Tag Archives: food


No, not the free beer, it's the sense of humour. Yes, every culture has its humour, but I'm Australian and I like our one best!

No, not the free beer, it’s the sense of humour. Yes, every culture has its jokes, but I’m Australian and I like ours the best!

We’re off on our travels again tomorrow, to places that I’m sure will be exotic, fascinating and beautiful.

But there are things we’re going to miss about Australia of course. Certain joys and simple pleasures are unique to our wide brown land. Continue reading


Filed under Travel-Australia

HARVEST HOME – Ressen, Gelderland

Bringing people and food together.

Bringing people and food together.

I bet it isn’t always a picnic running a Michelin-starred restaurant. Ron Blaauw’s Ron’s Gastrobar is just down the road from our place in Amsterdam, though we’ve never eaten there, assuming it was out of our league and beyond our budget.

So it was an unexpected bonus when our friend Carla suggested we visit Mr Blaauw’s Oogstfeest (Harvest Festival) at providore/farmer Edwin Flores’ farm in the village of Ressen, an hour’s drive east of the capital. For a knockdown EUR12.50 all-inclusive entry fee, Ron Blaauw generously turned on a super picnic.

150 lucky visitors were invited to join celebrity chefs and their students to share a ‘lazy Sunday’. Continue reading

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Filed under Holland

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – my best and worst ever lunches

Peter Gilmore's salad of yellowfin tuna. Those things that look like baby tomatoes are made of fish.

Peter Gilmore’s salad of yellowfin tuna. Those things that look like baby tomatoes are made of fish.

This WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE has the title ‘Lunchtime’. I’m sure I’m not alone in having a computer clogged with never-to-be-looked-at-again food shots.

Let’s start with the good news. The most memorable lunch I will ever have in my life was at Peter Gilmore’s Quay, regularly named by those more expert in the field as Australia’s best restaurant. The food included the dish pictured above, though the fine dining was overshadowed by Mevrouw T and I being surprise parents of the bride. For a full report on the event (and more food shots), CLICK HERE.

Unfortunately there are many contenders for my worst lunch ever, though one in Friesland, Netherlands, was a standout.

We did a hard morning’s cycling to reach a small village where a kaatsen tournament was in full swing. It’s an intriguing local Friesian sport, so we stopped to watch. And ate the following…

The fries on the right weren't bad, but were more than cancelled out by the sheer nastiness of that 'gehaktbal' - a meatball.

The fries on the right weren’t bad, but were more than cancelled out by the sheer nastiness of that ‘gehaktbal’ – a meatball.

For the full story, including news of how we repaired the internal damage with an excellent Friesian dinner, CLICK HERE.

As you would expect, there was a price differential between the two lunches. The meatball wasted a couple of my hard-earned euros. The meal at Quay, including wine, was paid for by somebody else. Thanks!


Filed under travel photography

SERIOUSLY FOODIE – Ten Minutes by Tractor

A Ten Minutes by Tractor creation. Photo: Kate Nulty

A Ten Minutes by Tractor creation. Photo: Kate Nulty

‘What’s all this about calling yourself a foodie?’ says my down-to-earth brother, ‘I mean, it’s not like eating is hard.’

Eating used to be so easy during family holidays when we were kids. After a day on the beach we’d drop into Somers General Store for an icy pole. We’d collect a pack of white sliced bread and a bottle of Rosella tomato sauce to splash on our BBQ chops and sausages.

Now the Mornington Peninsula has gone foodie. The paddocks have been replaced by boutique wineries with trendy tasting rooms. Local shops have become epicurean delis stocking ‘gourmet’ everything. The bakeries sell olive/mustard seed/wholegrain/honey/ciabatta/sourdough at yeast-inflated prices.

Dine by the vines.

Dine by the vines.

The Peninsula, an hour or so outside Melbourne, is now liberally sprinkled with some of Australia’s best restaurants. And younger, more knowledgeable members of our family drag their oldies to a fine dining experience.

It’s pointless to mutter that we could enjoy a week of decent meals for the kind of money they’ll be charging. We’re going to eat at Ten Minutes by Tractor and that’s that. Continue reading


Filed under Travel-Australia

CAMINO DE SANTIAGO – of food and drink and beds

Casa Magica, Villatuerta. It’s not five star; the magic is in the charm and the warm welcome.

La Casa Magica in Villatuerta is old. Camino de Santiago pilgrims have been pulling off their boots and hobbling across its rough stone floor for over 500 years.

Now the old albergue is on Facebook and has a website and guest wi-fi.

A bed costs ten euros and breakfast an additional four.

‘I’m sorry if we’re a little more expensive than some albergues,’ says our hostess Simone. Expensive? 14 euros for B&B?? We’ve paid that much for coffee and a croissant in other countries, and bad coffee at that.

Most people spending a month or so walking to Santiago will be doing it on a budget but this is ridiculous. We’ve never found any travel in Europe as cheap as this. Continue reading


Filed under Budget travel, Hiking, Spain

SINGAPORE STOPOVER GUIDE – alternative hotels, restaurants and fun

Singapore can look modern and generic, but if you look from the right angle...

I must have passed through Singapore more than any other city, occasionally stopping over for a day or two. So it was nice to be paid a modest fee for writing a short alternative guide to the place.

When I first began travelling, Singapore was not a favoured destination.

If the rumours of the 1970s were correct, Singaporean officials, obsessed with cleanliness and conformity, would give you a compulsory haircut on arrival, confiscate your chewing gum, cane you for littering and kill you for any drug offence.

Things have changed considerably, though you’d be crazy to think of dealing, carrying or using illicit drugs here. Continue reading


Filed under Singapore