It’s often fun to dream about your ideal place to dine – an expansive verandah perched under a jacaranda tree in the lush countryside, a roaring fireplace within, while Victorian charm surrounds you on all sides. While this sounds like some idyllic rural fantasy, this is exactly what you’ll encounter at Harvest Cafe, located in Newrybar, in northern NSW.
Situated just fifteen minutes from Byron Bay, Harvest Cafe is a well kept 1900s-style cottage. A capacious verandah offers guests views of a vibrant garden, along with an adjoining bakery that’s just about to turn 100. It’s also a place where it’s not uncommon to see a local ride in on horseback to collect the morning paper from the neighbouring store.
Owners Kassia Picone and Tristan Grier have evidently put a lot of love into its keeping. And besides its appointed “soulful country ambience”, Harvest manages to keep true to its name by focusing on fresh, local, seasonal organic produce. Head chef Joseph Griffin often sources ingredients from the Harvest garden, serving up delights such as the caprese salad of local Coopers Shoot tomato, Shaw River buffalo mozzarella, Harvest garden basil and aged balsamic dressing.
Yet true to its stately, bucolic appeal, Harvest serves up dishes such as its ploughman’s plate of pork and rabbit terrine, cured deli meats and cheese, olives, pickled onions and Harvest baked bread. Or there’s the crispy Bangalow duck leg on taro cake with steamed farmers market greens and Davidson plum sauce.
For lovers of a good drop, Harvest Cafe produces a quality cup of coffee, while offering over 20 wines by the glass from its bar. There’s also cocktails that emphasise Australian tropical and bush fruits, of which the surrounding area has many. Then there’s the breakfast bar menu, where one can sup French pear cider, or the local bloody harvest, which is a concoction of chilled vodka, tomato and fresh chilli with galangal & kaffir lime.
For functions, Harvest Cafe has the neighbouring bakery (that’s full of antiques), which caters up to 44. Harvest itself can seat up to 90 people, while there’s a private dining “Krug room” that can squeeze in an extra eight. Here you can savour locally sourced canapes and sip on bush cocktails, while the chef puts on a seasonal menu to suit the occasion.
Harvest chef Shannon Smerdon (pictured) says his inspiration comes from sourcing fresh, local organic produce with an emphasis on how it’s handled before it gets to the plate.
For more info on Harvest Cafe, take a look at their website.