About Me

Food is one of my many joys in life. It is a common bond I share among my friends and family. Combining food and travel makes it all the more interesting. I enjoy going out for a good meal with friends and family. The array of various cuisines and our fantastic array of produce really makes Sydney such a great city to live in. Blogging is my hobby and my posts on restaurant meals I have had are paid for and not gratis. Any gratis provided to me will always be stated beforehand.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Dinner at Sasso

After an afternoon of relaxing at the Hilton, during which I had a facial treatment at the Eforea Spa, we headed to Queenstown for dinner with the water taxi. This time dinner was at Sasso. For some unknown reason, the name Sasso reminds me of the word sassy. A very apt word for us Gorgeous Girls!

Sasso is an Italian restaurant and quite obviously a popular one at that! We started off with:

A platter of breads with extra virgin olive oil. The olive oil was really nice. Lovely fresh, grassy, green flavours! It was so nice that we had to find out the brand of the oil. It was from Cairnmuir Olives Ltd which is located in Bannockburn. Some of the ladies bought bottles of it from the restaurant to take home to Australia.

Then we had antipasto to share. They were:

Polipo - Braised octopus with chilli, garlic & Calamari with extra virgin oil.

Barbabietola - Baby beetroots roasted with shallot, oregano and balsamic vinegar with blue goat's cheese.

Pescetti Marinati - Tarakihi marinated in lemon, chilli, Italian parsley and extra virgin olive oil.

Affettato - Local and imported salamis and prosciuttos with Monte Vecchio cheese, marinated olives and pickled vegetables.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

A Morning of New Zealand Art

We took a water taxi into town and was pleasantly surprised to find the weekend markets trading at the esplanade. As we had an agenda for the morning, we moved on from our browsing.

Believe it or not - these are soaps, not cupcakes 

So this morning it is all about appreciating and finding New Zealand art and every gallery we visited were hospitable to us and only to happy to impart their art knowledge to us.

I won't name every gallery we went to but I will show images of some of the artwork we viewed in all the galleries. I will say that each gallery we visited emphasised on local artists' artwork. There were some really outstanding pieces on offer and I can see why NZ artists are emerging in the art world.

However I will make special mention of the last gallery we visited. It was ArtBay Gallery. Pauline Bianchi, a director of the art gallery welcomed us with flutes of sparkling wine and mini cupcakes. Absolutely delightful! She even closed the gallery just for us Gorgeous Girls! I was fascinated to hear that ArtBay offers Appro and E-Appro services.

Appro provides the opportunity for the potential buyer to take an artwork from ArtBay Galery to 'try out' at his/her home. The art can be chosen from their website, their gallery walls or from their touch screen art library. I would assume that if the buyer likes what they tried out, they finalise the purchase. If they didn't, they would return the artwork back to the gallery (artwork in one piece and undamaged).

E-Appro is Art placed on your wall 'virtually'. This is done by using ArtBay's customised Art Placement software. The potential buyer emails an image of their wall space, with the width measurement, ArtBay superimposes the image of the chose painting on the wall space. The image with the painting is then emailed back to the potential buyer. If you like what you see, you can then place the order for the 'real' art.

How cool are these services? I think it's great! Buying art is such a personal thing, a 'mistake' buy can be a very expensive mistake.

We met 2 of their artists in residence. They were Emma Butler and Rachael Errington. Interesting to hear how the artists go about creating their pieces of work. So much so, this gallery (amongst all the galleries we visited) sold the most number of pieces to our Gorgeous Girls!

We then adjourned for lunch at Botswana Butchery. I had the Whitebait fritters with white bread. A very traditional and iconic Kiwi meal. The Botswana version leaned towards an omelette style but I did like it and I do like my eggs. I could have had a couple more pieces of the white bread but I made do. :)

All in all, a lovely morning of art appreciation.

Jones's Fruit Stall and The Perens

After our lunch at Wanaka, we headed back towards Queenstown. On the way, we stopped at a Fruit Barn called Jones's Fruit Stall.

This place is not a stall, it is more like a fruit barn. It is beautifully stocked with the freshest fruit you can find in the region. They were all beautifully boxed and displayed. Maeve bought some of the cherries for us to try; seriously large, juicy and sweet cherries. If I could have taken a box home, I would have.

This is obviously a popular stop off for the tourist buses. There were hoards of tourists from China who were buying the goods by the bag loads.

We queued up for their fresh fruit ice cream and I chose the Mixed Berry Frozen Yoghurt in a cup. It was lovely, perfect for a warm summer's day.

We then headed off to visit a special couple who lives up in the mountains on the snow line. Kristin Peren, who is a well known sculptor and artist, together with her husband Adam Peren (see if you can recognise his name - think wine!) warmly welcomed us into their rather uniquely designed home.

Such a lovely couple; Kristin was so warm and down to earth. She baked us a lemon curd cake and offered us coffee and tea. I think some of the ladies even got copies of the recipe to take home to Australia!

Her artwork is fascinating and she was explaining to us the techniques she used to capture the different colours and light. I don't think it's anything any of us could ever do at home but still, it was interesting to listen to Kristin.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Cardrona, A Walk And Lunch At Wanaka

It was another beautiful day as John (our bus driver) picked us up for a drive to the town of Wanaka. On the way, he took us through the Crown ranges up zig zag roads.

We stopped at a lookout to fully appreciate and take photos of the spectacular views. This is truly a beautiful country.

When we finally got to a point of being on flat roads again, we stopped at the tiny town of Cardrona. The Cardrona Hotel was our main point of hanging out for a cuppa, some had morning tea and we were mostly just enjoying their wonderful gardens located at the rear of the hotel. When you look at the hotel from the front, you would have no idea what is in store for you when you walk in.

There is so much history in this place. Fascinating stuff!

We eventually moved on and arrived at Wanaka. Our agenda was to take a walk around the lake and enjoy some truly spectacular and amazing landscape. As we walked along the path I tried as hard to capture the layers of cloud, blue waters, mountain ranges and hills as a landscape of the wondrous area. I don't feel I have done the beauty any justice at all. It is hard not to fall in love with the physical beauty all around us. I hope I never take any of it for granted.

Without going into a lot of details, I will say that the walk around the lake was an adventure for all of us. It was an adventure that none of us will ever forget!