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!


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