Home > Experience > Seasonal Tips > Craig’s Tips for Winter
A little about me...

A little about me...

I have lived in Orange my entire life and do quite a bit of travelling for work. I’ve been so lucky to have grown up in this region and see how the colours change throughout the seasons from the ground and from the air. It’s truly amazing. My late father Noel was a boss at the local forestry commission so I spent a lot of my younger years exploring Mt Canobolas which has given me great local knowledge.I’ve been flying commercially for over 14 years now and I’m always drawn back to Orange. My amazing wife of 18 years and our 2 boys (10 and 12) have made a beautiful life here and we can see why Orange is so popular with visitors. To unwind I like to do work in my yard, watch movies at home with the family and go to the footy.

This or that?

Beach Bush

Outdoor Adventure Cozy Indoors

Fine Dining Pub Schnitty

Read Watch

Night Owl Early Bird

Pineapple on Pizza No Pineapple

"I’ve been so lucky to have grown up in this region and see how the colours change throughout the seasons from the ground and from the air. It’s truly amazing."

  • I grab my daily coffee from....

    Bills Beans East Orange! It’s the only place I get my coffee from.

  • My happy place in Orange is...

    In the air, flying over it! And home.

  • I had a great local cellar door experience recently at....

    Borrodell and Stockmans Ridge. My favourite local wineries and both offer something different. You can’t beat the view at Borrodell and the food and wine bar are amazing. Stockmans Ridge has the most laid bak vide and I love the live music.

  • In winter I most look forward to...

    Wood fires! Nothing cosier then the heat from a wood fire. Also sunsets which are much more breathtaking during the winter.

  • If I was in charge of planning the itinerary when friends were coming to stay, I'd be recommending...

    Printhie for lunch and wine tasting and Swinging Bridge for wine tasting. Mr Lim and Pellegrinis for dinner, followed by a scoop of gelato from Spilt Milk. You can’t come to Orange without visiting Lake and Mount Canobolas, even in the winter, the walk around the lake is great and hiking on the mountain is easier during the cooler months.

  • My favourite village to visit in the Orange region is...

    I would say Millthorpe. It’s a nice drive out and we like to visit the lolly shop with our boys.

  • What will you start doing more of this coming winter?

    Flying! Orange from the air is amazing to see during all the seasons.

  • Your celebrity crush is coming to Orange - where would you take them?

    I’m taking Gal Gadot to Sweet Sour Salt. Great atmosphere, good vibes and delicious food

  • Is there some place in the Orange region you can't believe more people don't know about or experience?

    Junction Reefs waterfalls is an absolute gem and I’m surprised that more people don’t know about it!

Racine Grazing Box

Racine Orange

Award winning chef  Shaun Arantz and his wife Willa created something special in Orange when they opened their modest little bakery within a sourdough’s throw of Woolworths in the heart of Orange. After closing their hatted restaurant of the same name, they poured their heart & soul into baking goods that made people feel good. It didn’t take long before Racine Bakery became THE ONLY place to get your freshly baked sourdough, croissants, pastries, muffins, cakes and coffee (their Vanilla Slice is mind blowing!). Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, Racine started offering Grazing Boxes!

So while a visit to Racine during your stay at Basalt is a must, we felt that being able to have a pre-prepared Racine Grazing Box in your fridge awaiting your arrival would be the icing on the cake. Enjoy!


Rikard Riesling

Rikard Riesling

Nose shows lime blossom, jasmine and preserved lemon first, followed by a slatey minerality, some fennel and a slight mealy, biscuity character. Lime and green apple on the palate are overlaid with nettles and green apricot. The acid structure is juicy without being tart and carries the abundance of fruit well. Lovely balance and intensity, with a myriad of spices popping up and then retreating with each sip.

Swinging Bridge “Mrs Payten” Chardonnay

Swinging Bridge Chardonnay

As was Mrs Payten, Tom’s grandmother, these are wines of style, elegance and finesse. This Chardonnay was first released to celebrate Armah’s 90th Birthday in 2013 and was matured in tightly grained French Oak, balancing its rich stone fruit and grapefruit characters. With its depth of flavour, flintiness and natural, cool climate acidity, this is a wine thatwill reward cellaring.

Macquariedale Pinot Gris

Macquariedale Pinot Gris

These grapes were hand harvested from a sustainable grown vineyard on the northern slopes of Mount Canobolas at 860m. The wine exhibits delicate floral aromas of citrus and orange blossom. The palate has lime zest overtones and has a hint of residual grape sugar.

De Salis Pinot Noir

De Salis Pinot Noir

De Salis Estate Pinot Noir with a lively nose of Orange Citrus, Raspberry Liquorice and Pork and Fennel sausage. A fine textured palate of Sour Cherry, White Strawberry backed up with an underlying earthiness of Portobello Mushroom and spice and lingering Campari finish.

Philip Shaw “The Idiot” Shiraz

Philip Shaw Shiraz

The Idiot is dark purple hue. Dark plums with hints spice ranging from cinnamon to white pepper. Its undeniably cool climate shiraz with mid palate tannin and a fine finish with toasted vanilla oak. Enjoy now or cellar for the next 5 years. Ideal accompaniment with friends and BBQ.

ChaLou “Dreaded Friend” Rose

ChaLou Dreaded Friend Rose

Quince and Rasberry with rose water lift. Bright refreshing palate with savoury elements and dry finish.





Sweet Sour Salt

Located in the heart of Orange, Sweet Sour Salt is a modern Asian fusion restaurant which has grown to become one of the region’s favourite dining establishments over the past 15 years.  Owner and chef Ivan Podres and his team regularly surprise and delight with their unique flavour blends.

Basalt has teamed up with Sweet Sour Salt to enable our guests to make the most of the amazing in-studio dining experience without worrying about what to cook. We’ve selected the 6 most popular dishes on the Sweet Sour Salt menu, matched them to some of our favourite local wines and made them available to our guests to enjoy on their arrival night.

Each guest will receive an email 15 days prior to check-in inviting them to place their order. Orders must be received min. 7 days prior to arrival. Meals will be prepared fresh and delivered by your Basalt host to your studio fridge ready for your arrival. Simply heat up, pick some seasonal herbs from the studio’s garden to garnish and serve. A great way to start your stay!



Michael Manners

Michael Manners

Manners began his career in France in the early 1960s, followed by a stint at England’s renowned Hole in the Wall in Bath. In 1970, Manners teamed with a Dany Chouet to open the bistro Upstairs in Sydney, giving the city’s fledgling dining out scene an unexpected sophistication. In 1976, following another stint in France, Michael opened the Glenella Guesthouse at Blackheath which quickly became one of the state’s great destination restaurants, regularly earning two hats.

After stints at Katoomba (Table Manners) and Leura’s Silks, Michael and wife Josephine moved to Orange and opened his acclaimed restaurant Selkirks in 1997. In doing so, they gave an already vibrant food and wine scene the focus it needed – a champion restaurant. In the history of the Good Food Guide, Manners is one of the most hatted chefs in NSW, with more than 20 awarded.

Michael is a legend in the Orange food scene and now prepares seasonal, 3-course, easy to plate up meals for Basalt guests to enjoy in the comfort of their studio.