Heading out of Albury and toward Rutherglen for our first wine tour I am surprised by the sparse alpine terrain we are encountering. The trip will take approximately 40 minutes and we have crossed the Victorian border inside of the first ten minutes.
We continue along the Murray Valley highway and I note the road is well signposted with vineyards scattered to the left and right. Our driver continues on and eventually we enquiry as to where we are going as we seem to be missing quite a lot of potentially great wine finds along the way. Our driver Mr iDenial informs us that we cannot wine on an empty stomach, and that our first stop will be Parkers Pies. Apparently Parkers Pies is a Rutherglen institution and the best pies in the area. I try to coax out of him what makes them so great but he simply answers; “They taste good”.
Naturally we are not going to argue with our tour operator and designated driver. Especially when it means commencing our trip with some deliciously flavoured pies. We are told they make an awesome chutney to accompany the pies. I am salivating before we even reach this historic town.
When we arrive at Parker’s Pies it’s lunch time, and the store is packed, but we manage to secure a table. I look at the menu board and there is a delicious range of flavours. I am immediately torn between the
Lean beef infused in a screaming seed sensation with the aromatic flavors of India, and the
Fillet chicken encased with the aromatic flavors of Asia in a creamy coconut and coriander sauce
I do love a good beef curry so the Indian Beef pie wins out. The flavour of the filling is so meaty and rich, the curry flavour is strong and there is also some warmth to the spice which I adore. The pastry is crisp and glossy.
Mr GG is talking about ordering the King Prawn, but I know my husband well and when he returns with the Pepper Steak Pie I laugh at his predictability.
TIGER KING PRAWNS
Tiger king prawns cooked in a creamy coconut , curry and coriander sauce
Tender chunks of beef in a creamy cracked pepper sauce
I sample a taste of the pepper steak filling and again the pie is rich and meaty. The pepper influence gives the gravy heat and flavour. I agree with Brett that it is the best Peppered Pie I have tried.
The little ones have all chosen the regular Parker pie and are busy demolishing their lunch in silence.
Lean beef mince cooked the Parker Pie way [ kids love it ]The main street the pubs, the bike
Little Miss A is an individual; she decides to have something different to the boys and chooses the sausage roll. The filling has about double the meat volume of a regular sausage roll and is rolled in the same gorgeous pastry which forms the lid of our pies.
Sausage meat with our own special seasoning
Whilst that should really have been enough pie after our Lemon tart this morning we can’t resist trying another two flavours.
Fresh fillet chicken cooked with field mushrooms in a mega rich creamy bacon and white wine sauce.
BACON AND CHEESE
Lean Beef Mince with generous amounts of Bacon and tasty cheese.
Again the flavours are so rich and full, I am at a loss as to how they make these pies so flavoursome. The bacon and cheese has a delicious melted square of tasty cheese amongst the beef and bacon filling and the flavour of bacon is overwhelming throughout the pie.
All the pies have that non commercial, homemade taste. The ingredients are fresh and packed inside each pie the way you make it yourself.
If you are feeling like a sweet treat there is also a huge range of delectable desserts to choose from.
I have promised the children a trip to the Lolly Shop as a treat so we make our way along the historic street, admiring the period buildings. There are all types of curiosities along the way but a pub with an arch of bikes grabs my attention. Whilst I am photographing the scene a patron suggests that he could climb on the bike mounted in the tree.
Until this point I hadn’t noticed that there were more bikes in odd positions throughout the grounds of the pub. The bike he was referring to seemed to be precariously positioned in the tree. The gentleman didn’t exactly have the physique of your usual bike rider but he was a good sport, and was willing to pose for me, so I grab the opportunity and took a few photo’s.
When I returned the children were waiting anxiously at the Lolly shop.
It is lucky I have patient kids as they have an easily distracted mother!
The lolly shop is a wonderland for the children.
They spend a good ten minutes in awe of all the delicious sweets.
Eventually they select their favourites and I chose some delicious handmade fudge for later.
On to the vineyards! We have left ourselves short of wine tasting time, so we have settled on an itinerary which includes Campbells Wines, Stanton & Killeen, Bullers and All Saints. …to be continued…