Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Queens Birthday - Queens everywhere

Well the Queens Birthday weekend has come and gone in the blink of an eye.  

My weekend was spent locally in Wollongong and Sydney with a friend up from Melbourne to share my world and what I get up to in the "Gong".

It all started at brunch on Friday for us with fresh coffee, a mezze platter and ricotta pancakes with raspberry butter at the Fireworks Cafe in Austinmer.  The Fireworks Cafe is a little hidden gem off the main street with a couple of quirky little shops where the cook was happy to share how to get the raspberry butter going.  

The pancakes where sensational and got us thinking that we could make our own.  So we headed in to the local Friday farmers market in Wollongong and bought the most amazing raspberries and found a ricotta pancake recipe from Nigella Lawson  and whipped them up for breaky on Saturday.   

Saturday was spent pottering down to Berry, NSW to explore and find some little hidden treasures. 
Camellias in bloom.

From Berry we headed back to the The School House in Gerringong for lunch.   Kirsten delivered her fresh handmade cheese selections and relishes which were absolutely amazing.  If you get the chance stop by for a visit the coffee is great and it is relaxing watching Kirsten working through her kitchen on the premises which is in full view of the dinners.  

 We grabbed some beef cheeks in Berry at the local butchery the staff are more then happy to assist.  3 hours of baking in the oven and sweet potato mash with broccolini for dinner.  You know it was fab.  

Really needed a big walk on Sunday.  Is there too much of a good thing?  too much good food, wine and company I would say.
Clear blue winter sky, Wollongong Lighthouse and harbour.

 As it goes...  Beautiful sunny morning in Wollongong to a rainy Sydney evening...  Not that it bothered us.  

Pre Dinner drinks at the Darlo.

Vanilla Rum with ginger - yum..  went down very nicely  
From the Darlo we headed down to The Food Society where it truly was choose your own adventure.  To start we had fried cauliflower with paprika & Suberec' fried pastry filled with pumpkin, sheep's milk cheese and sage.   Followed up with mains of crispy skin pork belly, fried potatoes and warm lamb shoulder, braised spinach and rosemary yoghurt.  Followed by honey cake and caramel vodka.  

As always the company was great and we celebrated friendships, life, personal triumphs and  just taking the time to catch up with each other.

The ambiance at the food society was relaxed with engaged friendly staff and live music.  The bar is well stocked with wonderfully flavoured vodkas to finish off any meal choices. 

 Very cute little jugs for the caramel vodka.  

We followed dinner up with Sunday night at the Stonewall Hotel on Oxford Street Sydney. OMG massive photo opportunity with the "Carlotta".  Who I would like to say looks amazing and who was gracious enough to have a photo with me.  Couldn't think of a better way to wrap up a  Queens Birthday Weekend.  

This quilt is finally bound and finished. Woo hoo and has gone off to live with it's new owner.  Thanks for giving it a loving home Jen Jen.  

Well that is about it.  A snapshot of a couple of days in the "Gong" with a 20 hour rush of life in Sydney.  

I'm looking forward to doing it all again sooner rather then later. But until then it's on with life as we know it in this neck of the woods.
Have a great week all.  
Kath  x x x x x

PS:  Things I've learnt this weekend?  
         1   Organic butter is the bomb - stock it in your fridge
         2   Ginger works well with Rum
         3   Even when peeps say NO CAKE...  they will heap you eat it & love it too.  :)

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