Tag Archives: NSW

Stop and smell the Rosè… bahaha

The long weekend! in June!? Unheard of!

Apparently there is a bit of uncertainty about when the Queen’s birthday is. In Canada, it was a couple of weeks ago, Victoria Day, the May 24th weekend. But here, in Australia… it was this past weekend. June 11th, 12th, 13th… weird. When is her birthday, really? Should we ask her? It really seems more disrespectful than anything. However, I’m not going to argue, a long weekend means a day off work… or at least a day away from the office. Saturday called for some celebration…

A wine Festival of epic proportions.

One fixed fee for a day aboard the bus of dreams. Jump on and jump off at whichever winery you please and for an additional $6.00 you receive a bottomless wine glass. Okay, maybe not bottomless… but we were free to try all the wines on the tasting lists of any winery that we made it to within the day. We chose to go top to bottom with each list of the five lovely wineries that we eventually made it to. I’m not sure how many glasses that would add up to… but it’s more than enough for me. And I only drank whites…

The day kicked off with a two and a half  hour drive South of Sydney to Laura and Whitey’s house in Gerroa. We had to leave bright and early to make it there by 10.30… but we were able to stop for a nice breakfast bite at a cafe called Clifhanger just outside of Wollongong. Had it not been raining and foggy, I’m sure the view would have been just peachy keen…

raisin toast, a mystery fruit muffin, coffees and a bacon and egg roll

It wasn’t the best breakfast I’ve ever had, but we definitely wanted to load up on carbs before the onslaught of wine.

Once in Gerroa, we drove into the town of Berry, where all the wineries are and there we waited in the train station parking lot for the beloved bus.

It was a chilly morning…

notice the face on the boy second from the left...

Once on the bus, it was a short ride to our first winery. We bought our six dollar glasses and it all began!

last on the right... I loveee that face. such content...

They served the widest variety that we experience that day, including liquer slushies, mulled wine and beer. Delectable. I tried a lovely array of white wine and port followed by a piping hot cup of the mulled wine and got back on the bus a little less co-ordiated then when I arrived.

Whitey... our host

To be honest, it was hard to keep track of things after this. There was more wine… this much I know for sure. There was a man named Ben who poured us a glass of white that tasted like lantana.

cheers, so many cheers

There were chickens, sheep and there was poop on my scarf.

poop

One of the final wineries we stopped at was equipped with sheep

(for grass control in the vineyard) and a lovely flock of chickens and roosters.

This was by far my favourite stop. Not only did they offer all organic wines and foods, but the owner invited us to come pet, feed and pick up(!) the chickens.

Samuel... he was the pooper... because we were bonded

Amazinggg. We also got to visit the sheep… who were rather rowdy, but very photogenic…

they knew who had the camera...

The day came to an end back at Whitey and Laura’s house where another friend cooked us an amazing italian inspired dinner. It was the perfect thing to help soak up some of that alcohol lingering in my stomach. So delicious…

sunsets in wine country...

Unfortunately, Sean and I were not able to stay for the breakfast the next morning. We had to wake up at the crack of 6am in order to make it back to Sydney. Boy o boy I was tired. It wasn’t as bad as it could have been. We had ended up in bed by eleven… everyone was full of wine and food, staying up later wasn’t even discussed.

All in all, it was a lovely weekend, with lovely people, and general loveliness.

xxx

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Breakfast in Summer Bay…

Today was the day I have been looking forward to since forever. Forever meaning, about a month.

Last summer, while I was living in Australia, my boyfriend and I made a habit of going for brunch once a week, or whenever he had a couple days off of work. We’d pick a part of the city or a suburb that I hadn’t seen yet and make a point of going for a jog, or coastal walk before settling on a delightful cafe for a delicious brunch. It became a tradition very fast and it is definitely one of my favourite things to do on a relaxing day off.

After a couple of weeks of planning and then bailing, we actually got up this morning after only 3 hits of the snooze button and set off on the mini road trip up the coast to Palm Beach. Sean informed me that Palm Beach is actually the shooting location for the very popular soap opera ‘Home & Away.’ Except that in Home & Away Palm Beach is so sweetly named ‘Summer Bay’.

It was about 45 minutes outside of the city, but well-worth the drive on such a beeeeautiful day. We parked along the Beach and decided to jog up to the lighthouse… little did I know that ‘up to the lighthouse’ meant running though soft-sandy foot paths and up about 5 million stairs constructed of tree roots and sandstone. Needless to say, I was damn-hungry by the end of it.

The views from the lighthouse were pretty lovely and along the way I got to see some of the famous Home & Away sights (!) Lifeguard stations with very authentic ‘Summer Bay’ signs and souvenier t-shirts. Ooooooh…

The run back to the car was along the beach… Jogging near the water kept thing interesting as I played tag with the tide. I always win. As soon as we reached the car, I striped off my shoes and running top and ran straight into the ocean… shorts and a sports bra. I hadn’t thought ahead to bring swimmers, but it didn’t matter. No one was really swimming as it was a bone-chilling 18 degrees oot. Oh Winter… better get out my wooly socks.

The water was actually very nice. Not too cold at all. I was able to frolic in and out freely, practicing the perfect gallop into the waves, and a very lady-like and graceful exit. Always tricky with the ocean undertow.

After I had been totalled by a couple waves, swallowed a decent amount of salt and very nearly lost my shorts, we thought it was time to head in. My stomach was definitely craving something delish.

post-run post-swim

We had already decided on going to the Boathouse, a lovely cafe on the other side of the bay.

the boathouse

The coffee was strong and the atmosphere was perfect.


Coloured strings of lights were draped from poles and adorned the jetty. I took a ridiculous amount of pictures as Sean ordered. And then later I took even more.

lights and lines...

why am I so attracted to these?

We sat down on the dock patio and had 3 amazing dishes, since we aren’t exactly the best for making decisions.

brekky

I devoured my Avocado on toast (bacon on the side to give to the boy… cept they didn’t actually put my bacon on the side at all) and Sean had poached eggs and bacon. There sure was a lot of bacon for one man. We also enjoyed the granola with Rhubarb compote. This time they ACTUALLY put the yogurt on the side. This deliciousness definitely made me want to march out to the grocery store and buy some rhubarb. I see a pie or crumble in my near future.

that bacon is just ALL up in my breakfast, not so cool...

One ginormous line-up and two take away coffees later we were back in the car, but not wanting to head home.

... just one more...

We stopped at another Beach on the way, for some wandering and ridiculous photoshoots.

he's a looker...

Sean commandeered the camera…

There are about 40 of these taken in under a minute… It was all very high fashion… and then my mom texted… but I worked the camera…

Finally, back in North Sydney, I spent the afternoon listening to my heart palpitate from that one too many coffees and searching for recipes that might included rhubarb, apples, chocolate, or anything with sugar really. Cause that is exactly what I needed for my palpitating heart.

It was a perfect day off.

xxx

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