Sunday, September 21, 2008

Holiday eating in two states and some awards and a meme

I returned only one week ago from two weeks on vacation, and it was marvellous. I had a very relaxing time, spent with my family interstate. It was my Mum's birthday, so I spent one week with her and my brother at home in Queensland, and then took her away for a week to Perth, Western Australia, where neither of us had been before (well, I had passed through, but no more). My posts during that time were all pre-scheduled, which explains my lack of responsiveness during that time.

In case you are ever "Down Under", I thought I would share a few foodie experiences from my vacation with you.

First up, for my mother's birthday, we went to lunch at Weis Restaurant in Toowoomba. This is a famed seafood smorgasboard restaurant that many visitors to Toowoomba put on their "must do" list, along with attending The Carnival of Flowers, which is incidentally on this weekend.

Weis Restaurant turns 40 this year, so to celebrate, they have placed this enormous cake in the dessert bar (presumably not to eat, although someone had sliced into it on one side):

The Weis smorgasbord caters to all tastes, with hot food such as soup, roasts and battered fish in the hot boxes:

and of course, lots of seafood:

accompanied by salads:

and my favourite, the dessert bar:

Weis Restaurant is situated in a lovely 1930s house, and diners will be seated in one of a variety of rooms, all decorated differently. We were fortunate to be placed in a room that had a roaring open fire (it was a cold day!), adding a warm glow to the atmosphere.

In Perth, one of our first activities was to go on a wine and chocolate tour with
Swan Valley Tours into the Swan Valley, just outside Perth and a little closer than the famed Margaret River. We took the option of travelling in the morning by coach to various wineries, then returning in the afternoon via a river cruise up the Swan River. All up, we visited 4 wineries (Waters Edge, Ambrook, Jane Brook and Lancaster) and the Margaret River Chocolate Company, followed by a cruise with a fully operating complementary bar service and live music (of sorts!!), but on other tour options, you can visit up to 5 wineries, a brewery, the chocolate factory and have a nougat tasting.

It was gorgeous weather while we were there, as can be seen from this shot of Ambrook Winery:

The chocolate factory visit was rather chaotic, because it was Fathers Day when we visited, and it felt like half of Australia was packed into one shed. This meant that the visit was a "get in and get out ASAP" experience. However, I managed to escape with some booty, and although the chocolate is expensive (AUD$12 for 180g), it tastes devine.

Here is my haul for the day - a bottle of Frogmouth tawny port from Waters Edge, a bottle of Bianca Dolce from Ambrook, a beautiful Ludlow cheddar cheese from Lancasters, and a box of truffles and a bar of chocolate from the Margaret River Chocolate Company:

If you have lasted this long through my post, here is a close-up of my bar of brazil nut chocolate from the Margaret River Chocolate Company to make you drool:

and a peek in my box of truffles, which included various pralines, a cookies and cream chocolate, and truffles such as champagne, liqueur cherry, caramel and white chocolate and raspberry:

Gotta tell ya, these were good! (Although I liked the bar of chocolate the best, which you will be pleased to hear I split with my Mum).

Finally, my Pilates instructor, Dom, had recommended the
Indiana Restaurant, right on the beach front in Cottesloe, so I persuaded my Mum to try it (although she finds fine dining pricing a shocking extravagance):

The fantastic thing about this restaurant is the waterfront views afforded while you are dining:

The interior of the restaurant is decorated in the style of an imperial British Indian residence:

To give you a feel for what you will get for your buck, here is a photograph of my meal, being chicken breast marinated with garlic, lemon and truffle, honey roasted parsnip, and sauteed chorizo, mushroom and fetta:

I hope you enjoyed sharing these experiences with me.

Still with me? I was recently honoured with a number of awards, the first being the Brillante Weblog award:

I received this award twice - once from Susan of
Food Baby, a new blogging friend, and once from Tammy of Wee Treats by Tammy. Both girls have fantastic blogs with lovely recipes - if you haven't visited them yet, I highly recommend that you do.

The purpose of this award is as follows:

Brilliant Weblog is a prize given to sites and blogs that are smart and brilliant both in their content and their design. The purpose of the prize is to promote as many blogs as possible in the blogosphere.

The rules of this award are:

1. when you receive the award, post about it on your blog,
2. name the blogger who gave you the award,
3. award the diamonds to seven other bloggers,
4. link to them in your post and
5. let them know that you are passing this fab award onto them

I am giving this award to the following bloggers, in no particular order:

Emiline of
Sugar Plum, who is currently having a ball in NYC;

The Caked Crusader
, creator of delicious cakes and the CAFTAs;

Margaret of
Kitchen Delights, where you can find more yummy cakes;

Ivy of
Kopiaste, a dear blogging friend and queen of Greek cuisine;

Arfi of
Homemades, who creates wonderful dishes from her lovely New Zealand garden;

Vicious Ange
, an Aussie blogger who inspired me to start my own blog with her lovely recipes; and

Swati of
Swati's Sugarcraft, who will take your breath away with her gorgeous cake designs.

I have also been tagged for the Magic Lamp of Luck meme by Swati of Swati's Sugarcraft (some time ago - sorry for the delay Swati!!), and by Rosie of Rosie Bakes a Peace of Cake. So what is this all about? Well, here goes:

The mighty
Genie King and the beautiful Genie Princess from the magical Land of Faraway are back! Upon escaping the clutches of their Evil Master after being held captive for 1000 years, the magical genies have been busy flying on their Magical Flying Carpet, granting wishes and spreading love throughout the blogosphere.And now, the genies are back with a special gift for everyone! Behold the sacred, Magic Lamp of Luck! With this magic lamp, your blog will enjoy much good luck and fortune, warding off all things evil lurking around in the blogosphere.

We would like to share this magic lamp with you so please pass on the Magic Lamp of Luck to those in need of some good luck. Remember, do not be greedy or unkind, evil or vengeful and good luck & fortune will always be with you! Join us on another exciting magical adventure as we spread goodwill and good luck to one and all!

The rules are:

1. Add your site(s) to the list once you have received the Magic Lamp of Luck. 2. Pass on the Magic Lamp of Luck to as many people as you like. After all, everyone needs some good luck! 3. Leave a comment
HERE once you’ve passed on the Magic Lamp of Luck. Once the Genie King and Genie Princess have visited your site to make sure your links are complete and proper, you will then be added to the Master List. 4. To ensure everyone receives equal link benefit, please UPDATE your list regularly!

1-Mariuca 2-First Time Dad 3-Mariuca's Perfume Gallery 4-Emila's Illustrated Blog 5-The Other Side of Emila 6-My Sweet Escape 7-Bay Head Blog 8-Roxiticus Desperate Housewives 9-LadyJava's Lounge 10-Petty Ramblings of a Petty Queen 11-The Real Deal 12-Pinay Mommy Online 13-Perpustakaan 14-LadyJava Life's Pages 15-Make Money Online 16-Cat Tales 17-LadyJava's Food Paradise 18-Being Woman 19-Spicybug 20-Biz-N-Honey 21-Aeirin's Collections 22-Sasha Says 23-Project Heavy Traffic 24-Picture Clusters 25-My Wanderings 26-Maiylah's Snippets 27-Moments of Colours 28-Life Quest 29-BigMoneyList 30-The Best Parts 31-Morphed 32-Buhay Pinoy 33-Galatayo 34-Blogging Tips 35-Apples Of The Eyes 36-My Own Utopia 37-Sasha's Corner 38-Under One Roof 39-Say Cheese 40-A Great Pleasure 41-A Life in Bloom 42-Because Life is a Blessing 43-Digiscraptology 44-Xixi 45-Ode to Adrienne 46-CrankyDave 47-Simple Life 48-Dew Drops 49-The Journey 50-Mastering Your PC 51-Day Break 52-A Little Girl Talk 53-Mom Knows Everything 54-Day to Day 55-1 of a Kind Wis 56-It's a woman's world! 57-Breather 58-Photo Hook 59-Letterbox 60-Asian Mutt International 61-Dream Doe Philosophy 62-MommyAlehs Up-Close And Personal 63-Livin' the Life! 64-Restnrileks 65-English Corner 66-English Grammar 67-Bodybuilding & Fitness 68-Everything you need 69-One Stop Games 70-Blockbluster Movie Trailers 71-Bodybuilding & Human Growth Hormone 72-World of Tennis 73-Men's Health & Tips 74-Internet Marketing Strategy & Tips 75-Latest Technology 76-Tentang Binaraga 77-Berita Seputar Selebriti 78-Panduan Kesehatan 79-Insurance For You 80-Crissy's Zone 81-Crissy's Library 82-Crissy's Haven 83-sHeNzEe's wOrLd 84-Voice Of The Spirit 85-Best Cuisine Recipes 86-Stand My Ground 87-SeeNRead 88-This Is A Miracle 89-I AM KCAT 90-Traipsey Turvey 91-GBeX & DOm 92-Spun By A Seanachie 93-ISL Family 94-D' Cooking Mudra 95-'Story' the Great 96-UmmiRosma 97-Munirah Abd 98-Atie 99-Hit-or-Miss 100-Twisted Sister 101-Laketrees Artist 102-Blessed Sanctuary 103-Comedy Plus 104-Blogging By Sandee 105-Living Life to the Fullest 106-Speech-Less 107-Happy Life 108-My Discoveries 109-Strangely Out Of Place 110-Rooms of My Heart 111-The Paper Vision 112-Luxurious Retreats 113-Reef 114-Weekend Snapshot 115-Blessie's Finds 116-Confessions of An Army Wife 117-My Pooch Life 118-Five Martini Lunch 119-TIPS FROM THE TRAILER 120-PoeARTica 121-STAY AT HOME MOM 122-Rantings of a Woman 123-Sjtl's Weblog 124-Turn-u-Off 125-My World in My Own Word 126-Shawie 127-A New Saga 128-Janeth Vicy's Life Journey 129-Simple Reveries 130-Berry Blog 131-Touts4u 132-My So Called Life 133-La Vida es Hermosa 134-Speedcat Hollydale Page 135-mangosteenskin 136-Choc Mint Girl 137-Of Colors And Styles 138-Pinaymama's Diary 139-My Life's Rollercoaster Ride 140-My Life...My Journey! 141-Bonoriau 142-Jenny and Belle 143-Read My Mind 144-A Sweet Taste Of Life 145-Shopping Blog 146-Precious Moments 147-Feydakin 148-Hot Shit Form Here 149-A Mother's Simple Thoughts 150-Daily Ramblings Rendezvous 151-Miss Moneypenny's Comical Posts Undercover 152-My Precious Niche 153-FunFierceFabulous 154-Colorful World of Shiela 155-Me,myself+2 156-Ozzy's Mom 157-Let's talk about MJ 158-Great people make us feel we can become great 159-A Family Man 160-Just the way it is... 161-In Depth 162-Attitude, the ULTIMATE POWER 163-Are You Grateful? 164-Complain Complain Complain 165-My Little Black Pot 166-Notes By Marvic 167-Aku Pelukis 168-Jiwasintetik 169-Foster Me Up 170-Life: Thoughts & Inspirations 171-The Callalily Space 172-Mommyhood and Me 173-Bits and Pieces 174-La Place de Cherie 175-Through The Rain 176-Blogfixes 177-New England Lighthouse Treasures 178-Chez Francine 179-Tsinay 180-Hailey's Domain 181-Hailey's Beats and Bits 182-My So-Called Life 183-PinayWAHM 184-Rusin Roundup 185-Sweet Temptation 186-Lynn's Chic Spot 187-Kai Kriye 188-LiLo n StiTcH 189-Lights and Shade 190-Easycrafts 191-Ideasmoney 192-My creations 193-Sukanya-hobbiesandcrafts 194-My Kraft 195-Adam: @geNda iNsPiRaSi 196-The Working Mom 197-My Touch Of Heaven 198-Her Name is N.O.Y. 199-Fida Abbott 200-Hesitant Wife's Blog 201-Blogging For Fun 202-Paint Your Life 203-Spicybugz World 204-Colin From Life 205-Ramblings of The Phat 206-AngelBaby from Your Caring Angels 207-Creative Saga 208-Indian Khana 209-Me and My Kitchen 210-Mom's Recipies 211-Mom's Cooking 212-Cooking Station 213-Simple Indian Food 214-Rekha's Kitchen 215-SuperNova & SweetPain 216-My Sweet Haven 217-scrapbook newbie 218-Miyyah@Kertas 219-funfliffy 220-AyangLina 221-A Room of Crazy Scrapper 222-srikars kitchen 223-Purva's Daawat 224-Recipe Center 225-Veg Inspirations 226-Little Mermaid 227-Meendum Santhipoom 228-Ranji's kitchen corner 229-En Vittu Virundhu 230-What's on the menu? 231-Dancing in Midlife Tune 232-Meme Me 233-Tasty treats 234-Mummy Diaries 235-notyet100hub 236-Jujubs Creative Corner 237-Crafts and Cooking 238-As Long As I Can Dream 239-A Walk To Remember 240-Empty Streets 241-The time has come 242-Momhood Moments 243-Life is too short to be ordinary 244-Mistress of Spices 245-From the Kitchen 246-Bhawana 247-Easy Cooking 248-Vegetarian Medley 249-Homecooked 250- The Painted Veil 251-Natural Remedies at Home 252-Vaidehi 253-Send Chocolate 254-From Cribs to Car Keys 255-Essence of Andhra 256-Tongue Ticklers 257-Mints 258-Mumblings 259-Listening, Learning, Living 260-Life and Me 261-Laws of the Kitchen 262-YOU Next!

I am passing the Magic Lamp onto Mary of
Shazam in the Kitchen, Happy Cook of My Kitchen Treasures, Dee of Choos and Chews, Adele of Tales of the Basil Queen and Agnes of Off the Spork.

Whew! You've made it to the end - thanks for hanging in there!


Unknown said...

gaye, how i am drooling looking into your box of truffles! seems that you've got great holiday. thanks for the award :)

Ivy said...

Well, since your name has been revealed I prefer calling you Gaye rather than Cake.
Happy belated birthday wishes for your mum and it's so sweet of you to take your mum on vacation. It seems that you had a great time. Thanks for the lovely award but it seems we both have to make another post for awards now because I also passed it on to you.

The Caked Crusader said...

Yay! Thanks for my award and congratulations to you!
Lovely photos...make me want to hop on a plane!

Maggie said...

Hi - wonderful posting. Congratulations on the award and thank you for passing an award to me.

giz said...

Holy catch up Gaye - that post must have taken 2 hours :).
Love the tour of your holiday time - I so want to be in Australia.

Jean Chia aka Ms.Yummy~licious said...

hi, thanks for including me in yr list! im no. 40! :)

Hv a nice day! :)

Emily said...

Oooh, I didn't even know I had an award. Thank you! Congrats to you.

This looks like such a fun trip. I want some of those chocolates!

Mariuca said...

ZAM ZAM ALAKAZAM! Thank you for joining us on another magical adventure, filled with love and luck! Your site has been added to the Master List at number 261. Pls update your list accordingly from the Master List, thank you very much and have a magical day! :)

Genie Princess

Dee said...

Ooh, thanks Gaye!
I envy your eating spree.
Oh, I'll be in the Gold Coast in February. Good to know there'll be good food! Would you recommend any interesting vineyards to visit?

Cakelaw said...

Hi Arfi, a virtual truffle coming right up ;)

Thanks Ivy - I will pass on your good wishes.

Hi Crusader - you won't be sorry if you do!

Thanks Margaret, and congrats on a well deserved award.

Thanks Giz - it took a long time and my computer did not co-operate. You'd be welcome to come visit Oz!

Hi Jean, I will come visit soon.

Thanks Em - some virtual chocolates for you too - not anywhere near as good as the real ones :(.

Thanks Mariuca - will do.

Hi Dee, wil put my thinking cap on and let you know - unfortunately no vineyards too close to the Gold Coast, but are some in Qld generally. It is very warm in Qld, so not as good as some other areas for wine making.