Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Manly Food & Wine Walking Tour

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Date night was cancelled lastn Friday night courtesy of a mix up with babysitter.

Devo'ed we were.

Absolutely devo'ed.

Like most couples who have kids, we cling desperately to that time out alone. Time to just be... you know grown ups and do grown up stuff without having to do multiple toilet runs, referee arguments or fork out a month in mortgage repayments at Yogoland.

And when that precious time slips through your fingers like sands through the hour glass (yes I am being very melodramatic) well... you just wanna cry.

CRY I tell you.

Lucky for us no tears were required because by a rare fluke of the heavens we also happened to have another day planned on our own the very next day. A lovely friend; Terase from BYO Chair, had kindly invited us along to her Manly Walking Food Tour.

Terase was asked by the gang at Fairfax to organise this tour as part of the NSW Food & Wine Festival.

The tour (as the name suggests) is all on foot, and it takes you behind the scenes at some of Manly's local secrets. Here you get to chat to the owners about the hows and whys of their business and gain some backstage insight into what makes their businesses so popular with not just the tourist trade, but with the locals who return regularly.

There was seven of us on the tour this particular day and our first stop was Showbox coffee brewers where Bo the owner ran us through the finer points of coffee brewing.

It's a real art that coffee thing.

I seriously had no idea how much effort goes into that cup of coffee I grab when I am out and about and in actual fact there is a real science behind the blends of natural and washed beans, the filtering process and the coffee making itself.

I even tried a little cold brew coffee. Yep, a coffee that you drink cold on purpose and not just because you made it an hour ago and forgot about it.

It's actually really nice and far more refreshing than I expected. I'm thinking it would go perfectly in an expresso martini.

If you would like to try a cold brew have a good coffee, and I mean a really good coffee, then Showbox on Whistler Street (a mere 2 minutes walk from Manly Wharf) needs to be on your list of must go places.

Next stop on the tour was 4 Pines Brewery an you can imagine how my husband was chomping on the bit on the walk to this joint.

To call him an eager beaver would not even do it justice.

4 Pines is all about the brewing of handcrafted beer designed to get true beer lovers salivating whilst converting the rest of us novices who have been left uninspired by beer thanks to the mass produced beers we have all been exposed too.

I will be honest with you - beer kind of goes over my head.

What I heard was 'Pure handcrafted beer with all natural ingredients and infused with various herbs or fruits. Coffee and chocolate inspired stouts and florally aromatic an fruity pale ales. Yada Yada Yada.

What I wanted was to taste the beer and taste it we did.

We were each given a wooden tray thingy full of their different crafted beers on offer and whilst not all of them were totally tickled my taste buds.. I kind of had remorse about offering to be the designated driver. 

My husband was in beer heaven.

It is much easier to understand beer when you are actually drinking it and I could have happily sat there and listened to Andrew (the Head brewer) rattle on passionately about his beer... but we couldn't, because we still had one more place to visit.

Our final destination was The Pantry down on Manly Beach and with arguably one of the best views of any restaurant in Sydney, here was where I had to undo the button on the pants after gorging myself on the best tapas style lunch I have eaten in a loooong long time.

Amongst a HUGE feast we ate was spatchcock and whiting fillets and prawns and gnocchi along with about five different types of bread and olives. It was all washed down with a crisp semillon whilst we rested our weary feet and took in the spectacular view of the ocean.

Can you see now why my pants were undone?

I'm not even kidding.

Terase has a passion for cooking and people so it is any wonder she is making a living out of connecting the two.

The sad news is however, Terase is no longer going to be running these tours at Manly.


But the good news is she will be running them in Byron Bay.


Yep the lovely woman behind these successful food tours is packing up and heading up North and taking BYO Chair with her.

From April on, you will be able to book a food tour with Terase and sample some of the best Byron has to offer.

If you are a small group of six then you can even be picked up and driven around in a restored Kombi...

Oh shut up!!! She is gonna be living my dream that girl.

It wont just stop at tours though. Nope. Terase plans on running cooking classes that showcase the local produce and you can book them to be held at your holiday accommodation in Byron or at one of the local venues like the Fig Tree or others.

For more info on BYO Chair visit Terase's website here or her Facebook page here. I'm thinking it would be the perfect thing for a weekend retreat or perhaps a girl's getaway in Byron.

Hmmmm now that is something worth planning.

Have you ever been a food tour?
Are you a fan of beer or is coffee, wine or food more your thing?

*This was not a sponsored post. Terase is a friend & invited us to be guests on her final Manly tour.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Behold The Holy Grail... Kale... Whatever!

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I have never been one who is overly into fad foods. You know food that supposedly wears capes and can leap buildings in single bounds and blah blah blah. 

Maybe it's because I don't know enough about it all, and I am too lazy to Google it.

Maybe it's because no one has ever declared vodka and gummi bears as a superfood and so I have refused out of loyalty to my two beloved vices to ever entertain the idea that anything can be more super than them.

Who knows? 

Who cares really?

The thing is when I first heard about kale chips I had to agree with the kids and I was all "ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? Oh hell no! Who wants to eat green stuff as a treat?"

Well slap me silly and call me Billy - I do! 

Yep, I actually want to eat this stuff as a treat because damn it's really kinda good. 

I'm not talking about nutritious good either because yeah yeah I know Kale is good for you and all that. I'm simply saying that this snack tastes good. 

The holy grail or kale of all healthy snacks kind of good.

Like make a bowl and hide in your cupboard so you don't have to share kind of good!

You get the idea.

But don't take my word for it. Make it for yourself - if you haven't already of course. 

I am late to the party on this one after all.

Do you like Kale?
What other superfoods should I be eating because they taste good and not because of their superpowers? 
I'm happy if they are good for me but dude, it has to taste good too!

Friday, 27 February 2015

Shitty Dinks and Lovely Links

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If I didn't have such a sore backside I would totally be doing the bum dance and slapping my own butt in celebration of the fact that it is Friday... and we made it in one piece.

No, I mean like literally made it in one piece.

I feel like I have done ten rounds with Tyson over the past 5 days complete with spectacular tumbles and some major tongue biting going on.

It's been a sad week on the interwebs this week after I witnessed some women tear shreds from a friend of mine on a Facebook parenting forum and then later in the week as another good friend and colleague made the decision to close down her blog due to the constant abuse she receives for putting herself out there and sharing openly and honestly.

What is happening people?

When did it become OK to be a shitty dink and cut people down just for kicks?

I know we as bloggers need to have a thick skin if we are going to share personal stuff on our blogs. I also know not everyone is going to agree with us or even like us for that matter and that we need to respect differing opinions to ours and gracefully accept any feedback - both good and bad.

But honestly some of the personal attacks I have seen go down lately... MAN there is no excuse or acceptable reason for that kind of stuff.

I saw this picture on Pinterest yesterday and I thought it pretty much summed it all up perfectly...

Anyway, I am not going to give any more energy to the crappy stuff of the week.

What's done is done and I only hope that we have seen the last of all the shitiness for a while.

Besides, there is far too much awesomeness to enjoy in the Aussie blogosphere that needs our attention.

Speaking of which...

I have decided that we need to celebrate the good stuff more often and so if it's alright with you, I thought I would include some lovely links each week in my Weekend Rewind post.

It's my way of saying thanks for the enjoyment I get from reading other people's blogs as well as sharing with you guys just some of the fabulous posts I have come across during the past week.

And so without any further drivel from me, here are this week's lovely links.

1. Ashlea from Glamour Coastal Living certainly didn't help me to stay focused on losing my ass this week - nope not  a bit, but if I am going to be tempted then it may as well be with this divine looking no bake chocolate Ferrero Cheesecake of hers.

2. Lisa from the Art of Joy guest posted over at Jess's  A  Little Part of The World and shared some fabulous tips on how to take better photos with your iPhone.

3. Katrina from Katrina Chambers Life & Design went all retro with her boys and did some awesome t'shirt tie dyeing which of course now MY boys are nagging me to do too... yeah thanks Katrina ;)

4. And again with the food porn - Kim from Land Of Zonkt has me wanting to make some fresh home made foccacia for the family this weekend. mmm I can smell it already.


Finally I am so excited that one of my besties in joining in as this week's Weekend Rewind guest host.

Say hello to Tessa, the head honcho of Down That Little Lane with whom I work (if you could call it work), my brekkie buddy, one of my partners in crime and most importantly the most beautiful loyal generous soul sister a girl could ever hope for.

Her toes are going to be curling when she reads my rambling about her and she will turn a glorious shade of beetroot because that is just who she is - far too modest for such an incredible woman.

You can have the pleasure of getting to know Tessa a little better for yourself through her blog here.

So that's it kids. That's this week all wrapped up. Now if you will excuse me, I am going to go and sink my head into a big bucket of vodka.

Have a great weekend.

So what's cooking good looking? 

Any exciting plans for this weekend or anything you want to get off your chest about the week that's been?

Do share, I love a good natter.

Link up your favourite post from the past week and then if you get a chance, pop around and say hello to some of the other lovely linkers. The Weekend Rewind blog hopping party starts every Friday night at 8pm and links will close on Sunday night at midnight. Link up here or over on Bron's blog (Maxabella Loves)Sonia's blog (Sonia Styling) or Kelly's at A Life Less Frantic.  It does not matter where you link as your link will show up in all 4 places.