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A little about me...

A little about me...

We knew we wanted to make Orange our home when we were first married in the mid '90s, and we finally took that leap in 2004. It had so much going for it - its such a pretty town, but it also had a vibrant and diverse community that we felt could support our businesses.I find great joy in the everyday of a daily routine. Mornings are busy with shoo-ing the boys off to school and I then love a morning walk with our two miniature poodles - Winne and Walter - it clears my mind and gets me in a good space for the day ahead. I spend most days in the workroom, blocking and shaping, designing and making hats for various orders, projects, collaborations and events, interspersed with creating content and driving the creative elements for our other business - Fresh Fodder. My three daily essentials would include a good SPF moisturiser in the morning, a good pair of walking shoes (current faves are Allbirds) and my ear buds for music/podcasts/phone catch ups while i work.

This or that?

Beach Bush

Outdoor Adventure Cozy Indoors

Fine Dining Pub Schnitty

Read Watch

Night Owl Early Bird

Pineapple on Pizza No Pineapple

"We have two not so mainstream businesses, and when we first moved to town, it raised some eyebrows when we said "She makes Hats, and he makes Dip..."

  • I grab my daily coffee from....

    I’m not a slave to “coffee everyday”, and my ordering flucutates – its mostly a piccolo or a soy latte, but sometimes its a chai day, and others I just need a herbal tea! As a result, I do have a few favourite haunts (we are so spoilt for choice!!) depending on where I am, what I am doing, and what I am in the mood for:

    Bills Beans East Orange for post school drop off and when I need to be on site at FF (just up the road).

    Good Eddy for a catch up that combines work and friends over coffee.

    Byng Street Local Store is on my walking track and close to home and the workroom, so its handy for a workroom break.

    Groundstone is lovely on a rare weekend morning with no kids sport.

    Gather At The Sonic or Hawkes General Store is perfect when I need a retail therapy hit to go with the caffeine!

  • My happy place in Orange is...

    There is a stretch of pathway on my daily walk that i just adore. It runs from the beautiful Duntry League Guest House, down the front driveway and I regularly snap the changing seasons along this part of the path.

  • In our region, I can't believe more people don't experience the...

    The Corner Store Gallery is tucked away in East Orange and is such a great little space. I have a solo showing of hats there each year, as well as being part of The JourneyPerson (a group of local makers) that show there three times a year. No matter what is on, there is always a wonderful showcase of Australian made art and design.

    Fiona Schofield outside Corner Store Gallery

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

    The new space at Printhie is completely amazing!

  • My Orange spring resolution is...

    Its been a pretty wet Winter, so I’m looking forward to getting back into the garden for a tidy up, and it will be nice to leave the house in a few less layers!

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

    A great Sunday morning combination is brunch at Anything Grows, followed by a stroll through Cook Park. Then a visit to the museum, the Art Gallery to round out a lovely slow Sunday.

    Click here for guide to Orange galleries and museums

    Fiona Schofield walking in Cook Park

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

    Millthorpe is such a favourite and it’s hard to go past Tonic restaurant. Its also where the wonderful bi-annual Millthorpe Markets take place and they are definitely something to mark on your calendar!

  • My must do event in Orange is...

    FOOD Week is a favourite – a great time of year to be in Orange and is such a great showcase for the regions produce and businesses. The opening Night Markets always have a terrific atmosphere for what is to follow.

  • A plug for our businesses...

    Well, we have two not so mainstream businesses, and when we first moved to town, it raised some eyebrows when we said “She makes Hats, and he makes Dip…” Max has been running Fresh Fodder since 2008, but our hero product – Taramosalata – has a wonderful origin story stemming from owner Max Schofields childhood in Sydney in the late ’70s. We manufacture a small and strong range of dip flavours, available across independent and multi national supermarket retailers. We are not open to the public, but you can find our range at a number of retailers in the region, as well as having a good chance of finding it in your local retailer when you return home. To see the range and read the story of our much loved “Gangster Dip” visit www.freshfodder.com.au.

    Fiona is a Milliner with over 30 years industry experience. She hand makes hats and headwear of all variety in her small workroom in town. You can visit by appointment. To make a booking:

    • email hello@fionaschofieldmillinery.com.au or
    • phone 0427 150 172,
    • or view the range on her website at www.fionaschofieldmillinery.com.au
  • If I'm heading out for a special dinner, I'm going to...

    Lolli Redini is a favourite for special dinners.

  • What do you love most about Spring?

    Watching the trees go from bare branches to being ladened with blossoms (seemingly overnight!) is such a delight.

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.