So I Sat There and Had a Glass of Wine

There is nothing like a quick weekend getaway, other than a longer holiday.
Unfortunately, we’re all a little busy with work or study and therefore had to settle for two nights at Dad’s holiday home in Dunsborough.

Andrew picked me up after work last Friday, and we raced down to meet up with Dad, his partner Melissa, my brother Alistair and his girlfriend Ellen. They had wine, dinner and a crackling fire ready for us – what more could you ask for?

Dad and Melissa have had this house for quite a few years now, and I have the best memories of my time there. Andrew and I have snuck away for weekends now and then, we celebrated a Christmas there with the whole family and I am always reminded of summer holidays with Rhiannon. Which is bittersweet, but I’m okay with that.

This time round, we were invited as part of a deal. If we helped them out in the garden, we would be rewarded some decent food and a night out. Seemed pretty reasonable…

We spent the whole morning getting our hands dirty, moving trees around, weeding everything in sight; IMG_5321

It was a great feeling! We all loved the hard work, it was so cathartic getting stuck in and fixing up the backyard. After 2 or 3 hours work it seemed like we barely made a dent, but we were assured that had helped a lot.

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This joker pretending to take a photo of me, while really taking a selfie. I warned him that I would include it!

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Once we had cleaned ourselves up and scraped the dirt from underneath our fingernails, we piled into a couple of cars and headed to one of my favourite places in the Dunsborough area: Eagle Bay Brewery.

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Sadly, Ellen had to leave us and head back to Perth, but the remaining family members gathered around the fire to share a couple of pints and teach Melissa how to use Instagram.

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This rose was delicious, not too fruity or sweet – thank god! If you get the chance, visit this place in summer. They open up the back doors, let the sun pour in and the children run riot. Get there early though, this place was chockers – in the middle of winter..

We spent the afternoon lounging around the house; watching the footy, working on homework (Alistair) or reading and napping (me).

IMG_5334I’m re-reading My Name is Memory, by Ann Brashares, and loving it! Highly recommend!

Finally, it was time for main event: DINNER.
Dad had booked us into Piari & Co, which they had been trying to visit in Summer but was always booked out. I can see why, it’s such a great little space and provides the area with a wonderful alternative eating spot. This restaurant showcases beautiful local produce, some gorgeous sharing plates and a fantastic wine selection; while being affordable.

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My favourite aspect of this place, was the attention to detail. As we sat down we were asked for any dietary requirements that the waiter should know about, and upon my request I was given a separate gluten free, and dairy free menu (they also offer a vegetarian or a kids-only menu). I cannot tell you how much of relief it was to be able to read the menu for face value. Everytime I go out now, I have to inspect every ingredient to see what I can eat or what I can make do with.

IMG_5373Andrew and I shared Esperance scallops with a little morcilla, apple and fennel. Followed by Gold Band Snapper with artichoke puree and pickled Bussleton octopus.

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Ali propped for Steak, while Melissa and Dad enjoyed the confit duck leg and lamb cassoulet (if they had the chance to live in France, they’d be there in a heartbeat)! There were absolutely zero complaints coming from our table, we were in foodie heaven filling our bellies with these amazing dishes.

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But there’s always room for dessert! Just look at this Bombe Alaska… how could I say no?

IMG_5342It was such a lovely, well rounded dinner with some great wine and fantastic company!

In true Melissa style, we couldn’t just call it a night there; once we got home, she scoured the garage and came back with dessert wine and Tia Maria of all things.
IMG_5349A night cap, cuppa tea, and more blabbing on about god knows what. Though I don’t get to see my Dad and Melissa as often as I’d like; we make up for it when we do get together.

Unfortunately we had to get going on Sunday morning, so we piled into the car, with Alistair in tow and hit the frog and toad. Not before farewelling our resident roos that like to hang out around the house..

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Of course, no road trip down south is complete without a stop off to Miami Bakehouse – the best bakery in the South-West.
We LOVE that there is the Freeway Pitstop off Forrest Highway, it’s impossible not to stop by!

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These are a new addition, and I am in love:

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Sweet, salty, buttery goodness. Definitely on the 20 side of the 80:20 scale, but a little indulgence doesn’t hurt.

IMG_5363In no time, we were back at home, settling back into normal activities. A huge shout out to my papa for letting us escape for weekend, for cooking amazing food, and for one day [hopefully] understanding that no matter how much you pester me, I’m not going to enjoy watching footy.

Peace out!

Hanbel.
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