McLaren Vale, Barossa and beyond

Waking up the day after our long lunch at D’Arenberg, I wasn’t sure how we were going to top the experience of the day before, but I was sure ready to try. We were staying in McLaren Vale for another two days, before heading back to stay in Adelaide for a couple of nights and heading out to the Barossa for a day trip from there. I had paid for an extra 10kg’s of baggage for the flight back home and I was determined to find some wine to fill up my suitcase!

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A hankering for Hungary 

We arrived in Budapest off the overnight train, greeting a chilly, drizzly Hungarian morning with tired eyes but excited souls, ready for the country that is home to thermal baths, ruin bars and some of the most beautiful panoramas that I have ever had the opportunity to lay my eyes on. Another reason I was super excited to be arriving was that because from Budapest we were going on an overnight trip to a small town called Eger which has about four dozen wineries specialising in a dry red wine called Bikaver (or ‘Bulls Blood’ in english) in an area called ‘The Valley of the Beautiful Women’. With a lot planned for, and expected from, Hungary I had my fingers and toes crossed that the weather would clear up and we would be able to get out and explore without seeking cover from the pouring rain or searing sun every 5 minutes.  Continue reading

Mandoon Estate & Homestead Brewery

Last weekend, I had a friend from Canada as a house-guest, and I got the chance to spend a few days playing tour guide in my own city. It was a really fun experience – I find that all to often, life and chores and seeing friends and visiting grandma and tending to your dying pot plant and all those things that are really nice to do but use up all of your time on the weekend happen, and its not often enough that you get to devote a weekend to enjoying everything that your own city has to offer. Getting out to those places like Lesmurdie Falls and spending whole days meandering around the Swan Valley sampling cheese, chocolate and wine to your hearts content definitely needs to happen more often for most Western Australians (or maybe everyone does these things, and I just spend too much time keeping up with netflix). Anyway, with a Canadian in tow on a sunny winter weekend, I took the opportunity to cross a few of those spots in the Swan Valley off the list for another few months. Continue reading

Creatures Next Door

Despite the craziness of the Christmas/New Years period, a group of friends and I managed to find a Saturday afternoon when we were all free in the middle of it all, and we decided to get together for some holiday cheer. We had bought tickets to spend the afternoon at Zapfhall, the pop up beer hall in Fremantle, however despite selling us tickets that specific Saturday a quick check of their Facebook page in the morning told me that they were closed! That was a little unexpected, but with the search on for a new venue Little Creatures came through for us, so we headed in to see if we could get a seat in the sunshine.

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Bivouac Canteen

Bivouac – I had been for drinks there with work friends a few weeks ago, and had been disappointed I had to leave for other dinner plans as the menu there looks ah-mazing! Since this night I have been craving to go back, and last night was finally the night for it! O and I headed over after I escaped from yet another 2 and a half hour meeting at work on a Friday afternoon. It was early, only about 5.30 and it was pretty quiet, with only a couple tables filled. Continue reading