Weekend in Adelaide

Adelaide is definitely the festival state, the event capital – an all round ‘there’s always something on’ capital.

I’ve been browsing various brochures for all the events on now and coming soon.

The Adelaide Festival is on in March. You should check it out. It looks wonderful.

https://www.adelaidefestival.com.au

This weekend is more about family for us though. The family came for dinner on Friday. Always fun with the children.

Saturday and Saturday mornings Steve and I tried the pools nearby. Saturday it was Unley pool.

Sunday it was Burnside.

Both pools are lovely. The lifeguards here take sunsafety very seriously. They wear long pants and long sleeved shirts topped off with shady hats. The pools are also partly shaded. We could learn a lesson in Sunny Qld.

On Saturday afternoon we headed into the Adelaide Hills. Niece Vashti,her husband Jeremy and their 4 children have bought a small farm. It’s not far from Hahndorf , has a creek running through it, wonderful big trees, a dam, 3 alpacas and a very large dog!

Inside the house there are multiple musical instruments and ten year old Soraya played the double bass for us. Very talented she is too!

We drove to Ambleside Gin Distillery and had a sampler flute of three different gins. I’m becoming a bit of a gin fan. In the hot weather it’s really the perfect drink!

https://www.amblesidedistillers.com

It’s in a beautiful spot and is the perfect place to go on a lazy Saturday afternoon. There were some very trendy young people there but we managed to not disgrace ourselves.

Then it was back to the farm for a walk and dinner before finishing with marshmallows on the fire.

Sunday afternoon we visited yet another historic house in Adelaide. It belonged to Edward Ayers ( a certain large rock was named after the family)

It was an interactive museum. You could touch things, use things and make things. Great for children.

The ball room where they now have concerts

The lovely dining room

They even had a dress up box which I took advantage of!

The weather has changed again. It very hot today. At least 32. So our plan for a drink on the roof top bar changed. We headed home for our own gin tasting.

Ayers House.

http://www.ayershousemuseum.org.au/events/signatureseries2018/

Decorative Arts in Adelaide.

Visiting another city, even one you’ve been to before can offer opportunities for something new.

I had heard about the David Roach House Museum when talking to ADFAS friends.

ADFAS for those who haven’t heard of it is the Australian Decorative & Fine Arts Society and I am Chairman of the Brisbane Society. We have lectures on things of a decorative & fine arts nature: it can be painting, sculpture, gardens, music, fashion, porcelain…….

My sister in law booked us into the 10am tour this morning. It’s in Melbourne Street North Adelaide, a fairly trendy area with beautiful home and many coffee shops.

We arrived in plenty of time for our tour and were greeted at the door by name. The Director of the Museum Martyn Cook met us, introduced himself and took us to the stylish reception room. We were the only two for the 10am tour. Yesterday it was booked out.

Take a tour with me now. Let me know what you think!

The Reception Room

Our guide John then took over. He was super informed and gave us a very good commentary on all aspects of the house and it’s collection.

David J Roche AM (1930–2013), a collector for almost sixty years, spent his lifetime developing what has become The David Roche Collection. The collection, which spans the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and includes European furniture, ceramics, metal ware, clocks and paintings, is remarkable in its quality and range. 

House exterior

The central hall

He came from a large Irish Catholic family and moved to Adelaide as a child. He had a passion for dogs! He had around 53 dogs and was a world renowned judge and often a winner of Best in Show. It’s definitely reflected in the paintings, ceramics and collectibles around the house.

The house is not big. He lived there by himself and often had guests stay in the one extra bedroom. Every inch of the house is decorative. All furnishings were custom made with no expense spared. The effect is overwhelming but somehow, beautiful. The collections are vast and stunning. From walking sticks, to hat pins, jugs, vases …….

The Russian room

Mr Roach’s bedroom

The sitting room

The Library.

The kitchen collectibles

Then the urn where Mr Roach’s ashes are kept.

We had a wonderful tour for 2! I urge you to visit.

http://www.rochefoundation.com.au

Lest We Forget: a Special Day of Remembrance

A century ago the guns fell silent on the Western Front.

On the anniversary of the Armistice we honour all those who sacrificed their lives in World War 1.

The end of the War came suddenly. The Armistice that had brought the end of the fighting was signed in a railway carriage in a forest clearing in Compiegne, France, on 11November.

Six hours later, at 11am, the guns fell silent.

I have walked the battlefields of France. I have seen the fields where the action took place, where bodies fell and sadly where the bodies Rest In Peace.

It sends shivers right through you. The words on the headstones restricted to 60 characters tell about those who would not be returning home. Their age, something about them.

Remember them with pride on this special day. ‘They shall not grow old …..’

Attending today’s ceremony in Canberra was a privilege. The silence and respect shown is moving.

The crowds were quiet and respectful.

At the conclusion of the ceremony we walked to the National Carillon. We were fortunate to hear the bells accompanying the Canberra City band perched high up in the tower than makes the Carillon.

Canberra has beautiful spaces to be able enjoy concerts, parades, ceremonies.

We finished the day at the National Portrait Gallery, a beautiful space filled with wonderful portraits. A cross section of Australians including a familiar Queenslander.

There was a Concert at 4pm. Evensong. The four voices echoed through the gallery. It was quite beautiful. A lovely way to end the afternoon.

Tonight we had dinner in Hughes with John & Judy, Brett & Jenny. Steve went to school with John, Brett & Jenny at Telopea Park High School and since their reunion 7 years ago we have kept in touch. They are great fun and we had a a lively night with them reminiscing- they even got the school albums out!

That’s the nice things about old school friends. You just pick up where you left off! They are now planning their next reunion. Sounds promising.

Eating: Restaurants in Seminyak Bali.

I’ve heard so much about the restaurants in Bali I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

There are great restaurants all over the world. Having just been to New York we experienced some really good food but it’s very expensive. Cuba wasn’t expensive but then again it wasn’t too exciting.

Italy is one country where I never get tired of the food. It’s regional, fresh and you can eat out well, without breaking the bank.

Bali has a range of food – from inexpensive street food to higher end cuisine from other parts of the world.

We tried a few different places and I’ll try and capture each one as they were different but memorable.

Try one if you want a good eating experience. Mind you everyone has different expectations- but to me – a bit of a traveller and one who likes food they were great.

Night 1: La Lucciola

La Lucciola

Area: Seminyak

Jl. Petitenget

We arrived via a little wooden bridge after passing through the car park of the Petitenget Temple. It has a beautiful setting by the beach. It’s like a tropical house with wide verandas overlooking the grass into the beach.

The menu is primarily Italian with a slight Asian twist.

We shared a few entrees always a good way to start a meal. The stuffed zucchini flowers, the smoothest burrata, some antipasto. Main course we chose our own. Being gluten intolerant I had the yellow fin tuna which was delicious others had heavenly soft house made pasta with king prawns a touch of chilli.

They were lovely to the children who loved their pasta.

For 5 adults and 2 children several cocktails, a bottle of Italian wine, sparkling water, shared entrees, 5 main courses and 3 desserts it was just under $400 Australian.

Night Two was a Denise’ birthday, so her choice was a restaurant just out of Seminyak but easily reached by taxi: Slippery Stone.

Jalan Batu Belig No 9

This was a Greek restaurant and it looked like we’d arrived in Greece.

It would be good for groups, has a fire show and a lovely outdoor setting.

The food is typical Greek food but very well done.

Night Three was Sarong:

Jalan Petitenget No 19.

This was more theatrical. Dark ( in fact so dark they give you a little light to read the menu!) , moody, beautiful decor and menu of Indian fusion. It’s a share food type of place. We started with some absolutely beautiful tuna betel leaf, delicious dumplings then some shared plates: saag curry, spiced octopus, butter chicken and beef rendang. All delicious.

Night 3: Barbacoa

Jl. Petitenget No 14

The fusion food here is designed to share. Though I love sharing I sometimes think I end up with too many flavours.

They had a good kids menu as well. We started with a bite each – I had a tiny fish taco. Bite sized and delicious.

Others had roasted corn, a dumpling,

Then we shared a beautiful piece of beef with a green sauce. The dishes ‘from the garden’ were wonderful. A spiced toasted cauliflower dish, green beans with anchovy butter and garlic, eggplant roasted,

Desserts were sensational. The nitrogen ice cream was prepared st the table and thrilled the children. The creme brûlée just right and my dessert cocktail – limoncello finished with Italian meringue.

Night 4: Bikini or You look Hot in a Bikini

Jl. Kayu Cendana, near Seminyak mall.

This is a little show stopper. Very creative. Very cheeky and fun.

And a menu to match.

It can be shared or ordered individually.

Exquisite small plates like works of art.

We had a crispy salt & pepper kale crisp! Yum. Satay. Clever and tasty, crispy eggplant – to die for, glazed beetroot, whipped feat and candied hazelnuts. Yumo beautiful barramundi with apple purée, beef rib w artichoke and glazed chicken. All wow.

Night 6 : Potato Head Beach Club

Jl Petitenget 51B

FUN! This is a true beach club where in the afternoon the bikini is almost the dress code. But not for us and it didn’t matter.

Go in time for a few drinks at sunset. Book a large flat bed. Or swim in the pool.

This is more a fun drinking kind of place but the food is still good. We set up on a big lounge area, the children played , the adults people watched and the sunset was amazing. If you enjoy a bit of a show and like to see party people in action this is for you. It’s off Petitenget road by the water with a huge swimming pool and swim up bar.

The menu has various sections from burgers to Indonesian selections to a little little Italian. There are different kitchens around the huge complex. I like it because it’s table or lounge service.

There’s a gelato shack and the music is cool. Just chill there for awhile

Brunch at W Hotel

For more sophisticated eating try the W Hotel famous Sunday Brunch in their Starfish Bloo restaurant. By the huge pool it a great place to spend some time eating, drinking and swimming.

It’s an amazing buffet with one big decision. With or without alcohol!

So get into the eating in Seminyak Bali. Have you got a favourite place? Please share it in the comments.

Mt Agung extends the Bali holiday.

Our last day in Bali was lovely. Peaceful friendly people at our resort bid us farewell.

Zali has her hair braided. Jack had his cut ready for Kindy.

We had final swims, final breakfast, final games of snakes and ladders, final Gin& Tonic and our last dinner.

Only problem was when we arrived at the airport at 7.30pm for a 10.10 flight we were told flights were cancelled. Well the ones to Australia were.

This is why!

And we were blissfully unaware.

Now we are in the Holiday Inn near the airport. It’s actually a rather good looking hotel right on the beach.

So if news is not good tomorrow this is where we will stay!

I’ll keep you all posted.

Passing Time in Bali

It’s amazing how time passes when you’re not doing much!

Bali is super relaxed.

A day goes like this:

Wake up when a 3 year old Zali or 4 year old Jack appear at the bedroom door. Chat in bed. Share a story or play a game.

Prepare for breakfast- walk to the restaurant. Share the delicious breakfast and the chat, the hat swapping and some games.

Back to the villa for a swim and playing games together.

Then have a walk to another area we haven’t explored . Catch a buggy to the gate or for exercise walk! Walk!

The streets aren’t the easiest places to walk so we manoeuvre the ups and downs of the pavements which have a gold star in a red square every few metres.

Today we walked and explored the W hotel by the beach. It’s beautifully done – from the tree lined drive way

to the restaurant with a lovely pool area. Just right for a G&T!

The graffiti/ street art livens up the buildings

We usually have a sleep in the afternoon before heading out for dinner.

Last night we went to Bikini.

What a great restaurant. I’ll do a whole separate post on the restaurants we visited.

Tonight we walked down a long drive to Potato Head Beach Club. What a scene! It’s a great place to relax with a drink and watch the sun set.

We sat on the lounges near the pool. The dress seemed to be Bikinis 👙. The smaller the better. But we maintained our standard and dressed up, not down!

We watched the sunset with a cocktail in our hand and talked about the great week we’ve had together.

There was a large sculpture at the entrance which depicted the waste all salvaged along the shores of Bali’s west coast. 5,000 thongs or flip flops as they are known in some countries!

Another lovely day.

Tomorrow we pack and leave late at night.

State of Origin Bali Style

Another lovely dinner last night at believe it or not a Greek restaurant. ‘Slippery Stone’

This doesn’t suggest Greek but it was like being in Greece. And the food was good. The kids tucked in and so did we.

Then the fire show started. It was a little like the show I saw in Vanuatu last week. But just 2 lovely locals standing in ankle deep water.

This morning we walked from the hotel along Jalan Katu Aya past some of the big resorts and also some of the lovely homeware shops. There are some very smart shops here.

We arrived at the markets which compared to some markets I’ve been to were clean, friendly with individual little shops.

We browsed and chatted to the shop owners and bargained. The Balinese are really sweet lovey people. No mean words if you don’t buy anything. No shouting ‘looky looky come here lady’

We moved onto Seminyak square and had a cool drink in the Seminyak Bakery. A cool respite in the heat.

It’s not as hot as I thought it would be. Perhaps living through our Brisbane summers has hardened me!

We returned to our little oasis in Peppers for a swim and a Vietnamese salad from a little street food place named Street Boi – near our villa.

Once again a lazy afternoon by the pool until Clare suggested a session in the gym. There’s a good gym at the resort that Clare has been visiting each day. I did my 10km on the bus me and s few yoga stretches and felt better.

Now it is watching State of Origin in a bar near the resort. It’s dominated by Blues supporters and every time it gets exciting the TV freezes. It’s funny to watch the reactions of the crowd.

The drinks are flowing. The crowds are cheering. The Blues are winning. The locals are laughing. They prefer the soccer World Cup.

Now off for dinner at Sarong. This is an Indian fusion restaurant.

The decor of the place is dark, moody and sophisticated. The food delivers a punch.

We certainly are eating well here.

We walked back past the restaurants and bars, avoided the scooters and motorcycles and made it back to the villa by 10.30. A late night!

So we have been to:

La Lucciola

Stepping Stones

Sarong

If you have a favourite restaurant in Bali please send it’s name in the comments at the end of the blog.

Exploring Seminyak

Living within a resort complex protects you from the big noisy outside world. Each time we leave Peppers Resort the senses are assaulted!

Last night we walked to the beach area. Up and down the broken foot paths, dodging motor bikes and scooters , waving a ‘No’ to taxi drivers, admiring the little altars set up along the paths and greeting the smiling Balinese people as we walked. They don’t harass you to ‘come in and look look’ like in China!

We had a really lovely early dinner with the children who were well looked after by the wait staff at La Lucciola.

It’s by the beach in a very pretty setting- if you avoided the smells from the creek we crossed arriving at the restaurant.

The cocktails were great and the food delicious.

After dinner Sam took the children back to the villa and Clare, her mother in law Denise, my sister Catherine and I continued around the streets to watch and explore and do a little shopping.

I had forgotten my hat! So I bought a new one quickly at the markets in the afternoon.

We found a lovely dress shop called Misty. The girl in the shop knew she’d would have a good sale when we all walked in! We all had a little try on and I bought two new dresses and Catherine one . Perfect for Brisbane’s sunny weather.

We continued walking – up and down avoiding the holes and broken concrete and made our way back to our villa.

This morning another lovely breakfast to celebrate Denise’s birthday. The charming staff came out with a little cake with a self lighting candle that just couldn’t blow out. The kids loved it!

We checked out the Spa next door planning our massages and facials and Catherine and I decided to walk back to the beach to check out the beach scene in the day light.

Just a little disappointed- the sand is a black colour and the surf a little rough. But we had a walk as the clouds gathered.

The entrance to the beach was impressive as was the lifesaving tower!

There were boats and deck chairs but it was probably too early for most people as the beach seemed quiet. Perhaps everyone sits by their resort pool?

We stopped by a modern looking cafe run by a German man. If you’re looking for some fresh, clean, healthy food this place would suit. Check out Clean Canteen on Petitenget. Delicious salads.

We walked along the quieter lane leading back to our resort. There are some great looking places to stay here away from the crowds.

So our afternoons are spent on deck chairs by the pool. It’s a lovely way to relax.

Beautiful Bali

Yesterday I repacked my bag after returning from Vanuatu and flew out of Brisbane into Sydney, then onto Bali!

Yes another lovely holiday coming up. This one will be a more relaxing holiday – no long distance swimming.

Coming out of the arrival hall I was greeted by a smiling Arys a lovely local man.

I’m staying at the Peppers resort in Seminyak with my niece and her family, their mothers ( my sister Catherine) and now me!

The resort at 11.30 was very quiet – unlike the streets around Seminyak which were awash with bikes , cars and groups of people wandering around.

I crept into the Villa and into the pavilion bedroom I’m sharing with my sister Catherine.

The villa is made up of 3 separate pavilions around a pool and lovely shaded cabana. And an outdoor bathroom! Bliss.

Breakfast this morning was in the central resort area by the pool and was served by the smiling Balinese. Fruits, eggs, pancakes ( not for gluten free me!) Now we are sitting by the pool chatting and playing with Jack and Zali.

I could get used to this.

Celebrating our Swimtrekking Success.

Our celebration – end of Swimtrekking dinner was held at the Waterfront restaurant. This time the atmosphere was right, the staff friendly and everyone was in a great mood. Naturally the fish curry was terrific.

Yves gave us a great farewell message followed by Lizzie giving out the awards.

There was Coral Colleen who seemed so attracted to coral cuts; pocket rockets Jenny & Wendy; no complaint Shean despite his shoulder injury; calm caring yoga Carmel; action-woman Kathy and action-man John with calm eyebrow raising Margaret !

Our youngest swimmer Bec for her fun approach- the comedian who is happy to write any letters of comments of complaint!

Tarzan Frankie for her spectacular rope swing into the lagoon and Pavarotti Ralph; kickboard Steve kicking ass everyday; a swim converted Greg who surprised himself with his strong swimming and maybe even enjoying it! Native dancer Maryanne; nurse Monique (a true Vanuatu local of the Watt family) for cheerfully dabbing all our coral cuts, and smiley Soosi for her never give up attitude soldiering on after injury, and Janice – most improved swimmer, who was awarded half price if she returned on another swim holiday.! I was awarded the best group organiser with a ‘joie de vivre.’ Thank you Lizzie for a wonderfully delivered awards ceremony.

We reciprocated with our group thanks and gift to the guide team especially Yves who put the trip together. To Lizzie the friendliest most helpful guide around and to Matthew the local who added so much local knowledge to each day and kept us safe.

Then the group had a huge surprise for Steve and I. He was named King Neptune and me, Amphitrite – his wife.

They had made crowns of thanks for us for pulling them together for this wonderful adventure.

As much as we loved our crowns we can’t take them home to Australia so gave them to Matthew and his wife for safe-keeping on the island Vanuatu for our return.

Definitely a swimtrekking success. One we’ll never forget.