CherryHill Orchards is hosting a perfect post-lockdown activity in their picturesque orchards. Visitors are invited pick their own cherries and soak up the sunshine in the family owned orchard. And these summertime sessions are ticking all our boxes.
Out of our 5km bubble? Check
Outdoors and socially distanced? Check
Supporting local? Check
Cherry ice-cream? Cherry wine? Cherry high tea? Check. Check. Check.
With current Covid restrictions in place, capacity is limited to allow for social distancing. The reduced numbers and the stunning surrounds make a trip to the orchards feel like a VIP experience this year. Friendly staff are onsite to assist visitors and the trees are practically dripping with sweet, ripe cherries. (Pro tip — the darker the fruit, the sweeter the cherry.) There are 13 different varieties planted on the sprawling 85-acre orchard, so the cherries will ripen at different times throughout the season ensuring plenty of sweet, ripe fruit for everyone.
If you want to share a unique afternoon with someone special, CherryHill is hosting High Tea in the Orchards for the first time. Guests will be seated on vintage furniture in a private row of leafy trees and served an array of cherry inspired treats. Think scones and cherry jam, chocolate mousse with a cherry on top, cherry cheesecake, goat cheese and cherry tarts, ham and brie with cherry chutney, and cherry macaroons with sparkling wine and aromatic teas. It’s a three hour session packed with retro charm in celebration of CherryHill’s 80th anniversary and an experience that’s suitable for both fun with friends or a mini romantic excursion.
If you are a more DIY type of person, you can pack your own picnic or order food from the onsite food trucks, then kick back and listen to live music in the sunshine. Just save room for cherry ice-cream and a free beverage tasting, including the CherryHill Rosé Cider and a non-alcoholic Cherish Spritzer.
Most visitors drive to the venue, but it’s also possible to reach the Orchards via a train trip to Lilydale and a short Uber ride (yes, ride sharing actually exists outside of the city!) Frankly, I can’t remember the last time I was so excited to ride public transit. The Plus Ones team love doing things that are a little bit different and our indulgent afternoon in the orchards was certainly a memorable one. There’s nothing like getting out of your 5km and spending a sunny afternoon in regional Victoria after a long winter lockdown!
Jenny Schmidt is an event adventurer. She loves eating and drinking local and supports the magic of fermentation.