Whether you're going for a vintage haul or a world-class dining experience, we've got you sorted for where to eat, drink, stay and play in this country town.
Biota Dining is one of Australia’s great country restaurants, and with good reason. Patron-chef James Viles is one talented bloke, and if you’re coming to Bowral, you are not going to want to miss out on dining at his table. You can eat from the five- or even seven-course dego menus here, with much of what’s on your plate being sourced from the onsite kitchen garden (which you can get a tour of, if you ask nicely). Biota do a killer brunch on weekends, too. The morcilla with fried eggs and spinach is the stuff dreams are made of – and don’t forget to order the wet maize doused with brown butter and toasted hazelnuts on the side for dipping your rye toast in.
Another place to check out is organic café Raw and Wild at the other end of town. For brekky try the chickpea and carrot pancakes. They come with poached eggs, spinach, coriander-flecked hummus and beautifully sour, house-made labneh. Here for lunch? Don’t miss the chicken potpie: it’s warming as hell, and is served with organic salad on the side.
You’re on a weekend away, so treat yourself to afternoon tea at Flour Water Salt. Not only can you nab the best pie in town (try the puff-topped beef and Guinness), but the sweet bakes – like sugar dusted Russian teacakes and cinnamon scented speculaas made to a family recipe – are delightful.
A more affordable way to experience Biota is in the bar – and oh what a beautiful bar this is. With a roaring fireplace situated right in the middle of the sitting area, you can recline on the softly upholstered sofas or sit upright at Danish-style tables and enjoy a light meal from the bar menu. As for cocktails, try the Hot Buttered Apples, which comes in a ceramic bowl topped with melted butter. It might be the most effective winter warmer ever executed.
The rooms are simple and pared-back at Biota Dining and Rooms, which is situated just on the outskirts of town. Book a combo for accommodation and dinner – you’ll save on coin, and there’s nothing better than having your room onsite to stumble into after a mammoth feed (see Eat).
And don't forget...
If you’re investing in your stomach at Biota, then why not do the same for the rest of your body at the Endota Day Spa in town? Their Endotarama treatment lasts 75 minutes and includes a soothing footbath, organic facial and body massage.
Time Out Sydney was a guest of the hotel, restaurants and spa.
More local travel...
Natural beauty is one of Sydney's best assets, so it makes sense you'd want to experience a night or two in the city's great outdoors. Fortunately, camping around Sydney is not only possible, it's often very affordable. Check out our edit of the city's best camping sites for the chance to wake up next to the Harbour, adjacent to crashing waves, or deep in a national park.