It’s been a busy week or so for us, stuffed with sporting occasions, journeys to the Hunter Valley (I do know, robust life, proper) and hobnobbing with celebrities.
However from all of this, we’ve acquired some wonderful suggestions for you on Hunter Valley cellar door experiences to strive, tips on how to discover locations to remain within the area and even the place to rent a swimsuit of chainmail armour!
Jim & Christina x
Tonight, we’re out at our native to look at the semifinal of the Girls’s World Cup–the a lot anticipated Australia vs England recreation.
With me coming from England and Christina being Australian, it’s going to be fascinating for us, regardless of who wins. I’m on the bar, so I’m smiling. Will I nonetheless be smiling by the tip of the 90?
Issues aren’t trying good for the Matildas with England dominating a lot of the possession. The temper within the pub continues to be good although, particularly after Sam Kerr’s miracle aim.
It hasn’t turned out properly for the Aussies with the Lionesses taking the opposite spot within the remaining in opposition to Spain.
To make herself really feel higher, Christina turns her consideration to the native superstar within the pub. That is Pixel Osbourne Morningstar. How good is he?!
This little nugget hasn’t acquired an Instagram account (but), however what do you count on from one thing that’s the scale of an EFTPOS machine?
I’m at Snog the Frog costume store in Surry Hills amassing my outfit for the weekend, and this little fella’s serving to me with my reserving.
What’s the outfit for? Effectively, let me present you!
Yup. That’s me. We’re within the Hunter Valley for a Medieval banquet that our pal Lisa McGuigan is throwing at her cellar door, Vamp.
Try our overview of this distinctive vineyard right here.
Vamp is wonderful–decked out with all types of Medieval artefacts, helmets, armour and even curtains of actual chainmail that part off the VIP cubicles.
The theme of this fancy costume occasion makes good sense.
There’s a photograph sales space on the occasion too, so after all, we hop in with our new associates that we shared a cab with to get to the vineyard.
And clearly we’ve got to have a few shot on our personal.
Midway by the feast, we’re entertained by two knights hacking lumps out of one another in a powerful show.
I’m fortunate sufficient to be sat subsequent to the superstar VIP for the occasion and certainly one of Lisa’s private associates: Kemahl!
He’s a captivating man with unbelievable tales and I get to speak with him for the entire night. Even after dinner, once we transfer to the bar, Kemahl and I simply hang around sharing a yarn and a glass of Lisa’s wonderful Spartacus Shiraz.
And after a powerful rendition for the entire occasion of Outdated Man River, Kemahl sits again down to speak to speak with simply me and Christina.
It’s been an superior night time, however that’s precisely what we anticipated from Lisa. I don’t suppose she is aware of tips on how to throw a foul occasion.
This afternoon, we’re enjoyable over a glass of wine in our villa at Ironbark Hill Property.
Booked by Weekenda, an lodging website particularly for the Hunter area. It’s an effective way to search out locations to remain within the space which are higher than most stuff you’ll discover on AirBnB and is domestically owned too.
This pretty, non-public cottage has a full kitchen-diner and lounge, in addition to a again veranda that faces out over a dam. The acreage right here is so fairly, and as spring is making its means into the 12 months, the cherry blossoms are out too.
However even higher than that, not far up the drive is the Ironbark Hill Brewery, making its personal wonderful beers and serving scrumptious meals too.
In addition to the brewery, Peter Drayton Wines have their cellar door onsite too!
After all, it might be impolite to not, so we’ve got a beer paddle every to style a few of Ironbark Hill’s brews, then do a fast wine tasting as properly!
In case you haven’t tried Ironbark Hill’s beers or Peter Drayton Wines, you’re lacking out.
Our recommendation: e book a cottage right here, then spend a day having fun with the meals, beer and wine on provide right here. The added bonus is you don’t have to fret about driving to get house!
When in wine nation, you drink wine. It is sensible, doesn’t it.
However earlier than we get caught into a number of wineries, we determine to comply with our associates’ suggestion and pop into Jimmy Joans.
It’s a surprisingly massive and really busy eatery in Lovedale. It’s acquired an excellent native vibe with a lot of households having fun with the solar right here. The meals menu is filled with tempting choices (I’ve acquired my eye on the scotch egg) and a few good beers on faucet too.
Undoubtedly price trying out subsequent time you’re within the Hunter.
Our first vineyard cease, we’re excited to go to John Wallace Wines, not removed from Jimmy Joans. We’ve been wanting to return right here because it opened final 12 months.
It’s the child of our pal Richard Accomplished, who’s the top winemaker at Bimbadgen Property in Pokolbin. Someway, Wealthy can be making his personal wine on the identical time and has created this lovely house to promote it.
Wealthy takes us by his full assortment of severely good wine (his Sisters Chardonnay and BPD Shiraz are spectacular) and we sit and chew the fats for some time. I really like speaking to him about how he makes wine. He’s so sincere and sensible, but additionally extremely humble too.
Quickly sufficient, Richard’s fiancee Beth, their two pretty little daughters and the household canine Tilly arrive, we get to see the entire household unit – warms the guts.
In case you’re searching for a small, family-owned vineyard with a cellar door that appears like house and whose wine will make you wish to take up ingesting professionally, you’ve acquired to move to John Wallace Wines on Palmers Lane in Rothbury simply north of Pokolbin and Lovedale.
Subsequent cease is to Brokenwood – house of the famed Graveyard Shiraz, a perennial contender for the most effective wine in Australia.
We’ve been which means to return right here for ages because the multi-million greenback refurb to the cellar door, however by no means fairly made it.
The tasting we do is great – fascinating and scrumptious. Nevertheless it’s nowhere close to as private as John Wallace Wines. The tasting room is a sequence of hoop bars, every of which has a member of employees within the center. You e book in your tasting time on the entrance desk after which are ceremoniously taken by to your seat at a bar.
The primary tasting is $25 per individual, none of which doesn’t come off any purchases, and also you strive seven wines. It’s a stupendous cellar door, and it is an excellent expertise, however a bit impersonal and dearer than most.
Our final wine cease for the day is simply subsequent door to McGuigan Wines.
This Hunter Valley icon has been going for many years and is a straightforward should – particularly when you’re new to the Hunter or to wine-tasting generally.
The wines listed here are approachable however nonetheless win main awards. They’ve a spread of tasting experiences right here starting from a free 30-minute tasting on the bar to extra in-depth, non-public ones.
We’ve gone for the the Hunter By way of The Ages vertical tasting, which is an hour-long expertise that reveals you the way wine ages and features a little bit of native cheese and crackers too.
We’re taken by to the spectacular non-public tasting room the place we style a number of classic of McGuigan Semillon, which does loopy issues (flavour clever) the older it will get, and their Private Reserve Shiraz.
It’s a captivating expertise and Steve, the cellar door supervisor, takes us by the wines in such an fascinating but pleasant means. He even supplied to take a photograph for us! Extremely advocate this tasting.
This weekend, my brother Steve’s down from Brisbane, so we’re heading to Allianz Stadium in Sydney to catch the final NRL recreation of the season. And with us is our wonderful mate Anton.
It’s a neighborhood derby too – our workforce the Wests Tigers are taking part in the Easts Roosters. Robust recreation, with the Roosters on a successful streak and the Wests have simply come off a 10-game run of losses, plus that is the Easts’ house floor.
Let’s see the way it goes.
It’s the tip of the sport and sadly Balmain succumbed to the Roosters’ efforts, but it surely was good recreation nonetheless.
And at after the match, the gang’s invited onto the grass to ‘Take The Turf’. I don’t understand how many individuals actually are taking items of the pitch house with them, but it surely’s cool to see so many individuals working across the floor.
Match day half 2!
At present, we’re on the hallowed grounds of the SCG for the final recreation of the common AFL season for Sydney Swans.
They’re up in opposition to the Melbourne Demons, who’re increased within the league than them, however there’s lots at stake to inspire them. Profitable will take the Swans properly and really into the finals.
We’re fairly proud of our seats by the way in which. Not solely are they solely about 20 rows again from the grass, and within the row proper behind us are a few of our most interesting associates!
Sydney won’t have received as we speak, but it surely’s nonetheless been a variety of enjoyable coming to a capability SCG and spending the day with Steve.
Right here’s to lots extra.