It has been a plenitude of food, glorious food this last few days. And wine. And touring our beautiful state. Home base of course is always best. This is a favourite place to sit in the front yard under the natural pergola provided by our ornamental mulberry tree. With the mister on in this heat it is even air conditioned!
This last week has been busy and incredibly frustrating for me. We have been here and there, everywhere. An overseas visitor from Finland has turned us into local tourists again. Isn’t it surprising that we don’t spend time sightseeing in our own backyard unless there is someone to show if off to! So today’s post is just going to give you a snippet of where we have been. That is, if the internet is going to be co-operative long enough to allow me to do that. It has been terribly finicky again in the last week. I have been unable to attend to my emails or blogging due to frustratingly poor and sporadic access. I am in danger of lapsing into blogging withdrawal!
The Gorge Wildlife Park in the Adelaide Hills is a nice place to visit and walk amongst the wildlife. Only this time it was so hot even the animals were lethargic and reluctant to stir from the shade. This majestic peacock strolled along slowly with no intention of showing off its gorgeous plumage for us to ooh and aaah over.The kangaroos lolled in the shade under the gum trees nary stirring a half interested look. That, and the fact they had been fed oodles by all the other visitors meant they were not hungry. It was the middle of the day and their siesta time. There were a few cute little joeys peeking out of mama’s pouches. The wombats snored happily away on their backs with feet pointing to the sky. The only energetic ones were the cheeky little monkeys showing off to the gaggle of delighted kids. The only exception to an interest in food were the very scary giant ostriches which grabbed even the paper bag if you got close enough.
Lunch on the balcony of the Chain of Ponds winery in the Adelaide Hills consisted of a scrumptious homemade beef pie and salad. And wine tasting of course. This boutique winery had interesting labels on their bottles. Black Thursday commemorated a fire in the area many years ago. Innocence was a delicate and light barely pink rose.The view, although sunny and serene also served as a reminder of just how close the Sampson Flat fires in January 2015 got to this area. The scorched hills in the background are still testimony to the inaccessibility and vastness of the burn. This area too was evacuated. As we drove through the curving roads we saw trees burnt black with bursts of fresh green new growth. It looks so surreal somehow. Fires are currently burning south of Perth in Western Australia, having destroyed over 100 homes with two lives lost. This summer has seen many devastating fire across Australia.
The day ended fittingly with a visit to our very favourite restaurant nestled in the cosy nook of a tree lined street in the inner city. Built as a private residence in 1876, Chloe’s restaurant never fails to delight. We have been irregularly regular visitors there for close to 30 years. Nick, owner and wine connoisseur extraordinaire personally selects wines to match each course if asked. It is without exemption a perfect match every time. Kangaroo Island marron for our visitor (a shellfish unique to the island) and rainbow trout for himself and I started the feast.
It was followed by deliciously tender veal for the boys and potato wrapped snapper for me. Desert for the visitor was roasted quince, a local fruit not unlike an apple to look at and even taste when baked. It turns a beautiful deep apricot rose when cooked. I had an amoretto icecream with a chocolate wafer delicately laid as a lid on the glass. It was melted into the icecream with a gentle dollop of warm olive oil. Spectacular to see and delicious to eat. Himself, not a lover of sweets, settled for a TRIPLE expresso.
Touristing always involves eating of course. The Flying Fish cafe in Port Elliott, south of Adelaide, serves some of the best seafood. South Australian King George Whiting is hard to beat.
No visit to South Australia is truly complete without a visit to the famous winegrowing regions some 60 kilometres north of Adelaide. This is a view of the Barossa Valley from the Mengler’s Hill lookout.
One of the earliest wineries in the Barossa Valley is Seppeltsfield. This is the palm tree lined road that leads the way there. Established in the early 1800’s by German settlers, Seppeltsfield is now famous for its unique collection of vintage tawny port. It is aged for 100 years before release to the market. The collection now holds every bottle from 1878 to 2016. It is one of the world’s rarest and most historically significant wine lineages. Current cost per bottle is $2000. Ouch! The taste of your Birth Year Tour offers visitors the opportunity to try the vintage of their birth year directly from the barrel. That is a far more reasonable $60. It may just be worth considering as a special birthday treat sometime.
A lot of wineries these days offer food so visitors can drink responsibly. The restaurant at Seppeltsfield was a delight with the beautifully tender scotch fillet and rack of lamb accompanied of course by a glass of some local wine.
And so, after a few days of touristing, wining and dining, I just had to come home for a nanna nap. It’s an exhausting business!! Back to the salad bar for a while …
© Raili Tanska