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Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Sometimes you just find a little bit of Spain in the strangest places

It's been nearly 18 months since our last overseas holiday - and I'm having withdrawal symptoms.  The only solution - mini breaks!  Sun shining on the warmest day so far this spring, we set off for Warragul - Emi, Belinda (year-of-yes Dane), Lola and I.

Warragul is around 100 km away, so not too far.  Apparently named after an Aboriginal word meaning "wild dog", population around 15,000.  First stop, delish burgers at Frankie's Café (fair share of those 15,000 seem to be here).  Can't pass up a good burger.  Emi went for a massage, the girls went for a stroll.  Nice little town.

5 minutes out of town, the smaller town of Nilma and Bloomfield Cottages - our home for the night.  Gorgeous spot with our own welcoming party of goats and sheep.  Lola put on a brave front and scared them away.  Chickens.  No I mean there were chickens as well.

On to Brandy Creek Estate in Drouin for our Paella Festival. The place is lovely with views over the vines and valley.  Currently owned by a Sri Lankan family, it retains the original owners Spanish heritage with lots of pictures, paintings and photos - not to mention the Tempranillo vines. A little bit of Spain in the middle of the countryside - ole!

Pretty good value with a mixed entrée platter each of Spanish style tapas, followed by 5 large assorted paellas.  A few unusual ingredients, including one with pork and the crackle piled up in a heap in the middle. Can't go past a bit of crackle.  Another one had quail eggs and beef (cheeks maybe).  The others more "traditional" with chicken and chorizo, seafood and veggies.  Must say very generous with their ingredients and plenty to go around.  Dessert again consisted of a tasting plate - with churros of course.  You get a glass of wine included (tried the sparkling tempranillo) and as we were in the first 10 bookings it was $65 each - normally $78. 

Entertainment was a couple of flamenco dancers and I've forgotten the lovely ladies name - her enthusiasm was infectious and there may have been a bit of merry dancing including a tango.  The knee did not thank me in the morning, but the wine certainly dulled the pain at the time.

Great night, recommended and planning on heading back one Sunday for lunch as the place must be beautiful on a sunny afternoon.

Sunday morning dawned grey and wet, but nice to wake up to a rooster.  The male chicken outside was pretty noisy as well.  B had spotted that the Craft Market happened to be on at Lardner Park - bit of luck, I've never been and the rain stopped.  So stroll around and then settled in for lunch.  Discovered gigantic duck spring rolls - delish.  Assorted food items and homeward bound.  An enjoyable weekend of eating and drinking in the countryside and several of ticks off the list.
Home on the range (Bloomfield Cottage)

 High on a hill was a lonely goatherd
Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo

Missed the veggie one!

Pants were up, so no idea about the look on Emi's face

Admiring the art

Pork and Apple paella - that's a new one

A bit of dancing

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