Monday, September 6, 2010

Discovering Orange

One day I had a shocking revelation, it sent me reeling and left me slightly disturbed. Not once, not ever, had this Sydneysider ventured beyond the Blue Mountains or the Great Dividing Range in general. I can’t explain how this actually happened, I thought I’d seen the world - and well I have, at least a good chunk of it - but somehow venturing West just got missed.

This had to be rectified in that very instant...ok not quite that exact instant, but it became top of the list. Out came the map and as my fingered traveled the Great Western Highway out of the Blue Mountains and into the great expanse that is New South Wales, my finger came to an abrupt halt upon the town of Orange.

One of Orange’s best adverting assets is its name, especially in relation to is location. Its not immediately obvious as to why this lovely country city is named ‘Orange’, its a secret; you can’t grow Oranges here, its halfway up an extinct volcano-cum-mountain creating a sub-alpine climate. The town isn’t painted orange, the landscape isn’t orange, in fact there is nothing obviously orange about Orange. It piques the curious, stimulates the imagination, 'why oh why is there a place called ‘Orange’'?! A quick google search will tell you that is named after ‘William of Orange’, but by now it doesn’t matter - its gotten into your head, you just have to see what Orange looks like.

I ended up falling in love with the place, its obsession with good wine and good food, a friendly ‘small town’ ambience with all the ‘needs’ of a city-slicker catered for. There’s a Myer department store, some lovely boutiques in town, a wine bar, hosts numerous festivals and an amazing hairdresser! Its not too far to Sydney, should you need a city fix, but most importantly (for this Sydneysider) there is a shocking number of cafe’s dotted around town.

I like fine dining, and Orange does have an obsession with good food (reflected in its many restaurants), but who wants to go to a restaurant for lunch and dinner every day? Who has the funds!? But, a cafe is a need! A good cafe provides good food for every meal of the day, and all the tea breaks in between, tempting with indulgent treats and all of this in a cozy, welcoming atmosphere that is just right for a good informal chat or a lazy people watching session.

I’ve now moved to Orange, and its cafes are one of its best kept secrets...until now. I’m going to talk about the secrets of Orange (the name was a bit of a clue), a lot will be cafes I love so much but not all! Expect reviews of those boutiques, bars, pubs and yes...even the hairdresser, that are Orange's best kept secrets.

I’m starting at the beginning of my Orange Journey- my next post will be about De Russi Suites, the place where I first stayed in Orange and the self-styled ‘best place to stay in Orange’.

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