MORNINGTON PENINSULA, VIC

February 22, 2017

Following the resounding success of the inaugural “Ladies Weekend” to Halcyon House in October 2015, we agreed it should be an annual event (you can read about our Halcyon House trip HERE

For our next “Ladies Weekend” we all faced time constraints, and to maximise time together, we opted for a location that was easily accessible to all…The Mornington Peninsula. It was 15 years since I was down that way, and my memories of it were hazy at best; I remember it taking forever to get there, and once there we were at pubs or house parties. I never really got a good sense of the place. These days, with new roads it takes just over an hour from the city centre…and what a revelation; the combination of coast, bush and vineyards that I find so enchanting in South Australia, just a quick drive from Melbourne!
I enjoyed it SO much more than I expected.

Here’s how we spent our weekend…

WE ATE.

There’s no shortage of excellent food options, for all budgets in Mornington…indeed lots of produce could not be more local with farms aplenty and lots of wineries having their own veg plots, so it’s all spanking fresh, and in season to boot. We arrived in time for brunch on the Friday morning, so headed to Foxeys Hangout, and got stuck into some tapas and a glass of Rose. It’s a very small restaurant, with views looking into a valley with perfect rows of vines…pretty special!

After driving around for an hour or so, taking it all in, we stopped off at Montalto, where we had a glass of perfect sparkling, whilst sitting in the sun in the gardens. The cafe menu looked delicious, but we were still full from Foxeys, and so have added it to the list for next time.

At Polperro the next day we had a sensational Mod Oz lunch, matched with their very special, very buttery Chardonnay. It’s really worth checking Polperro out, it’s such a beautiful spot, with views of vines and bush from every window.

My very favourite of the trip though, was Petit Tracteur, the French Bistro run by the folk at Ten by Tractor. The dining room is in a conservatory, with greenery everywhere, it feels like you could be in a French garden…a glass of Blanc de Blancs with oysters, steak tartare, the most perfect pommes frites…Heaven!

We grabbed some breakfast foods and a quiche and salad from The Red Hill General Store…be warned though; don’t enter the premises if you’re hungry! Everything is very enticing, and before you know it, you’ve bought way more than you can eat, and it’s not cheap! (but it is all DELICIOUS!)

FOXEYS HANGOUT
795 White Hill Road
Red Hill, VIC, 3937
MONTALTO
https://montalto.com.au
33 Shoreham Road
Red Hill South
VIC, 3937

POLPERRO
150 Red Hill Rd,
Red Hill, VIC, 3937

PETIT TRACTEUR
1208 Mornington Flinders Rd
Main Ridge, VIC, 3928

RED HILL GENERAL STORE
141 Shoreham Rd,
Red Hill South, VIC, 3937

WE SPA’D.

We thought it would be a bit of fun to hit up the Peninsula Hot springs, switching between pools, and relaxing in the warm water. To be honest, it was a bit weird. We had been allocated a time slot of 9am, and it was super busy when we got there. Several families (with children of all ages), what seemed to be a hens group, big groups of tourists with selfie sticks and little regard for personal space! Perhaps it’s a cultural thing, feeling self conscious when in a bath (in swimmers!) with strangers? I felt like I was eavesdropping on other peoples conversations, and likewise, they were listening in on mine. STRANGE! I did however, really like the Turkish Hamam, and plunging into the adjacent ice bath, but overall it was not as we anticipated. We later found out that there is a seperate, private bathing area, which you can enter at an additional cost. Maybe next time!

PENINSULA HOT SPRINGS
Springs Lane, Fingal, VIC, 3939

WE WALKED.

But not very far! We had hoped to do the Bushranger Bay walk from Cape Schanck Lighthouse (a 2hr return walk), but running low on time we did the very easy Cape Walk down from the lighthouse, to a pebbly beach below.
Next time, Bushranger!

We stayed at a friends house, but there are plenty of accomodation options at

https://www.stayz.com.au
http://www.visitmelbourne.com/Regions/Mornington-Peninsula/Accommodation
http://www.visitmorningtonpeninsula.org

 

NEWCASTLE, NSW

November 24, 2016

I confess I’ve been to Newcastle many, MANY times… before kids; to see bands and go to parties, staying up late, sleeping in, and hitting the road without actually seeing much of the town. Even with kids in tow we’ve always stayed harbour side, and again, we never really got to know it at all. Last school holidays we found ourselves ‘up the road’ in Gloucester, an hours drive from Newcastle, and decided to do a 2 day pit stop in Newy (as the locals refer to it…) and get to know it a bit better.

We made our base at the Novotel Newcastle Beach (which is across the road from the beach) and when we weren’t eating/sleeping, we were at the beach! We spent an entire morning at the rock pools at Merewether Beach, collecting starfish, sea snails, seaweed, shells… and the whole afternoon at Newcastle beach, at the Ocean baths, where we found a shark egg, swam, spotted whales not even 40m off shore (a local in the know explained the slapping of the tail fluke we observed was likely to be a bull whale scaring off a shark that may have been trying to attack a calf! Exciting stuff!) had an ice cream and played in the sand. Perfect!

The beach esplanades feature wide footpaths, and are scooter/bike friendly, so we spent a bit of time scooting between beaches, and even down to the lighthouse at the end of Nobbys beach to watch a huge tanker come into the harbour. There is a pretty flash new walkway (The Anzac Walk) from the top of Strezlecki lookout all the way down to Merewether beach which is worth checking out too.

The food scene is flourishing in Newy… cafe culture has taken off in a huge way; and it’s not hard to track down an excellent coffee, or a great meal. We had perfect breakfasts at the Merewether Surf House and The Edwards (our all time fave!), authentic pizza at Napoli Centrale, and delicious seafood at Scotties, Newcastle’s original fish & chip joint (which operates a cute kiosk for take aways and courtyard eating, SUPER kid friendly, as well as a more up market restaurant) Spoilt for choice.

Two days was not long enough. We’ve fallen in love with this beautiful, family friendly town…our to do list still has much to be checked off; A visit to Hello Naomi cakes, a swim at the Bogey Hole (which was closed for reno’s whilst we were in town), a walk up Darby street to check out the shops… We’ll be back!

Huge thanks to Sophie and Jes for all their excellent local knowledge and tips! If you don’t already follow them on Instagram, check them out!

WE STAYED AT

Novotel Newcastle Beach
5 King St, Newcastle

WE ATE AT

Scotties Fish Cafe
36 Scott Street
Newcastle East

Merewether Surf House
Henderson Parade, Merewether, Newcastle

The Edwards
148 Parry St, Newcastle West

Napoli Centrale
173 King St, Newcastle

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GLOUCESTER, NSW

October 28, 2016

I always find that once one trip is done and dusted its a good idea to have another one in the works to keep everyone going. A carrot on a stick, of sorts. And so, upon our return from our last trip (to Vietnam), when our good friends asked if we’d come to the country next school holidays, we said YES!

They had found a great property in Gloucester, a 3 hour drive north of Sydney. Gloucester is in dairy and beef cattle country, surrounded by rivers (The Avon, Barrington and Gloucester) and in the shadow of the Barrington Tops national park. It’s a pretty little town, with pretty homes and cottage gardens. The cattle sale yards at the entrance to town are worth checking out, with all sorts of cows to moo at and fences to climb they were of great interest to the kids. For outdoorsy types there’s loads to do, from bushwalking in Barrington Tops, horse riding river side or kayaking on one of the three rivers.

The house we were staying out was near perfect! Set on a hill overlooking the surrounding valleys, with the Bucketts range looming over us in the background, it had a huge fire pit for bonfires at night, and a fenced in lawn for the kids to run free on, and a tire swing too! We were there with 3 other couples and a beautiful baby, and we all had plenty of space. The kitchen was well appointed, and having done a big shop at woolies in town we didn’t need to leave at all over the weekend.

There is a private path behind the property to the lower ridge of the Bucketts range, but failing to find it, we made our own path through grass trees and gums, coming to an abrupt end at a cliff face…time to turn back! Not before spotting a snake, coiled and poised ready to spring on a very wary king parrot guarding it’s nest nearby!

The kids loved running around, nature spotting (we saw a family of kookaburras, wallabies, cows, horses and of course, the highlight; the snake!) so much so that their Ipads barely made an appearance! Big city kids, getting back to basics in the country!

WE STAYED AT:
The Ridge
135 Thunderbolts Way
Gloucester NSW 2422
(02) 6558 4272

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CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL, AUBURN, NSW

August 18, 2016

The Japanese have a word for everything…’Hanami’ loosely translates as ‘flower viewing’ but really means much more than that. It refers to enjoying the transient nature of cherry (sakura) blossoms; these beautiful blossoms can only be enjoyed for a two week period, highlighting the beauty and fragility of life!

The Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan is a huge deal, so much so that the Cherry Blossom ‘Front’ is forecast each year, in previous years by local meteorologists, and now by private agencies. It occurs in late March/early April.

A little closer to home, we can all enjoy the Sydney Cherry Blossom Festival, held annually at the Auburn Botanic Gardens. This year, the festival kicks off on Saturday the 20th of August and runs that weekend, and the following weekend finishing up on the 28th August. It promises Japanese food and cultural experiences such as Ikebana (flower arranging), Origami and Kendo (martial art) demonstrations along with live music.

Despite having lived in Sydney for 17 years, I had never been to the Auburn Botanic Gardens. Kinga and I headed out to check it out before the weekend and were pretty pleased with what we found. The park is super seventies, (which makes sense as it was indeed opened in 1977) and evokes a sense of nostalgia, as it’s so much like parks my folks used to take me to as a kid. It is a top spot, particularly for families with younger kids, and it’s pram and wheelchair accessible.

It features a traditional Japanese garden (where the cherry blossoms are located) a scented garden, a rose garden and an excellent equal access playground. Animals are always a hit with the littlies, and at Auburn there is a retro Aviary (located across the road from the Botanic gardens main entry) and a sweet fauna reserve, featuring plants and animals that were indigenous to the Auburn area prior to its development…native geese (with black and white striped goslings, super CUTE!) wombats, roos and wallabies…even an albino wallaby! At 10am and 2pm on weekends you can watch the keepers feed the animals.

The gardens are free to enter during the week. During the festival it is $5 per person, residents of Cumberland council, children under 16 and cosplay and kimono wearers get in for free!
Auburn Botanic Gardens
Chiswick Road, Auburn
9am -5pm
Saturday 20th & Sunday 21st August
Saturday 27th & Sunday 28th August

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DAYLESFORD & HEPBURN SPRINGS (SPA COUNTRY), VICTORIA

August 11, 2016

I have a soft spot for Daylesford and Hepburn Springs. It was the very first place Mez and I holidayed at when we first started seeing each other, seventeen years ago! My brother-in-law and sister-in-law were married there, at a beautiful Tuscan styled villa…very romantic!

Spa Country is an hour and a half drive north west from Melbourne, located at the foothills of the great dividing range…Mez had been working in Melbourne, and being school holidays we took advantage to visit family, and leave the kids with Mez’s mum (thanks Nanny!) and run away to the country.

Here’s what we packed in to our 48 hours…

WE SPA’D…

On the Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa website I found a deal for lunch, a massage and unlimited access to their ‘sanctuary retreat’. Starting with a light Ploughmans style lunch, we killed some time sampling mineral water straight from the source. There are several pumps set up, and you are welcome to try them all out. We noticed that several ‘grey nomads’ were filling up loads of water bottles; how thrifty! After our final pump, ‘Sulphur Springs’, we head back to the Bathhouse, where we have several hours of free time in the sanctuary retreat before finishing up with our massage. This is a private bathing area, with multiple baths of varying temperatures and mineral compositions, and you’re welcome to move between them as you please. At first I’m concerned that we’ll get bored, but floating around and chatting is so relaxing, time flies. We finish up with an hour massage, and it feels it’s over almost as soon as it’s begun; the mark of a great massage!

Hepburn Bathhouse & Pavilion Café
Mineral Springs Reserve Road
Hepburn Springs

WE ATE…

We ate very well! Local restaurants and cafes really champion their local produce, and with all those minerals in the water it’s no wonder everything tastes so alive. We had breakfast TWICE at Larder, it was that good! An interesting array of breakfast foodstuffs, and perhaps most importantly, excellent coffee. I could have happily spent an afternoon at The Belvedere Social, going through their menu and wine list! A very cool spot in the centre of town, serving the best of local. Dinner at The Farmers Arms is a must; its a beautiful old pub on the road in to Daylesford, the servings huge, the food is hearty and delicious.

The Larder
57A Vincent St, Daylesford

The Belvedere Social
82b Vincent St Daylesford

The Farmers Arms
1 East Street
Daylesford

WE WALKED…

Spa country is surrounded by bush & forest, and it seems such a waste to me that it’s not better known for its walks. We did two, and the whole time we were walking we only came across wallabies and echidnas! Breakneck Gorge to The Blowhole took us a couple of hours, (just over 6kms return) and is an interesting mix of gorges, rocky outcrops and bushland interspersed with prickly pear cacti (leftovers from Swiss Italian migrants who settled in the area from 1850) We also did Breakneck Gorge to Golden Springs (4.5 kms returns) in an hour and a half.

We stayed at:

Breakneck Gorge
booked via DayGet

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THE FOOD OF CENTRAL VIETNAM, VIETNAM

July 28, 2016

Travelling with kids can be tricky for so many reasons. Meal times can be particularly stressful, kids can be fussy, unfamiliar food can be daunting, and in foreign countries it pays to know what the local specialties are before you go, and where you can find something to please everyone.

The golden rule applies; if a place is busy, it’s most certainly fine to eat there. When Mez and I travelled here before kids we were very adventurous, with kids in tow, we’re far more cautious. Having said this, we have never been sick from food or drink travelling through Vietnam.

Vietnamese food is light, healthy, fresh, bright.
Most importantly, Vietnamese food is DELICIOUS!

Here are a few ‘must try’ dishes…

CAU LAO
Perhaps Hoi An’s most famous dish (legend has it that the noodles can only be made with water from the famous Ba Le well, any other water wont work!) features thick flat noodles with a splash of super rich pork broth (more of a sauce, not a soup) roast pork, fresh herbs and salad leaves, and a topping of crunchy crackling and friend wontons for texture.

Get it at:
The Market Restaurant and Cooking School
3 Nguyen Hoang Street, An Hoi Islet, Hoi An

WHITE ROSE DUMPLINGS
Like Cau Lao, the dough for these dumplings can only be made with water from the well, so these are only available in Hoi An. They are delicate shrimp and pork dumplings, and they pair very well with a cold beer/lemon soda to have pre dinner. Every restaurant in Hoi An seems to serve them!

COM GA
A crowd pleaser, much like it’s Hainanese cousin (Hainanese chicken rice), the Hoi An version of chicken rice is served with shredded chicken, mixed herbs, raw onions, pickled papaya and carrots and a super chickeny savoury broth. The rice itself is cooked in chicken broth. Winner winner, chicken dinner indeed.

Get it at:
Cơm Gà Bà Buội
22 Phan Chu Trinh, Hoi An

BANH MI
Banh mi actually means bread in Vietnamese, but in this case refers to a baguette filled with grilled pork/pork floss/pate/chicken/vietnamese sausage/egg (there are many possible variations!) with pickles, cucumber, chili, soy/chili sauce and herbs. Vietnamese baguettes are much smaller than their French counterparts, and are super crunchy, perhaps as a result of the addition of rice flour to the dough. In Hoi An, the most famous place to get your Banh Mi is at Banh Mi Phuong, a hole in the wall bakery made famous by TV chef Anthony Bourdain. When I went, the queue was 30 people deep! I bought 3 banh mi, and 2 cans of drink for a grand total of $5.40. Bargain!

Get it at:
Banh Mi Phuong
2B Phan Chau Trinh, Hoi An

SEAFOOD BBQ/HOT POT

Danang is right on the coast of the South China Sea, as such, seafood is plentiful and fresh and features heavily in the local cuisine. All along the coast there are pick your own/cook your own type restaurants and the variety of shellfish and seafood in general is incredible. There were many things I had never seen before! Ask how much before you commit! Our favourites were steamed clams with spring onions and peanuts, bbq sun dried squid with chili mayo dipping sauce and lemon white pepper dipping sauce, and huge sweet bbq prawns. The kids loved egg noodles stir fried with veggies and tiny prawns. The alternative is to pick your seafood (from aerated tubs and tanks) and cook it up at your table in a lemongrass, onion and okra hotpot. Served with chili’s in vinegar, rice noodles and veg, really good stuff! People watching at these restaurants is very good. Keep your eyes peeled for street vendors, with their motorcycles laden to the hilt with balloons and toys, our kids were mesmerised!

Get it at:
Ba Thoi 2 (for BBQ)
Duong Hoang Sa, Da Nang

Quan Be Anh (for hotpot)
Hoang Sa, Da Nang

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HOI AN, VIETNAM

July 21, 2016

(A photo essay)

Hoi An is a beautiful small town in Central Vietnam wedged between the coast and the Thu Bon River. What makes it so special is it’s UNESCO listing as a world heritage site; among the heritage architecture stand Chinese temples and pagodas, a Japanese bridge, wooden shop houses, French colonial homes and an old canal system. These ancient buildings line the picturesque streets, having somehow managed to avoid the ravages of war.

Hoi An Old Town is a welcome relief from the hustle and bustle of other large Vietnamese cities, as it’s small enough to explore by foot, and most of it’s narrow streets are pedestrian/scooter/pushbikes only, no cars!

Mez and I have been to Hoi An three times now, and a more comprehensive guide to the town can be found here.

We jumped on the complimentary pushbikes on offer at our hotel and headed off for a ride after breakfast, before it got too hot.

This is what we saw…

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BANKSTOWN, NSW

June 23, 2016

I gave this post a lot of thought…I realise I may be in the minority thinking that Bankstown is an interesting destination, but hear me out! It actually is! This western Sydney suburb is a 30-45 minute drive from the CBD, but is well worth the drive. What makes ‘Banksy’ special is the Vietnamese population, and the Lebanese population, and how they’ve transformed this suburb into a cross section of life back home.

So on the first day of winter, my friend Lin, daughter Kinga and I jumped into the car, and headed off to ‘Saigon Place’ which is the south end of Chapel Road, a half a kilometre strip which may as well be in Vietnam! All the shop fronts are in Vietnamese; butchers, chemists, green grocers brimming with tropical fruits and herbs and other specialty stores. A few continental deli’s and butchers add to this mix. All around me I hear conversations, not in English, but in Vietnamese!

We’re on a mission, in search of a bowl of warming soup. Not the ubiquitous Pho (beef or chicken noodle soup) but the less famous, yet equally delicious Hu Tieu, a super savoury pork based broth with tapioca noodles, heavily garnished with celery herb leaf. Lin went for the original version, a combination of seafood and shaved pork, I went for straight up seafood. Kinga struggles a bit with the noodles, so she opted for a gingery, chicken congee. Washed down with hot tea, and Vietnamese lemonade; soda water, lemon juice and a heaped tablespoon of sugar that settles at the bottom and needs to be stirred between sips. Heaven.

We were spoilt for choice when it came to desert…there is the option of seasonal fresh fruit, (rambutans, dragon fruit, persimmon and pomelo, all of which the green grocers are happy to peel and chop up for you) or pandan waffles, green and coco-nutty hot off the waffles press, or a hot, strong, sweet Vietnamese coffee (though the coffee shop seemed to be the domain largely of older, smoking men!). We opted for pandan waffles, and enjoyed them sitting in the sun, watching the locals go about their business. Waffles scoffed, we had one last stop before heading home; the famous Lebanese El Bahsa Pastry shop. A bag of sugar almonds for Kinga, a kilo of mixed biscuits for Lin, and a slab of ashta for me. The ashta was a bit of a revelation, it’s milk that is boiled until it becomes thick like cream, crusted with semolina for crunch and texture, garnished with rose water syrup and pistachios…served warm, it’s comforting and very moreish!

A return trip is necessary, to further explore the Lebanese side of Bankstown…who would have thought that it warranted two trips, let alone one!

Do you have a secret food suburb? Please share!

We ate at:

Hu Tieu Thanh Van (for Hu Tieu soup)
327 Chapel Street
Bankstown

El Bahsa & Sons Sweets (for Lebanese pastries)
288 Chapel Road South
Bankstown

Huong Viet (for pandan waffles & sugar cane juice)
43 Bankstown City Plaza
Bankstown

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20TH BIENNALE OF SYDNEY, COCKATOO ISLAND

May 26, 2016

I really REALLY love Cockatoo Island. For starters it’s a beautiful open space which is free to enjoy. It’s on the harbour. It’s steeped in history. It’s kid friendly. I love the smell of old industry; oil, brake dust and old machinery. You can ‘glamp’ here (and one day, I hope to get around to doing it, and stop talking about doing it!)

Boy oh boy did we have an absolute SHOCKER here last Sunday.

The island is one of seven ‘embassies of thought’ (main festival sites) of the 20th Biennale of Sydney. The biennale is an international festival of contemporary art which is held every 2 years, running from the 18th March til the 5th of June…you still have a couple of weeks to get to it, if like me, you are not an early adopter!

Here are a few pointers to ensure you have a great time…

DO bring your own food. There are several food outlets dotted around the island, but they are expensive, and inconsistent. We were RAPT to spot a dumpling bar in the big old sheds, but $90 later, with dumplings that had been served to us frozen…we were not happy Jan! Needless to say these were returned and we were promptly refunded, but at lunch time on a weekend we expected more. Disappointing to say the least.

DO check the ferry timetables. I did, on both the Transport NSW website, and the Cockatoo island website. More than twice to be extra sure. And when it came time for us to leave the island, ferry services were only running city bound, leaving us stranded. I can’t imagine who thought it was a good idea to have fewer ferry services on a sunny Sunday, but whoever that person is, you owe me $115 for a 2 minute water taxi up river.

DO listen to the volunteers! They’re there to help! Some exhibits are interactive, and others are delicate and are not to be touched. I’m sorry I got tangled up in William Forsythe’s ‘Nowhere and Everywhere at the same time, no. 2’. Those pendulums!!!! Very tricky.

Go early! And go during the week if you can! As ever when attempting/attending festivals, the later in the day it is, the longer the queues. Queues for interactive exhibits, queues for food, queues for loos, queues for ferries…

DO go!
Don’t miss out!
It is a great day out, all things considered…Biennale or no Biennale!
For more info…
https://www.biennaleofsydney.com.au/20bos/
http://www.cockatooisland.gov.au

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Belanglo State Forest, NSW

May 12, 2016

School holidays present all manner of challenges for parents…perhaps the biggest challenge of all is how to keep the kids occupied in a healthy fashion, without relying too heavily on technical intervention (foxtel/ipads).

I was keen to find something outdoorsy and a bit unique to keep my two busy for a day, and in my googling, came across a foraging excursion. The timing however didn’t suit, and it was more geared towards adults, so I tracked down the guy in charge of the forage, and asked if he’d be keen to take a private group, made up of our school friends and their folks. He was!

Our professional forager and guide was Brendan Cato, a chef (Seans Panaroma and Bistro Moncur are both on his CV, as well as stints on the super yacht circuit) who switched life in a professional kitchen for an approach more in tune with the environment, cooking seasonal, locally sourced, sustainable and organic pop-ups as The Farmed Table.

We meet bright and early on a beautiful autumns morning at the entrance to Belanglo, under the ominous sign, that asks that you “please be careful”. Poor Belanglo gets a bad rap because of it’s ‘shady’ history… (sadly famous for Ivan Milat and the Backpacker murders)

It is a planted forest, primarily of pines, but has native bush interspersed, with random rocky outcrops and termite mounds jutting out in the midst of the perfect pine rows. Light struggles to filter down through the huge trees, the effect is eerie yet beautiful, and is perfect for funghi growth in amongst the needles. Brendan leads our convoy to his secret spots, and instructs us which mushrooms are safe to pick, and which to leave alone. (We were after Pine mushrooms and slippery jacks.)

The kids loved it! There are tree stumps to climb and hide behind, pretty speckled red mushrooms to poke and prod, but leave alone (red = poisonous!), wombat burrows, and when we find bones, the kids lose it! Not human remains…what we imagine to be wallaby skeletons. We let them keep some for show and tell once school starts again. Gross. (but also SO cool at the same time!)

After a few hours collecting at several locations, Brendan returns to base and sets up a campfire. We present our findings, which he sorts, discarding the dodgy ones, and gets the older kids to clean them for him to cook up. They go into a hot pan with olive oil/butter and garlic. The smell is PHENOMENAL! He pours us a glass of local red as a reward for our efforts, and offers us a snack of humous he has knocked up the night before whilst we wait, then presents the mushrooms to us on bread he baked that morning! There is nothing quite like eating something that was growing in the ground not even a half hour before…DELICIOUS!

The season for Pine & Slippery Jacks is short, perhaps 5 weeks or so in late April- early June. In the interest of safety, you MUST only forage with someone knowledgeable in funghi! There are many mushies that look safe, and indeed delicious, but can send you straight to hospital, or worse!

It’s good to be aware that some of the roads in the forest are best suited to larger vehicles, as they uneven and steep in parts; my low profile hatchback was not super impressed by this!

Belanglo is a 90 minute drive south of Sydney, just south of Berrima.

Brendan Cato can be reached on facebook at
https://www.facebook.com/thefarmedtable
or via Instagram https://www.instagram.com/brendancato/

Thank you to Jessie, Ginie, Sohani and Lin not only for loaning me your beautiful kids, but also for taking beautiful pics x

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