Bruns.

WHO: Three little pigs who once lived in the tropical land of the Northern Territory. They get together (away from their homes so no one is required to clean and clean and entertain) to feast, swim, adventure and bubble.

WHERE: Brunswick Heads.

WHY: Because Byron is fantastic but too busy. Caught in the hustle and bustle of where to eat, which ‘insta celeb’ that actually is and most shockingly stuck in traffic; we decided these distractions were not necessary and that a change of scenery and discovery suited us.

*Disclaimer, dining at Fleet also influenced this decision greatly.

SLEEP: We stayed at The Brunswick Heads Motel and when we arrived here, we knew it was going to be a ripper of a holiday. Our family room (room 201), was spacious and clean. The beds comfortable, with beautiful linen. Towels and a daily tidy did not go unnoticed and the icing on the motel cake was the really delicious and inclusive breakfasts. We tucked into tea, toast and avocado and deliberated over tasty tasty toasties. We took full advantage of the supplied bikes (and received multiple comments on their level of hipster) to assess the surf and shop the opps.  The staff were heavenly and full of smiles. They all seemed really proud of the Bruns Motel, and rightly darn so.

Haircut? Oh SURE, why not.

It was well and truly time for the tired old locks of 2016 to leave the building. So after some creeping discovered The Social Alibi. A haircut on holidays seemed like an absolute ingenious idea. And it was! It truly was. I took my  images into Briana, who took one look and feel of my hair and politely vetoed all suggestions. However, she agreed the hair should go and that was really my main holiday concern. The Social Alibi is an environmentally conscious salon, making me realise considerations I had never made. Every towel, drop of water, colour and squirt of beautiful Italian shampoo has as little impact on the environment as possible. And I know this, because Briana really knows this and when I commented on ‘cool towels!’ ‘Beautiful smelling shampoo!’ ‘Great colour!’ It was met with an explanation of why she had decided to have that very towel or colour or shampoo and not only did it really work wonders for both the earth, and my hair. It made me walk out feeling GOOD. Even my long unwanted locks were being sent away to soak up oil spills on the ocean and so little Miss Virtuous bounced out of the salon with her new look.

Say What? Say Fleet?

This trip was very largely (entirely) driven by the beautiful restaurant Fleet.

We arrived on Thursday afternoon for our 4pm booking (following a serious stalking of their bookings calendar to ensure we didn’t miss out – if you want to visit it’s worth creeping the calendar, they book out quickly and it’s very limited seating). To one of the most special, delicious, beautiful and comfortable dining experiences of my little pig life.

Fleet seats 14 and dining commences at 3pm. Reservations are for 3.5 hours. There’s a communal table that fits 10, and a window seat that sits 4. There were two other couples when we dined, and a diner on her own in the window seat. It’s the type of place that she looked just as happy and as comfortable as the rest of us, which I think takes work and is an achievement in itself.

The concrete bar is softened with locally made ceramics and linen. And the space clean cut, beautiful and admittedly rather unexpected on the side street of Bruns.

Astrid’s wine knowledge is delivered in a cool, calm and experienced manner. And Rob looked after us as though we were old friends in his kitchen.

In the kitchen though, the magic happened.

Our afternoon was filled with those foodie moments when you look at each other with eyes filled with ‘but how?’ ‘but why?’ How on earth a warmed oyster, with sheep’s milk yogurt and shaved macadamia can cause such delight is almost a wonder, but at Fleet every sip and every taste is applause worthy.

These lucky little diners feasted and fascinated on:

  • Warm rye and caraway sourdough from the Bread Social at the Farm. Served with house cultured butter that is whipped, burnt to form a caramel layer, and then whipped again.
  • A warmed oyster, with sheep’s milk yogurt and shaved macadamia. Served in the most beautiful and locally made ceramic dish.
  • Smoked mullet, crispy skin, potato and dill. The best chips and dip you ever did and ever going to have.
  • Snapper, beans, crustacean oil and society garlic. Lick the plate clean.
  • Veal sweet bread schnitty sanga. Made with local white sliced and served with an anchovy mayonnaise this is a Fleet specialty and to absolutely no surprise a staff favorite. We nearly signed up for work experience on first bite.
  • Nimbin valley cow blue, with buck wheat, molasses and plum.
  • The most beautiful Black Sapote cake (which is a fruit known as the chocolate pudding fruit) fig leaf blueberry and wild rice.
  • Licorice ice cream, dandelion, onion and shiso.

Dining at Fleet with two precious people was one of those moments where you really realise how incredibly good life is, and how wonderful it can be.

Bruns had us at Hello. And we’ll be back.

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Hobart to Darwin

Once upon a few years ago, when we were driving back from Darwin adventures to friends and family home comforts we spent the night in Tenant Creek.

I’ve always wondered about Tenant Creek and what it must be like to be truly in the middle of nowhere. (It’s got a population of about 3000 people and is 990km from Darwin and 500km from Alice Springs). When we got there we found a pretty rough, remote and dry battle ground. It was dusty and dry, and a little bit nerve wracking.

In the camp kitchen we met three Japanese tourists. Two were cooking delicious smelling vegetables and rice with tuna and soy. One was eating a loaf of white bread worth of spam and cheese sandwiches. Following the creeping of the meal preparation, the three took themselves to their tents for afternoon naps. Given the incredibly hot Northern Territory sun and the burning capacity of a midday tent we were perplexed by this. They had little tents, and bikes. Not very smart bikes, but very well equipped bikes.

The campground was abuzz with not so hushed whispers of the trios incredible adventure. They were riding their bikes from Hobart to Darwin. HOBART TO DARWIN. And they had made it to Tenant Creek. Not expecting the extreme heat, they would sleep during the day and ride at night. With road trains and kangaroos and snakes and whatever other terrifying things lurk around in the desert in the dark.

When we awoke in the morning, sure enough they were gone. Tents and biked pedaled away into the dark starry night.

I’ve done plenty of googling around to try and find if they made it but there’s nothing to be found. I’m pleased Richie was there that night, or I may have thought it was a hot long bike riding dream.

 

Being social in Geelong West

Lass and Lad love the idea of community, but they often find that the reality of making new friends and becoming a part of a community is some times much harder and scarier than the delightful, romantic blossom filled idea appears.

SO, it was with great thrill and excitement that we discovered the opening of the gorgeous and groovy “Geelong West Social Club” a few weeks ago (made even more exciting by it’s two minute distance from home). You’ll find Ross and Mia at 1B Yuille Street in Geelong West making excellent and delicious coffee, bagels and daily treats. There is Chai Boy Tea, Coffee Supreme and precious hand blended Modern Tea just for you to have in or take home, there’s also beautiful Jam Lady Jam available. And JUST when you think it can’t get any better, you’ll discover the sparkling water on tap, ON TAP!

I can hear your thought bubbles wondering what more coffee talk and sparkling water excitement has to do with friendship making and community bonding. Well; the thing is that this beautiful little space truly, really is a social club. It’s a friendly and welcoming space where you do feel like your making friends and where you don’t feel like the new kid on the block. You’ll bump previously made friends here,  who also loves the joyfulness and non judging of this excellent new addition to the hood and you can all sit around together and really feel welcome in the hood.