Perth Day Three

Sorry that this entry is coming after the fact but between the Wine Tour that we did today and travelling back home, this is the first chance I’ve had to write and upload.

1Today, Friday the 5th of January as I write, is my birthday and not only is it my birthday, but it’s a milestone birthday too so I knew hubby was not going to say anything when I wanted to get up extra early to exercise.

The gym at this hotel is quite good and if you go early enough, there’s no one in there so I get the whole place to myself!
Perfect way to start a birthday!

We took our picture before heading out! (left)

The Wine Tour we were booked on started from Elizabeth Quay so we walked down there from our hotel and had a coffee at the Riverside Cafe. No champagne this morning though as I was anticipating a heavy alcohol day!

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We met our friends and boarded our boat.

It was such a relaxing cruise down the river!

We had coffee and muffins to start off with but it wasn’t long before the wine tasting started.

Here is a picture of the wine’s we sampled on the right and a few from the cruise below.
I forgot to mention the tasting plate of local cheeses that were also provided. Each tray was for two people so it was quite a generous portion!


Unfortunately I can’t remember the name of the first stop. I think it was next to Sandalwood Winery? Beautiful spot anyhow and they had the BEST cider here!! It tasted more like a sparkling white than a cider! Soooo delicious but unfortunately they don’t bottle it yet so we couldn’t buy any.

The food we had was also exceptional. Unfortunately I was too overwhelmed with the place to take pictures of the food but here are a few of our surroundings. By the way, the whole time we were there having lunch there was a line of people waiting to get in!

From here we travelled by coach to another winery.  This time I took a pic of the sign outside so I know it’s Windy Creek Winery. This was another gorgeous spot!!

I tried pretty much every wine they were offering and surprisingly for me, really loved the whites. I don’t normally drink a lot, if any, of white wine.

We were a nice group and by this time, were starting to talk to each other and were getting pretty happy! I took a few pics inside and out. So gorgeous here!

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Hubby is not a wine drinker so I ended up having a few tastings on his behalf – not that you can tell by this selfie on the left…

You can imagine where this is going to lead can’t you?

Back on the coach now to our next spot.

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As per the information from our driver, this tree had been struck by lightening, but continued to grow anyhow!

It was just outside our next stop and quite interesting to look at.

So now we’re at Twin Hill Wines and I’m feeling decidedly happy. Again, I liked the whites more than the reds (surprisingly) but not as much as our last stop. This is a family run winery though and the history behind it was quite interesting. They also provided a very tasty tasting plate for us!
Here are a few pics from our time here. By the way, the ladies behind the counter are mother and daughter.


Next stop was a brewery – Mash Brewing. They also provided us some nibbles and we were able to pick one beer from their list complimentary.

I’m not a beer drinker but it seemed like an interesting place.


I’m not sure you can read it but the pic on the right shows the beer choices we had.

We had one more stop to come and I was quite excited for this one! We were going to Margaret River Chocolate Company and were going to be sampling a few chocolate liqueurs also!

Here are a few pics. Luckily, hubby took them as I was not in any state to be taking photos at this point and was happy to be wandering around about the chocolate. We bought a few things to share later.


Not sure if you can see the interesting clocks bottom right. How cute are they!!!

The chocolate liqueurs ended up being a bit disappointing. We sampled four different kinds and they were all wine based. Although I like chocolate, I wasn’t tempted to buy any of them.

Our tour came to an end and we were dropped off back into Perth CBD.

IMG_5216We had dinner at East Village.

It looked like a really interesting place and the food wasn’t bad, but there was just something missing that I couldn’t put my finger on.


We ordered some wings to share, hubby got a burger and I had a Lamb Greek salad which was ok. The bread was probably the best thing about this. Still warm from the oven!

I had been jokingly saying I still wanted birthday cake and I wanted to see the city lights from Kings Park at night. Hubby, mostly always ready to please, began hatching a plan.

We went to the store and bought some cake. He also got some matches, candles and some sparklers. I still had no idea what he was going to do with these as we couldn’t light the sparklers in our hotel room could we?

I won’t bore you with the whole story but we never made it to Kings Park with one thing going wrong after another and eventually we just walked back to our hotel. Hubby still made it special for me by singing me happy birthday and lighting the candles on my cake!


Sadly our time in Perth was now pretty much over.

I do want to share one last treat before I finish this entry.

Hubby organised for us to fly back on the A330 in Business Class. Oh my!! Look at all this room!!! We could even lie our seats flat like a bed.
The bad thing about this is that you never want to travel any other way again!!!
Thank you Qantas and thanks for reading about our few days in Perth.

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Perth Day One

Well looky here we’re in Perth!
One thing I can say about hubby is that he does tend to spoil me once a year and this year is no different. With an impending big birthday, he’s arranged for a luxury trip to Perth, starting with a business class flight with Qantas.

I try to act like like this is a regular occurrence in front of the cabin crew but no matter how many times I’ve flown business (ok only once before) it still is such an incredible treat. Cabin Crew are just over lovely and my gosh all that champagne without the judgement! I almost didn’t want to get off the plane!

Hubby and I had been a bit snippy with each other all morning and that’s why it was a huge surprise when we’d been sitting on the plane for about ten minutes, one of the cabin crew asked if we were newlyweds! Wow. Well, we were holding hands… Not only are we not newlyweds, but we’ve been together for almost twenty years!

I had been to Perth a few times as a teenager but those times, I’d been driven across. As we walked through the airport to collect our luggage I made some remark about it to hubby. I said “Yeah I’ve been to Perth a couple of times but I’ve never seen the airport because we drove so this is interesting”
Hubby turned to me and said “Oh, so when you came here in 2013 with Esprit (my barbershop quartet) the pilot just parachuted you in straight to your hotel?”
Whoops… forgot about that trip! Guess I had seen the airport after all.

Our plan was to get to the hotel, store our luggage, then go walkabout through Perth CBD. We got to the hotel very early but the lovely staff said as our room was ready, we could go up there if we liked and even gave us an upgrade! Score!

Once we got ourselves settled we walked into the city and as hubby had said he wanted to get me a smart watch for my birthday, we headed straight for JB HiFi and bought me a FitBit Ionic. Do I love it? You bet!

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Hubby’s coffee addiction dictated we found the perfect cafe’ and unfortunately he couldn’t find a Starbucks anywhere so he settled for The Coffee Club.

I found these sculptures outside.

This sculpture group commemorates the 175th Anniversary of Western Australia and symbolises the business people who have built the CBD

From top left
Dutch exploration, discovery, mapping and naming of Swan River – 1697
Anglo – Celtic settlement of Swan River – 1829
Discovery of Gold – 1885-95
Post World War II European immigration – 1945-55
The Millennium Man – 2001

We walked up and down the two malls and more than a few arcades, then headed towards the wharf area. We walked past the interesting Bell Tower and the love locks but didn’t go in there.


I was dying to visit The Lucky Shag again. What a great place that is! By twelve midday it was packed in there! And the weather was just so perfect for sitting around and having a casual drink.

Hubby said “Where to next” and I said “Jacobs Ladder!”
Lucky for both of us he didn’t know what that entailed or we might not have gone that way…

And after walking up the many many steps along with the fitness fanatics, we walked through Kings Park enjoying the beautiful sights. I hope we get to see the views at night at some point on this trip.

IMG_5134We decided to catch a bus rather than walk back and I took the fact that it took us back to Hay St Mall to mean that I needed to do more shopping. Hubby is being a very good hubby so far and walked along with me even though he was starting to get blisters. Yes, he’s a trooper.

When we got back to the hotel, we recharged our devices then bravely took a couple of the complimentary hotel bikes and cycled to and through Kings Park.
IMG_5135Hubby is a lycra wearing, speed demon on his bike and while I have ridden in the past, it’s been many years since and I wasn’t so confident at first. Hubby was so patient though and really it was so much fun and quite relaxing and I was even standing up on the pedals to go uphill by the end of our ride!

Although we had a great day today, we made one critical error. We did pack it, but we forgot to put on sun screen and hubby and I are both burnt quite badly. Funny how it happens before you even realise it! Definitely will not forget the sunscreen tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Café Settebello

Today on the Dining Diaries…

Gorgeous smells tease our taste buds,
Music from Italy transports us away and…
This is the place to come to if you want to get stuffed.

Diners today we finally made it to Cafe Settebello  Newton Rd, Newton.
They haven’t been in this location very long but it’s been recommended to me so many times that I had to go down and see what all the fuss is about.

It seems to me that every time I enter a decent Italian restaurant the first thing I notice is the beautiful aromas!!! It just makes me so hungry!!
I’m sure what I was smelling was the pizza that was cooking in their famous wood oven and it was just so tantalising.

The dining room is spacious and modern but definitely has a touch of Italy.

No red and white table cloths but nice pictures of Italy on the walls and modern Italian music playing in the background.
The only thing that spoilt the illusion of being transported across the sea was the view. Unfortunately the restaurant is situated on a busy main road and it was just wall to wall traffic.
In their defense, I did forget about it once that food came and there’s not much that they can do about the outside world I guess but it did spoil that Italian fantasy a little in the beginning.


The picture on the left is the view from our table and the one on the right is from the main window.

However that was only a small complaint… We were greeted warmly and were soon looking through an extensive menu with lots of Italian favourites.
The menu states that they have a One Metre Pizza challenge. Finish the pizza in 45 minutes and you will get a VIP card entitling you to free dining for six months! I think hubby was thinking about giving this a go but couldn’t justify all those calories. I have no doubt he could have done it. In fact I think I would have been able to do it as well!!

Instead I went for the Osso Bucco and hubby went for the Arrosto Misto.
After we ordered the server brought some bread and a couple of slices of focaccia to table.
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We also got some oil and balsamic vinegar and butter. Not only was this complimentary, but after I got my main, I asked for a slice of bread (because the sauce in it was just too good to not be mopped up) and the server brought out ANOTHER plate of bread, focaccia AND some zeppole!! Along with the oil and balsamic vinegar dish and more butter.  This was all complimentary! Who does that anymore? It was a really nice touch.

So on to our mains.
Hubby ordered Arrosto Misto. Mixed grill of Italian sausage, Meatball pattie, Scotch Fillet Steak, Pork Belly wrapped asparagus served with peppers and potatoes and Italian Salad.
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What a lovely vision this plate was as it was put down in front of hubby!! So many meats. Beautiful smells, beautiful colours… it was almost too good to eat!
Hubby was a little worried though because when the server took his order, she didn’t ask him how he wanted his steak cooked. Hubby always asks for it medium rare and this one was medium however it still was very tasty. In fact I think it was his favourite of all the meats on the dish.

I had Osso Bucco. Sicilian style Osso Bucco served with Garlic Mash
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It’s a little hard to make this kind of dish look attractive in a picture but I could smell it before it was even put down in front of me and I just knew I’d have to have more bread when I saw all that sauce!!!
Nothing about this dish disappointed. It was exactly all I hoped it was going to be.  The meat was just so beautifully tender. The sauce was sweet and flavourful and was begging to be mopped up with the wonderful bread they’d brought out.
This is my idea of comfort food!! There’d be nothing better to eat on a cold Winter’s day accompanied by a full bodied red.

Like I mentioned, I soon forgot we were situated so close to the main road and just enjoyed my surroundings and the wonderful tastes of my dinner.

I would have no hesitation in recommending Cafe Settebello.

Have you been to Cafe Settebello?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!!

Till next we chow…

The Strand

Today on the Dining Diaries…

We enter with low expectations and are wowed by great food.
It may look impressive when a server appears to memorise your order but it doesn’t mean they will actually remember it and
Big juicy prawns make me a happy girl

FullSizeRender[4]Diners today we were at The Strand which is located on Jetty Rd at Glenelg.
I don’t know why I’ve never been here. Like many people in Adelaide I’ve walked past it many times as I stroll Jetty Rd but to me it’s just been another cafe so we just kept on walking by.

Today was different and hubby and I actually stopped in to get a quick bite before he went off to work.

Our first impressions were that it seemed like a funky place. We walked inside and were met by a server who gave us some menus and followed us back outside. We decided to sit in the “outdoor” area because the heaters were on and it just looked comfortable. Plus FullSizeRender[3]we could engage in a bit of people watching which is always interesting.

I liked the decor.

Colourful bench seats and wood slat walls.

We immediately felt right at home!

First impressions of the menu were pretty good. There were some good choices on there but probably pretty much cafe fare. I was mildly annoyed that the server took what felt like forever to come back and actually take our order. In fact, while we were sitting there hubby got a google alert, notifying him that it knew he was at The Strand and perhaps he’d like to write a review? It also gave him the opportunity to read what other people had said about it and a recurring theme were those who were sitting outside felt like they’d been forgotten about.

Eventually someone did come to take our order. I always get a bit nervous when they  memorise it. I mean seriously, I know you can do it but I’m really not going to be offended if you get a pen and paper out.
We gave him our orders and I also asked for a glass of wine and off he went with our order firmly stuck in his mind. Or was it?

While we waited a long time to put our order in, we didn’t have to wait long for the food to come out and it did not disappoint!

Hubby ordered “Agnello Alla Griglia” Lamb Back Strap marinated in chermmoula spices, served with Kipfler potatoes and yoghurt sauce (chermmoula spices are Spanish spices including parsley, coriander, garlic & lemon)

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FullSizeRenderI couldn’t decide what photo to use so I’ve added them both!

Hubby was very excited when this plate was put in front of him. He was surprised that it wasn’t served as one piece however he said it was just delicious.  The lamb back strap was cooked perfectly and just tasted so good.
It really was beautifully presented.
The potatoes were good and he loved that there was a generous portion. He also, unexpectedly, loved the crispy bits of sweet potato! All in all, this dish was a winner.

I felt like I hadn’t had pasta for a while so I went for the “Pappardelle Gamberi”. Fresh ribbon pasta with pan friedprawns, springonion,babyspinach in a rosesauce

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I’m not sure why I haven’t captured it in this picture but there were six juicy prawns in there!! What a lovely surprise!! They were so full of flavour and so meaty I was almost full just after eating the prawns!
Oh and what I haven’t mentioned was when I was looking on the menu, I was trying to pick a pasta that didn’t have a cream sauce. I asked the waiter if there was any cream in the rose sauce and he said yes a little, but also said he could ask the chef to make it without! So that was a plus for me!
And I really loved the flavours that were through this sauce. I enjoyed this dish a lot!! The pasta was so well cooked and just exactly what I’d been looking for today.
They also left a nice little dish of Parmesan on the table so I was able to keep adding as I went along. YUM!

One little disappointing thing was that I was halfway through my meal when I noticed I didn’t get my glass of wine. You see, memorising is not always a good thing!!
I asked another server who was close by about it and she went to get it right away. I’m not really complaining about it as when we went to pay for our food I noticed they hadn’t charged us for the wine so it’s all good in the end… and it was a lovely drop I have to say!

So there you have it, there’s our review of The Strand.
My recommendation? If you, like me, have walked past it a million times and not stopped in, why not give it a go? Perhaps don’t sit outside if you’re in a hurry… but I don’t think you’ll be disappointed in the food.

Have you been to The Strand?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!!

Till next we chow…

The Rezz Hotel

Today on the Dining Diaries…

The definition of “large” needs a redefinition,
I’m presented with Beef Cheeks to die for and
Lovely staff but they clearly have one eye fixed on the clock.

FullSizeRenderDiners today we found ourselves at The Rezz Hotel in Newton.

I can’t tell you how many times this place has been recommended to us and it was well worth the visit!

It’s situated near the pretty Thorndon Park Reserve that I used to run through quite regularly when I lived in the area.

I’m not sure if it’s been refurbished lately but it looked quite modern, new and clean as we walked in. There’s a cafe and a Bistro area and hubby and I turned to go to the Bistro.

There seemed to be a lot of (older) people in there including a couple of big groups. I liked the big open windows onto to greenery outside. It just gives you a nice feeling.
Hubby and I were hoping for one of the booths but although the booth tables were free, they weren’t made up so we just sat at the table we were brought to.

I had already looked through the menu online so I had an idea of what I wanted but hubby still needed some time. I had called ahead, and asked what time they serve lunch to and was told 2pm. I’m sure the website said 2.30pm. In any case, It was 1.45pm when we arrived and at 1.52pm, the waitress had been to our table twice and was tapping her pen on her pad. I understand there are times for a reason but we were told we had until 2pm to give an order and felt like we were a little under pressure to choose!

In the end, I ordered some Beef Cheeks and hubby went for a Greek Salad and some Pork Medallions.
We listened to the easy listening music while we waited and watched as the server diffused a situation at one of the group tables. I thought given the amount of people in the room she did really well.

We probably waited a little longer than I would have liked but my food did NOT disappoint!

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Beef Cheeks – Slow cooked in Marsala, served with herb mash, broccolini and baby carrots.
Well every little morsel of this was just divine. I even gave some to hubby because I could not believe how good it tasted and wanted him to try some.
You can’t see it in my picture but it was actually a really decent size piece of meat. The last time I ordered beef cheeks, most of it was fat. It was really disappointing but this one was just one delicious mouthful of meat after another. So tender, just melting effortlessly in my mouth. I tried not to show it too much as I know hubby was a little disappointed in the size of his dish. The vegetables were fresh and slightly firm and the herb mash along with that sauce was just so beautiful. I could eat that every day!! Superb.

We were going to share the Greek Salad but as I felt hubby needed it more, I only took a bit to taste.

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It certainly looks very colourful but the menu specifically states that there’s a vinaigrette but neither hubby or I could taste any dressing. The elements look kind of shiny, like there’s some dressing on them, but there really wasn’t. However, having said that, the elements in the dish were very fresh and tasty on their own so it wasn’t awful, it was just lacking.

And now to hubby’s Pork Medallion….
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I should have mentioned earlier, that when we were looking for a starter, or something to have with our mains, the server said “oh they’re really big serves, you probably won’t need anything else
If you enjoy food, you know you can never trust anyone who says that and that’s why hubby was really disappointed when he saw his dish.
The menu description read – Pork Medallions – Cooked with mushroom, brandy and green peppercorns and cream sauce, served with crushed rosemary, kipler potatoes and spinach.
As to what was on his plate, hubby said everything was perfect, even the spinach. He thought the sauce was really nice and a great accompaniment to the meat and loved the thin slivers of mushroom.
Unfortunately it just didn’t seem to fill him and if we hadn’t been specifically told “they’re big serves” he maybe wouldn’t have been so disappointed. I’m sure a few extra potatoes on the plate or if we’d ordered a side of wedges, it would have made all the difference but he felt like he hadn’t really eaten.

Still, even after all that, everything we ate, apart from the missing dressing on the salad, was just perfection and I’m really looking forward to coming here again and trying their  Moroccan Lamb dish! Yum.

Have you been to the Rezz Hotel?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!

Till next we chow…