CherryHill Orchards Blossom Festival 2023 - Review

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Posted 2023-09-17 by Jenfollow

Sat 16 Sep 2023 - Sun 01 Oct 2023

All Images - Writers Own

What glorious weather we are experiencing in Melbourne right now - sunshine, clear skies and perfect temperatures. It was such a day that I drove to CherryHill Orchards at 474 Queens Road, Wandin for their Festival Experiences running from 16 September to 1 October. Each spring the orchard welcomes guests to witness the stunning cherry blossom flowers in bloom, but you need to hurry and book your visit as the blooms are fleeting and occurs for just two weeks each year. There are no ticket sales at the gates, and it would be a shame to miss out after taking a long drive, so book online. Tickets are just $12.50 for general entry per adult (concession $11.25), with children ages 4-13 years at $7 and infants 3 and under and Companion Card holders go free.

While you're booking your tickets you have the option to add a Mary Eats Cake Picnic Pack (see images below) to your booking. The Picnic Box is designed to be shared between 2-4 people, The Fruit and Cheese box serves two, and a Children's Lunch Box for 1. Unfortunately, customisations and changes are unavailable, and if these boxes are not suitable for your diet, there'll be food trucks on-site, or you can BYO picnic and simply enjoy sharing it with loved ones amongst the blossoms. There are of course lots of photo opportunities to be had frolicking amongst the blooms.

There is of course the rather special High Tea in the Blossoms , also hosted by Mary Eats Cake , but you'll need to hurry as the first event sold out, and due to popular demand they've added a one and only new session for Sunday 24 September from 11am to 1pm, with a 60-person maximum per sitting. Having experienced this event first hand, you can be assured it is something special sitting at rows of long tables decked out with cherry-inspired goodies. Follow the link to find out about this first-class service that has wait staff in attendance to refill your glasses while you dine in style nestled amongst a private row of white cherry blossoms.

After the just over an hour's drive that includes winding and narrow roads closer to the destination , I found myself a spot in the carpark and walked up the path to the main entry. There are two orchards so make sure you're visiting the one in Wandin East (not Coldstream). There were beverages on offer that looked sinfully good with a topping but turned out to be a sugarless tea that was very refreshing and guilt-free. You can purchase a host of gifts, snacks, beverages and ice cream at this little shop before you are escorted to the long tables of high tea, and a glass of French sparkling on arrival. You can't help but be impressed as you walk through the archway, passing rows of delicious-looking morsels sitting pretty on a three-tired serving plate. At the table, the servings were for three people to share, with a little cherry macaron gift to take home sitting in your gorgeous looking little vintage teacup - like the rest of the vintage crockery and specialty decor by Always Eventive .

On the menu, there were -
  • Cherry & Smoked Duck Tartlet - savoury cherry chutney, smoked duck, goats cheese, watercress
  • Shakshuka Quiche (v) - baked spiced chickpea, capsicum, tomato egg, Persian feta and herbs
  • Chicken Parmigiana Round - crumbled chicken tenders, napoli, basil pesto, bocconcini
  • Corn Polenta Chip (v) - with whipped feta, sweet corn gel, cherry, micro herbs
  • Cherry Delight Doughnut - vanilla cake doughnut, cherry glaze, dark chocolate drizzle, coconut chips
  • Hazelnut Torte - dark chocolate hazelnut torte, cherry compote, vanilla mascarpone cream, cocoa nib croquant
  • Lemon Peach Entremet - brown butter financier, lemon cremeux, white chocolate mousse, basil, peach
  • Mary's Fluffy Scones - with raspberry jam, cherry jam and fresh cream

  • All delicious, and by the time I got to the scones, I could only fit in half. Still dreaming of the other half. Everyone's favourite differed according to taste, but mine had to be the corn polenta chip, the quiche, the hazelnut torte, the lemon peach entremet which reminded me of my favourite lemon tart, but nicer, and of course the light and fluffy scones, sitting next to someone doing just the opposite of me. She put her cream down and topped it with jam, and me the other way around, hah! We were as assorted as a box of chocolates, with someone opposite me starting on sweets before savoury.

    Everything was picture perfect; sitting in mixed company the conversation flowed, and the setting so delightful, I didn't want to leave the beautiful surrounds - it was so very relaxing. I have been wanting to go to a fancy high tea for a long time, and literally have a host of venues mapped out at home, working out which might be the best to go to; and suddenly this opportunity for one of the best high teas comes along, and no four walls of the other venues could beat this open-air gloriousness. It's really one of those experiences you need to have in your life to reward and spoil yourself for the daily toil of real life. Escape, luxuriate, enjoy - live, laugh, eat May Eats Cake. Jessica Hillbrick , founder of Mary Eats Cake herself was in attendance, which made it so very special. Check out their website if you haven't already, for high teas, functions, catering and more.

    Getting back to the Blossom Festival , aside from the gorgeous High Tea experience, there are also workshops and more for the duration of the festival that ends on 1 October 2023. You can find all your general experiences here . Your furry friends are welcome at the festival too. Enjoy the busy bee workshop and learn all about the bees; then there's candle making, flower crown making, sip and paint, smartphone photography, Nikon photography, a ballooning package and a midweek blossom wine and dine that ends before the festival on 28 Sept as it's a midweek event only.

    Another opportunity to visit the orchard is when the cherry-picking season arrives - which is almost here. You can pre-register online and be the first to know when the cherry-picking tickets go on sale. Your smartphone's camera could possibly pick up on the QR Code in the image below to register; otherwise, just do it on the website . The cherry season usually starts in mid-November and runs through to early January and is a good fun day out with family, picking cherries together. And what a huge variety of cherries the orchard has. It's home to more than 40 varieties and of course, there are health benefits to be had from cherries. See the website for a few cherry related recipes , and you probably have a few recipes up your sleeves that could do with a punnet of cherries.

    Find out more about our homegrown orchards , and of course it's always a great feeling and almost a given, to support our homegrown produce and locals who toil so hard to put food on our plates. These fresh 100% Australian-owned and grown cherries at CherryHill Orchards has been producing fresh Aussie cherries every summer for 80 years. Why not have a mini holiday and spend the weekend in the beautiful Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges nearby! See here for places to see and things to do. CherryHill Orchards' Blossom Festival is a perfect opportunity to get out there and visit parts of our beautiful country you would not get to every day. Stay in touch via Facebook for updates.

    262663 - 2023-09-16 05:29:09


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