Hatch Cottage, Moss Vale, Southern Highlands

Hatch Cottage at 562, Nowra road, Moss Vale, New South Wales

Hatch Cottage at 562, Nowra road, Moss Vale, New South Wales

When we visited the Southern Highlands in autumn last year, we were really enchanted by the beautiful colours of the trees and vegetation. We are just a little early this year but nevertheless, we see so many beautiful colours around Bowral, Berrima, Sutton Forest, Exeter and Bundanoon.

This year, we are staying at Hatch cottage within the ‘Mali Brae’ estate in Moss Vale, a quaint little country dwelling that was first built in 1860.

Hatch Cottage at 562, Nowra road, Moss Vale, New South Wales

Hatch Cottage at 562, Nowra road, Moss Vale, New South Wales

“1860 … that’s one hundred and fifty two years ago?”, I thought to myself as we drove past the cobblestone signage leading to the cottage that is on a 40-acre stretch of rolling hills and farmland.

“In 1860, Franz Liszt was still alive and George Gershwin was not even born”, I pondered further.

With these thoughts, I drove slowly towards the wooden cottage. We are here as Mysaucepan‘s mother and a friend are visiting us in Sydney and she thought bringing them to the country would give a very different experience from merely spending the week in the “big smoke”.

Fireplace and living room at Hatch cottage

Fireplace and living room at Hatch cottage

A cosy and crackling fireplace greets us the moment we step into the cottage.

I should have taken some photos of a few issues of Australian Women’s Weekly in 1965. There are heart-warming recipes of a very young and beautiful Margaret Fulton and I could imagine what it was like cooking those hearty meals in this cosy little kitchen back then.

First double bedroom at Hatch cottage

First double bedroom at Hatch cottage

The two bedroom are elegantly furnished, comfortable and warm as the weather is quite chilly when we arrive.

Second double bedroom at Hatch cottage

Second double bedroom at Hatch cottage

Bathroom at Hatch cottage

Bathroom at Hatch cottage

Although the cottage is not big, it is adequate for the four of us and we feel so cosy by the fireplace.

Trout ponds and rolling hills

Trout ponds and rolling hills

Gum trees dot the landscape and make this vast bushland distinctively Australian.

Cattle grazing during twilight

Cattle grazing during twilight

There are about forty heads of cattle grazing  in the hills and when we walk out onto the garden from the cottage, we have a vantage point of the entire farm where there are three trout ponds at the bottom of a small creek.

Sunset at Hatch cottage

Sunset at Hatch cottage

And as the sun sets upon us on this first evening, I am eager to prepare dinner with some of the ingredients that we brought with us.

Nature's bounty

Nature's bounty

These fruits and vegetables are so fresh, I restrain myself on the salt to try and get its natural flavours coming through.

Zucchini

Zucchini

The weather is cold and tonight, we are looking at about 8 degrees Celsius. I gather more firewood to make sure we keep the fireplace going throughout dinner and into the late evening.

Potato stacks and sweet potato

Potato stacks and sweet potato

We decide on some roast vegetables to make use of the heat and aromas of a warm oven. A drizzle of EVOO and sprinkle of salt and pepper onto roughly cut sweet potato, zucchini and potato slices and they look ready for the oven.

Fig and goat cheese salad

Fig and goat cheese salad

Mysaucepan prepares a fig and goat cheese salad with lettuce leaves and some roasted hazelnuts for a bit of crunch.

Pan-seared salmon and roasted vegetables

Pan-seared salmon and roasted vegetables

I love cooking in this small cottage because the aromas from the oven and open kitchen are so enticing. As usual, the ladies prefer fish as it is lighter and searing salmon fillets on a hot pan with EVOO is a simple yet delicious meal.

Pan-seared lamb cutlets

Pan-seared lamb cutlets

Lamb cutlets are lightly seasoned with dried mixed herbs, salt and black pepper. I sear these cutlets on very high heat and each side becomes gently charred with some crusty texture while it is beautifully medium rare inside.

Lamb cutlet with fig and goat cheese salad

Lamb cutlet with fig and goat cheese salad

A cosy cabin with a log fire cannot be complete without a hearty home-style soup in this cold weather.

I sautee some finely chopped leek, smoky bacon, carrots, onions in EVOO and then add a few pieces of smoked beef bones into my stock pot and simmer for a couple of hours.

Smoked bacon, zucchini and pasta soup

Smoked bacon, zucchini and pasta soup

Add some finely chopped zucchini, tomatoes and soup pasta towards the end and you have a hearty smoked bacon, zucchini and pasta soup to complement a toasty and glowing log fire.

Toasty fireplace in the evening

Toasty fireplace in the evening

Of course this wonderful meal is not complete when there is no music.

Listening to Ella Fitzgerald‘s silky voice singing Embraceable You is like sweet honey being trickled onto your lips. While gazing at the fireplace I feel like I’m being cuddled by a thousand beautiful angels.

Music for a cosy cottage

Music for a cosy cottage

The radiant heat from the fireplace makes our living room so toasty and this inspires Mysaucepan to ruffle up a simple dessert to treat her mother. She slices up a few pears and makes a sugar syrup that is poured onto the pears in a cast iron pan. A layer of pastry then covers the pears and is brushed with some melted butter.

Pear flan hot off the oven

Pear flan hot off the oven

It comes out from the oven golden brown and I do the honours of flipping the pear flan onto a dinner plate.

Pear flan hot off the oven

Pear flan hot off the oven

Such a simple yet beautiful dessert and our only regret is we do not have any ice-cream in the fridge.

A room with a view

A room with a view

Dawn is a beautiful time of the day in the country. Sometimes, you can hear the roosters and other times, the cows and goats.

Local free range eggs

Local free range eggs

I am up early to prepare breakfast for everyone. Mysaucepan‘s mother loves her breakfast eggs and today, we have a box of free range eggs from Berrima Ridge.

Eggs sunny side up with bacon and grilled tomato

Eggs sunny side up with bacon and grilled tomato

The barbeque gets an early morning sizzle with pork sausages, bacon and tomatoes.

Scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages and grilled tomato

Scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages and grilled tomato

For some reason, bacon and eggs for breakfast in the country feels so hearty and wholesome.

BBQ lamb chops and fresh tomatoes

BBQ lamb chops and fresh tomatoes

I couldn’t resist tossing a couple of lamb chops onto the barbeque which have been marinating from the evening before and they taste absolutely delicious. The two cattle dogs that greet us each morning are sniffing the air where the aromas of bacon and sausages are heavenly. This hearty breakfast is definitely setting us up for the day as we plan to go chestnut picking and a bit of bush-walking.

Adorable cattle dogs that wait for us each morning

Adorable cattle dogs that wait for us each morning

Old lawn mower

Old lawn mower

It is a glorious day without a single cloud in the clear blue sky.

A walk in paradise

A walk in paradise

Talk about a walk along a tree lined street, I was captivated by the sight of Mysaucepan walking along this little pebbled road in the farmland.

Roasting chestnuts by the fireplace

Roasting chestnuts by the fireplace

We drove towards Bundanoon to a chestnut farm where we are right in the middle of a small six-week window for chestnut picking. After an hour or so, Mysaucepan, her mom and friend emerge with about three kilograms of raw chestnuts.

The cosy fireplace is perfect for roasting chestnuts in a cast iron pan.

Roasted chestnuts with drinks at sunset

Roasted chestnuts with drinks at sunset

The four of us sit on the wooden deck, peel our chestnuts, drink, laugh and gaze into the horizon where the beautiful evening sun is setting.

Sunset and the cows are coming home

Sunset and the cows are coming home

We soak up the calm and tranquil setting, where the only noises might be chirping birds or the occasional call from the cows. Can life get any better than this?

So dear readers, have you been to the Southern Highlands and if so, which is your favourite place there?

Hatch Cottage
562 Nowra road
Moss Vale 2577
New South Wales
http://www.stayz.com.au/95035?gclid=CJi-vbvQwK8CFcgopAodAU4MwQ

Enter your email address to subscribe to chopinandmysaucepan.com

… Delivered by FeedBurner
comments
This entry was posted in Eating in Sydney, Music, Southern Highlands, Travel / Places of Interest and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Hatch Cottage, Moss Vale, Southern Highlands

  1. Looks like you had a lovely time! Beautiful pictures – I especially loved your twilight shots!

  2. Ann says:

    What a delightful getaway and such an idyllic time! Thank you for taking us along!

  3. Your vacation sounds wonderful. I’m shocked at the meal you prepared – it was amazing. The fig and goat cheese salad looked fantastic and your pear flan – can I please have that recipe? Did you just come up with these dishes from the ingredients you had on hand or prepare what you were making before arrival? Your entire meal looks spectacular. I’m so impressed. What a lovely destination to share with those you care about.

    • Chopinand says:

      Dear Vicki,

      The fig and goat cheese salad just needed extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and the pear flan is dead simple. The recipe is really how I described it and preparation took all of about 15 minutes with ready-made pastry. We did come up with these dishes with the ingredients we brought with us but a quick venture to the local supermarket is all that was needed to satisfy any cravings of the day :)

  4. Charles says:

    What a beautiful place – I love the look of that bedroom and the living room especially… so cozy and nice! I think I’d skip on the chestnuts… never been a massive fan, but the trip looks wonderful!

  5. wow what a lovely getaway! definitely cosy, great shots. haha i love how there’s a chamber pot in the bathroom as well :) those scrambled eggs look deliciously creamy too -recipe?

    • Chopinand says:

      Hi Vivian,

      Thanks for dropping by.

      I just added about half a cup of milk (skim, but normally full cream) to four 70gm free range eggs and melted some unsalted butter on a pan and scrambled them to our liking. I like my scrambled eggs a little creamy rather than dry. Hope that helps.

  6. I’m absolutely swooning at these photos! What a great holiday.

  7. Fiona Novak says:

    aye…. You make me want to run away to Moss Vale immediately…
    Thank you for the gorgeous photos.

  8. Ohhh what a relaxing vacation you had! I love B&B and staying at cottage kind of vacation while my husband prefers glamorous hotel kinda vacation (I like that too, but I also enjoy country side holiday). I can stay there for a week or even longer. How did Mysaucepan made the dressing for the fig salad? I should make this – figs and goat cheese sounds great (and I’m not even a goat cheese fan). And your season is to enjoy chestnuts! Ohh I miss them. Last fall I couldn’t find good ones. Roasting in fireplace sounds fun – I’ve never done that. Definitely will try next fall. :-)

    • Chopinand says:

      Dear Nami,

      The dressing was olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper – that simple! The hazelnuts made all the difference as they added crunch to the whole salad! Mysaucepan just can’t resist figs!

  9. sophia says:

    How rustic and beautiful!! To be honest, I actually prefer city, urban vacations (I’m in my 20s after all) but this is the kind of endearing spot I’d love to take my parents as a family vacation. They would probably want rice with that dinner though. So traditionalist Asians…lol.

    • Chopinand says:

      Dear sophia,

      I really wanted to make chicken congee because the weather was cold and my mother-in-law would have really appreciate that but Mysaucepan wanted her mum have that “western experience” which she also thoroughly enjoyed. It’s also a perfect setting for a Korean BBQ or hotpot too which I would also have loved :)

  10. Sissi says:

    It’s amazing to see what wonders you can create in a simple cottage.
    I find it also an excellent idea to go on holidays “in the wild nature” in the autumn. We all tend to do this in the summer and reserve other seasons for the city trips only.

  11. Celia says:

    Such a beautiful part of the world! And my goodness, you guys do eat well, those food photos are seriously droolworthy!

  12. I’ve never cooked such an elaborate meal while away so hats off to you! And that pear tarte tatin looks perfect! :)

  13. Carolyn Jung says:

    Those are some majestic trees. What a lovely place to get away to.

  14. JasmyneTea says:

    Looks like a lovely weekend away :) I’m jealous!

  15. msihua says:

    I haven’t been, but this sure looks amazing! I’ve always wanted to live in a cottage.. I think all those early years of reading Enid Blyton has made it a romantic dream!

  16. Looks like a dreamy holiday! I love self-catering holidays where I can cook up a storm in a little cottage. There’s something about cooking away from your own kitchen that makes you feel more resourceful and appreciate the outcome of your efforts even more. Lovely photos!

  17. This looks like the most beautiful and comfy place! Perfect to ground yourself again! :D

  18. What a wonderful getaway! The meals, the setting and oh wow that awesome fire.

  19. Forager says:

    Gorgeous photos – I’m actually looking into staying at this very same place and your photos are very inspiring! Thanks for the post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*


*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>