With easing restrictions and borders opening, it was great to be back on the road and hosting our first tour for the year, our Bright Cycling & Gourmet Escape, and what a rewarding experience it was.
With beautiful warm weather, a great group of likeminded people, and some fantastic food and wine…. it felt like we’d been away for a week with everything that we managed to experience.
Here is what our guests had to say about the experience…
“A huge thank you to Damian and Nancy for a wonderful experience at Bright. Outstanding accommodation and culinary delights. The cycling was challenging and enjoyed by us all, knowing that our non riding partners were having a darned good time with the lovely Nancy De Losa. Bright and environs were an absolute “picture”. With some doubts over our immediate international travel, I can only recommend sampling the best of our own. The quality of this tour should make us all proud of our own country. There are more trips in the New Year so I can only suggest you should spoil yourselves with this outstanding Australian cycling escape………
Again……thank you Damian and Nancy your enthusiasm is contagious”.
“What a fabulous long weekend with the longest lunch ever, the best riding, delicious food, seriously good wine and great company. A’qto bring Italy to Bright.
Thanks Nancy & Damian”
It’s been a while since we’ve been able to ride four days back to back in the summer heat, and with the good sized hills of Tawonga and Buffalo thrown in, as well as some other varied undulating terrain, the challenge was set.
After the first climb on our Day 2 ride, we followed the river and found the perfect spot for a mid ride lunch.
Under the trees and with the river flowing past, our Italian style ‘sausage sizzle’ of a panino filled with pork and fennel sausage and grilled eggplant, was just what was needed to ride the remaining 60km’s.
What goes up, must come down and the 20k ascent of Buffalo is a joy to go up and even better on superb descent.
Our aim is to bring as much of our Italian Cycling Tours experience as we can to our Australian tours, with a ‘slice of Italy at home’.
Amazing accommodation is one element.
So is a long lunch and wine pairing at a beautiful vineyard after a relaxed morning ride.
As we sat in the shade of the trees enjoying our Tuscan inspired menu and sampling the local vinos, we could see the changing colours of Mount Buffalo in the distance. Such a great way to while away the hours and wind down the day.
Our cooking class involved making home made and hand rolled pappardelle, that was accompanied by a delicious slow cooked duck ragu. Paired with a Chianti Classico, this was one sensational dinner.
The food and wine on all of our tours, whether in Italy or Australia, is an integral element, as how can you have the perfect day, without an amazing food and wine journey to go with the sensational ride?
We take great joy in delivering these authentic food experiences, whether it is slow cooked porchetta over charcoal…
Home made capocollo, sliced wafer thin….
A mix of homemade zucchini sott’olio (under olive oil), salami and cheeses, or olives preserved off our own trees.
While the riders are on the road, the non riding partners are off exploring and immersing in the region. The weekend farmers market in Myrtleford was on the agenda on Saturday where local produce was bought for our delicious lunch, which followed our private yoga and aromatherapy session hosted under the trees of our beautiful villa gardens.
Local jams, preserves and biscotti were also purchased but the ladies felt it was too early in the day to eat the ‘made to order’ Italian Frittole on offer, or as the photo says Italian style donuts. We think if the riders were there, it would have been frittole time for sure.
There were plenty of options for immersing in the region and getting back into nature, with walks along the Ovens River and light hikes in the Mount Buffalo National Park. With the birds chirping, rivers flowing and great conversation shared, our non-riding partner experience really took us away from it all.
As the sun set on our final night, it was a fitting finale for such a rewarding few days with great riding, conversation, food and many laughs. If you would like to join us for one of our Gourmet Cycling Escapes, our next tour is the Tour of Daylesford from the 12th to the 15th of February 2021 and then our next Tour of Bright from the 19th to the 22nd of February 2021.