Ruffy Produce Store

The seasons are something that take on different meanings between Territory living and Southern styling. Whilst the beautiful Territory offers wet season storms and dry season sunshine that is almost as blissful as they come, the changing leaves, green grass and snow capped mountains of the Victorian High Country always make me glad I’m home.

Driving through the glorious greens between Mansfield and Ruffy on the weekend, up and down the rolling hills we couldn’t help but ooo and aaa at the beautiful calves (whilst also rapidly repressing memories of Vitello Tonnato) and marvel at the blossom when suddenly, and as if by magic, we found ourselves at the The Ruffy Produce Store.

Beneath the protective branches of the Oak Trees we sat and had a really delicious breakfast. The Ruffy Produce Store is at 26 Nolans Road Ruffy; you’ll see the cars.

I had the Spicy Eggs, avocado and chili on house made ciabatta which was absolutely (and must admit, a little surprisingly) perfect with poached eggs and spices. My pals ordered corn and zucchini fritters (that didn’t taste as if they had one teeny itty bitty of flour) with haloumi and poached eggs that were fresh, flavorsome and wholesome. The soy latte hit the spot.

There were beautiful looking sweet treats (like green tea sponge with green tea cream, lemon slice, rosewater and pistachio meringues) on display, and perfect looking take home treats bottled and ready for the road.

Eating and treating at the Ruffy Produce Store was a Sunday delight, made even better with the whiffs of fresh air and cold crisp sunshine.

Pizza Bar

Pizza Bar opened a year after we had left lovely West Town Geelong and this little lass thinks it is to be applauded for contributing to the ‘cool’ (I’m sure an extremely uncool word) vibe of Pakington Street.
Lad and I went for date night on a warmish Summer night last week, but I had been there not so long ago with my family. When I went with La Famiglia we needed some good Italian loving (after visiting a sick friend) and it provided the warm and relaxed space which when combined with pizza and wine eased some heart ache. I don’t think just everywhere can do this.
Lad and I agreed that it will be an excellent Winter date night, it’s particularly cosy and intimate and with the glow of the wood fired oven, rather WARM.
Our pizzas were great, the bases are perfect, simple, and importantly (well I think importantly) thin. We had ‘the free range chicken pizza’, with chicken, lemon, bacon, sage and pine nuts and ‘the shaved proscuitto’ with prosciutto, tomato, chilli, fior de latte, roquette and anchovy oil. We also had the white anchovy salad, with shaved fennel, fresh orange, white balsamic and black pepper dressing. The salad had a few too many anchovies, but that was my fault- I ordered it to accompany the pizza and it should be a treat to be had on it’s own. The “Pasta Bar Board” was empty, but I suppose you should really be having pizza at ‘Pizza Bar’ anyway.

Pizza Bar is at 240 Pakington Street Geelong West.

Pane di Matteo

There’s a little Porter Avenue in Highton that’s home to a cool new and deserving ‘word on the street’  bakery.

Pane di Matteo has a beautiful but industrial feel to it and the show is stolen most certainly by edible goods. There’s a wall of great looking breads, a match for every meal. Cannoli is made to order with fresh Ricotta filling and the coffee (organic Vittoria) looked like a more than suitable accompaniment to both the Cannoli and the beautiful Italian Biscotti.

I took a Baguette home (which was excellent) but in hindsight should have been more adventurous as the olive bread really did look marvelous. I’ll be back though, and feeling more and more pleased trips down the highway for good food and produce are become less and less needed.

Pane di Matteo: 12 Porter Avenue Highton

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Where’s the nearest good coffee AT?

There’s a certain hospital in Geelong that has lovely staff, excellent facilities and TERRIBLE coffee. Whilst certainly a first world problem, it’s one that sets a challenge. This challenge however (which was willingly accepted upon my return from Darwin, where the coffee is generally also terrible) has been an easily solved dilemma thanks to some skills and beans located very nearby.

‘Cartel coffee’ (shop 1,80 Little Malop Street Geelong) is a friendly, cool (but not uncomfortably chic) welcoming space where the coffee is excellent. I’m not an expert so I won’t pretend to be, but from the looks of their bean collections and selections there are plenty of serious options.

Down an alluring alleyway where ‘Leaf Tea’ lives ’10 sq M’ coffee has made a new home. With delicious ‘Born and Bread Bakehouse’ treats (delivered fresh from a basket, I was there this morning to see with my very own eyes and nearly squealed with delight, a real basket delivering real treats!) They also offer some Health Lab eats for those being sensible in between weekends or who really do sincerely love healthy living. Their Sensory Lab coffee is perfect, and whilst they only have one take away (smallish size) option, it’s easy to pop back for another.

O.

*disclaimer, I have used the photos from the above named coffee shops instagrams. I am always in such a frenzied rush to get my hands on my Soy Latte I forget to snap.

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But WHY Geelong?

A few years ago, I’m sure this was a justified question. These days, it’s a simple lame response of “but why NOT?”

This Lass and her Lad returned to the home of the Victorian beaches for a few reasons, its proximity to the coast a crucial consideration and the short drive to our families another. We knew (all the way from Darwin) thanks to the regular stalking of social media that it’s coffee culture was getting cool (King of the Castle deserves a MEDAL for their Instagram excellence) but we had no idea just HOW cool.

Coming to my little excited taste bud driven mind right now are a few favorites:

The Dirty Rascal and King of the Castle are cool friendly spaces with delicious staple store porridge, croissants and hipster staff, not to mention macrame gold fish. We miss ‘She’s a Wildflower’ there, but she’ll be a treat in our flower dreams again.

The Geelong West Social Club has been in our lives for approximately three weeks, and is already looking like it really is the place to go to be social, fed and caffeine watered.

Geelong Fresh Foods of course provides a mecca of inspiration when the eating and treating is to be had at home.

Born and Bread Bakehouse is like a real life lolly shop for grown up Lassies (except for those on the Atkins diet of course). But you should just join the cool kids in the lolly shop and trash that diet.

Tulip is a BEAUTIFUL treat that you would travel miles on a unicorn for.

The Bloody Mary at Zigfrids?! Well why WOULD you go anywhere else? (It’s got CLAMATO JUICE, CLAMATO!)

There’s more more and more to come, which is why it was necessary to start jotting down the thoughts of eating and treating in and around Geelong, it’s far too exciting not to share.

O. xX