This time last week I was on holiday in Hobart. I was there with my mothers group, celebrating fifteen years of friendship.
Not sure if I’ve ever mentioned my mothers group before but basically, by virtue of having babies in July/August of 2002 and living in the same suburb, we were grouped together. And we hit the jackpot – a fantastic group of women who I love dearly. We often joke that mothers group is much more fun now that the kids have grown up (it’s true…) and our weekends away always include lots of laughing, and good food and wine.
We hit MONA early. I talked a lot about the gallery in my last Hobart holiday post but it’s worth noting that looking at the wall of plaster vaginas with your mothers group gives a different perspective. One of our group members may or may not have said “Should we try to guess ages… Or if they’ve had a baby… That would be a fun game…” at which point we may or may not have burst into laughter, behaving like immature school girls.
Discovered Franklin on my last Hobart trip and was keen to go back, so had booked it for dinner. It didn’t disappoint. We let the chef choose and had twelve dishes – highlights were the Blackman Bay oysters; a salad of sun-ripened tomatoes warmed with fried bread and lovage (you forget how tasty tomatoes can be until you eat some good ones); chopped raw beef blade with miso and roquette; torched bonito with beetroot and soured cream; and an amazing spelt grain dish with Bay of Fires cheddar, pepper and basil.
Gin tour day! To be honest, our whole trip was planned around the Gin Queen’s Tasmanian tour. I had been on one of Caroline’s (the Gin Queen) tours previously and when she said she was heading to Tasmania to visit some of the distilleries there, I wasn’t going to miss out.
So, with twenty other liked-minded-gin-loving-souls, we headed to McHenry’s. McHenry’s produce one of my favourite Australian gins (Classic London Dry) and it was excellent to try the full-range (10am is not too early for Navy Strength, right?) and some of the upcoming gins they’re creating.
Before we were all three sheets to the wind, William McHenry whisked us to the top of his property for lunch and a view. It’s a spectacular spot (and the oysters, and gin and tonics went down well).
We piled back into the bus (all a little chirpier than we’d been earlier!) and headed to Shene Distillery.
Shene is an historic property with a rich colonial story (a nice contrast to our morning at McHenry’s in its pristine bush-setting). In fact, even if you weren’t that interested in gin, the property is worth visiting because the story behind it is fascinating and the family that run it are divine. I actually felt like moving in… and all the more so when our host, Myf Kernke, began pouring gin cocktails (pic at top).
It’s quite amazing that we could eat or drink any more after nine hours on tour, however we ponied up to the Black Footed Pig for a conservative six courses and a less conservative foray into their cocktail list. The thing that really shines at Tasmanian restaurants is the commitment to using locally sourced produce (so after a day of Tasmanian gin, it was an evening of more – we particularly enjoyed the Summer Flowers cocktail, a concoction of gin, sloe gin, spiced sugar syrup, lime and soda).
We were all a bit ruined… Being on holiday is tiring. We headed to Pilgrim for a leisurely brunch (a really different and unusual breakfast menu) and then squeezed in the tiniest bit of shopping at Salamanca (it’s not a girls weekend until scarves have been purchased…) before heading for flights home.
Cheers to an ace weekend.