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Autumn recipes

Comfort food and fun Easter eats feature in our collection of autumn recipes, featuring everything from an Italian Easter tart to carrot doughnuts with cream cheese glaze and brown sugar crumb and braised lamb with Jerusalem artichokes, carrots and cumin to breakfast curry with roti and poached egg.

Top 10 Sydney Restaurants 2014

Looking for the best restaurants in Sydney? Here are the top ten Sydney restaurants from our 2014 Australian Restaurant Guide.

Easter Baking Recipes

Dust off your mixing spoon, man your oven and have your eggs at the ready as we present some of our all-time favourite Easter baking recipes, from praline bread pudding to those all-important hot cross buns.

Italian Easter tart

"This is a traditional tart eaten in Naples at Easter," says Ingram. "The legend goes that a mermaid called Parthenope in the Gulf of Napoli would sing to celebrate the arrival of spring each year. One year, to say thank you, the Neapolitans offered her gifts of ricotta, flour, eggs, wheat, perfumed orange flowers and spices. She took them to her kingdom under the sea, where the gods made them into a cake. I love to add nibs of chocolate to Parthenope cake because I think it marries nicely with the candied orange and sultanas, but, really, do you need an excuse to add chocolate to anything?" Start this recipe a day ahead to prepare the pastry and soak the sultanas.

Top 10 Melbourne Restaurants 2014

Looking for the best restaurants in Melbourne? Here's our top ten from our 2014 Australian Restaurant Guide.

Apple and cinnamon hot cross buns

The mix of candied apple and dried apple combined with a sticky cinnamon glaze provides a new twist on an old favourite. These buns are equally good served warm on the day of baking, or several days later, toasted, with lashings of butter.

Momofuku's steamed buns

Australia's best take-away

We've hunted down some excellent eats-to-go to fuel your next picnic, lunch break or Tuesday night in...

Murray River travel guide

The Murray is much more than just a dividing line between New South Wales and Victoria.

The Murray River, Australia's longest river and once a thriving commercial trade route, is now the lifeblood of a fertile agricultural region and a favourite playground of anglers and boaties. Vineyards, olive groves and acres of sunshine lend it a Mediterranean feel at times, but the pioneering spirit of the early settlers is always there, never more clearly than on a cruise downstream by century-old paddle steamer.

MILDURA

The Murray's best-known dining room is Stefano's at Quality Hotel Mildura Grand, where slow-food enthusiast Stefano de Pieri and chef Jim McDougall fashion sophisticated set menus from the finest seasonal and local produce. Stay overnight in one of the Mildura Grand's suites, and save room for a meal at the Spanish Bar and Grill. It's not Spanish at all, but it does serve rather good steaks cooked over red gum and mallee roots.

Mildura has a thriving festival scene for its size - listen out for the International Music Festival, Wentworth Arts Festival, the popular Mildura Writers' Festival, and the Jazz Food and Wine Festival.

DINE & WINE

There's good eating to be had along the river's route at farm-gate kiosks selling olive oil, fruits and vegetables, honey and cheeses. Get acquainted with the local producers at the Hume Murray Farmers' Market, held every second Saturday in the Victorian border city of Wodonga. In Echuca, book ahead at Oscar W's for a memorable meal overlooking the river and the world's largest paddlesteamer fleet. Taste delicacies such as Nanneella milk-fed veal and saltbush lamb from Womboota while enjoying one of the country's finer wine selections.

The riverland wine industry is growing more sophisticated with each vintage. Check its progress at Trentham Estate, a family-owned vineyard that produces consistently good value wines about 15 minutes from Mildura on the banks of the Murray. At the other end of the Victorian border, just outside Echuca, Cape Horn's boutique wines are backed by 150-years of Murray viticulture. Taste single grape varietals such as verdelho, shiraz and petit verdot  - not to mention their olive oil  - at Stevens Brook Estate in neighbouring Moama.

Detour off the Murray Valley Highway to visit Monichino Wines at Katunga, renowned for its Piedmontese-style barbera and other Italian varietals. East of here lies Rutherglen, famous for the quality of its fortified wines such as muscat and topaque, though local winemakers are also dab hands at chardonnay, shiraz, marsanne and sangiovese. 

ACTIVATE

Get an aerial view of Sunraysia's lakes and sunbaked plains with a dawn balloon flight over Mildura. There are myriad houseboat operators along the Murray, but few offer the chic finishes of Rich River Houseboats' eight-person Icon, or their Ultimate 1 and Ultimate 2 five-suite cruisers where even the bathrooms have floor-to-ceiling views.

For a closer, more relaxed look at river life, grab a canoe or kayak and paddle under your own steam.

There are no fewer than 41 listed golf courses along the Murray's length, from Victoria and New South Wales down to South Australia. The 18-hole championship course at the Murray Downs Golf and Country Club in Swan Hill is one of the best regarded; beware of water hazards.

This online feature was published on the Gourmet Traveller website in October 2012.


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