On Wednesday last week, my sister Dimity and I headed off to visit a little slice of countryside paradise in the South Burnett region of Australia. Hidden in the small, country town of Nanango (one of the Australian state of Queensland’s oldest towns) is the beautiful, historic and impeccably restored old Queenslander called Ringsfield House.
I had been desperate to explore Ringsfield House ever since I first laid eyes on it so when my sister came to visit, I knew it would be the most idyllic setting for a lovely, leisurely, sisterly lunch! From the very first sighting from the road where we parked my car, the House’s charm and character was so apparent, and the abundance of lush greenery and colourful flowers held us a captivated audience.
After a quick walk down the driveaway, we walked up the front steps onto the wide, sweeping veranda and settled ourselves into the incredibly quaint (and totally Instragrammable) Ringsfield House Cafe. Perusing the menu, with so many delicious and well priced dishes on offer, it was clear that we had a very tough choice to make. In the end though it was the Crispy Asian Chicken Salad ($14.50) that most caught my attention, and Dimity’s too.
The salad was a perfectly light and cripsy mix of spinach, red cabbage, wombok, carrot, capsicum and poached chicken breast, with just the right amount of the most amazing Asian dressing I have ever tasted. Honestly, it was one of the best salads of my life and I was so tempted to ask the chef how to make the dressing so I could replicate it at home, but I feared that might be be overstepping the mark. But oh was I tempted!
|My beautiful sister, Dimity|
As we were in a celebratory mood, after polishing off our lunch we ordered two house-made scones with jam and fresh cream ($5.50) to share and two hot drinks (a mocha for Dimity and a cappuccino for me). The scones were deliriously light and fluffy, which balanced wonderfully with the heaviness of the cream, and the coffee was perfectly strongly, without a hint of bitterness. Absolute heaven!
Ringsfield House Cafe is an intimate space, with large, light-filled windows looking out to the glorious gardens beyond, and a wide veranda that sweeps around the front of the house. There are tables both indoors and outdoors, so it easily caters for cold, wintry days as well as hot, summery ones, and everything in between. The mood is friendly and inviting, and seems to always be bustling with families and friends laughing and chatting over a beautiful lunch or a decadent dessert and coffee.
After a lovely long chat, intermixed with bouts of mischievous laughter at how much we each wanted another scone, Dimity and I resisted temptation and headed outdoors into the beautiful sunshine to explore the gardens. There is something about the wild growth of flowers and lush greenery of the gardens, manicured just so mind you, that felt reminiscent of one of my favourite childhood books and films, “The Secret Garden”.
Dimity was so sweet to take some pictures of me, in my element, in the gardens of such a beautiful historic home. Before we left, we found a little wooden stump and set my camera up with the self-timer so we could capture our sisterly selves. After many failed attempts, we got the timing right and snapped this picture. Most certainly one that I will treasure forever.
I cannot recommend Ringsfield House enough – the meal, coffee, scones and service are all equally exceptional. While we ran out of time to actually tour Ringsfield House itself, it at least gives me a wonderful excuse to make a trip back in the very near future. I will most certainly be returning to the cafe as regularly as I can, and can’t wait to take our friends and families whenever they come to visit!