If this is your first time to the Barossa, no doubt you would have been advised that Maggie Beer’s farmshop is one of the must-stop stops.
And being a huge Masterchef fan, I’ve seen her quite a number of times on telly and it was enough to make me want to visit. It was one of the first few stops I had planned into my trip. Maggie Beer’s Farmshop? Oh yes.
But if we wanted to go there, so did a million other people. Or what felt like a million. Maggie’s farm shop is not big. But it’s definitely popular, seeing as it’s such a huge South Australian icon. We walked through the door and had to stop because … well, because we really couldn’t go any further. There was just that many people in the shop.
Maggie’s farm shop has displays all over that shows the range of products she has for sale. I didn’t manage to take photos of them all seeing as it was hard to navigate through the people crowd to begin with.
Right beside the door is a pile of baskets. No, not your supermarket plastic baskets. I mean the proper rattan baskets that scream “rustic”! The idea is for you to pick up a basket and use that to carry your purchases. I watched in amazement as folks came in to buy not one, not two, but often three or more basket full of products. The lines to the payment counter was always bustling and products were flying off the shelves.
We had decided to have lunch at the farm shop. But as we looked at the amount of people, we were starting to question if this was such a good idea after all. In the end, we managed to snag a table and got lunch on its way.
I don’t know what I was expecting. I think I was expecting the Barossa Valley to be an amazing foodie heaven, where no food could go wrong. Because that’s what it sounds like from all the talk I’ve heard of the Barossa. But I was genuinely not overly impressed with our lunch here. Apart from that Chestnut soup and walnut bread. That was amazing. That was out of this world. And that was, unfortunately, also not my lunch. It was K’s, the lucky gal. Oh don’t get me wrong, the pate was nice, but you could hardly describe the freekah salad as tasty, and the wood oven bread was solid like a rock. Maybe it’s meant to be that way, but I know I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as that walnut bread.
I did however, enjoyed the panna cotta. It was a panna cotta that they were ‘flavour-testing’ so it wasn’t on the menu. I have forgotten what it is but it was pleasant. Quite the delish way to end the lunch, I must say. I just didn’t quite understand the funny indentation on the top of the panna cotta – wonder whether it was an accident or an intentional design feature?
We stayed for the Verjuice Workshop and I took a moment to admire Maggie Beer’s studio kitchen. Such beautiful bright colours! I always think that your surroundings should always be brightly coloured to help lighten up your mood, so I think I would have been very happy in this kitchen indeed.
If you’ve never cooked with Verjuice before and if you are considering trying out, this workshop was a good place to start. One lucky audience member even had the chance to go up and have a bit of a hands on go at it. We were all given the chance to taste test the dishes and they were absolutely delish! Especially the roasted fennel, and this is coming from a lady who doesn’t normally like fennel!
We ended up not buying very much from Maggie Beer. Normally, I am all over produce and preserves like this, but something about the swarm of people and the constantly having to squeeze with others put me off my buying mojo. Nevertheless, I couldn’t leave without buying something and so I left Maggie Beer’s farmshop with all six flavours of her ice cream in tow. Single serves, of course. Yum!!
I will share how they tasted at a later date. Look forward to my next #Barossa Valley post tomorrow!