Pie lovers, grab your comfiest pants and refuel the car because an entire festival dedicated to the humble pie is happening next month — and it’s worth hitting the road for.
The Southern Highlands region, less than two hours from Sydney, is gearing up for Pie Time — an entire month of events, activities, tours and tastings that celebrate the iconic Aussie food.
For the entire month of June, picturesque towns across the Southern Highlands will host pie-themed art exhibitions, pie high teas, pie and wine dinner events, cooking classes and bicycle tours while bakeries and eateries churn out their best and most interesting pie creations.
Because nothing says winter quite like biting into a flaky, steaming pie among the rolling hills and historic cottages of the pretty Southern Highlands.
Pie Time is on across the Southern Highlands in June. Picture: Destination Southern HighlandsSource:Supplied
Will Bleeker from Robertson Pie Shop with a fresh batch of lemon pepper chicken pies. Picture: Destination Southern Highlands/HCreationsSource:Supplied
Pie Time is also one of the best times to take on the Great Southern Highlands Pie Drive, a winding stretch of country road that takes visitors on a food journey through pie-loving towns and villages like Bowral, Mittagong, Moss Vale, Berrima and Sutton Forest.
There are about 40 stops along the trail, including the hugely popular Gumnut Patisserie, the iconic Robertson Pie Shop, Bowral’s Mill Cafe, Kangaroo Valley Bakehouse, and Polly’s Pies and Pastries in Moss Vale.
A portion of the Great Southern Highlands Pie Drive. Picture: Destination Southern HighlandsSource:Supplied
Pie and beer: a classic Aussie combo. Picture: Destination Southern Highlands/HCreationsSource:Supplied
Pie Time celebrates both savoury and sweet pies. Picture: Destination Southern Highlands/HCreationsSource:Supplied
“The Great Southern Highlands Pie Drive is a self-drive itinerary for visitors to spend one or two days in the Southern Highlands while enjoying some of our nation’s best pies along the way,” said Steve Rosa, Destination Southern Highlands’ group manager for tourism and economic development.
“In fact, local favourites Gumnut Patisserie just took out the prestigious Royal Easter Show
President’s Medal, which is widely considered as Australia’s premier food award.”
And Pie Time is not just about the classic Aussie meat pie.
‘Pie Tea’ is a high tea like no other. Picture: Destination Southern Highlands/HCreationsSource:Supplied
Gumnut Patisserie is a favourite. Picture: Destination Southern Highlands/HCreationsSource:Supplied
A huge variety of pies can be found on the pie drive and showcased during Pie Time, from the vegan pie at Baked in Berrima, the massaman curry beef pie at Gumnut Patisserie, Whey Cafe’s apple pie with cinnamon and Wensleydale cheese, and the yabby pie in white wine sauce that Samuel Gee Pies and Pastries in Balaclava has created for the occasion.
All the events happening during Pie Time in June can be found on the official Pie Time website. Highlights include:
• Schmokin Berrima Combo Pie and Ride, a two-hour electric bike tour of the historic town of Berrmia
• “Pie Tea” — a creative take on traditional high tea featuring sweet and savoury pies — at The Old Bank Boutique Hotel in Mittagong and Peppers Manor House in Sutton Forest
Polly’s Pies and Pastries in Moss Vale will welcome visitors along the Pie Drive. Picture: Destination Southern Highlands/HCreationsSource:Supplied
An essential photo stop at Mittagong. Picture: Destination Southern Highlands/HCreationsSource:Supplied
• Feast of the Beast, a winter solstice celebration in the Meryla State Forest on June 19
• Art of the Pie, an intimate art exhibition and prize at WhiteWall Art Projects in Berrima from June 5-19
• Pie and Pinot black tie dinner event at PepperGreen Estate Berrima
• The Sweety Pie & Bubbles Trail, where visitors can pair tasty pastries with glasses of bubbly at Centennial Vineyards, Cherry Tree Hill Wines, Peppers Craigieburn and Tractorless Vineyard.
Last year’s Pie Time wasn’t quite the same due to Covid-19 lockdowns so 2021 is set to be extra special, Steve Rosa from Destination Southern Highlands said.
“With domestic tourism back on the table, we’re encouraging Australians to come back to our region and rediscover their favourite pie makers and bakers,” he said.
“We have hundreds of activities and activations stuffed into a 30-day celebration of the great Australian pie.”
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