A weekend in Bowral

It may be a diminutive country town, but Bowral is buzzing with restaurants, cafés and some of the most beautiful vintage stores in the state. Plus it’s got Biota Dining and Rooms: enough said
A couple sit outside eating at Biota Dining and Rooms
Photograph: Destination NSW
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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. 

Eat

A top down shot of a food dish next to an assortment of egg shells as decoration at Biota Dining and Rooms
Photograph: Biota Dining and Rooms
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Biota Dining and Rooms

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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.

An interior shot of booth seats and tables at Raw & Wild
Photograph: Raw & Wild
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Raw and Wild

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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. 
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A top down shot of various baked pastries on a wooden table at Flour Water Salt
Photograph: Flower Water Salt
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Flour Water Salt

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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.

Drink

Lounge area at Biota Dining and Rooms
Photograph: Domino Postiglione
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Biota Dining and Rooms

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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.

Stay

Guest room at Biota Dining and Rooms
Photograph: Jason Loucas
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Biota Dining and Rooms

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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).

Play

Various vintage items sit atop a vintage wooden desk at Dirty Jane's
Photograph: Dirty Jane's
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Dirty Jane’s

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Take a wander through Bowral’s amazing vintage shops. Dirty Jane’s is the big gun – a Pandora’s box of a store, with room after room packed with stalls selling furniture, crockery and objets d’art.
A shot of vintage lighting at Zaffero
Photograph: Zaffero
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Zaffero

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Further down the street is Zaffero, which specialises in a miscellany of vintage lighting.
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A collection of various homewares at Barbara's Storehouse
Photograph: Barbara's Storehouse
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Barbara’s Storehouse

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For cheap-as-chips homewares from a more contemporary age, visit Barbara’s StorehouseIt is stacked to the rafters with playful objects like neon hanging baskets and little fox doorstops.

And don't forget...

A room with a spa and two massage tables at Endota Day Spa
Photograph: Endota Day Spa
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Endota Day Spa

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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.

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