The Old Magpie Cafe, Berrima

It's no secret that I have a thing for idyllic country towns and they don't come much more idyllic than Berrima. Set just 5 minutes off the Sydney - Canberra Hume Highway, Berrima is all lovingly restored old buildings, not-too-tended green spaces, artisans' shops and delightful eateries. On the weekend it's worth stopping in early before the visiting hoards make the place feel that bit too twee. A hearty meal by the wood stove at the cosy Old Magpie Cafe is well worth the trip, followed by a stroll down to the creek and a wander further down the high street. I couldn't leave town without treating myself to a sampling of the creative concoctions on offer at Southern Highlands foodie favourite Mrs Oldbuck's Pantry, home to an enormous bounty of  jams, relishes, sauces and chutneys.

Catherine Roberts