Edgecombe Brothers, in Henley Brook, is a rustic styled café and winery, renowned, especially, for their asparagus, grown on the property and served up in a variety of forms in the restaurant and also for sale as fresh produce to take away.
Sitting out under the pergola, covered by just budding wisteria flowers, looking down across lawns to a small lake, on a sunny spring day, eating and drinking there is hard to beat.
We ordered, to start, a tasting plate of asparagus picked that morning, lightly grilled and scattered with oil and parmesan – 200 grams is a lot of asparagus, but it was so fresh, so sweet, it was no trouble to despatch it.
We followed with mains of calamari and marinated chicken salad.
Quite the biggest calamari rings we have ever encountered were stacked on top of a mound of chips, and another of fresh garden salad – leaves, tomato and cucumber – crisp and crunchy.
The calamari had been dusted in panko bread crumbs and lightly fried – they were, despite their size, gloriously tender and succulent, and with a creamy aioli and hot, crisp, floury chips made for a very generously sized and enjoyable plate.
The salad of slices of mildly spiced, marinated chicken – tender, moist and juicy – piled on top of another mountain of greens, tomatoes, cucumber, and yet more of the exquisite asparagus, came with a honey mustard dressing, which added zing to the dish – again a very generous portion.
While we struggled through our food we sampled a glass or two of the wines from Edgecombe Brothers – a sparkling for Lady FWO and a Semillon for me.
The sparkling, made from chardonnay, had lifted aromas of pear and apple, with a crisp, refreshing palate, balanced by good use of acid.
The Semillon exhibited citrus and asparagus aromas (what else?), was soft and dry with some mid palate fruit; it is an easy drinking style and very well suited to sitting around on a perfect day in the Valley.
Finally a glass of Estate Shiraz brought with it cherry and blackberry notes on the nose, and a hint of spice while black pepper notes and dark fruit flavours abounded on the palate.
Edgecombe Brothers is a popular spot – many a tourist bus stops here – and they turn out good quality, hearty fare – and brilliantly fresh asparagus – in very generous proportions. The table wines are well suited to their food – and they also produce excellent and luscious fortifiers.