This is a contrast of flavours and textures from sweet to sour, soft to crunchy.
By far my favourite dish of the Autumn menu was this absolute work of art. Crispy skin salmon, Himalayan salt rock seared scallop, smoked potato puree, broad beans, asparagus, corn dust, caviar. Just look at it! Beautiful in every sense of the word. The scallops were plump and juicy, the salmon was soft with a delightful crispness from the skin, while the broad beans and asparagus gave a natural crunch. The smoked potato puree ties it all together with mouthwatering aromatics.
This impressive bowl really was the golden egg. Gold covered 62.8 degree egg, squid ink risotto, dried sopressa salami and crispy enoki mushrooms. The silky consistency of the egg brings the richness level of this dish way up, adding a creamy finish to every bite.
Another popular Autumn staple is the Chateaubriand fillet, cacao, gold & silver black pudding, spinach sponge, corn puree, honeyed garlic, marmite foam and horseradish snow. Steeped in huge savoury flavours the beef is cooked to pink perfection and sprinkled with a bittersweet cocoa. The marmite foam is very interesting, putting the loved savoury spread to much better use.
Finally to dessert with this drool-worthy dish. Cinnamon doughnut, malt custard, banana ice-cream, chocolate soil, coffee crunch, pistachio and white chocolate. Hallelujah to Kip for creating such a tasty dessert. Each of the flavours worked perfectly, with the golden sugar crusted doughnut standing proud as the main star of the show. My only issue was I was only allowed one plate.
To sum it up and to be perfectly honest, this was easily one of our best weekend trips to date. The amazing setting, accommodation and hospitality provided by Kip and Paul really made this mini-vacay what it was. This will honestly be our go-to for any future trips and we highly advise you check it out.
You can thank us later…
The Farmhouse and Restaurantat at Blue Wren
433 Ulan Road,
Mudgee, NSW 2850