Showing posts with label wine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wine. Show all posts

Friday, 17 May 2013

A lovely relaxing weekend with a VERY old friend!

Before I tell you about our fantastic weekend in Millthorpe, I want to give you a bit of history about my friendship with Jvala as she hasn't appeared in the blog before, but anyone who knew me as a kid will know of her!

Her family moved to Kingsbury in 1986 and she joined my class (2J) at Roe Green. On her first day, the teacher picked me to look after the new girl, show her the ropes etc.... it turned out that we lived about 300 metres from each other so we ended up being inseparable throughout primary school! We would walk to school together and play at each other's houses after school. I wish we had pictures of us from back then - I reckon we were pretty cute little 8 year olds! We then went to big bad high school and even though we went to the same school, we lost touch. We were in different sets and had different groups of friends. 

Fast forward 25 years and add in the power of Facebook - the only way to 'keep in touch' with 'friends' you haven't seen or spoken to for decades! Jvala knew through mutual friends that I now lived in Sydney and when her husband Terry and her decided to road test Sydney for a couple of year, she dropped me a message to say it would be nice to meet for a drink. The rest, as they say, is history! We now see Mr and Mrs Nolan quite often as a couple, the boys play golf together almost weekly and Jvala has joined in with a couple of our girls nights out. 

So a few months ago, we started talking about organising a weekend away... we were going to try our hand at camping, but the weather is a bit unpredictable in Autumn (not as unpredictable as the London Spring, apparently!) so we decided to play it safe and booked a weekend in beautiful Millthorpe - A tiny town three hours North West of Sydney, close to the pretty wineries of Orange. When we booked this trip, I was very excited about the wine tasting... by the time we went, I was 11 weeks pregnant so ended up being the designated driver! 

The ANZAC Day public holiday was on a Thursday this year so we took full advantage by taking the Friday off too. 

We drove over in separate cars and the Nolans arrived just long enough before us to get the fire going!
The house was sooooo pretty - a cottage with everything you could need for a break from the city - and a few really cute personal touches like his and hers bathrobes, a cheese platter and lots of biscuits and chocolates!

We had planned meals with military precision - dinner on Thursday was prepared by all of us (the boys in charge of the BBQ and the now infamous 'paprika potatoes') and the girls in charge of all prep, salad and indoor stuff! Team Shah did a fry up breakfast on Friday (I actually needed a nap after breakfast cos we ate so much!) and Team Nolan prepared a lovely healthy breakfast on Saturday.

All other meals were while we were out and about touring the pretty wineries of Orange. We did also manage a lovely dinner at Tonic.

The weather was absolutely perfect for us - crisp sunny autumn days and chilly evenings perfect for eating cheese and crackers and drinking wine (no wine for me!) and chatting.

We had taken playing cards and board games with us, but we never got round to playing games!
It really was the perfect weekend of relaxing, eating and giggling with friends and we are already planning our next one!

In the meantime, see you soon London!!

Thursday, 2 July 2009

The weekend of Hunter Valley - warning! LONG post!

Last Friday began with a very early morning text not so gently breaking the news of Michael Jacksons death: "MJ dead"... thanks Sham!

So after watching Sky News in my PJs for about 2 hours, I got showered and ready to pack for our weekend in Hunter Valley. We had planned the day in great detail (Helen doesn't do late!). At midday, I got a phone call from a friend of a friend of a friend...(I kid you not!) asking me to come in for an interview in 2 hours!
As most of my friends here and at home will be able to tell you, I am going mad sitting at home, so am not in a position to turn down any interviews!
So it was all change... Hels was a star and raced around the mall with me while we did our food shopping for the weekend and then took me to my interview! I haven't heard back yet, so will keep you posted as to whether I got the job!

So we finally got back home at 4, finished packing and left ours at 5.30 - picking Chris on the way!
An amazingly clear run got us to our cabin in Pokolbin in about 2 hours.

We were the last car to arrive, but all the rooms in the cabin were the same so we were ok being the last ones to pick! The log fire had been started and we set about making pizzas! Pizza/ wine/ beer/ ipods/ drinking games went on till 3.30am!

Up we got on Saturday morning only to realise that Helen had a flat tyre!!

as luck would have it, the garage in the town got it fixed up in 30 minute - for $30!
So, all piled in to 2 cars (thanks Helen and Naz for volunteering!) and headed off to the McGuigans wine making tour... the guy taking the tour was a FRUIT LOOP! It was like he had stumbled across the vineyard and fancied a go at being a tourguide!
We all survived the tour (due to a LOT of giggling!)

Next stop - De Bortoli!
This was the maker of the yummy pink fizz we discovered at the Manly Food and Wine festival!
Here we were greeted by an Italian version of Victor Meldrew! He was hilarious!! He was brilliant at telling us lots of useful stuff, but we were too scared to actually ask him too many questions! So loaded up with bottles of the pink fizz and some 2005 semilion which can apparently be kept for up to 9 years - like it will last that long, off we go! So, we get outside, and there were some people with a camera... filming. We decide that we would quite like to get a group picture, and so, Paul asks one of the guys if he could take a picture... he misunderstands, and decides he wants to be in the picture rather than take it for us!!
Apparently, he is a famous guy... John English?? No, none of us had a clue who he was!

Time for lunch! off we go to the Blue Tongue brewery.

Average food, strange beers for tasting, weird live music, strangely dressed travellers and a VERY drunk man proposing to his girlfriend in front of 100 people... that was lunch!

Its now 3.30, we have been drinking since 11 and will be drinking for a while yet! So Helen and I decide we could do with a sit down, a cuppa and a slice of cake before the evening drinking begins! So we dropped the others off to what looked to be the one pub in Pokolbin and went back to the cabin. We get back to the pub at 6.30 - having spent 2 hours trying to start the log fire, and everyone is HAMMERED!

The pub seems to be the wedding reception venue for a couple that couldn't afford to get sole use for somewhere... it was very strange to see a bride trying to get peoples attention when everyone is watching the Rugby! It gets to 8.45, and we are in a minibus on our way back home!

An evening snack of cheese and crackers and another 3 hours of trying to get the fire going (we think the logs were just damp!) and we are all tucked up in bed by about midnight!

Sunday morning - breakfast, cheese factory, chocolate factory!
We decide to have spot of lunch before we all head off back to Sydney... we ended up at a pub version of Fawlty towers!
My bean nachos arrived with beef, then came out as burnt nachos with cheese and half a tin of kidney beans thrown over them.
Jo have sausage and mash with stone cold lumpy gravy, the boys had a roast beef with veg that had been boiled to within an inch of their lives and more cold gravy. Sarina had a stinky prawn cocktail! It really was so funny, you couldn't make it up! But I guess it was the landlord who had the last laugh as he still got paid for it all!

That was our eventful weekend in Hunter Valley!

My university house mate Selina and her husband Chris arrived in Sydney on Tues and are here for a week!
They have been travelling around Australia for 5 weeks. I am their tour guide in Sydney!

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