How to Do ‘The French Corner’ of Queensland
Take a French-style perfumery class, cycle through vineyards and apple orchards, taste fromage (cheese), tour a Truffiere and visit place names like Amiens, Pozieres, Passchendaele… YES this is a destination in the Stanthorpe region of Queensland!
7 French Hamlets
Driving north west of Stanthorpe takes you down picturesque country roads through French-named hamlets: Amiens, Pozieres, Passchendaele (…in fact there are 7 French-named localities in total with Messines, Bapaume, Bullecourt and Fleurbaix less signposted, but all equally meaningful localities).
This region was a WW1 ‘Soldier Settlement’ where more than 700 returned soldiers began new lives attempting to make a living growing apples, pears and vegetables on small blocks of land. The men named 7 localities along the railway line after famous French battlefields and in honour of their friends that didn’t make it home.
Cycle through Vineyards and Le Pommes (Apples)
Set off on a French-style cycling wine tour and cycle through Le Pommes (apples) too with the team at Granite Belt Bicycle Tours. The tour is an easy grade, 15km cycle and the team at Granite Belt Bicycle Tours make everything easy – even picking up and transporting any wine or other local goodies you purchase along the way.
French Style Perfumery Classes
Sip bubbles or a cup of coffee as Debra takes you on a sensory journey in her Perfumery. You’ll discover the history of perfume and how french inspired natural perfume is made, plus take home 5ml of one of her signature perfumes. That will be your experience at Rosetta Homestead in a 30 minute Sip & Sniff workshop, but if you want to delve deeper or even create your own unique perfume, check out their full range of workshop options.
Le Fromage Tastings (at Stanthore Cheese!)
Complete your French-style foray on the Granite Belt with a cheese tasting at Stanthorpe Cheese. The factory’s tasting room offers a daily selection of cheeses at their peak of perfection for you to sample before making your selection. Dine in the cafe and take your favourite cheeses home with you (tip: bring an eski or purchase a disposable carry-home cooler pack for a few dollars).
Monthly Degustation Dinners with French Flair!
Frock up for a high style dining experience on the second Saturday of the month at Heritage Estate Wines. The 7-course 5 Senses Degustation Dinners are full of French flair, commencing with French champagne and paying homage to the French traditions of Amuse Bouche and pallet cleansers. These dinners delight all five senses, with sights of silent movies, smells of a French ‘Nez du Vin’ aroma kit to identify wine scents, sounds of a string quartet, tastes of 7-courses with matching wines and a touch of class! This dinner experience is EXCLUSIVE to Heritage Estate Wines – there’s nothing else like it in Australia. …LEARN MORE
A French style dégustation experience is always on the menu at Heritage Estate Wines, with weekly lunches available Friday to Monday offering a decadent 5-course lunch as part of a Vine + Dine Journey. Lunches begin in the vineyard with the Viticulturalist, followed by Sommelier wine talks in the cellar door and Chef de Partie talks about the dishes.
Above: Silent movies, string quartet, the setting is divine at Heritage Estate monthly degustation dinners
Above: French “Nez du Vin” kit at feature at Heritage Estate monthly degustation dinners
Mark Your Diary: Bastille Day Celebration!
If you’re visiting in July, celebrate Bastille Day at Heritage Estate Wines on 14th July 2022, where the chef will flambe (cook with flames) a French menu of crepes, escagot and duckling a l’orange in a decadent Degustation Dinner. To imagine the style of evening on offer, think Edith Piaff, Can Can girls and La Boeme Opera! The dinner event will be a 7 Course Degustation Dinner… in the high style distinctive to Heritage Estate Wines!
Visit a Truffiere
They loved the South of France so much they had dreamt of retiring there… but instead this Queensland family found a spot closer to home and now grow French Perigord Truffles in Ballandean, south of Stanthorpe. Visit The Folly Truffles by booking on a Saturday or Sunday tour, with Tea with a Truffle Farmer tours available all year round and Truffle Hunt Tours with a truffle tasting menu available during harvest months (June to August). …MORE ABOUT THESE MUST-DO TRUFFLE TOURS
Above: Maple the truffle farmer at The Folly Truffles
Above: The Folly Truffles Chalet for Tours
Note: on the northern side of Stanthorpe, truffle products are also available Wednesday and Weekends at the Truffle Discovery Centre.
In the countryside north of Stanthorpe seek out the wineries tucked away in the pretty countryside. Visit Boireann Winery (picture perfect, appointments recommended), Summit Estate Wines (famed for their sunset campfire sessions), Robert Channon Wines (famed for Verdelho and offering a beautiful lake outlook), Ravens Croft Wines (loved for their Pinotage and intimate boutique cedar cellar door) and Heritage Estate Wines (full of history, soaring ceilings and Halliday 5-Star Rated Wines).
Above: Boireann Winery
Make Your Own French-Style Picnic
Pick up locally made deli products and wine to craft your own picnic… you’ll find lots to stock up at spots like Brinx Deli, Vincenzo’s and Jamworks Gourmet Food Cafe & Larder, just to name a few. For pastries, croissants and breads, it’s hard to go past Zest Pastries in Stanthorpe for your supplies. Read our Picnics Made Easy blog to find perfect picnic spots and also discover which spots on the Granite Belt provide ready-made picnic baskets.
Find a Chalet to Overnight Stay
There are lots of cottages, villas, Bed & Breakfasts, motels and more to choose from around Stanthorpe. …Search accommodation in the area.
Pictured: Earth & Soul Retreat