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This month we share with you our top five places to eat on the Central North Coast. From fresh berry desserts, one of Australia’s best chocolatiers and some of the best platters in Tasmania, all will have you planning your return visit!
Words & photography by Kylie Bell
1. Sony Phone - Conservatory (DSC_5309)
The Tasmanian Food and Wine Conservatory serves up what Tasmania is getting really good at; incredible Tasmanian-grown food and memorable dining experiences that make this island so special. All the ingredients served have been grown and produced in Tasmania, then cooked and curated into a delicious menu. The Conservatory’s most popular choice is their platters. In fact, what better way is there to experience local cuisine than eating your way around Tasmania on a plate? Choose between the platter featured in the photo above that encompasses the whole island or choose a platter that focuses on a particular region of interest that you may have. This grand, white conservatory is hard to miss on the main route between the North Coast and Launceston, which was originally built by a man as a room for his piano. It has since been adapted into a popular restaurant and wedding venue, where patrons still share the company of a grand piano in the centre of the room.  The dining experience is delightful, with big timber tables nestled amongst the plants and dappled in light from tall, grand windows. Chuck these guys onto your North Coast bucket list and you will not be disappointed. Hands down it is at the top of the list as one of Tasmania’s best restaurants.
Nestled alongside the main north-west coast road and picturesque landscape of the Forth Valley region, it is hard not to miss the yurts, restored train carriage and rows of berry plants of Turners Beach Berry Patch.  It is no surprise as to why so many cars turn around to be welcomed with some of the best berry desserts and food  on the coast, complete with great ambience and recreation spaces. The Berry Patch lets you pick your own berries, release your kids on the haystacks, or play tug-a-war on the lawn as you feast in the sun. The Berry Patch allows you to make it what you want it to be – your breakfast, brunch or lunch spot, and dessert; or just swap all the former for an all-day dessert feast. I promise, it’s that good you won’t regret it!
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Established by chocolatier Igor Van Gerwen in 1989 after his move from his home country of Belgium to Tasmania, House of Anvers has since cemented itself firmly as one of the best places to taste some of Australia’s best chocolate, notably their truffles. This stunningly beautiful venue feels like stepping into a postcard featuring a Belgium chalet hugged by the long-established garden areas and outdoor spaces. As locals, we often find ourselves travelling the twenty-minute trip from Compass Hut to enjoy the fudge and truffles again, grab a coffee or enjoy a hearty meal by the cafe's fireplaces or outside in the sun on a summer day. From cakes, waffles, sweets, breakfast and main meals, Anvers is a stop for travelers coming to the region and one that will have you returning on the way back past. Make sure you also visit the gift shop to sample some tastings and grab a gift to take home to share with your friends and family.  You can also watch the chocolate being made from viewing windows where they make their delicacies, and enjoy learning about the art and history at as part of the small museum there.
The cellar door and restaurant at Ghost Rock grants you views across the vineyard and hills to the ocean. Over the years, their wine has turned heads, with their Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc a personal favourite of ours; the best way to enjoy a bottle is with their amazing platter at their cellar door. Ghost Rock is also super close to the Devonport Airport, Anver's Chocolate Factory, the historical town of Latrobe and Narawntapu National Park. Check out our day-trip itineraries!
The Mount Gnomon farm-to-plate experience will send you down nostalgia lane, taking you back to happy memories of sitting in your grandma’s kitchen waiting as dinner was prepared, then later devoured with produce picked from the veggie garden. Nestled in the heart of the North-West’s agricultural region behind the seaside town of Penguin, Mount Gnomon was carved a reputation of having some of the tastiest pork on the island, all ethically produced on their farm. I would usually always seek them out at the food festivals around Tasmania they participate in; Mount Gnomon has been a long favourite for many. However,  with their new impressive barn just launched on the farm, and the restaurant open, this is a great way to learn more about what they do. During your meal, knowing that everything on your three-course meal came from just outside the door adds to the success and popularity of their food. Mount Gnomon is the perfect place to grab your friends and family and experience farm-to-plate dining in situ.  Just down the road is also Hellyers Distillery and Wings Wildlife Park; all three making a great coastal day trip experience.
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