I know! Not quite sure how I’ve managed (probably the increase in coffee??? ) but my theory is, surely coffee is better for me than diet coke? Surely?
Can I make another three months? :D
People are starting to file their highlights of Eat Drink Blog that was held in the gorgeous city (and my second home!) of Canberra over the weekend. And I’m more than a little daunted at the prospect of looking at all my photos, and writing about everything.
So, here’s a recap of the Wine from the weekend!
A Mocktail from The Hamlet. Works well with a dash of bubbly ;)
WINO'S ARE WINNERS! @champagneandchips just won Best Recipe and I won Best Restaurant Review at @eatdrinkblogau in @visitcanberra !! Yahoo! Link to my review in my profile 🔝 Thank you so much to the #edb15 team, judges @bizzylizzysgoodthings #claritycomms and sponsors @capitalwines @canberraesntl #oxogreensaver
I kicked it off with a very special (non-Canberran) Chardonnay while meeting Nicole from Champagne and Chips and Louise aka the Willunga Wino fir the first time! These are the ladies behind the monthly #winenot Wednesday linkup of awesome wines around the blogisphere. If you love wine, check out those linkups!
Louise spoilt us with her first vintage of Aphelion Chardonnay. Sourced from McLaren Vale grapes, and drinking deliciously, it’s a shame it’s such a rare brew!
I quickly brought out my contribution to pre-drinks and tasted the Margan 2014 Hunter Shiraz before we had to scurry off to the opening events. I finished that off last night back at home and it’s amazing :)
We arrived at The Hamlet in Braddon to an amazing array of food trucks, wanting to stuff us silly (which, ZOMG, they did!). While scanning name tags, and saying hello to “internet People”, I sipped on a sparkling Bransworth wine that had been bottled in Hamilton, from Riverina grapes, which is the current “end of the line” of the trains in Newcastle.
After stuffing ourselves silly it was off to 3 activities around Braddon – Glenfiddich Scotch and Food matching at Marble and Grain on Mort Street, Frujii Ice Cream, and cocktails at Hopscotch.
I actually didn’t try the Scotch, but I’m told that all the scotch drinkers had their favourites from 13 to 15 years aged. I enjoyed the food and the company, and want to go back there for dinner one day!
The cocktail we were present with at Hopscotch was a very refreshing Passionfruit Mojito:
Though I was jealous of the Popsicle cocktails that the earlier groups had!
Many people piked after that, but us party people went on to some bevvys at Lucky’s Speakeasy at the QT. House wine and beer, so no photos of that, but a delicious and refreshing 42 Below Vodka and Soda ended my night!
Soooo… back to the YHA it was for me, and after a short but restful sleep it was back to the conference!
After a coffee and a wander around New Acton, the Action Buses took us to the Farmers Markets, where we were given $20 in vouchers to “spend on breakfast” and about an hour to sample every thing in sight.
This is where GENIUS kicks in and Fiona spends her brekky vouchers (after stuffing herself with samples of bread and olives around the market) on a lovely bottle of Hall area Wallaroo Riesling. The 2014 was fresh, dry and crisp, so I went with that over the sweeter 2015.
(One time, in early Summer 2005, I was driving in my Laser to Canberra when a huge hail storm hit me on the Federal highway between the Collector bridges. I found it funny watching the people trying to protect their cars from the ice, while I sat in my beautiful silver car waiting it out).
Afternoon tea saw Lerida Estate having some wines on sample. Moscato is not for me, but their whites and reds all go down a treat!
The Conference Dinner at A.Baker had several lovely Mt Majura wines on offer, all of which I LOVED (a little too much… ooops) … oh and that cute waitress above!
Starting with the bubbles!
A Pinot Gris which actually had me having two glasses of before I moved onto the TSG.
This may have seen me to a late night, and I MAY have missed the next morning’s brekky…. Oh well!
i may have also gotten sidetracked on my way to the Sunday talks. All I was trying to do was poison myself with my one true love Diet Coke, while I ended up talking to the owners of the Quick & Go in the Sydney building for half and hour or more about the evolution of the Canberra dining scene and how they have such a great business going now for people buying wine to byo to the local restaurants and that their high end spirits actually do have quite a market from the visitors staying locally or visiting ANU! Lovely people! *waves*
Then, it was to my final wine event of the weekend, the Canberra Wine House at the Tradies at Dickson was putting on a tasting for some of us.
So, we all know I rave about Canberra wines, and so going to this tasting and hearing the stories from the wine makers was a MUST!
I may not have taken notes, but it was the ultimate end to a full on but completely worthwhile weekend!
See you in 2016??
**Warning – Food porn ahead!**
There’s a new Indian restaurant in the next suburb, and my boyfriend decided to spoil me with a meal there last night – The Grand Pavilion, known for their authentic and delicious Indian and Indo-chinese meals on the Central Coast, has just opened a location in Warners Bay.
I suppose I start from the start!
It took us forever to order – because there are so many options on the menu…. Old favourites and new (to us) twists and variations. All sounding delicious. We didn’t order it, but the $35.90 per head banquet for 2 or more is AMAZING value for entrees, mains (which are all Gluten free btw), sides and desserts. Next time, Gadget, next time.
So we settled on our order, and were presented with complementary poppadoms, along with a mild and spicy mint sauce (raita would be what I called the milk youghurt one) while Bruce went back to the car for our bottle of $7 Aldi Shiraz (amazingly smooth btw) because they are BYO only ($3/head). There is the usual Coke brand and Lassi selection for drinks.
And then it was onto the entree – The Veg Grilled Platter for 2 – $18.50
This impressive creation came out on a sizzling plate, with veges adorning and enhancing it (it you have room – eat the sizzled up capsicum and other veges. Wow!)
First we had the Onion Bhaji and Tandoori Mushroom, which both had a little kick as far as I was concerned! Great texture on the Bhaji, and the mushroom was a different twist for me, with sooo many flavours!
Next, because they were under the other two, were the Vegetarian Seekh Kebab (the vege sausage thingy) and the Paneer Tikka. Wow, I loved the two of them – the paneer had a nice marinade and was cooked to perfection, and the Kebab was so full or herbs and flavours I nearly fainted with joy.
(and then, we rested, while our mains were prepared)
We chose two meals from the Chef’s special mains, and we were blown away. Both we “mild” heat wise, but the combination of spices and cooking style was enough to have me eating way more than I should.
The Lamb Shank Masala is, according to the menu – “Lamb shanks cooked int Indian style with special spices until the meat in tender and falling off the bone”. Wow. These were amazing. The meat inside was purple and so soft and melty! I half-heard the owner/chef explain to the table beside me the process they go through cooking these, and yes, worth every cent! – $23.90
(not the classiest way, but omg they were delicious!!!)
The other dish we selected was the “Mughlai Chicken” – Tr traditional cashew nut, almond based sauce flavoured with cardamom, cloves and bay leaf with a touch of fresh cream. This was also melt in the mouth stuff… My unsophisticated palate likened it to butter chicken but without the tomato and all the damn sugar. but, for sure, this was a milk chicken curry that was actually full of flavour.
Oh and there was a hardboiled egg in it!
We also had rice and naan (but of course!) but given my level of stuffed-ness from the entrees I had a little bit of both, not much.
The meal and service were amazing – and the British girl next to us proclaimed it to be the only real Indian food she’s had since moving to Australia. We will have to go there many times again!
The Grand Pavilion
452 The Esplanade
(02) 4948 0092
We headed to Canberra for Xmas this year, to help people move house and to be with Bruce’s family. There are two vegans and a vegetarian in the household, so the menu for Christmas lunch was an array of delicious salads, some chicken and feta for us meat eaters, and fruit salad and pavlova for dessert. A deliciously healthy and filling meal that made for awesome leftovers!!!
A delicious Xmas. I’ve always had a salad based Xmas lunch – it’s the Irwin side of the family way – so really enjoyed this!
Om nom nom.
Oh and I got Diet Coke for xmas! Twice!