I went down because late last year one of mum's friends, Diane, who I am fortunate to also call my friend [after all, she has known me since I was 5!], was in town from Canada for her nephew's wedding. I booked flights immediately! It was a fabulous few days.
The first day was catching up with a few other friends in Sydney, including fellow food blogger JJ from 84th and 3rd who I talk to often on twitter, and who I met in Adelaide in November at Eat.Drink.Blog3.
One of my cousins, and fellow foodie, had suggested I eat at Kitchen by Mike and the Grounds of Alexandria if I made it to Sydney. As I was staying with a girlfriend who conveniently lives in Alexandria, we had a couple of breakfasts there. YUMMO!
I'm not a butter on toast girl [unless there is vegemite involved, then you can bring it on!], but when I read on the menu at Kitchen by Mike that the butter was Pepe Saya I couldn't resist. I didn't actually have quite enough!
|The breakfast board at The Grounds of Alexandria. Poached egg, avocado, leg ham, tomato basil salsa, pesto, persian fetta, sourdough. Doesn't look like a lot but it was an effort to eat it all.|
|Breakfast at Kitchen by Mike. Two huge field mushrooms, the most flavoursome tomatoes almost ever, bacon, egg, sourdough from Iggy's and Pepe Saya butter. No effort to eat all this!|
It wasn't just the food I loved at these two cafes, it was the whole package. Both had kitchen gardens with chickens! I assume that at least a few of the eggs on the menu came from their girls, as well as some of the food. Both were also built in converted warehouses and had shops attached. Next door to the Grounds is a fabulous providore, Salt Meats Cheese [where I could have gone berserk. I restrained myself admirably].
|Some of the salts at Salt, Meats Cheese. Varieties included espresso, merlot, garlic, smoked, taragon, tomato, truffle, and about another 10-12 varieties|
|I cannot believe this was the first time I had done the stunning Bondi to Bronte walk.|
Actually, the three cafes I ate at in Sydney all had chickens - the third being Three Blue Ducks at Bronte. Diane and I did the Bondi to Bronte walk and near the end I asked twitter where we should have lunch. Within seconds three people told us we HAD to go to Three Blue Ducks. There are no food pics because we were too hungry to wait [and yes, I just forgot...].
|These all made me feel at home :)|
|Haloumi and pomegranate salad - recipe from blogger and friend Shirley of Rhubarb Whine|
|Part of dinner with goodies from a few local delis and the Capital Region Farmers Markets|
|Watermelon and vodka crush with pomegranate|
The other Canberra highlight was a visit to the National Portrait Gallery. I have visited every gallery and museum in Canberra on many occasions [and was even a tour guide at Old Parliament House many years ago...], and my absolute favourite is the National Portrait Gallery. It's only been open a short time [prior to having its own building it was temporarily housed at Old Parliament House - yes, when I worked there]. Its permanent collection is stunning, and its current exhibition Glorious: A Diamond Jubilee portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is well worth a visit. The centrepiece, a jaw-droppingly beautiful portrait of the Queen is worth the visit alone, and painted by Australian artist Ralph Heimans. As Molly would say, do yourself a favour!
Have you had any great food experiences when travelling? And when you didn't really expect it?