Home > Experience > Seasonal Tips > Emily’s Tips for Autumn
A little about me...

A little about me...

I’m reasonably new to Orange (moved here 3 years ago) so the "local" tag is not quite apt just yet. Prior to moving to Orange I was living in Melbourne and had earmarked Orange as a great central spot for my family with enough going on that I thought it would be a nice place to liveI'm a home body who lives in the top level of an old two storey building in the middle of town and my partner lives in Manildra. So when I’m actually at home I just enjoy being in my space. I love to cook, am trying to spend a little more time painting again and trying my hand at gardening.Running my own business (MARG. Studio) each day is a little different, which is part of the reason why I do what I do. My business ethos is to design once and design well. Living in the climate we do, each month is so different and seeing each season change brings me a lot of joy as well as inspiration for my own garden. Three things I couldn’t live without - my friends and family, my spotify playlist (ranging from 1950s country and early 2000s RnB to Disney soundtracks) and access to fresh air and natural light.

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 love nothing more than going for a walk around Orange and sticky beaking at the beautiful old homes and gardens we have here."

  • I grab my daily coffee from....

    There are a couple of different places I like around town depending which direction I feel like walking or which friend I am meeting. Perching up on the verandah at Byng Street cafe has a great atmosphere and is great to take the laptop to during the week for a tree change or the best spot to bump into everyone you know in Orange on the weekends. Good Eddy’s is a favourite during the week as it has my favourite coffee and who can resist the smell of Trunkey Creek bacon cooking.

  • My happy place in Orange is...

    This one is easy! The Pinnacle lookout is my happy place. Your walk up the stairs is rewarded by a cracking view over Orange and surrounds. If I get there early enough you can enjoy the view and fresh air by yourself.

    Click here for other walks and trails in & around Orange

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

    Again, the choice here is insane and having lived here for only 3 years I have barely scratched the surface of the cellar doors. I am going to cheat here and say one of my favourite wine experiences is F.O.O.D Week’s Forage event in April where you can sample multiple wineries and food venues while frolicking through the vineyards of Orange. Otherwise I recently had a great experience out at Strawhouse winery trying their Semillon/Sauv called the Naked Pig. I’m not usually a Sauvignon Blanc drinker but this one opened my eyes.

  • Is there an annual event on the Orange calendar you never miss?

    F.O.O.D Week in April and wine month in October is hard to beat for the access to all the region has to offer. In particular, both events have Night Markets in Robinson Park which has such a lovely feel to it. There is also a great series called “Shine the light on the producers” which have local products like saffron, apples and bacon highlighted.

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

    I’d imagine said friends would be arriving late Friday night after work so takeaway pizzas from Parrot and a nice bottle of wine from Lane Cellars in the backyard would be a good starting point.

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

    Millthorpe has a beautiful main street to stroll down with many shops to look at and great places to eat. I also think Carcoar doesn’t get as much press as Millthorpe but has a great little cluster of shops there too.

  • What will you start doing more of this autumn?

    This habit started last autumn but a homemade Gimlet cocktail (with strawberry and basil from the garden) hits the spot in autumn. As do days spent out at the lake with friends, either packing a good chicken sandwich or cooking a bbq out there.

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

    Tough one because we have so many great options here. I would start with the more relaxed vibe of Birdie or the courtyard at Union Bank as they both have small but tasty menus with great atmosphere. Otherwise I would say the tasting menu at Sweet Sour Salt is a great way to not have to think and have someone feed you delicious Asian food.

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

    It’s a bit more of a drive away but I visited Mayfield Gardens near Oberon last year and couldn’t believe such a place existed. It has a great cafe attached and the work that has gone into this garden is incredible.

  • Tell us a little more about MARG. Studio?

    MARG. Studio operates across country NSW and has a soft spot for older homes or creating the next “old homes”. I work by appointment only but I encourage you to follow along on social media or via my email list for any in person pop up events I do throughout the year to help you plan your renovation or build.

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.