It's Better to Travel than Arrive?

"To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive"

Robert Louis Stevenson, Virginibus Puerisque, 1881.

"Robert Louis Stevenson speaks utter tosh and has

obviously never flown long haul economy class"

Kristy, first ever blog post, 2011.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Restaurant Review : Bistro 25, Hahndorf, South Australia

Mum & Dad took me to Bistro 25 in Hahndorf's main street for dinner last night, my last night with them before they hand me over to the care of Sars & JD and head off on their week long river ramble with their friends on their vastly reworked boat, "Seas the Day".

We had been to Bistro 25 before, in December of last year, when hubby and I were home (this time home means South Australia) to celebrate Christmas with my family.  It was seriously amazing then, and, if I may say, it was even better this time.

Bistro 25 is a small restaurant, maybe 10 tables, and it's run by Jeffrey & Helen (Jeffrey is the chef), ably assisted by friendly and helpful front of house staff.

The reason I want you to know it's small is that this is a serious restaurant for foodies.  It doesn't have a Michelin star, it doesn't have big name chefs and you might not have heard of it - but you must go.  Seriously, you must.

Jeffrey is obviously very passionate about his food and this food is equal to, or even better than, some meals I've had in Michelin starred restaurants around the world.  The prices are often less than other restaurants and pubs (why have a snitty in The German Arms when you can have world class food for the same price?) in the main street, though the quality and passion that goes into this food is second to none.

Last night (cold, wet, windy) it was full with happy diners while the rest of the street was deserted, and it was lucky that Dad had made a booking.  Though there were a few tables empty when we got there at 7pm, they quickly filled up with walk-ins, so I recommend you make a booking to ensure you get to experience this fab nosh.

Mum and I had two starters each, instead of a starter and a main, and Dad held out for a main only (though shared in our starters).  I had scallops wrapped in proscuitto on a mash of something I don't remember, served with a scrumptious baby Greek salad (everything was diced so small that you imagine elves must be cutting it - gorgeous).  Mum had the double cooked boneless pork ribs and, despite my scallops being amazing, her ribs were world class.  I don't know how long they'll be on the menu (I think it changes pretty regularly), but if you see them when you visit, order them, you won't be disappointed.  Then Mum had my scallops for her second starter, and I had the honey roast pumpkin salad with warm baby chevre, caramelised onions and candied walnuts - swoon. 

Whilst we were having our second starter, Dad had the fillet of beef and there was nothing left on his plate when he finished!  Then we had a selection of desserts, including the ginger and wasabi fragranced panna cotta (weird but scrumptious) and the licorice and all sorts, which combined a generous scoop of licorice icecream (my favourite flavour in the world - don't judge!) and wedges of biscuitty slice - bliss.

They have a good wine list, and do many by the glass, as well as local Lobethal beers. 

As Molly Meldrum used to say "Do yourself a favour", and get in there.  Support a team of people that are passionate about perfect food and are flying in the face of the big names.  You won't regret it!

Now, they don't have a webpage, but here's the contact information:-

Bistro 25
25 Main Street
Hahndorf  SA  5245
Phone:- 8388 7718 (international +61 8 8388 7718)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hero Product : Mac Moisture Tint

I know this won't interest the boys, but when I find a fab new make-up product, I do like to spread the word.  I use a few Mac products (love their range of matte lipsticks!) and I've been using Mac Studio Moisture Tint for the last month or so.  I like to give a new product a fair try before I tell people about it, just in case the initial effects are not long-lasting.  I'm pleased to say that Mac Studio Moisture Tint is fabulous.

It's a tinted moisturiser/foundation mix that I love.  I have very oily skin and was using the Olay Tinted Moisturiser, but I found that my face was getting so ridiculously oily that I was blotting it several times a day, and even then I looked like I was glowing.

I looked around at a few things, then read a review on the Studio Moisture Tint and decided to buy a tube when I was last in London (surprisingly, they don't sell Mac in Rado!).  It was about 20 quid, but it's MUCH more expensive here in Australia (like everything else - don't get me started!), so I'm going to try to get some in Singapore Airport on the way home (FYI, Mac have a dedicated store in Changi Airport, terminal 2).

Anyway, it gives great coverage, even to my red cheeks and nose.  I don't have to use concealer at all most days, and only put some on at night if I'm going out.  My shade is Medium Dark.  It's just a great one stop product.  I was advised to use moisturiser under it, but I don't, and I don't think it needs it.  My face still gets a little greasy towards the end of the day, but that's not really a problem.

Travel Tip - the tube is small enough to fit into your little clear ziploc for carry-on luggage.  Yippee!

If you're looking for a new tinted moisturiser, give Mac Studio Moisture Tint a go - and let me know what you think!

(Oh, and just in case you're wondering,
Mac don't even know I exist, I just love this product.)

Monday, September 26, 2011

T2 : My New Fave Shop!

Before I start gushing about the fabulousness of T2 in Adelaide, let me just say that I'm not affiliated with them in any way, they're not paying me, I don't get discount or freebies - they don't even know who I am, I just think their shop is amazing and want to let you all know about it.  That said, if they want to contact me and start coughing up freebies, I'm certainly not going to say no!

Want, want, want everything!

Anyway, as you know, I'm home in Adelaide at the moment, and on the weekend Sars and I hit Rundle Street to visit Midwest Trader on the hunt for some vintage cowboy boots.  They didn't have anything we were mad on, so we headed back to the car and that's when we saw the arty black frontage of T2 (276-278 Rundle Street East, Adelaide).  Now, I hadn't heard of them before, but Sars had, and we headed over the road and inside.

It was love at first sight!  T2 is a tea emporium, selling everything tea related.  It's a glorious Aladdins Cave of tea and tea items.  Walls of wondrous tea leaf concoctions, mounds of astonishingly lovely tea cups, saucers and tea pots and gaggles of gifts.

Tea pots, cups and tea on just one
of the many glorious displays

The store is set out a little like one of my US faves, Anthropologie, with a bit of a vintage air about it.  The staff are incredibly knowledgeable, friendly, helpful and chatty - I wanted to take them back to Germany with me to teach our sulky Rado store staff a thing or two.  These girls actually want to be at work and to help you - unheard of!

One of the walls of tea blends

Prices range from the sublime (under $10) to the "Oh, I wish" (over $300).  They have a mouth wateringly fab collection of vintage cups and saucers starting at $20  - the most perfect gift.  You spend so much more on flowers, and whilst flowers are always amazing to receive, I don't know of a girl who would say "Um, no" to a flowery cup and saucer instead.  Their products are lush, and very, very want-able.

It's the absolutely perfect place to do your Christmas shopping.  Whatever you buy can be wrapped in high end style - in boxes, then covered with Chinese newspapers, then with an opaque orange cellophane and tied with lovely orange ribbony string and wedged into their yummy T2 cardboard shopping bags.  And the best bit?  The wrapping is free!  The girls told me that at Christmas they're going to have a dedicated wrapper for gifts, but my advice is to get in there now and get your presents bought and wrapped before the rush - you won't regret it!

The fantastic wrapping and bags
(my iPhone photo doesn't do it justice)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Home Sweet Home

Yay, I'm home!  "Um, but where actually are you?" is the question I can hear you asking. You see, I'm incredibly lucky to be able to call a few places home, and at the moment I'm home in Adelaide, South Australia, where I'm from and where I grew up.

My trip "home" was a bit of a spur of the moment thing when a trip to another place I used to call "home" was postponed.  We were planning a trip "home" to Michigan, USA, for the end of this month and when that fell off the radar, I decided I'd come "home" to Adelaide to surprise my dear friend Sars for her birthday instead.

So I sat at "home" in southern Germany and bought a ticket "home" to Adelaide on Sunday afternoon, then flew out on Tuesday morning.  A quick decision is a good decision!

So now I'm "home" in Adelaide, it got me thinking about where is home for me now - really home.

See, I'm from Adelaide, and lived here until I was about 35.  My fantastic husband comes from Glasgow, Scotland, so I'm lucky enough to have family and friends there now and I also call that "home".

After hubby and I met and married in Australia (well, we married in Scotland, but we met in Australia - I know, complicated), we moved to one of my favourite places on earth, Bangkok in Thailand.  We lived there for 18 months and Bangkok is a place I'll always call "home", a place that felt like "home" to me from the very first time I visited.

After living in Bangkok, we moved to Michigan, USA, which we called "home" for about another 18 months.  We're lucky enough to have very good friends there too, and whilst I don't get "home" there terribly often, I think about it frequently.  As I said above, we were hoping to get "home" to Michigan later this month, but that's not happening now - and my credit card breathes a sigh of relief.

After living in Michigan, we moved to southern Germany and that's the place we now call "home".  We've been there for nearly 3 years now, and I speak fluent "Germlish" (my squishy German/English mix) and we have good friends (and neighbours!) in our town.

So, you can see I'm lucky enough to be able to call lots of places "home", but, honestly, in my heart the only place I call home is where my fantastic husband is, and it's his birthday today and I'm not home with him.  Instead, I'm "home" in my home town with other people who love and care for me.  So, honey, I hope you're having a great birthday (even though you're spending it at work), and I'll be back home with you soon.

Now you know where I call home, where do you call home?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Thank You!

Just a quick, but very heart-felt, thank you to all you lovely readers!

I've bumped up over the 2,000 page visits mark and I'm seriously thrilled.

It makes my day when I see that people have enjoyed reading my posts and I love reading your comments.

So, thank you so very much for taking the time out of your busy days to read my waffle - you're fabulous!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Megeve, France

We had a ball last week with hubby's family in Megeve in the French Alps, spending a week in the sun instead of a week in the snow as we did earlier in the year.

Megeve is seriously beautiful and we're in a chalet above the valley, with great views out over the surrounding countryside.

I enjoyed my morning coffees during the week seeing the sun rise over the Alps, playing with the resident kitten, Rasta, and watching air balloons bob around the mountains opposite - hey, someone's got to do it!

We took a ride on the Tramway St Gervais Mont Blanc which whizzed us up the mountainside to around 3,800 feet, snuggling up close to Mt Blanc and the glaciers.

Here's a shot of us all at the top:-

I'm sure I've come back kilos heavier after the amazing breakfasts that Juilet and Cesare cooked for us.  Now we're back home, my body is in shock at having its normal breakfast of no fat milk and Weetabix instead of the Megeve breakfast of bacon sandwiches, pain au chocolat and coffee - oh, I miss those pain au chocolat!  I put a link to a recipe for pain au chocolat, but let's be serious here, they take over 3 hours to make and I know that I'm never going to do it, just go to the bakery and do yourself a favour.

And as much as I loved spending a sunny week in Megeve, I really think I like it better when it's snowy.