McLaren Vale is an enchanting place. Rolling hills, lengthy vineyards and groves of native trees blend with old Australian stone homes and long, cool verandas with the odd boisterous wine taster. Vineyards crowd together in perfect rows, ending at gravel drives up to winery centres. It’s a beautiful meld of old and new; ancient vines, crumbling, delightful stone cottages, and cool interiors with modern comforts and an abundance of beautifully crafted and world famous wines. Unfortunately, that beauty halts as you enter the main shopping area of McLaren Vale, where the beautiful old houses are crammed up against ugly liquor stores and lovely parks are adjacent to modern shopping centres.
So, we find ourselves for lunch after a few vineyards, not on a shaded porch with a cheese platter and a glass of white but in a modern shopping centre with Formica tables and a carton of iced coffee. With the modern architecture of the centre there is little hint of the local heritage. However, the bakery did acknowledge it’s local produce with a delicious selection of hot pies – including a delicious meat pie with beef slow cooked in Shiraz. Had it not been so hot it would’ve have been devoured in seconds.
This blog is not about the pies, no matter how good they were, but we are here to focus on the donut which, as will shortly become evident, was questionable as a donut in the state presented. The following ratings are for the most part my own, however, wholly agreed upon by the group.