Some of my late son Blair’s friends who gathered at Chesleigh Homestead in Sofala to remember his Good Times
Welcome, It’s exciting time in the UK with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. What an extraordinary woman she is. I am in touch with some of my friends in London and am due to have a monthly zoom catch up with some of the lovely past and present members of The Australian Women’s Club London so will look forward to their news. Parties cheer everyone up.
Here on the Eastern Seaboard of Australia we are having a real winter chill, but at least the rain has stopped. Cold is easier to bear when it’s not wet too, though there is often a biting wind. I’ve been at home all rugged up as, despite having had my flu jab and all four Covid vaccinations I’ve been feeling a bit fluey. Great to rug up and stay home and catch up on things.
It was pretty cold at Chesleigh Homestead in Sofala over the weekend where we gathered for the second consecutive year to remember the joyful person who was my late son Blair. His sign off was always “Good Times” and he encouraged everyone to have them. These were friends and colleagues form his days doing Theatre/Media (TM) at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst. There were something like 13 adults plus Sasha, Brian and her parents who run the place and an incredible 13 kids from 8 down to about 6 months. They were fabulous. Most were able to have horse rides, though for the littlies it’s enough to wear the helmet. Most participated in a concert and acrobatic display assisted by the Mums. Well remember they are all TM graduates. We hope my daughter Lucy (another TM) and family can join us next year. It is very special to be surrounded by these friends and Brian always finds a way to surprise me with a Good Times message, as he did on Saturday night as you can see in the photo.
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Please eat and drink well, travel with your tastebuds if not in person, and be happy and healthy. Now I have to rush – off to the Archibald Awards at the Arat Gallery of NSW. More next week.
I’ve loaded some new recipes onto my website – not necessarily completely new but new to the website. I often create recipes for different companies and ultimately put them on my site. with a long weekend coming up, Huevos Rancheros are a great brunch dish (or breakfast, or lunch or supper) and the base can be made in advance, then all you have to do is cook the egg. I love the idea of popping the filling into a tortilla and making individual ones.
And, I know there is a day for everything but today is National Doughnut Day so a great opportunity to share my recipe for Maple Glazed Baked Doughnuts. Baking is a great alternative to deep-frying and the maple glaze is especially delicious.
Next week: I’m cooking on Mornings on 7 on Wednesday around 10.30am.
Maple Glazed Baked Doughnuts
Park Hyatt Sydney is one of four key launch hotel partners of DayAway in Australia
I really admire creative people who create new opportunities where there seemingly weren’t any – or because no-one thought of it before. Enter Martha Waslen, an enterprising young woman with a back ground in lifestyle and technology, based in Singapore. Her idea was simple (like all the best ones are). Hotels have under-utilised capacity in these Covid-affected times. People long for the experiences they can’t have if they are unable or nervous to travel. Or just to make a day special. Sure there are staycations, but what if you didn’t necessarily want to stay away from home, but rather just have a lovely experience you otherwise couldn’t have – with friends, as corporate team building, to give as a gift, with family or on your own just because you can? So DayAway was born in Singapore in 2021 to offer exclusive daytime experiences to a growing community. Now it has come to Australia and will continue to the U.A.E, U.K and U.S in 2022.
As Martha explained “DayAway allows hotels to add to and diversify their revenues by allowing guests to enjoy particular areas of their properties and enable them to be fully utilised……It has strong appeal for guests who may already frequent the hotels as overnight guests and like the idea of a special daytime experience; it’s also attractive for new and next generation customers.” What is different is also that it is all one one single digital platform and is so much more than just booking a spa treatment at a hotel, though, of course, you can do that too.
In its infancy in Australia so far partners include Park Hyatt Sydney, The Langham, Sydney, Jackalope Mornington Peninsula and Como the Treasury Perth with more to come.
South Australian Tour dates confirmed 16 – 21 August
on sale next week!
Barossa Valley Farmers Markets
I am now seriously excited. Apologies it’s been a while coming but we are dotting the “i”s and crossing the “t”s to bring you the very best bespoke, behind the scenes tour where I will be introducing you to my friends made over the last 35 years in the industry as we tour from Adelaide to the McLaren Vale and then to the glorious Barossa. So many very special experiences and Maggie Beeris confirmed in person along with oh so many other people and things. I wanted you, my subscribers to know first (some of you booked last time) before anyone else. Everything will be here next week, or to register your interest to be first in line email Groupsaustralia@ttc.comor ring: 1300 780 283 – Monday to Friday 9am – 12 noon.
This trip will see us travel from Rabat the capital, to spiritual Meknes and Fes, and to Marrakech the red city. On the way you will explore the archaeological site of Volubilis, visit a Berber village in the Atlas Mountains, and relax by the coast in tranquil Essaouira. You’ll discover the delicacies of Moroccan and French food, dine in local eateries through to upmarket restaurants, and experience the making and flavours of Moroccan dishes during cooking classes. Luxury accommodation is in charming, authentic riads, sometimes in exclusivity. Only 10 – 12 guests.
Details of the adventure include:
Meals as per itinerary: breakfast daily, 9 lunches, 11 dinners with ½ bottle of wine per person at dinner or sometimes lunch
Transportation throughout in luxury air-conditioned vehicles with professional experienced English-speaking driver, including related expenses and allowing for physical distancing
English-speaking local licensed guides in Rabat, Volubilis, Meknes, Fes, Marrakech and Essaouira with all entrance fees included to the sites visited with the guides
Atlas excursion including mules and the specialist trek guide
3 cooking classes
You can enjoy this experience from AUD $9600 per person twin share (flights from Australia not included). Cost for single travellers is AUD$10,700.
By Prior Arrangement is highly experienced and well-known in Morocco as Principal, Carol Prior lived there for 13 years and has been arranging tours there for over 30. I have confidence in working with them to bring this very special tour into being. Talk to them about the trip, or feel free to email me with any queries. I am excited!
Read Where to Eat Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner in Rabat.
Puglia in the boot of the heel of Italy is still relatively unspoiled. A secret Italians tend to keep to themselves, it is a wonderful place to visit and so much less crowded than Tuscany. Join me and share an unforgettable week of culinary and cultural exploration. Think hands-on bread, cheese making and cooking class; visits to wineries, olive farm, tours of UNESCO sites Alberobello & Matera & other cultural centres with local guides. All sensational meals and wines included. You only need money for the very inexpensive shopping you will find there.
Group size: an intimate 8-16 places only
Lodging in authentic, family-run noble estates and palaces
Operated by: Local Puglia specialist Southern Visions Travel: the leading experiential travel company in Southern Italy