Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Great Southwest

What a fabulous weekend away we had. In addition to the sheer enjoyment of spending time in the company of great friends, it was also the places we visited, the food we ate and the wine we drank that made the weekend as superb as it was, in that beautiful part of the world that is the Southwest of WA.

We stayed at the lovely Bunker Bay Resort, which was as wonderful as it was the last time we stayed, sensational service, beautiful rooms and lovely food.

An evening in Dunsborough on Friday, included a few rounds of pool at
the towns' tavern (less desirable than most places in the area but serves a fun purpose and makes for some entertaining people watching!)

This was followed by a couple of drinks at the 'Wall to wall' bar (not it's correct name of which I actually have no idea, but a moniker that was given to it on a boys weekend, due to the number of attractive females drinking there.) We then went on to one of our favourite spots, Caves House in Yallingup. I first visited Caves House a number of years ago, when I was still living in Sydney, to attend my cousins' wedding reception which was held there. The entire place has been renovated since then and looks fabulous. The pub is cosy and serves fabulous food which is great when it's a bit cooler and it has a huge decked outdoor area which makes for a fabulous afternoon session spot in the warmer months. The restaurant serves top notch food and wine at not too ridiculous prices. We had a lovely meal there before heading back to the room for a wee kip before watching the England match in the early hours. I wont say any more on that topic though.

Saturday was without question the highlight of the weekend, with a lovely champagne breakfast under our belts we were picked up by Lovely Len the Limo driver at 10am and we headed of on our tour. First stop was Happs, Lynn was our hostess and she greeted us wearing a purple bra (over the top of her t shirt) for the Breast Cancer charity day that had been on the day before but that she decided to extend in order to milk her busiest trading day of the week. We donated to the cause then got down to our cause du jour, sampling wine.

Good wine was tasted, bottles were bought and we were off to the next spot. We opened a 'traveller' for enjoying in the limo between wineries and things started getting merry.

We visited, tasted and purchased at Windance and Pierro (BEST!) before heading to Brookland Valley where we were booked for lunch in their 'Flutes' restaurant. After a superb long lunch we were reminded by Len that we were running out of time, so we threw some more money at him and he took us to out last 'must-visit' spot of the day, Gralyn Estate. They have some amazing wines, we love their Reds and have a number of them already, mostly due to the fact that they have a good knack for calling the Boy Person on an evening when he's had a few wines already and therefore feeling a little 'richer' than normal, and selling him cases of wine that have three figure per bottle price tags. We stocked up on a few of their whites and their simply AMAZING Artisan fortified wine which is pure liquid GOLD.

This is probably a pretty accurate depiction of what i was seeing through the lens at this stage of the day…

The four of us discussed tipping Lovely Len the Limo driver but we forgot to discuss who was going to do the deed. So at the end of the day when I handed him a three figure amount of cash and he nearly started crying with happiness, I had no idea that our friends had already done the same. Len is officially the best paid Limo driver in WA. Bless him though, he was really great.

The Australia/Ghana game was on that night so after a fantastic meal at the resort restaurant, we headed back to the villa to watch.

A sleep in on Sunday was followed by a visit to the Olive Oil Soap Factory, which makes and sells the most beautiful oils, pestos, olives, sauces and so on. They do soap as well obviously, but it was mostly all about the food for us! We had an awful scare though, we managed to fill a basket with quite a few items, not really checking prices because, well, its Olive oil isn't it, how pricey can it be? We knew it was not going to be a particularly cheap visit, however, we were not quite prepared for what happened when we went to pay.

The woman was very grateful to the Boy Person (BP) for helping to re-fill the empty oil tasting bowls with bread earlier (she apparently mistook, greed and impatience with helpfulness) so she said she would apply a 10% discount to the total sale. "ooh lovely" we thought. She said, "so thats a discount of…. $48".

I came over all light headed...

I felt BP's eyes boring into my skull...

I felt the heat rise in my face and a trembling began…

Trying to lighten the atmosphere, I quipped "Ooo gosh.. how did I manage that?!" [insert nervous giggle here]

Our friends looked on with a combination of horror, amazement and mostly, amusement.

Then the woman said, "oh, hang on…"

And I SWEAR that at that very moment, the sun shone in through the window a little brighter.

She had entered a qty of 25 on a couple of the items, instead of 1. Understandable mistake (?!).

Oh how we laughed. Once we had recovered.

We lunched at the Duckstein brewery and had one last tasting at Saracen before heading back home.

When home, I counted the bottles as I put them away in the 'cellar'. 52. We had bought 52 bottles of wine. In ONE day. Oops.

Now thats what I call a 'Lush' weekend :)

Images by Aimee and Friends

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mini Break!

On Friday, the Boy Person and I are heading off on a 'mini break' with two great friends for a weekend of fun, food, far-too-much-wine and football.

A few hours south of Perth is the fabulous Margaret River region famous for its fabulous wineries, scenery, wineries, surf beaches, wineries, chocolate factory, oh and it has great wineries.

The Bunker Bay Resort will be our base for the weekend, a place the two of us stayed a couple of years ago and loved. This time we are sharing a two bedroom villa with our friends.

It is just a short stroll from the villas down to the beach...

The heated pool looks fantastic but I'm not sure we'll be braving it at this time of year...

Last time our villa had a private garden, I wonder if we'll be on the resorts' lake this time…
The rooms are comfortable and stylish with HUGE bathrooms...

On Saturday we have a 5 hour tour of the wineries booked in, and this is to be our transport…

We're stopping for lunch at the famous Flutes restaurant at the Brookland Valley winery where we will line our tummies with gastronomic delights to soak up the mornings tastings and prepare for the afternoons'.

There is of course the World Cup to consider, so we will be having to huddle around the villa TV (which looks worryingly small in the pics) at some horrible hour of the morning on both Saturday and Sunday to ensure we catch the England and Australian match's.

I had to call ahead before booking the accommodation (conditions imposed by the Boy Person) to specifically ask for confirmation that all four Fox sports channels were available in the villas. Thankfully I spoke to a sports fan who understood the importance of such a query and was happy to check and double check before confirming that we would indeed have access to all of the requested channels. Well thank heavens for that :)

I hope you too have something nice to look forward to this weekend x

Saturday, June 12, 2010

I'm Floored…

I am having a serious case of the 'It's nooooot FAAAAAAAIR!''s, complete with stamping feet and spouting tears.
I stupidly thought i'd see what lovely new things were to be found over at Anthropologie and found some divine rugs, the most divine of all being this one…

The 'Festival Rug' in blue.

A rug is a household item that seems to be impossible to find (a decent version of that is) over this side of the world for under $3k, but that I so desperately need (tr. want).

It seems that although the delightful peeps at Anthro. will ship 'some' items to Australia, sadly, they can't ship this one. Boo.

They have lots of other gorgeous ones in addition to the one above, including different colour ways of the same pattern.

Some more that tickle my fancy are…

The 'Conure'...

The 'Vernal Cusp'...

The 'Gloria's Garden'….
and the 'From the Grey' rug...

Images all via 'Anthroplogie'

Friday, June 11, 2010

FIFA Fever

Our house is about to become a Football (yes, that's 'Football' not 'Soccer') mad zone for the next few weeks, the Boy Person is at this minute, out stocking up on beer and homemade Pizza ingredients whilst texting me every few minutes to tell me how excited he is that this momentous occasion is finally upon us.

The FIFA 2010 World Cup opening ceremony is on the box tonight, and we will be, sat as a family of four, firmly on the couch, all together (whether we are 'all' interested or not…), for the entire duration.

Then, by the sounds of it, my house will become some sort of doss-house to many English expats who are temporarily leaving their wives and girlfriends while all this hoopla is going on to become creatures of the night, gathered nervously around our television, or pacing up and down the living room, or hiding in the guest bathroom only to peek out every now and then to see if it is still as bad or as close as it was last time they peeked.

I shall be tip toeing around quietly while all this is going on, waving a wee NZ flag, well, for a little while anyway until the not so unpredictable happens at which point I shall swap it for a wee St Georges flag to show support for the Boy Person (and all of our temporary lodgers) in this ever so stressful time.

Let the games begin!

Images: NZ & England Official World Cup 'Away' Shirts.

Busy Busy and Bargains Aplenty

I have been too busy for blogging lately, which is sad as I should find time for it, however there has been so much going on at the moment with my first Photography Assignment (9/10!), completing a course on share trading on the ASX and the ker-AZY sales on in Perth at the moment.
We have been making the most of the huge discounts at David Jones and stocking up on a multitude of quality household items. I am very fond of my new Jamie Oliver saucepan set ($500 off), Le Creuset grill pan and French Oven (half price!), new additions to my Wusthof knife collection (30% off), and the only thing that has managed to distract the Boy Person from the upcoming world cup madness… his new Jura coffee machine (which had an amazing $1600 off!) from which I am enjoying a delish flat white at this very moment.

So I hope to settle back into normality next week, and get some time to browse blogland a bit, I do miss it so.

Have a fabulous weekend people! x

Image: By Aimee for Live Lush & Laugh
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