I like to participate in life rather than be a spectator. Music, dancing, theatre, travelling, food, cycling and walking are some of my passions. Writing is an enjoyable pastime that allows me to share my experiences.
Picnic in a pecan orchard at Eltham Valley Pantry in the Byron hinterland, ten minutes drive from Lismore and about half an hour from Byron Bay. The Pantry is committed to the environment and the local community. Using solar power, reducing and recycling waste, being involved in local projects, using produce from local suppliers and donating to local schools and community groups are all part of the operating ethos.
The stunning 100 year old homestead contains the kitchen, dessert display, produce and gift shop as well as indoor dining. Sit with your coffee on the verandah and overlook the 300 pecan trees or breakfast under large umbrellas in the beautiful gardens. Open five days a week for breakfast through to afternoon tea, it is a popular destination for those seeking good food made with high quality locally sourced seasonal produce. The Republic of Coffee is locally grown and roasted in small batches, the free range meats are from Bangalow, Clunes and Alstonville, organic sourdough from Mullumbimby and pecans from their own farm.
The menu is small but interesting with plenty of gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options. The cakes and desserts are freshly made and vary daily. I couldn't go past the "famous pecan tart" which tasted even better than it looked, it was nutty but not dry with just the right amount of sweetness. The Portuguese egg tart was also delicious with a crisp flaky pastry enclosing the golden silky custard.
The service is friendly and attentive and the grounds are great for children to play in. During winter they offer a Sunday roast lunch for $28 and once a month hold a $65 four-course Chef's Dinner. They will cater for events such as a birthday party under the trees and have done intimate weddings.
Pop in for a coffee with a chocolate covered pecan treat or something more substantial and soak up the peaceful relaxing ambience. The cakes can be bought as takeaway and you will probably purchase something from the gourmet produce and gift shop.