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Peppers food trail

Thursday, September 18, 2008
Deloraine is an interesting and historic town on the banks of the Meander River, 228km north of Hobart. It doesn't attract as many tourists as Ross or Richmond, but it has been classified by the National Trust.

Historical Deloraine has an extensive number of houses and buildings, and there's plenty to admire in the surrounding area. Bonney's Inn, established in 1831, is constructed of bricks made by convicts. It was designed along the lines of coaching inns of England, with 50cm cedar mantelpieces and panelled walls.

Downriver, the Baptist Tabernacle is a single-storey Victorian chapel built in 1880, and further on is Harvey's Mill, a beautiful two-storey bluestone and brick building, now a private residence. The bridge over the Meander River was rebuilt with remnants of the 1877 bridge which was washed away.

The story of the Peppers Calstock mansion is long and interesting. Now a boutique guesthouse, the site has been home to pioneering families, a thoroughbred stud farm and is now a luxury retreat.

The original 1500-hectare parcel of land was granted to Lt Pearson Foote in 1831, who named it Calstock after his family's estate in England.

The Calstock house was completed in 1937 with many features echoing the owner's naval past. The long, low shape of the building resembles a boat, and the grounds were complete with flags and bells, respectively raised and rung at regular intervals.

In the 1990s, the owners restored the house over many years, and the current owners purchased it in 1999. They turned the main house into a guesthouse and in 2005, joined Peppers Retreats and Resorts, naming the 80-hectare property Peppers Calstock.

Chef Daniel Tourancheau and his wife run Peppers, and have set up the 'food trail', a self-guided tour taking in the best food producers in the region who supply the ingredients forming the basis of their menus.

They offer accommodation in seven rooms and two suites. The Garden Queen Room is in the west wing on the ground floor and overlooks the fountain courtyard. The Deluxe Queen Room is upstairs in the main house, overlooking the garden and courtyard.

Suite Rustique is on the lower level of the west wing and has a separate lounge. The King Room has a spa and garden views. Suite Automne is a two-bedroom family suite, located on the lower level of the house. It has private access to the veranda, large bathroom, wheelchair access and accommodates four.

Peppers Calstock has cooking classes for guests. Join Daniel in the kitchens where you will learn to combine simple flavours to create a gourmet meal. They also offer in-house beauty treatments with pure, organic products leave you feeling totally relaxed and revitalised.

A stroll around the property's English setting takes you to another world. The stables are particularly interesting as a number of Melbourne Cup winners were bred there. There are also wonderful old stands of English elm and oak, some of Australia's oldest.

The food and wine trail the Tourancheaus have developed is self-guided and free to guests. They provide details and information on producers they use in the area, and also offer guides to wineries in the Tamar Valley.

A suggested day's itinerary starts at Peppers Calstock and may head first to 41 Degrees South Aquaculture. The owners take visitors through a tasting of their hot smoked baby salmon and salmon rillette.

The Honey Farm at Chudleigh has more than 50 varieties and styles of honey and related products. Their honey ice-cream is a must! As well as a fantastic product range, there is a museum and educational information on honey and bees.

Ashgrove Farm Cheese specialises in hard-style cheeses. Their range includes a mature cloth bound cheddar with a bite, and a range of flavoured cheddar. They also have cheeses from Heidi Farm and Tasmanian Highland cheeses to try.

The Tamar Valley with the flowing Tamar River is a noted wine region. It produces excellent sparkling wines and there are several vineyards offering tastings. Ninth Island, Peppers Brook and Kreglinger.

The Springfield Deer Farm supplies a complete range of products. Venison salami and ham are unusual, and they also make burgers, pastrami, kransky sausage — even spring rolls. Stock grazes on pasture, and no chemicals, drenches, antibiotics or growth hormones are used.

Location

Deloraine, an hour from Launceston in Tasmania.

Cost

Peppers Calstock Deloraine accommodation starts at $305 a night from Sunday to Thursday. There is a minimum two-nights' stay on Friday and Saturday nights for the same rate. French breakfast is included.

Cooking classes are $55 per person with a minimum of four people. They are two-and-a-half hours in duration.

Prices correct at September 18, 2008.

For further information

Peppers Calstock
Highland Lakes Road
Deloraine 7304
Ph: (03) 6362 2642
Fax: (03) 6362 2635
www.peppers.com.au

41 Degrees South Aquaculture
323 Montana Road
Deloraine 7304
Ph: (03) 6362 4130
www.41south-aquaculture.com

The Honey Farm
39 Sorell Street
Chudleigh 7304
Ph: (03) 6363 6160
Fax: (03) 6363 1483

Springfield Deer Farm
20 Azels Road
Mole Creek 7304
Ph/Fax: (03) 6363 1282
www.springfielddeerfarm.com

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