Nestled in the lush, green gardens of Vaucluse House is the Tearooms. The quaint and stylish eatery on the estate provides a tranquil setting to enjoy a lovely lunch, brunch or high tea.
Seeing as we were in the “neighbourhood” following our climb of 100 steps up then down in Macquarie Lighthouse (which really is hardly anything), we were famished for a hearty lunch.
Upon arriving at the Tearooms, the staff politely and promptly greeted and seated us. We couldn’t help but admire the layout of the room and the table settings. What stood out were the fluorescent pink light shades above the tables – definitely didn’t blend with the rest of the room but somehow seemed to work!
We ordered right on midday which was when the lunch kitchen opens and the food arrived fairly quickly.
The lunch menu wasn’t expansive but there was enough variety to choose from. Le chose the vegetarian pasta: fettucine with mushrooms and artichoke. It was full of flavour and the pasta was cooked perfectly. The portobello mushrooms were so juicy and flavoursome.
David ordered a 10-hour slow cooked lamb pie which was served with potato puree with roast parsnips. The potato puree was more like mashed potatoes and the roast parsnips were like hot chips (and we are NOT complaining). It was all delicious. In comparison, David’s lunch was a lot heavier than Le’s.
The rest of the party that joined us for lunch were all very satisfied with what they ordered.
A beef burger:
Fish and chips with pea mash:
The serving sizes were ideal for lunch and filled us up perfectly – the only shame was that we couldn’t try any of the dessert menu 😦
While we enjoyed our lunch, a group of ladies sitting nearby were having high tea… we couldn’t help but get a little food envy!
Missing out on dessert and high tea was too much for us, so we settled our bill and went to burn off lunch by walking around the well-kept grounds of the estate.
This is definitely a lovely spot on a beautiful day to eat and explore a part of Sydney’s history. Visiting here made us feel like we had a “little getaway” from the hustle bustle of Sydney.
It would be tough to pick that it was winter from the blue skies, the sun shining and the 21 degree Celsius day. It was perfect conditions to visit a lighthouse; Australia’s oldest lighthouse, Macquarie Lighthouse.
From Macquarie Lighthouse situated in the eastern suburb of Vaucluse, there is a stunning view of Sydney Harbour and of the Opera House, especially on a clear sunny day like today.
Apparently from the Opera House, the lighthouse can be seen – we will have to check it out next time we are that way.
Every 2 months, the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust runs 20-minute guided tours (with lovely and entertaining volunteer guides) to go up the lighthouse. Today happened to be one of those open days!
We booked the tickets 2 weeks ago to ensure we got the time slot we wanted. And for $5 per person, it was well worth it to be able to climb the 100 steps for a magnificent view of the ocean and of Sydney Harbour… … and also learn a little more about lighthouses and Sydney history.
Hope you all had a lovely weekend, we sure did!
About 30km west of Sydney CBD is a suburb called Fairfield. A suburb that has opened its arms to people of 139 cultural backgrounds…. The most culturally diverse place in the world.
We know of the suburb, we know approximately where it is but we really have never explored it. So when Taste Food Tours advertised its Global Explorer in Fairfield, we signed up without hesitation.
The concept behind the food tours was to break down barriers between different cultural backgrounds and bridging the gap. And where do great social opportunities and happy memories normally happen? When there is food! It is a very innovative and fun way to bring people together.
It’s not physically possible to explore 6 countries in several continents in one day AND return home… but it is possible to explore flavours from that many countries in one day.
We drove to Fairfield with no idea what to expect; it was our first ever “food tour”… “food safari”… “walking food tour” (whatever one likes to refer to such a tour).
In a bit over 4 hours, together with 12 other food explorers, we tasted a bit of Bosnia, Italy, Argentina, Lebanon, Iraq and China.
We ate and we walked and we ate and we chatted and we ate and we shopped. Did we mention we ate?
First off the rank was trying Bosnian Cevapi – grilled mince meat in a shape of a frankfurt, served with some flatbread, sour cream, raw onions and a cabbage salad. The verdict…. DELICIOUS!Next was a visit to an Italian deli, where the shelves were stocked with an array of imported foods from Europe, all of which one day we hope to try. And at the counter, there were cold meats and cheeses to our hearts content. The owner prepared a little platter for us to try and the most memorable was the provolone cheese…. YUM!
An Argentinian cake shop was next on the cards and we were fed very well there. We tasted beef empanadas, dulce de leche croissants, quince croissants and 3-layered Argentinian sandwiches (the bread sliced at 3mm thick, buttered and mayo-ed with a various other fillings).
And what did we think? Dulce de leche says enough, don’t you think? A Middle Eastern nuts shop which was brimming with sweets, nuts, dried fruits, and imported foods of all sorts is just the place for foodies. The varieties were endless. The owners here prepared a platter with a few dips, nuts and olives for us to taste.Onto a Lebanese butcher, followed by an Iraqi bakery and lastly a northern Chinese luncheon which was a feast! We only snapped the dumplings because we were so overwhelmed with the amount and variety that kept coming out, we totally forgot to photograph the rest of the feast. But… in our defence, we needed to save some mystery for anyone else who might decide to do this tour one day.
At all the shops and restaurants we went, we met the owners, some with stories to tell while others were a little more reserved.
So it was NOT only about food, we learned a bit about the countries, cultures, family histories and how the different families started their businesses in Australia.
It was a lovely day trip. It was a great way to meet new people. It was a fantastic way to explore a suburb to gain the confidence to come back again.
As with trying anything new, go with an open mind and you are sure not to be disappointed!
We’d like to make a special mention to our guide, Nevzeta who was so friendly, warm and welcoming. She is full of enthusiasm and knowledge. It is easy to see she is passionate about what she does.For more information about Taste Food Tours and the tours offered, see their website.
Disclaimer: We were provided with a discount for this tour however there was no obligation or arrangement for us to write or promote Taste Food Tours. The opinions expressed throughout this piece is entirely that of Wise Monkeys Abroad.
Which food tour have you done (anywhere in the world) that you would recommend to us?
Leave your comments here.
When Easter comes round, so does the Sydney Royal Easter Show. Fondly termed simply as ‘The Show’, this is an event spanning 14 days showcasing the BEST of Australia’s agriculture, arts and crafts and food and wine.
Located at the Sydney Showground (in the vicinity of where most of the 2000 Sydney Olympics were hosted), almost 1 million people annually visit the show. It is a tradition 🙂 There really is something for everyone at the show.
It has been at least 4-5 years since we’ve been ourselves and 2015, we felt was a year to pay it another visit.
When we go, we love looking at all the exhibits and animals. There are competition winners everywhere; #1 rooster, #1 llama, #1 cow, best drawing, best tapestry… even the biggest and heaviest pumpkin.
An opportunity for everyone to showcase their skills in raising and grooming an animal/vegetable/plant.
But it’s not all about the agriculture, those who have a flair in the arts and crafts get their chance to shine too.
For youngsters, there are petting zoos, animal nurseries, carnival games and rides – and don’t forget the show-bags. We remember buying those as kids and now we can see they’re predominantly filled with junk & junk food (occasionally there is a goodie in there).
A few of our favourites at the show….
- the District Exhibit which is a display made up of fruit, vegetables, grains, pulses and wool from five different agriculture regions. This year the display commemorates the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC Gallipoli landing during WWI. It was very impressive as it is every year.
- the Woodchopping challenge where people of all ages race against one another to chop through blocks of wood. With woodchips flying everywhere and axes being wielded around, it does stir up excitement for us when we were kids and even now as adults.
And needless to say, with a show like this, there is the typical fair food (all healthy of course) – with the choice of hot dogs, turkey legs, corn on the cob, fairy floss (aka cotton candy), hot chips plus more.
Actually the last time we went to the show, we bought a bucket of fairy floss and since that day, we have NEVER touched fairy floss again.
But no fair/fete/carnival/show is complete for us without our buttered corn on the cob!
We were battered with rain that day but we didn’t let that dampen our spirits. We made sure we visited all the pavilions/displays and even had a go with the carnival games.
And to be honest, we’ve had our fix for now. Maybe 2020 will see us pay ‘The Show’ another visit.
Do you have an annual event in your home city that you enjoy attending?
Share it with us here