foraging at bells

You’ll see it is possible to travel with baby to an escapist’s world, away from house chores and the same routine and into natural luxury. A cheat’s version of getting out of town, Bells at Killcare is just a short drive from Sydney and yet it’s completely bliss-worthy in all its lovely offerings.

The Bells rooms are beachy and sophisticated, set in the natural gums and leafiness of the extensive grounds.

Bells (thanks to the new head chef Dean Jones, who’s worked at London’s River Cafe) packed us a hamper and escorted us to a local secret beach. The trail is mostly downhill on the way to the beach, an easy walk even for us, carrying baby on our front. We grazed on apricots and snacks, dived into the acqua rock pools, and took the 30 minute walk back up the hill. It’s a hell of a way to dust off the week.

Now Jones has taken the kitchen helm from Stefano Manfredi, he’s embarked as well on a new menu that he says will reflect the flavour and the spirit of the setting. He has promised a “tidal pool” of seafood. His favourite ingredient at the moment is bottarga (salt-cured mullet roe). A dish of sea urchin, butter, spaghetti and bottarga is the dish I was excited by.

The chef took me out into the renowned kitchen garden of Bells, picking baby zucchini with flowers, chilli, and other marvels from his new crops. Then we moved to the kitchen where he whipped up a risotto for me. I confess I devoured it in the comfort of my room, while the baby slept. Bliss!