As the weather cools down, it becomes necessary to find creative (and delicious) ways to warm up your heart, soul and body. Here are four of Ballarat’s best warming drinks:
Craig and Sophie McKenzie came up with the idea behind Grounded Pleasures because they wanted to give hot chocolate lovers a fair go.
“We noticed that people who drank hot chocolates were the forgotten people in the cafe world,” Craig says. “They were often drinking cheap, generic, so-called hot chocolate mixtures made with a small amount of inferior cocoa from who knows where and choc-full of other fillers.”
And so the couple decided to create a beautiful, delicate and rich hot chocolate mixture showcasing the best of the world’s cocoa terras. The result was a product that warms one’s heart, soul and body. The best part — it comes in a variety of flavours including chilli-infused, French mint, cinnammon spice, Sicilian orange and vanilla bean.
Many of Ballarat’s cafes stock Grounded Pleasures hot chocolates and you can also pick up your own box online here.
If you’re not an avid coffee drinker, then tea is your next best bet, and Ballarat has some great little cafes and eateries boasting all the warming tea you could hope for. Little Square’s Garage prides itself on its selection of organic and specialty teas, with 25 different varieties. But it’s not just the selection that these guys master.
“We pride ourselves on brewing a good tea. Many people burn teas, leaving them bitter, but not us,” says Little Square’s Garage owner Heidi Jarvis.
There’s no place in Ballarat for a authentic high tea experience like Craig’s Royal Hotel. The restaurant and cafe is rich in history and provides guests with a royal dining experience. So if you’re after a traditional high tea, complete with homemade scones, jam, cream and a warming tea or coffee, Craig’s should be your first port of call.
Winter is the perfect time to indulge in restorative and soul-warming red wines with hearty, rich and seasonal fare. According to Mitchell Harris co-founder John Harris, the colder months see customers moving from lighter and medium-bodied wines into more complex and ethereal red wines.
“The most popular of these is shiraz,” John says. “Ubiquitous in virtually every Australian grape growing region, shiraz offers diners an enormous diversity of style from cool climate, spicy and elegant wines to the richer, full-bodied and jammy wines from warmer climates,” John says.
The Mitchell Harris Pyrenees Shiraz sits in between these two extremes. Crafted from locally-grown Pyrenees fruit, this shiraz is elegant and powerful, bright and spicy, complex and immensely satisfying.
“Over the cooler months, this wine becomes our biggest seller, pleasing the palates of all who try it,” John says.