A Postcard from Berry

Greetings from a small patch of heaven in NSW. I had only intended to come down to Berry- a 2.5 hour drive south of Sydney for a few days. Yet, nearly a week on, I’m still here.


It could be because the air is clear, the paddocks rollicking and the lament of cows in neighbouring fields in the morning always manages to make me smile.

It could be because despite the haven it offers from the hectic pace of Sydney, there’s still plenty of promises of civilisation here. The village has an independent supermarket, decent butcher, wine store, two gourmet providores (with Sydney prices), chemist and post office. Ducking to the shops to do some errands has never been easier. And it’s also heaven for little kids, boasting one of the sweetest old school toy stores I’ve seen in a long time.

But you can’t talk about time spent in Berry without talking about Berry Sourdough.

Tucked one street back from the main street it’s a heritage listed building that dates back to 1895. Since 2001 it’s been home to some of the best baked products in regional NSW, with breads coming from their robust wood fired oven as well as flaky pastries, pies and tarts.

It’s also a darn fine spot for breakfast or lunch.

Coffees are made with care (no burnt milk or soured beans here).

And the baked beans with chorizo and poached eggs and sourdough baguette first thing in the morning is fortifying fodder- the beans rich and tottering towards that fine line of sweetness, but not out-of-the-can-sickly.

But if you’re after something sweet, their rather genius conflation of chocolate and almond croissants together is just the thing to pair with a latte at 10.00 am.

There are some insider tips to be had before a visit; Sourdough isn’t open on Monday or Tuesday- and on weekend mornings it can be pretty hectic with minibreakers from Sydney flocking in for flat whites. If you’re after a table outside on the balcony in the sun, you’d be best off getting here early-around 8.30 am. The other option of course is to pick up a take away coffee and some pastries from Sourdough’s sister bakery ‘Milkwood’ on the main street next to the post office. There’s not much seating there- but the treats are just as good – particularly their version of lamingtons- an Australian classic of chocolate and coconut rolled sponge squares.

This is a good place to fatten up a bit. Which is exactly what we’re here to do. Small baby Will at 5.5 weeks is still a little too little for everyone’s liking. I’m in feeding boot camp, desperately trying to build up my stocks, a process which makes me feel as wobbly at the knees as the scarecrow across the field.  So we’ve stayed on. For lamingtons and country air, fresh kale from the garden and some care from his Nana.

There are plenty worse places in the world to be.

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Berry Sourdough
23 Prince Alfred Street
Berry NSW 2535, Australia

Opening hours:
Breakfast: Wednesday to Sunday, 8am-11.15am
Lunch: Wednesday to Sunday, 11.30am-3pm

Berry is a 2.5 hour drive south of Sydney.  You can also get here by train, with Berry station sitting on the south coast train line that runs from Sydney’s Central. The middle part of  trip winds down past the beaches of the NSW south coast- and is very, very pretty.

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