Monday, 20 October 2014

Tasmania



 Visit Tasmania for one reason - the food, everything else is a bonus.


Stay:


For our first few nights in Hobart we stayed on Salamanca Place at Quarry Salamanca. These boutique apartments are in one of the original buildings on Salamanca and the apartments have been designed around the original features, sandstone walls and beautiful exposed beams. Being right in the middle of the action in one of the busiest areas of Hobart was both good and bad. It was great to have many restaurant options on your doorstep, but at 3am in the morning the pub next door was still entertaining patrons. It was also great to wake up on Saturday morning and have the famous Salamanca Markets setting up beneath our window.

In Hobart we also stayed at the Henry Jones Art Hotel, another beautiful old building (dating back to 1804) which used to be the IXL Jam factory. This hotel as you could have guessed is packed full of art. There is also a nice little bar downstairs where you can enjoy a drink as the sun disappears behind Mount Wellington.


Edge of the Bay in Coles Bay (2 hours north of Hobart). With views over Oyster Bay and the spectacular Hazard Mountains it is hard not to spend the day just gazing out the window. The ocean view suites are designed for maximum privacy all facing towards the bay. The onsite restaurant wasn't great, so if you can eat else where, I would. 


Eat:


Our trip to Tasmania pretty much revolved around our stomachs and where we wanted to eat.

Garagistes: A pretty cool restaurant set in what looks like an old mechanics garage in Hobart, the space is large and voluminous with long share tables. They have a set 5 course degustation menu and you can also choose to have each course matched with sake. The meals were delicious, and beautifully presented. I was also pleasantly surprised by the variety of sake and how well they were matched to each dish. The food is Tasmanian sourced and foraged and the organic and bio dynamic wine list was extensive.

The Source: Located on the site of MONA (Museum of Old and New Art), we had a much needed lunch break whilst looking around the museum. Set above the Derwent River and amongst Moorilla Winery the location is picture perfect. With a French inspired menu we whiled away a good hour or so wining and dining before tackling the rest of the museum.

Mezethes: We stumbled across Mezethes one night and hit the jackpot. This small Greek restaurant on Salamanca Square was exactly what we wanted on a wet and windy Hobart evening. Traditional Greek food but done really well. The highlight was a dish of slow cooked goat, (I know it may sound odd) it was so tender it could have been eaten with a spoon.

Do:


MONA: Museum of Old and New Art, the architecture is incredible, the art is incredible, the whole place is incredible. The magnificent building designed by architects Fender Katsalidis for entrepreneur David Walsh rises high up from the river, with the majority of the building buried deep down  in the sandstone cliffs. Hop on the camo painted ferry, the Mona Roma from Hobart and travel up the Derwent River. Try and get on the first ferry of the day, as you will more than likely spend the entire day at Mona. On arrival you are given an iPod, as you walk through the museum the iPod locates what is near by and gives you information on the artworks. You can also set up a link to your email address which will send you further information on the art you viewed to read later.  Try and visit the bathrooms on the bottom floor, there are 'surprises' in all of them. Along with the museum, there is The Source restaurant, Moo Brew Brewery, and Moorilla Winery, there is also luxury accommodation available on site.

MONA


Mount Wellington: Drive up the winding road to Mount Wellington which towers over Hobart. It is high, really high, on a clear day it feels like you can see all of Tasmania.

Bruny Island: Meet the car ferry at Kettering, only a 20 minute drive south of Hobart and travel across the D'entrecasteaux Channel towards Bruny Island. You can drive the length of the island in under an hour, stop at The Neck and climb the stairs for spectacular 360 degree views.  Bruny Island Cheese Co is a great spot for lunch. We had their Otto cheese, cheese wrapped in prosciutto and baked in the oven, gooey cheese, crispy prosciutto with fresh bread and a glass of wine.


Bruny Island


Freycinet Peninsula: About a 2 hour drive north of Hobart, home to Oyster Bay and the famous Wine Glass Bay. The scenery is breath taking, this is one of the parts of Tassie I was most looking forward to, fresh seafood and beautiful walks in the bush. To say the weather was bad when we were there would be a massive understatement, there was a years worth of rain in one day. Not to put us off we did what we do best and went looking for something to eat. In Coles Bay there is a cute little place called Tombolo, great for breakfast, good coffee (delicious cakes)  and they also do pizzas in the evenings. 

We also visited Freycinet Marine Farm to get some supplies for dinner, a dozen of the freshest oysters I have ever eaten for $15, these accompanied by a bottle of Tasmanian sparkling wine, cheese and fresh bread, the howling winds outside were very quickly forgotten. If it happens to be around lunch time as you are arriving or leaving Coles Bay stop in Swansea, Oyster Bay Seafood's takeaway sells amazing half lobster, oysters, chips and salad for $30.


Freycinet Peninsula


As we were packing up to leave Coles Bay the weather seemed to be calming so we decided to cross our fingers and do the walk to Wine Glass Bay. The views at the look out were beautiful, obviously it would have been better if the sun was shining but it was still spectacular.

Hazard Mountains, no you see them, now you don't...







Thursday, 20 February 2014

Lobster Pasta




Ingredients:

200g good quality pasta
1/2 lobster tail (raw) cut into pieces
2 cloves of garlic
small red chilli sliced
50g butter
2 pieces of thinly sliced pancetta or bacon
handful of halved grape tomatoes
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup cream
small bunch of parsley
salt & pepper

Cook pasta according to packet directions

In a saucepan over medium heat add butter and sliced pancetta and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring occasionally. Add garlic, chilli and tomatoes continue stirring, cook for another two minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add white wine and stir until evaporated. Stir in cream and finally add lobster meat and cook for 1-2 minutes.

Drain pasta and add to lobster sauce, add parsley and stir to combine.

Serves 2.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Christmas Gift Guide




Christmas is fast approaching, less than a fortnight to go. So I have put together a little Christmas gift guide/ my wish list. Something there for the kids and big kids in your lives. All available to buy online, so you can get some last minute gift buying in and if you are still at a loss come Christmas morning buy a Mr & Mrs Smith e-voucher, you can't go wrong!