Coffee in a bookstore, a beer with the locals and top-notch char siu – this Tassie idyll hits all the right notes. We asked the locals to share the best things to eat and drink in New Norfolk.
If you’ve heard of New Norfolk, a small town outside Hobart, it likely has something to do with Rodney Dunn and Séverine Demanet, the husband-and-wife team behind The Agrarian Kitchen. The region, which has long been rich in agriculture and historic architecture, “has seen an injection of energy in recent years with lots of new little businesses popping up”, says Dunn.
Undoubtedly the duo’s triple-threat venture is leading the way: together, they run a restaurant (The Eatery) and a takeaway venue (The Kiosk), which are renowned for spinning homegrown produce into award-winning dishes (they’ve won chef’s hats every year since opening in 2017); and their famed cooking school, formerly in nearby Lachlan, will also be moving to town in early 2022. Once you’re done indulging in Agrarian fare, take their tips on where to find the best of New Norfolk – for your tastebuds and your home.
For coffee: Black Swan
“Alexander Okenyo is the owner of this little bookstore (11 Stephen Street; 0459 279 011). He selects the most amazing books to sell, sourcing them from around the world. Go here for coffee and a sweet treat, like a Florentine or walnut and chocolate brownie – there’s a little bench or small table you can sit at inside or there are tables outside.”
For wine tasting: Stefano Lubiana Wines
“It’s a favourite in the Derwent Valley, a biodynamic winery that’s five minutes down the road from us. They’re creating some really special wines, which we’re also serving in our restaurant — blanc de blancs, sauvignon blanc and the Occio Nocino walnut liqueur. They have just opened a new restaurant called Osteria Vista, plus they have a beautiful outdoor area.”
SEE ALSO: A Tasmanian Cellar Door Itinerary
For small-batch beers: Welcome Swallow Brewery
“This brewery was opened to the public in August by Nigel Graham – his family has been in the Derwent Valley for generations and he has a really great mind for sustainability. It’s more of an evening venue and is open on Fridays and weekends – if you happen to find yourself in the area later in the day and you want to have a beer and meet some locals, this is a great place to do it. They have nine beers on tap and like to mix it up; one brew uses raspberries from their own farm.”
For bites to go: Cheeky Little Place
“They make everything at this traditional café (38 Burnett Street; 0427 461 889), which is open during the week. There are some tables but it’s more of a takeaway joint, with salad bowls, quiches and burgers. They also do a really great char siu pork belly with greens, rice and oyster sauce; and a yellow chicken curry with pumpkin, almonds and chia. A picnic by the river is beautiful or even the local park has a great set-up for kids. Our Kiosk is open on the weekends for picnic supplies and Cheeky Little Place is open weekdays.”
For a different kind of treat: The Drill Hall Emporium
“This antiques store is legendary – head and shoulders above anywhere we’ve been. The folks behind it have also opened two other stores. At Flywheel they do letterpress printing and have beautiful stationery, pens and pencils. If you’re there at the right time you can walk to the back of the store and see one of the owners letterpressing business cards on an antique machine. You might recognise names from Sydney’s food or publishing industries on the cards being pressed. Then there’s Miss Arthur, which is like ‘antiques for the future’. They sell new pieces but they’re things like scrubbing brushes, cast iron cookware and pottery.”