High Country Jaunt – Part 2: Myrtleford & Bright
Today was the big cycling day. We were planning to do 60km along the rail trail, from Myrtleford to Bright and then return. Thankfully the trail itself is flat as a pancake… Bright is where the real gradients begin. Nonetheless, 60km is not a bad trek – so a decent breakfast was in order.
Myrtleford Butter Factory
As you know, people, I am a stickler for breakfast – I am very spoiled living in Melbourne and breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You know what they say.. breakfast like a king, lunch like a king, and dinner like a king… that’s the way it goes isn’t it???
Anyhoo… my research had revealed that there might be some pancake potential at the Myrtleford Butter Factory so we lashed the bikes to the RAV4 and headed out for a good start to the day.
After perusing the menu, we placed our order at the counter and were given a cute wooden caddy to take to our table. And after a little wait (apparently the other reviews are correct… they’re not exactly city paced), the moment arrived…
Buttermilk pancake with berries and fresh cream
This was a pretty good pancake… I particularly liked the crispy edge (testament to being cooked with butter) and while it was a little light and fluffy, it was still quite moist. This was helped along by the generous serve of berries and fresh cream. Mmm…. a good way to start the day.
Poached eggs and bacon on toast
The man, of course, started with his signature breakfast of poached eggs and bacon. Although he wasn’t too happy about being given “weird hippy bread” – so if you’re not into that, make sure you ask. The eggs were poached pretty well and the bacon delicious! He was set for the day.
We set off on our adventure – ready to burn off the calories. This was the first rail trail we had done, and were keen to see if rail trails were something that we could incorporate into our weekend travel jaunts. The trail started off quite well as we made our way through picturesque country fields populated with horses and cows… however, at some point in the game… the surface turned into pretty rough and coarse bitumen. Our hands were vibrating so much from the road noise that they went numb!!
We were on our trusty hybrids – but I reckon you need a steed with some shock absorbing capability because the trail was pretty rough. We saw a few people doing it on road bikes – heaven knows what they were feeling!! Oooh la la… Nonetheless, the scenery was for the most part pretty special – particularly when we came across Boynton’s Feathertop winery.
Hello! If I had known about this little gem – which had a fantastic restaurant and deli section, we would have booked to have lunch here. Unfortunately, being a long weekend – there was no hope for us… so we toddled on to Bright to see what gastronomic delight would await us there – and vowed to stop on the way back for tasting.
After Porepunkah, the trail became decidedly busier – apparently this is the most popular section because it’s the shortest, and there’s quite a lot of holiday accommodation around these parts. We had to negotiate a myriad of rug rats on wheels at one stage… ooh la la… Don’t get in the way of momma after she’s done 30km kids… she’s on a mission to find some food.
We finally arrived in Bright and after doing a couple of runs up and down the streets of this quirky ski base town, consulted with Urbanspoon to find a lunch spot…
Food, Wine and Friends
Food, Wine and Friends was the spot we chose – and it was brilliant. It was perfect for a mid-ride refuel. We ordered drinks and made our selections from the menu.
Cooper’s lamb pie with summer salad and local relish
Andrew chose the pie – and it was delicious. It had beautiful chunks of lamb, all encased in some melt-in-the-mouth puff pastry. He was a happy camper.
Smashed avocado on sourdough topped with Lochelian fetta and roasted seeds
I was able to order this particular item from the breakfast menu (I think one of the only ones they do for lunch) and it was fantastic. I love smashed avocado as does half of Melbourne… and this one is up there.
This country rendition was unique and delicious. This was great smashed avocado on some amazingly chewy, seedy bread. This can be where most smashed avocados stop – but this one went an extra step further, nay – not one, but two steps further! The gloriously smashed avocado was then topped with a fabulous local fetta which had been crumbled liberally over the top, and then generously sprinkled with a gorgeous melange of roasted and spiced seeds – a lot like a fabulous dukkah mix!! It was one of the best smashed avocados that I’ve eaten – a fabulous and confident variation I’d like to see in some of our city cafés!
View from Boynton’s Feathertop Winery
We were pretty happy – there was only one thing left to do and that was jump on our bikes and do the 30km back to Myrtleford. Not to worry – there was that stop along the way at Boynton’s Feathertop Winery, where we enjoyed a tasting, got out on the deck, and even managed to buy a bottle of wine which Andrew faithfully carried back in his Crumpler bag the 20km that remained!
The 30km of rail trail (going there and back makes 60km!!)
All in all – even though the ride was a bit rough, we felt pretty proud of ourselves for doing 60km. That meant we could really enjoy our dinner tonight… or could we???? Stay tuned…