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Come and join us for a Sunday spent like a local Hobartian 😊. We start with a delectable breakfast at the Farm Gate Market. Choose from Tasmania’s best sushi, hand made by Masaaki as you watch (but be prepared to queue), doughnuts by Lady Hester Eats, barbecued octopus, Bruny Island oysters, Bury Me Standing bagels, the list is almost endless. Check out the locally grown produce in season: peonies, pink eye potatoes, cherries, raspberries, strawberries and garlic were what could be found last week.
Last Friday saw us taking some lovely people on a tour of the Nant Estate. For those of you who don’t know, this is where some of the finest whisky in Australia (and dare I say the world) is produced. The goal of our group was to taste some of Tasmania’s premium whisky offerings, enjoy a gourmet lunch, stroll through historic grounds and generally have fun.
Nant Estate is the home of Nant Distillery, affectionately known as “the home of liquid gold” and after tasting their whisky, I think they might just be right. Set in the mystical central highlands of Tasmania, one couldn’t ask for a more picturesque or historic setting. The Nant Estate has everything: convict history and architecture, working mill, gourmet food and, did I mention, whisky?
Our visit started with a tour of the distillery conducted by a strapping young lad named Matthew. After his explanations of the workings of the old mill, stones, teeth etcetera we were convinced he had a science degree. But no, he’s fresh out of high school. He reckons he got the job due to his Bothwell roots but I decided it was his red hair.
During the tour I decided I was like the dog from one of the Far Side cartoons. This is what the commentary sounded like to me: “blah blah blah whisky, blah blah blah barley”. My brain is not a mechanical one (as opposed to Andy’s). I did pick up a string of interesting words & phrases: Calais, millstones, damsel in distress, barley, grist, Lake Sorelle, onion neck, fore shots (equals blindness and death, steer clear of those), heart. If you want further explanation of how these fascinating terms all fit together and relate to whisky, I suggest you do the tour. It’s fabulous. What I loved more than the commentary was the sense of stepping back in time. The soft sounds of the old mill working were soothing to the soul. It’s difficult to describe the aromas and atmosphere in there but words that flashed up in my mind include: earthy, quiet, timber, rustic, metal, running water, ferment, sweet.
The whisky tasting was amazing & we all marveled at the difference a few drops of water can make to the flavours. I think our photos tell the tale of how much fun we all had during the tasting.
We followed up our tasting with lunch in Nant’s restaurant. Our entrees consisted of Haggis Neeps & Tatties, Crispy Eel Melts, Whisky BBQ Chicken Wings and a Rabbit & Hare Rillete. Mains on offer included Duet of Venison & Wallaby, Slow Braised Cape Grim Beef Cheek or a Flinders Island Lamb Shoulder Gallette. All looked amazing but my pick was the game. Delicious. An awesome time was had by all and we vowed that Nant will be a regular inclusion in our tours for lovers of whisky.
Spring is here…
All around Hobart there are signs that spring is upon us. Although there’s a dusting of snow on the mountain (I’m beginning to think it’s paint), the days are clear and bright and the mercury is slowly creeping upwards. There are blossoms on the trees, my hyacinth bulbs are blooming and the scent of jonquils and early cheer reminds me of our wedding fifteen years ago. Last week I took a trip to New Norfolk to see the new lambs. I loved the little one that looked just like it’s mother and continually followed her around. Bottle feeding a lamb rejected by her mother was a new experience for me. There are so many things I’ve had a chance to do in Tasmania that I’d never done before: digging potatoes from the ground, going raspberry/blueberry/blackberry picking, watching echidnas walk around my feet, patting a wombat in the wild, sleeping in a convict penitentiary…the list goes on.
Spring is a great time in Tasmania. It’s cool enough to make sitting by an open fire sipping wine, whisky or savouring gourmet delights a pleasure and you may have a chance to touch the snow on a trip up Mt Wellington. But one also has the opportunity to witness the beauty of new growth at every step. I’m going to share some of the beautiful springtime photos that I’ve snapped recently. I hope you enjoy them.
New Norfolk lamb
Even Haggis loves springtime in Hobart
St Andrew’s Park, North Hobart
Hobart city flowers
St Andrew’s Park North Hobart
Our Wonderful Trip Up North!
It’s Autumn in Tasmania. The leaves are now shades of gold, amber & flame. We’re waking up to the aroma of wood smoke in the morning & the days are clear & crisp.
This week we took off to spend a few days exploring the Meander Valley to get ideas for our multi day trip tours. Our accommodation was provided by the lovely Belinda and Ian of Blackwood Park Cottages. Blackwood Park is one of those farms that thrills Anglophiles, lovers of Enid Blyton & folks looking to escape the hustle & bustle of life for a country idyll. Set on 72 hectares of lush farmland, and home to sheep, alpacas and the most beautiful chickens I’ve ever seen, it’s the perfect base for exploring all that the region has to offer.
After lazy mornings drinking coffee by the fire & savouring breakfast, cooked with the ample provisions in our cottage, we set out to reconnoitre. In our travels we sampled hot smoked salmon, ginseng, chocolate coated raspberries, blue gum honey ice cream, truffle ice cream (jury’s still out on this one), wine, venison and more. We bush walked around mountain lakes, stunning waterfalls & breathtaking cliffs. We clambered through caves, listened to our guide’s serenade to demonstrate the marvellous acoustics of the Great Cathedral cavern, and ogled magnificent formations and glow worms. We ambled about the farm, fed alpacas, sipped wine on a bench overlooking the Great Western Tiers at sunset and marvelled at the view from Hill Paddock.
In the evenings we returned to the fire for a spot of wine and to indulge in the food we’d purchased during the day. Potatoes done in their jackets in the fire were the perfect rustic accompaniment to our salmon from 41 degrees South Salmon & Ginseng farm.
On the last day we tore ourselves away from Mole Creek and set out to traverse the midlands on our way back to Hobart. First stop Perth and the Ut Si Cafe for a coffee and some delectable home made cakes.
Then we headed to Evandale, a picturesque historic town and location of the Evandale Village Fair and National Penny Farthing Championships, held annually in February. We immediately started making plans for a tour for next year, Saturday February 21st. Get in early if you’d like to join us.
A visit to the remarkably beautiful Nant distillery and a taste of their exquisite whiskey marked the end of an amazing trip.
We returned home full of ideas for anyone who’d like us to tailor make a single or multi day trip to this fabulous region. There’s something for everyone, so drop us a line or give us a call, we’d love to make your visit to Tasmania memorable.
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