So you've hit the slopes, you're winding down and you want to get a last taste of Australia's alpine eateries. We've put together some options.
On the way out from Perisher and Thredbo, Lake Crackenback Resort has a couple of restaurants - the more casual Alpine Larder which serves up wood fired pizzas and offers takeaway so you can take your meal home to your chalet or apartment. Or for a dress up dinner there's the lakefront Cuisine where chef Greg Pieper offers a more sophisticated menu. During winter Lake Crackenback puts together a mini series of Cool Climate Dinners with chefs and winemakers from the region. This winter was the turn of Biota's James Viles and Aubergine's Ben Willis, the latter pulling together a seasonal, comforting collection of dishes including duck with Bredbo black garlic and perfect Snowy River trout with winter pickled vegetables. It all went nicely with Alex McKay's Collector Wines vintages. But there are options just down the road too - the much loved Wildbrumby Schnapps distillery where you warm up with hits of william pear, butterscotch or apple schnapps. The cafe serves breakfast and lunch until well into the afternoon. Almost next door is Crackenback Farm which offers excellent fine dining - think cheese souffles, veal mains and lush desserts with a good wine list. Get a table on the terrace if it's sunny.
For a coffee fix, head to Jindabyne which plays host to Coffee Beats Drinks, a Melbourne-laneway transplant serving up popular coffees by day and drinks by night. There's even a coffee and surfboard wax deal ($20) so you can get your snow equipment and your caffeine hit sorted. The Red Door Roastery in the town centre also does green tea lattes alongside the cappuccinos and hot chocolates.
Some weekend warriors prefer to maximise their time at the slope and hit the road later, pulling over for a pit stop at Cooma instead. It's worth the detour to go up Mount Gladstone to Miss Heidi's Tea House, where the Austrian log cabin, the cuckoo clocks and the Oktoberfest mugs would be death-by-kitsch if it wasn't for the Teutonic voice booming from the kitchen - and the seriously good pancakes, crispy fried on the outside and comfortingly soft on the inside, all washed down with hot chocolate topped with lashings of whipped cream or a selection of teas that go beyond English breakfast. In the town itself, The Lott Food Store and Cafe offers everything from homewares to pantry specials and is good for a hot meal, rolls and sandwiches and coffee. It's big. The Beatnik Cafe, formerly known as 40 Cafe, caters to the vegan and vegetarian among us with coffee from Canberra's own Lonsdale Street Roasters, and the Rainbow Ice Creamery will keep your kids on a permanent sugar high all the way back to Canberra.
Natasha Rudra was a guest of Lake Crackenback Resort and Spa.