When I told friends that I was going to be driving Tasmania’s north-east trail there was one place that people said was a must visit. That place? Bridestowe Lavender Estate.
I’d been told of the rows of purple heads, a sight that can be seen between December 1st and January 31st depending on weather, but I was there outside of flowering season, in late March, and was unsure of what I’d see. I wanted it to be a surprise so didn’t research, I just relied on the information I’d been given and set the location in my GPS as I drove out of Scottsdale, the nearest town.
It’s an easy drive from Scottsdale, around 15minutes, before I was driving up the Estates driveway. While no purple could be seen – except for the brightly coloured building housing the cafe and store – I wasn’t disappointed with the view. Rows and rows of lavender bushes rose and fell with the landscape, natural irrigation for the plants. Under the dramatic clouds threatening rain, the fields of lavender looked even more fabulous. The green plants and brown earth ‘popping’ against the dramatic skies that later turned a brilliant blue.
One of the highlights of the stop at Bridestowe Lavender Estate has to be learning about culinary lavender. After walking through the store filled with lavender filled bears, lavender infused lotions and potions, and lavender infused teas, the cafe showcases how culinary lavender can be used. I tried lavender fudge, a lavender brownie, a lavender and rhubarb RhuBru and two cones of lavender flavoured ice creams because I forgot to take a photo of the first.
Lavender ice cream needs to be tasted not described. It’s creamy and smooth, it tastes like when you stand in a room full of fresh lavender, breathe in and let it take over all your senses, but still plain, it doesn’t overpower your senses. Try it if you want to taste something different but don’t mind plain flavours. For those still a little hesitant, try a taster scoop at least!
If the cafes food won you over or you’re tempted to try cooking with culinary lavender, available in the store, there are dozens of recipes available for free, including lavender lamb shanks. Hrm… not sure how I feel about mixing lavender and meat.
Living so close, it’s just under an hour flight to Launceston from Melbourne and then the hour or so drive, I’m determined to revisit Bridestowe Lavender Estate during flowering season like Whittney from White Island or Naomi from Petite Playground. The colours are so vibrant and I need to see this beautiful part of the world without rain clouds threatening to drench me!
I could have easily pulled out a book and curled up on one of the benches around the farm or laid under the grand oak tree with a picnic basket and a friend, but the adventure needed to continue and I had to get back to Launceston before sunset to fly home. My Tasmanian road trip almost at a close and the pit stop at Bridestowe Lavender Estate the perfect end to my weekend.
Now it’s over to you
What do you think about culinary lavender?
Have you ever seen fields of flowers in bloom?
296 Gillespies Road
My trip to Tasmania was arranged with help from Tourism Tasmania,
part of their Go Behind the Scenery campaign.
All thoughts and opinions are, as always, my own.