South Australia’s world famous Barossa Valley is 400 odd km² of wine-buff, foodie, photographer and bakery aficionado heaven.
With more than 70 cellar doors, over 40 restaurants and cafés, and a huge variety of accommodation in a relentlessly picturesque and historic setting, you can’t swing a brush-tailed possum without hitting something gorgeous to see, do or eat.
In fact, there’s so MUCH to see, do and eat that some visitors find it difficult to choose!
But not me.
I know EXACTLY where to go.
So if you’re looking for a Barossa experience that ticks all the boxes, follow me to the FAAAAABULOUS Café Y.
Sure, there are lots of other places in the world famous Barossa Valley, once known as New Silesia and only a short drive from Adelaide, that offer great meals and fine wines with friendly and professional service overlooking a superb Barossa landscape in an historic setting with nearby accommodation and wine tasting.
But first there’s Café Y’s setting.
It’s perfectly placed to showcase a little bit of everything good about the Barossa. Just north of Lyndoch and its superb bakery – a happy reminder of the region’s German roots – it’s within a stone’s throw of a clutch of cellar doors well worth visiting. Including McGuigans with tasting room and art gallery right next door in historic Chateau Yaldara , if being built in 1947 qualifies as historic!
If it’s too hard to nominate a designated driver for a day sampling the Barossa’s finest, consider a stay nearby at the superbly positioned Barossa Pavilions high above the Café.
I haven’t yet experienced the delights of this luxury boutique accommodation – I’m saving that for an extra special occasion … although there’s a BIG hint for anyone wondering what I might like for Christmas!
But I digress …
Then there’s the service.
Nestled between the cellars of the old Chateau Yaldara winery and the North Para River, one of the most appealing aspects of Café Y is the unique personal touch of owner-managers Nick, Mary and Ilias, who with staff regulars Tom and Sara provide a professional, customer-focussed service that makes you feel like one of the family.
Then there’s the view from the windows.
Down below the cafe, under the guise of frolicking on the lawn, resident gander Godfrey and his harem wait for the bread that magically rains down from the windows above. And make short work the other birds who try to join the party. After their feed, they swim out to Godfrey’s Island in the reeds below the river crossing where Purple Swamphen and Dusky Moorhen nest in spring. Also amongst the reeds, more observant diners can see Australian Reed-Warbler and Little Grassbird in spring and summer.
And when the river’s in flood, there’s sometimes the chance to see adventurous (or foolhardy) drivers attempting to negotiate the ford!
Then there’s the food.
Lazing away an afternoon with a platter, a selection from the a la carte menu or a pizza fresh from the oven outside the cafe, followed by dessert and coffee is one of life’s great pleasures.
And a South Australian experience not to miss!!
But then there’s the nightlife!!
Visiting Café Y at night for the first time EVER enhanced my perception of what was already a favourite spot forever!
Transformed for the annual August Barossa Gourmet Weekend, the converted Port Room in the old cellars oozed atmosphere as the superb Elliott Sisters accompanied by band ‘Swing and Tonic’ complemented Café Y’s sensational 4 course menu perfectly.
Or was that the other way around?
Whatever. It also provided the ideal setting in which to indulge my personal weakness … and swoon over the two saxophone players!
I’ll leave you to judge for yourself why these ‘arty’ shots turned out this way!
With the historic mural above the archway and barrel filled tunnels leading off into the underground gloom, Café Y excelled itself with this brilliant amalgam of ambience, fine dining, and musical excellence.
A fine reason to consider a return to the Barossa next August, when the Gourmet Weekend rolls around again!
Or to check out the other Café Y special events!!
Yes, there are lots of places to go, sights to see and things to do in the Barossa Valley.
But the Café Y showcase of the delights the Barossa has to offer is the perfect way to start – and finish – your own experience of this awesome South Australian region.
So you know where I’LL be …
Disclosure: Red Nomad OZ was a guest of Cafe Y for the Gourmet Weekend Function