Home > Experience > Seasonal Tips > Katie’s Tips for Spring
A little about me...

A little about me...

My family are from the Cowra region so I have always had a connection to the area. My Dad has been in Orange for over 30 years and I spent many of my school holidays (from Sydney) with him working on fruit orchards or working at Farmers Markets in Sydney on weekends. I have been living in Orange full-time for 14 years.Running a busy hospitality business does not leave a lot of time to unwind. On an ideal day though, you'll find me grabbing a coffee, heading to the Pinnacle or Canobolas for a hike or nature adventure or, during season, a wild forage.

This or that?

Beach Bush

Outdoor Adventure Cozy Indoors

Fine Dining Pub Schnitty

Read Watch

Night Owl Early Bird

Pineapple on Pizza No Pineapple

"Running a busy hospitality business does not leave a lot of time to unwind. On an ideal day though, you'll find me grabbing a coffee, heading to the Pinnacle or Canobolas for a hike or nature adventure or, during season, a wild forage."

  • I grab my daily coffee from....

    I am at Groundstone 7 days a week. Or at least it feels like it sometimes. But if I am not at the cafe (drinking copious amount of coffee) then you will find me at I am at Good Eddy or I am at Bills Beans East Orange.

  • My happy place in Orange is...

    During summer you’ll find me looking for a waterhole, whether it be Fourth Crossing or maybe Federal Falls. During autumn you’ll most likely find me in a local orchard or kitchen garden, picking produce or flowers. During winter you’ll find me anywhere from the Orange Regional Gallery to Carcoar. During spring you’ll probably find me in the Union Bank courtyard under the magnolia tree or at one of our local wineries.

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

    Oh my goodness. This is very hard to choose between. I have quite a few favourite wineries for different reasons. I much prefer a smaller boutique winery experience so that you really get to know the wine, the wine maker and the winery. There is definitely something to be said to be able to speak to the person who has planted and pruned the vines or made the wine. The passion they have for their product is amazing. If I had to narrow it down based on this alone I would say Chalou, DeSalis and Amour.

  • Is there an annual event on the Orange Regional calendar that you never miss? Why is it so good?

    Being in hospitality and food, I never miss F.O.O.D Week. Although we are always flat out ourselves at Groundstone, I always look for events that I can book in to with my team or my friends. There is really nothing like an autumn week in Orange, especially F.O.O.D Week. It really represents some of the best food and wine that our region has to offer.

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

    I love showing off Orange. We would probably head to Nimrods for a coffee and fresh juice to start, then straight to wine tasting. Starting at Rowlee and adding on a cheese plate and dash up to Rikard and then an early lunch at Printhie. Then a taxi back in to town for a quick shop at Jumbled, a walk down to Washington & Co for a pre- dinner drink and then dinner at Charred.

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

    Carcoar is definitely our go-to. We love to visit Tomolly (and say hi to owner Belinda) and have a quick walk around the gorgeous town.

  • What do you most look forward to in Spring?

    I look forward to the blossoms coming out on all the trees in town and out of town on the fruit orchards. It also means we are getting one step closer to cherry time as well, which is very exciting.

  • If I'm heading out for a special dinner, I'm going to...

    Definitely Union Bank or Charred. Both have amazing teams, great wine lists and really pay tribute to amazing seasonal food and our local producers where they can.

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.