Milton is a three-hour drive south of Sydney. The town is easily missed, but it’s home to cafes, restaurants, boutique shops and art galleries, so passing it by would be a shame. Its focus on local is something the town prides itself on; top chefs design their menus around local produce, and bookstores showcase local writers.
EAT & DRINK
The older sibling to Pilgrim’s Cronulla, Pilgrims was the first to bring vegetarian fare to the town. The venue transforms from a trendy cafe serving great coffee and burgers by day, into a bustling Mexican restaurant at night. First timers should try the Bliss Burger. It’s a mixed-grain patty served in a wholemeal bun with fried onion, avocado, cheese, tabouli, sprouts and a satay sauce. The dinner menu features fresh Mexican comida and homemade sangria.
The lush surroundings and rolling hills visible from St. Isidore’s is where many of the ingredients that end up on your plate at this restaurant come from. Chef Alex Del’s focus is on sourcing the freshest, locally grown produce, including seafood. Leave room for dessert: pannacotta with rhubarb, rose geranium and pistachio is made with the next-door neighbour’s honey.
Take a short drive out of town to Woodstock to visit this sustainable wholefoods cafe in an old cheese factory, The chefs are also gardeners at Milk Haus – they tend to the farm and weed the vegetable garden between service. The menu changes every month, reflecting what is ripe for the picking.
Harvest Bar filled a hole in the local drinking scene when it opened in 2014. It serves some of the region’s best wines and craft beers alongside a solid food menu featuring options such as sliders and a roast-pumpkin board. Harvest Bar is open Tuesday to Sunday from 3pm.
A little further South, towards Ulladulla, is Cupitt’s Winery. It straddles the glorious space between a winery, brewery, fine-dining restaurant, boutique hotel and to top it all off – it makes its own cheese. Its website lists the regular events it holds, such as its Long Table Lunches.
Milton Village Markets
The Milton Village Markets are held on the first Saturday of every month. Buy the region’s best local produce and see some of the town’s artistic talent. The markets take place along the footpath next to the Princes Highway on Milton’s main drag.
Morton National Park
Morton National Park is perfect for a day trip. It’s a track that caters to all bushwalking abilities, and has sweeping views of the South Coast. The Mount Bushwalker and Pigeon House Mountain tracks are a short drive from the heart of Milton. The Pigeon House Mountain track involves some steep climbs and navigating ladders, but the vistas are worth the effort. Maps of these tracks can be found on the NSW National Parks website.
Check out Milton Theatre’s facebook page for any upcoming events. The small theatre attracts some great musical talent from the east coast.
69 Princes Highway
(02) 4454 3636
Staying in one of these immaculately renovated, 100-year-old cottages on the grounds of Cuppitt’s winery means you can roll out of bed and into the vineyard. The family-run hotel is just five minutes from Ulladulla, Milton and Mollymook Beach. The rooms sleep up to four people. Each has its own stone fireplace, full kitchen, is furnished with antique furniture and has views of the Budawang Ranges and Burrill Lake. Owners Rosie and Griff Cuppitt will be more than happy to show you around the grounds. Ask them for a tour of their microbrewery, and sample some of their craft brews.
Bannisters By the Sea
Bannisters is owned and run by Rick Stein and his wife, Sarah. The coastal boutique hotel is just a five-minute drive from Milton and has 32 rooms, including spa rooms, luxury suites and penthouses. Each has its own private balcony overlooking the ocean. Try booking one of the Collette Dinnigan-designed penthouse suites decorated with Australian photography and trinkets sourced from markets in France. The restaurant, Rick Stein at Bannisters, is the celebrity chef’s first restaurant in Australia and features local fish and shellfish.