It’s our last day on this amazing culinary journey through the Downs, and we start at Chinchilla for breakfast. We choose a venue with a sign that’s caught my eye – it says ‘supreme coffee’ and I could certainly use some of that to get the day started. We head into the very cool Espresso Chef for that much needed coffee and the essential country bacon and egg sandwich. While there I chat to some visitors from Brisbane who are heading to Longreach for a weekend drive…apparently that’s what we do in Queensland!
For elevenses we head to Quambi House Dalby. Gosh, these girls have done a really beautiful job on this old spectacular house that is now a major destination for people travelling to the Western Downs. It offers food, fashion and homewares – what more could you need? There is a safe play area for the kids and a swanky verandah for the adults. Mix this with some cracking food and you have a tourist experience not to be forgotten! I find it hard to wedge the paparazzi out of the big comfy leather lounge to get back on the road.
We arrive back in Toowoomba in time for the Toowoomba farmers market at Walton Stores. The first thing I spy are the most gorgeous blooms: bright pink and purple stocks from Barb who grows them at Ravensbourne. Also in my sights: paleo cakes, Stanthorpe apples, trees, seedlings, pasture raised pork – the list goes on! We finish with a Merlo coffee and some must-have gluten free doughnuts.
Our tour comes to an end at The Office, where the stunning Amber greets us with a glass of bubbles and a warming infectious smile. The food to come is driven by passion and pure talent from chef Shayne. He’s the kind of chef with the innate ability to please your palate. We feast on duck rillettes, slow cooked beef cheek and bone marrow and a winter vegetable dish. Every ingredient has a background, every dish showcases the incredible produce. We finish with delectable twisted version of apple streusel, and with each bite I was dreading the end.
I’m already making plans for my next visit, and for my next gastronomic exploration of the gorgeous Darling Downs.