February 28, 2007

Tassie Trip Day 1.

Ahhhhh....The start of our 4 day short break to Tassie.

We left Sydney for the rain clouds and arrived in Launceston late at night. After a quick bite to eat at one of the late night (err only about 11pm) pizza joints in town, we drove to our apartments in the Tamar Valley, Rosevears Estate Vineyard. The dude at the car rental place warned us to look out for the wildlife, we kind of thought he was joking until we spotted about 10 wallabies while we drove up through the vineyard. The next morning Jpeg and I walked around the vineyard that was scattered in poo - I guess they dont have to worry about fertilising so much.

Head in the clouds and the View that greeted up the next morning from our bed!

Jpeg doing his air jordan jump and me looking like oompa lompa!

The Swiss Village known as 'Grindelwald', a kitschy little swiss style village that reminded me of 'Duloc' in Shrek. And a glass of the excellent Pipers Brook Pinot Noir at Strathlynn.

After breakfast at an 'authentic' Swiss Village down the road, we had lunch at Daniel Alps at Strathlynn at the Ninth Island Vineyard which was just down the road from where we were staying and had a beautiful setting. We ate outside under the shade of a large tree with a views of the river. The food was divine!

The al fresco setting and the vineyard platter.

For starters, we shared the vineyard platter with lamb, cheeses and roasted veges. Nat loved the Heidi Tilsit cheese which was described as 'moist creamy texture with strong swiss cheese flaours'. I preferred the Lactos Heritage Red Square - wash rind cheese with creamy centre.

The venison and the fish

For the mains, Syl had the Spring Bay scallops with leek, thyme butter and pine nut gratin.
Ben had the fish with warm cucumber, spring onion and chilli salad. They were both practising lent, so the rest of us automatically ordered the meat to tempt them with our bloody meat (haha).

Jpeg and HT had the oven roasted Springfield venison with Huon Valley mushrooms, and silver beet. Jpeg had never tasted venison before and is now a convert (watch out bambi!) - infact he ate everything off his plate including the silverbeet which I have never seen before!

Nat and I had Flinders Island lamb rump with baby carrots, parsnips and glazed shallots. The lamp was delicious though tasted abit fatty in comparison to the leaness of the venison.

For dessert - Syl had the white chocolate mousse tart with organic strawberries. I finished off the soft centre Callebaut chocolate pudding with icecream and king island double cream, it was so thick and delish! The boys had blackcurrant semifreddo which was very..fruity.

HT's face vs. Nat's purse (which is pinker?) and the chocolate pudding *drool* (i ate all the king island cream)

Ben with a glass of sticky wine, the semifreddo and a hongki pose. The boys in downtown Beaconsfield.

Afterwards, we took our family van the Tarago around the valley and sampled some Straits vodka and gin which was very good, and stopped by in Beaconsfield. The boys went to the pub for a beer and all the locals in the pub stopped to stare at them as they walked in, even the guy who was playing the guitar. ha ha.

Straits Vodka (next to Seahorse World) and the boys helping to park the Tarago

After an off road adventure that included a drive over Batman Bridge (i kid you not and it looks nothing like a bat!), we went running through the strawberry fields at Hillwood Strawberry Farm to find the biggest and ripest strawberry. There's a fine line between really ripe and rotten and by that arvo most of the strawberries were borderline! After a big food coma nap we walked along the boardwalk in Launceston hoping to find a decent restaurant to dine in only to be rejected by each and everyone! FULL! It was only 8.30pm but all the kitchens closed at 9pm and they weren't letting us in! Eventually we found a pub that had a decent kitchen and ate pub food as predicted by Ben's draft itinerary which read something like this "gourmet lunch, casual pub meal, decent lunch, gourmet dinner etc etc".

The Strawberries we picked at the Hillwood Strawberry Farm

HT helps out (NOT) and the contest for the biggest reddest strawberry.

The strawberries and the pail of chips at the Star Hotel

Phew that's it for Day 1. Sorry it took so long!

February 14, 2007

peppermint lounge

My girlfriends and I love catching up at The Peppermint Lounge in Potts Point (really it's Kings Cross) on a friday night for 2-4-1 cocktails. It's never packed, it's funky, the cocktails are great and the bartenders are kinda cute and if you ask nicely the security guard might even order pizza from down the road for you. So imagine my surprise when I read this in the news. Maybe we should consider going on a saturday night!

February 06, 2007

Wedding Action

Last Friday, Tif's cousin Simone married Paul. It was a colourful and fun wedding which included a stretch Ford 4WD - almost as big as a stretch hummer, and a pimp-tastic Groom's party, as well as a traditional Rotuman wedding ceremony. The festivities continued for the rest of the weekend!

The colourful wedding

The pimp-tastic groom's party infront of the stretch ford that fit 14 people. Alex (second from the left) is 6'3 to give you an idea how big the car was!

The traditional wedding ceremony

The giant present!

February 05, 2007

Flamenco, Fried Icecream, Fat baby and Flaming Cockatoos

F is for Flamenco.
Two weeks ago, Voodoo scored free tix to see the famous flamenco dancer Eva Y at the Opera House. The performance was excellent except that we couldn't see their feet stomping as we were in the front row, but I imagined that the stomping was great haha. We stomped all the way home to the car.

F is for Fried Icecream

Ben gives his thumbs up for the fried icecream

Been on a fried icecream bender. Last month Ben, Rita and I decided that our lunchtime ritual of eating chinese 'polo buns' after beef noodle soup at Miss Saigon in Hurstville was in need of an overhaul, especially since the quality of the buns and freshness has gone down (they introduced plastic wrapping so now the crunchy top is no longer crunchy) ANYHOW. We found a better substitute in our friend the fried icecream. We trawled down Forest Rd and found a suitable chinese restaurant that was 'gwai lo' enough to offer fried icecream. We all agree that caramel topping is superior to the chocolate. There's something special about the combination of fried sponge cake crumbs and vanilla icecream with caramel that just works. chocolate doesn't work as well, and I normally love chocolate. Ever since, I've become addicted. A 'once-in-every-few-months' treat has turned into a twice a week habit. It will have to stop, or else I will start looking like a fried icecream.

F is for Faber
Finally got to meet Claudy's gorgeous baby Faber. She's cute and so huggable and yes she's a big girl for only 9 months.

F is for flaming cockatoos.
Actually it was for the Cockatoo Cup which is Big Dave's little special event for Australia Day. A bunch of crazy paddlers go around Cockatoo Island (twice) in Sydney Harbour just for fun. Red Ginger and I were meant to break out our OC2 'wiki wiki' and go for the cockatoo cup record this year (last year I missed out coz i was hung over). Except we got scratched out of the race in the last minute (which was just as well since we had state DB time trials the next morning). Instead I baked green and gold cupcakes with KK and watched everyone else cross the finish line.

Later that arvo I went to Aoife's housewarming which was lovely. The wallpaper was gorgeous, the furniture was retro cool and now i have apartment envy. (and i regret not taking any pics). Also managed to catch up with Blee and JK who were in from London for a short stint and it was great to have an excuse to pig out on yum cha!