EXPERIENCE THIS // 7 Awesome Things To Eat, See & Do At The Loch
If you’re after a true and authentic Highlands day out, you need to get yourself to The Loch in Berrima. We hung out there on a gorgeous sunny day and just fell in love with life at this beautiful working farm, guest house and foodie fav.
Brigid Kennedy and her husband, Kevin have owned the farm since 2011 after running another farm locally for the previous ten years.
“I grew up on the land in New Zealand but when we came to the Highlands, we had to spend some time getting to know what grows and HOW it grows in this climate,” Brigid says. “The Loch is the result of nearly 20 years of working that out!”
If you’ve got friends and family coming to visit you in the Highlands, this is a must visit, for sure! Or if you just fancy a fun day out and supporting a fab local biz, here are 7 awesome things you can see, do and eat at The Loch.
PADDOCK TO PLATE DELICIOUSNESS FOR LUNCH ON SUNDAYS
Brigid is the creative chef in the The Loch’s kitchen, living and breathing her paddock to plate philosophy with her Sunday lunch menus.
“I basically cook from the veggie patch. I work on the menu a couple of weeks ahead by wandering through the vegetable garden and working out what will be ready and tasting it’s best in a couple of weeks,” says Brigid.
We saw this in action when we joined Brigid in the vegie patch when she whipped this fab recipe up for us.
“Most of our ingredients are from the farm. Venison, rabbit, lamb, goat, beef – even the yabbies we serve up are from the dam,” Brigid sweeps her arms towards the horizon where we can see only a small part of the 980 acres that make up this amazing property.
“If we can’t grow or raise something here, then I source produce from as close as possible. Our duck and spatchcock is from Thirlmere Poultry, I get my potatoes from Hill Family Farming in Robertson - we go through 100 kilos of spuds a month and I can't grow that many! I also get my pork from Katrina at Redleaf Farm in Fitzroy Falls - her pork has won loads of awards."
"And of course, we always have local wine and beer options for Sunday lunch.”
The Loch’s Tasting Room is open every Sunday from 10:00am – 4:00pm. The menu changes regularly depending on what is in the vegie garden! And what Brigid comes up with in the kitchen – love it!
Oh, and book in early for Mother's Day on Sunday 10 May - tables go quickly on this day!!
FRESH AND FABULOUS FARM STALL
While you’re there filling your belly with all things delicious, fill up your basket with fresh produce too!
“We harvest the vegie patch twice a week and what we don’t use in the kitchen, we sell on our farm stall every Sunday,” says Brigid.
The Loch’s vegie garden is seriously next level – overflowing with an abundance of amazing tasting fresh produce.
“We grow heirloom vegies – which means they’re old-style varieties, not hybrid and are pollinated by insects and wind with no human intervention. The taste you get from heirloom is exceptional.”
You can also stock up on fruit, herbs, meat, baked treats, jams, condiments and eggs – that’s your weekly shop practically taken care of, right?
“There are often times we are cheaper than the big supermarkets, so it’s worth visiting to get your fresh food,” says Brigid.
BLOOMIN’ LOVELY FLOWERS
“I grew up loving flowers and foliage. I would follow Mum around the farm when I was a kid and watch as she picked flowers and put them in her basket,” Brigid recalls.
She holds up the basket in her arms which is currently full of rainbow chard.
“This is actually her basket that I use here every day.”
You can buy bunches of beautiful florals grown at The Loch – whatever happens to be blooming in The Loch’s massive garden at the time. Gorgeous!
SEARCH FOR HIDDEN TREASURES
Brigid’s husband, Kevin used to own an antiques store in Tambourine Mountain in Queensland and is still passionate about sourcing antiques from across regional Australia and on annual buying trips to Morocco, France and the UK. All his fab finds are brought back to Berrima, restored on the farm and displayed in the original stables on the ground floor of The Loch. They are priced to sell too!
"Many items are a quarter of the price of what they would have been new," says Brigid.
"There are beautiful old pieces with 100+ years of patina (the gorgeous aging process), so they're well worn in but so well built, they will last another 100 years!"
It’s a treasure trove of beautiful old toys, crystal glassware, kitchenware (think of your grandmother’s kitchen and what she had in it), paintings, stunning statement furniture pieces and so much more….you could lose yourself in here.
And shopping is the perfect way to walk off your lunch!
BEE INSPIRED BY THE GORGEOUS GARDEN (see what we did there?)
“Every plant has a purpose here,” says Brigid.
“We do a lot of companion planting.”
What is companion planting? Well, that’s when you place certain plants close together to enhance each other’s growth or protect each other from pests.
The Loch’s driveway is lined with roses and loads of sage.
“The sage scares off rose pests which is why they’re planted together,” says Brigid.
Guests to The Loch are welcome to wander around the garden – lavender, olive trees, roses, rabbits’ ear, archways of jasmine, ivy climbing the building’s walls and of course, the amazing huuuuge veggie garden. Bees love it here too – there’s plenty of them lovin’ life at The Loch!
Kids are also welcome to run around the beautiful garden and if they time it right, they’ll get to feed the farm’s resident lambs. And The Loch team run a nature hunt for the kids! There is also a cute little cubbyhouse in the garden for kids to play in – the garden is such a beautiful way to get kids into the fresh air and back to nature.
UNIQUE EXPERIENCES & EVENTS
The team at The Loch run some super awesome events throughout the year. Just before Christmas, Aussie rock icon (and Highlands local!) Jimmy Barnes performed at The Loch in an intimate gig which was – as always – so memorable.
In April, you get the opportunity to dine with Australia’s greatest thespian, John Bell at an intimate performance of ‘A Few Of My Favourite Things’ in the beautiful garden marquee. Dine on an Elizabethan feast (we can only imagine what THAT would taste like – amazing!) served with craft ales and local wines. How delicious! Click here for event details and to book your tickets.
STAY THE NIGHT
If you’re keen for a sneaky night away or you’re getting a group of friends and family together for a special occasion, stay the night (or more!) at The Loch. Sitting above the original stables of the farm are four large and luxurious guest suites with gorgeous rural views looking across the rolling hills of this beautiful Highlands property.
If you’re getting a group together, you can reserve the entire luxury barn or if it’s a night of romance and you’re wanting some quality time with your significant other, you simply book an individual suite. Accommodation details here .
So amazing, isn’t it? A jewel in the country crown of the Highlands, The Loch is totally worth a visit. Call 0411 511 244 or email the team at [email protected] to book a table or accommodation or if you have any other questions about this special place.
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