Hotel Rottnest

Hotel Rottnest Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Hotel Rottnest has been a Rotto favourite for generations of Perthies. Found at the main settlement of Thompson Bay, the former Governor’s Residence was restored and transformed about a decade ago.

Park your bike at the gate and find a table in the shady beer garden, which has to enjoy one of the best beach views in WA. It’s very easy to lose a few hours in the relaxed, lively courtyard.

I was enjoying a day trip to Rotto along with some travel writers from all around Australia and we were there to sample the brand new Head Chef’s menu. The seasonal lunch and dinner menu is brimming with pub favourites made with WA produce. It offers something for everyone, be it a snack, share food, gourmet pizza or a more substantial meal. We were very hungry after a morning of quokka selfies! (It had to be done!).

My spirit animal… a hungry quokka haha!

The beachside location begs for a summery glass of wine or cocktail. I loved this fruity cocktail.

First our group enjoyed a share plate – romano salami, cured pork loin, aged serrano, ashed goats cheese, vintage cheddar, creamy brie, crusty sourdough sticks, pickles and honeycomb.

I loved the meaty, freshly steamed Exmouth prawns with chopped herbs and lemon.

The Arkady lamb shoulder, braised for six hours, was oh so tender and tasty. Served with caviar lentils, golden shallots, black cabbage and shitake butter.

Perfectly pan fried WA Cone Bay Barramundi fillet is served with a delicious charred cauliflower, roasted pistachios and green raisin dish, as well as a creamy basil butter.

Hotel Rottnest is a stunning location to finish up a day-trip to the island, with drinks overlooking the white sands of scenic Thompson Bay.

Read more about my trips to Rotto here:

Rottnest Cruises Seafood Experience

A Day on Rottnest Island

Find more info on their website: https://www.hotelrottnest.com.au

Rottnest Cruises – Wild Seafood Experience

Rottnest Cruises (together with mother nature) provide what is quite possibly the very best view I’ve EVER had from a dining table! I’m a big seafood lover. We’re really blessed in WA to have an ocean chokkas with bountiful fish and shellfish, but it can be difficult to find this quality local produce at Perth restaurants. There’s really nothing like eating freshly caught seafood.

That’s where Rottnest Cruises new Wild Seafood Experience comes in. It’s a unique, hands on and exhilarating tour where you cruise around Rotto’s stunning coastline, catch your Western Rock Lobsters (crayfish) which are then cooked right before your eyes and devoured in a long table seafood feast.

The family owned charter company (who also operate the brilliant Mandurah Cruises) have recently started the luxury boat tours on the sparkling blue-green waters of Rottnest. Step aboard on the boat at the Thompson Bay Fuel Jetty and you’re greeted by the friendly crew with a drink and canapes. Soon, we cruise off to the area where the cray pots are located.

The Catch

On the Rottnest Cruises Wild Seafood Experience, you’re encouraged to have a go at pulling the pots (about 28 meters under the ocean’s surface) and fingers crossed… there’s some big, juicy Western Rock Lobsters to be found inside!

Chef and I both had a go at lugging the pots up to the boat with rope – we had a lot of fun catching our lunch! In my pot there were three crays. First we determine if the lobster is male or female – females that have eggs are thrown back into the ocean.

Luckily, I got to keep a male for lunch. I got my gloves on and wrestled the wriggly sucker from the pot. And the other people on the cruise successfully pulled more pots with hauls of big lobsters – and even a brakesea cod!

While the crayfish were being prepared and cooked on the bbqs, we moored up in the sheltered Little Parakeet Bay (one of my favourite Rottnest spots). The view from our table was quite possibly THE BEST I’ve ever had ever. And trust me, I’ve had some amazing sights from the likes of Le Jules Verne Restaurant (Eiffel Tower) and ARIA (Sydney).

The Feast

While we smell the aromas of our crayfish being cooked ocean-side, we tuck into a three-course seafood feast with unlimited local wine, beer and soft drink. We have a lovely group of locals and international tourists on the cruise.

A seafood platter brimming with whole prawns, crab, octopus and freshly shucked oysters is delicious.

Next up, are fresh fish and slaw tacos. There are plenty of tasty salads and bread too.

Then it was the star of the show… the barbequed western rock lobster, smothered in a herb butter and perfectly cooked. I enthusiastically tackle my massive cray. The soft, juicy flesh easily tearing away from the shell. Hands down it’s the freshest, tastiest crayfish I’ve enjoyed.

And of course, seafood is best washed down with a glass of Margaret River wine. The freshly cooked seafood, Mad Fish SBS and view was heaven on earth. How will we ever top this?!

We finish our feast with a light dessert of strawberries dipped in chocolate and a little chocolate cake.

The adventure tour is a must for foodies, as well as being able to see Rottnest from a different perspective, I loved the ocean to plate experience.  I had a pinch-myself moment when I was munching on the juicy lobster, gazing over the clear turquoise ocean to the white dunes of Rotto. We certainly lived the high life during the two and a half hour cruise.

I highly recommend this day trip with a difference on Rottnest Cruises’ interactive Wild Seafood Experience – for us it will be an afternoon we’ll long remember!

Find out more about Rottnest Cruises on their website.

Thanks to Rottnest Cruises for inviting us to be their guests. All words and opinions are my own.

Rob’s Pit Stop BBQ, Kalamunda

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Robs Pit Stop BBQ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

There’s a new BBQ joint in Kalamunda – Rob’s Pit Stop BBQ. If you are a carnivore and love your meats cooked low and slow, then Rob’s is well worth trying out. In what was once a suburban deli, opposite Kalamunda High School, is now home to the casual eatery – a dedicated mecca of meat.

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Chef and I are a bit obsessed with a TV show called “Southern Fried Road Trip” – a road trip through the southern US states of Louisiana, Kentucky, Alabama and more. Half the weird and wonderful dishes we’ve never heard of and we’re absolutely fascinated by it. So many of their discoveries are at tiny shacks by the side of the road or retro cafes owned by generations of the same family.

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Rob’s Pit Stop BBQ has that laid-back southern American feel, people are just here for a soul-warming feed of BBQ, there’s no airs and graces and you eat from paper plates!
There’s plenty of seating – inside in the diner-style room or outside in the enclosed patio area.

Rob's Pit Stop BBQ

When it comes to ordering your meal, things are a little different at Rob’s Pit Stop BBQ. Here, meat is ordered per 100 grams. Don’t worry about over-ordering, you’re welcome to take the leftovers home. The menu has lots of tasty meats to choose from, you can keep it to yourself, but we think it’s more fun to share and you get to try lots more that way. It’s served up in a very different way too!

Rob's Pit Stop BBQ

We chose Texas brisket, Carolina pulled pork, Memphis style pork ribs, Kansas City beef short ribs and Kielbasa sausage. My favourites of the meats had to be the very tasty brisket, huuuuge beef short rib, with a lip-smackingly delicious charred crust. In truth it was all good. I would have liked to see a meat dish that was a little saucy too, to mix things up a bit.

Rob's Pit Stop BBQ

On the side we had coleslaw, potato salad and mac and cheese. Little Chef was obsessed with the creamy mac n cheese which came in a huge paper cup. You can help yourself to pickles, chillies and pickled onion, as well as a range of hot sauces.

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This feast was shared between five people and at about $36 dollars per head, we found it was good value. The meat is full of smoky flavours, moist and incredibly moreish. We did end up having a little extra to take home too, good for sandwiches later!

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There’s plenty of choice for soft drinks and bottomless cups of iced tea – nice one!

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Little Chef chose a Canada Dry, there’s also imported cans of cherry cola and more.

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If you want to try Rob’s pit stop, but maybe not have such a meat-fest, try a brisket and coleslaw roll or a Ruben, with pastrami and sauerkraut. To finish we enjoyed some mini pecan pie and chocolate brownies. The American pumpkin pie also sounds delicious.

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Rob’s Pit Stop BBQ is a walk in spot, with bookings available for larger groups of eight or more. If you love meat – then Rob’s Pit Stop BBQ is for you!

More info on their website.

Shopping for Mum at Angove Street Collective

Angove Street CollectiveThe City of Vincent is one of the most foodie-blessed spots outside of the Perth CBD. There’s the bustling Beaufort Street and Leederville’s vibrant Oxford Street. Another foodie hotspot is a little more tucked away on Angove Street in North Perth. Here there’s a mini café strip, small bars, coffee shops, a pub and some brilliant boutique retailers.

Over the next week or so I’ll be bringing you some must-visit Angove Street spots to take your Mum (or yourself if you’re a Mum) for Mother’s Day – whether she likes to shop, brunch, get dressed up for nibbles and drinkies or loves something scrumptiously sweet. But first, you’ll need to find her a lovely Mother’s Day gift! Little Chef and I took my own amazing Mum along to Angove Street Collective, to see if there was anything on her Mothers Day wishlist. I have to admit, I found so many beautiful items to put on my own!

Angove Street Collective

Angove Street Collective is a beautiful homewares emporium of many independent retailers, which is jam-packed with gifts for your Mum, Nanna or even yourself! If you’re on the lookout for something unique, on-trend or quirky, Angove Street Collective has a multitude of items that will fit the bill perfectly.

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The flowers by Debra Hayes Floral are simply stunning. The store within a store features garden and plant-inspired homewares that any green thumb will love and there are many vibrant, fresh blooms to-go in the “flower fridge”.

Angove Street Collective

Angove Street Collective

At Angove Street Collective you’ll find a great range of homewares which make me want to throw out all my decade-old furniture and accessories and start again!

Angove Street Collective

Angove Street Collective

Indoor plants are so on trend right now and as well as looking totally lush, they purify your indoor air too. For me, a bit of greenery would be my perfect gift.

Angove Street Collective

Paper Fusion, next door to the main Angove Street Collective space, is a gorgeous spot. Here you’ll find luxury stationery, hand-painted invitations and unique greeting cards perfect for Mothers Day.

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At Angove Street Collective you’ll also find clothing by Elk and Harpers Emporium. And don’t forget to pop into Stomping Ground cafe for a coffee! Angove Street Collection really has something for all Mums.

Angove Street Collective

Find Angove Street Collective at 31-39 Angove Street, North Perth, WA.

www.angovestreetcollective.com.au

All of the beautiful photos are by Monica Defendi Photography

Angove Street Collective

This article is sponsored by the City of Vincent to promote Mother’s Day in and around Angove Street, North Perth. All words and opinions are my own.

Your Guide to Eat Drink Perth 2018 – Collabs

IMG_2021This year I’m bringing you the best of the Eat Drink Perth Festival’s “Collabs” category. What’s better than visiting one delicious venue? Visiting two, three or many more on a walking tour! Or trying lots of mouth-watering morsels at one exciting venue. Here’s my experiences on the Wandering Wok Tour and delicious Hyatt Vodka High Tea and a round up of the “collabs” events and offers for eating your way through the city of Perth.

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Northbridge Ramble and Relish – Wandering Wok Tours

I met foodie Pauline Lynch from Wandering Wok Tours at the Northbridge Piazza. From here, Pauline guided me through the streets of Northbridge to discover the influence of Chinese, Italians, Greeks, Yugoslavs and Vietnamese immigrants to the Northbridge and wider Perth food scene.

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The interesting walking tour takes two hours and includes at least eight food tastings along the way – you may try tasty morsels like BBQ pork, home-made spring rolls, Italian pastries, Turkish delight and much more. Since I’m gluten-free, Pauline found some yummy GF food for me to sample.

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First we stopped at one of Perth’s favourite gourmet Italian butchers, Torre. It has been run out of the same Lake Street cottage by many generations of the same family since it was established in 1950. Here you can sample the most delectable roast ham. They’re currently installing a massive dry aging room – watch this space!

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Next we enjoyed a coffee and sweet treat from The Re Store, which has been a Northbridge stalwart for over 80 years. The Italian owned store is an emporium of imported European goods and everyone loves their continental rolls!

We popped into Corica Pastries, full of the aromas of freshly baked traditional apple strudels. Also on Aberdeen Street, I salivated over huge cheese wheels at European Foods, which is also home to The Northbridge Coffee Roasters. We strolled down colourful alleyways, covered with vibrant murals, to Newcastle Street.

Next up was Sallys Yong Tau Fu, an Asian grocery store on William Street, which specialises in yong tau fu. There are rows and rows of Asian goodies. I had no idea what anything was used for, Pauline is a wealth of knowledge on many of the products and ingredients.

Ming's BBQ House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

As we explored the streets and back alleyways of Northbridge, my tastebuds got a workout too! Roasted ducks hanging in the window of Ming’s BBQ House enticed us inside. Here we tried roast pork, as well as delicious shredded duck in lettuce cups. Yum!

The post-war migration of Italians and Greeks gave Northbridge it’s alfresco dining scene. In 1929, one of the newly arrived Greeks, Angelo Kakulas, opened the iconic grocery store – Kakulas Bros, on William Street. The store is like an Aladdin’s cave for foodies, and has a huge range of goods and spices, flours, rices and grains, all sold from their original sacks.

Here I tried dark chocolate covered macadamias and some traditional Turkish delight.

Lastly, we walked through Chinatown, to Old Shanghai. I tucked into some silky rice flour rolls, filled with plump prawns. The slippery lil suckers were hard to eat with chopsticks (for a novice like me!) but the delish rolls were totally worth the effort.

The Northbridge Ramble and Relish tour was a brilliant way to delve a little deeper into what Northbridge has to offer. I certainly learned a few new things from Pauline, who has been running walking tours of Northbridge since 2001. The tour is great value for $65 per person. Find out more and book a tour here.

www.wanderingwok.com.au

 

Vodka High Tea Sundays – Hyatt Perth

Who loves vodka? Me! I tucked into a Vodka High Tea at the luxurious Hyatt hotel with a delish Belvedere champagne punch cocktail, an exclusive offer for Eat Drink Perth.

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The Hyatt is close to my heart for a number of reasons. I met Chef back when he was an apprentice at the Hyatt. He took me on our first date at Café, our second date was at Joes Oriental Diner and my first ever fine dining experience was when Chef was working at the fancy pants Gershwin’s Restaurant. I was excited to be back at a spot where I’d spent so much time in the early 2000s.

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High tea is the perfect reason for a girly catch up. I took my Mum along for an afternoon of decadence under the Hyatt’s conservatory atrium. First, we were served our cocktails (or mocktail in the case of my Mum). I loved the Belvedere champagne punch, with its pineapple flavours.

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My Mum and I nibbled on some pre-high tea appetisers. There’s a delish giant tempura prawn, mushroom tart and croquette. I was pleased with their gluten free offering.

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The Hyatt’s high tea is a mix of savoury and sweet morsels. There’s light and fluffy strawberry lamingtons, red velvet cake, orange and almond cake, fruit tarts and more.

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On the savoury tier there’s dainty finger sandwiches, smoked salmon canapés, and mini chicken wraps.

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And no high tea is complete without the tea! Tea Forte loose leaf English Breakfast was poured from the most beautiful Royal Albert teapot (I want one!).

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At $65 per person, the High Tea at the Hyatt is lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon, it features the vodka cocktail each Sunday during March. Hyatt Regency Perth also offers a Rosé High Tea experience each weekend.

Find out more and how to book here.

Other Collab Events on during Eat Drink Perth 2018

• Self Guided Cheese Tasting Tour at Fromage Artisans
• Gluten Free Expo at PCEC
• New flavours at Gusto Gelato
• Easter-ific Hang Out at Cathedral Square
• Northbridge Outdoor Movies – Free Flicks for Kids – Foodie Series at The Piazza
• Foodie Family Fun Day at Forrest Place, Perth
• Dinner and FREE Ben & Jerry’ Dessert Deal at Guzman y Gomez
Varsity Burger of the Month Pineapple Club ( Northbridge )
• Battle of the BBQs – Long Chim‘s Lucas Fernandes and Petition‘s Jessie Blake
Night Noodle Markets – Good Food Month at Elizabeth Quay, Perth
• Great Southern Wine Dinner at the State Buildings Postal Hall.
• The Ultimate Perth Craft Beer Tour by Eat The Street
• Tap and Table ft. Artisan Brewing at Belgian Beer Cafe
• Ginstronomy Experience – Best Brew Bar & Kitchen at Four Points by Sheraton Perth
Lamont’s Winery Sundowner & pop-up cellar door
• Pasta Battle by Perth’s most acclaimed and accomplished restaurants at Post
• Bites, Bars and Backstreets Adventure – Food Loose Tours
• The Beautiful Dinner presented by James Squire at Post
• Sage Amour Package at Sage Hotel West Perth

Find out more details on all these exciting events here. I can’t wait to eat and drink my way around some more of them!

                                               This blog post is sponsored by The City of Perth.                                                 All images, words and opinions are my own.

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Watermelon Cake from Night Noodle Markets

Swan Valley Sweet Temptations Trail

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I’ve discovered the scrumptious Sweet Temptations Trail, a mouth-watering artisan adventure that takes you to some of the Swan Valley’s sweetest spots. Sweet-tooths will love the tour that focuses on local produce, hand crafted in the Swan Valley region.

Absolutely anyone can take part in the DIY self-drive tour, it’s a tonne of fun for couples, friends or even families. Taste everything from nougat, honey, sweet nuts, raw treats, fresh macarons and there’s even a few cheeky wine stops, because the Swan Valley boasts some top-notch sweet wines after all!

Maison Saint-Honore

Maison Saint Honore owner Alex Lui-van-Sheng first shared his marvellous macarons with Perth at farmers markets. His little business soon took off and now he’s running a macaron factory in the Swan Valley. Here you can pop in and purchase so many different flavours of these yummy morsels or stay a little while longer, grab a table and enjoy a brunch or coffee with something sweet.

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First, we sampled the freshest French macarons, as well as a host of other sweet treats made at Maison. And for those who may like something a little more savoury their house baked croissants are a big favourite too!

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The café has a playground, as well as a separate, quieter garden area. See my separate blog on Maison Saint Honore here.

Find Maison Saint Honore at 110 Benara Road, Caversham, WA.

Pinelli Estate Wines

While we were at Maison, their friendly neighbour Daniel Pinelli, Owner from adjoining winery Pinelli Estate Wines, popped by to let us taste their Pink Moscato. You may know I’m rather partial to a drop of vino, and when Daniel told us his Moscato had fairy floss notes, I just knew it would be a winner! After a little sip, I let out an audible “ooooo”, I was sold. It’s one of the best Moscatos, if not the best, that I’ve tried. Pinelli Estate wines, a family winery with an Italian heritage, are only available from their cellar door or online.

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Find Pinelli Estate Wines at 114 Benara Road, Caversham, WA. Continue reading

Santa’s Magical Kingdom Perth

It’s beginning to look an awful lot like Christmas isn’t it?! If you love everything Christmas like we do Santa’s Magical Kingdom, at Crown Pyramid, is a wonderful event for the whole family.

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Chef is usually quite the Grinch at Christmas, thanks to the festive season being the hospitality industry’s busiest time, and many years working on Christmas day. Little Chef and I, on the other hand, LOVE it! Once the 1st of December rolls around we excitedly put up our tree, crank the Christmas tunes and start planning our Christmas feast. This year on December 1st we were invited to check out Santa’s Magical Kingdom, which is back at Crown for it’s second year – and I can tell you it’s even better than last year’s event!

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Here in the southern hemisphere we really miss out on a typical Christmas card style white Christmas, which is what makes Santa’s Magical Kingdom so appealing to us. The huge tent is decked out in stunning decorations, a whimsical winter wonderland and Chrissy music playing in the background – giving us all those Christmas feels.

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There’s lots to pack into a 3 hour session…

Unlimited rides and bouncy castles for all ages and thrill seekers! The older Little Chef gets, the more of a daredevil he is. He particularly loved the Sky Flyer and Sizzler this year. There’s also lots of rides for younger children and wooses like me! The bumper cars were a hit and their teacup ride is super cute.

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Christmas craft and activities including gingerbread decorating and tree decoration making. Little Chef decorated his gingerbread man in record time – just so he could devour it! Continue reading

My Other Favourite F-Word… F1

Now I’m going to let you in on something…

Some people may be surprised to know that “food” is NOT my most favourite F-word.

Though food is a massive passion of mine, it’s not my #1 obsession – that would be Formula One motor racing. I’m a huge F1 nerd. If I was ever faced with a choice of spending a year dining at twenty of the best Mitchelin starred restaurants in the world or travelling to all of the Formula One circuits in a season, I’d choose F1. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

So, you can imagine that when I visited Daniel Ricciardo’s race winning Red Bull at the new WA Motor Museum extension, I was totally giddy with excitement!

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Why F1?

My love of F1 started back in the mid-1990s, when I was a teenager and had been living in the UK for a few years. I’d spend hours on the weekend watching the race build up, driver interviews and religiously watched qualifying and each race.

So why the big obsession? To be honest, it doesn’t come down to just one thing. I love the excitement, speed, noise, glamour and drama of each race and season. What the drivers, team managers and expert pundits have to say absolutely fascinates me.

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My husband “Chef” will occasionally watch a race with me. He’ll shake his head when I insert a random nugget of info that I know – like Michael Schumacher broke his leg at Silverstone in 1999 (at Stowe Corner) or an inconspicuous person sitting on the pit wall is Rob Smedley, one of the technical peeps at Williams – who incidentally haven’t been at their best for a long time (like, decades). Or I have to tell him to “calm the eff down” cos the F1 car is NOT on fire – it’s just brake dust or sparks flying from the undercarriage hitting the track. I’ve forgotten how many times I’ve explained the DRS (Drag Reduction System) to him. My party trick is to name every F1 Champion and team (in order) for the last 25 years. As you can see, a lot of incredibly useless F1 info is swarming around in my head. Though I find it endlessly captivating.

In my 19 years of being a dedicated fan, I’ve not been to a race yet. It is top of my bucket list (in red, underlined AND highlighted). Distance and cost have been factors (gotta love living in the world’s most isolated capital city)! I am determined to get to an actual race weekend one day. Which one would I go to? Melbourne and Singapore would both be obvious choices and fantastic destinations for a foodie too! Monaco would also be an iconic race to visit. My first choice would have to be the Belgium GP. To watch an F1 car zoom up the sweeping Eu Rouge would be breathtaking.

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My Most Memorable Race

One of my all-time favourite F1 races was at Spa in 1998. It really cemented my love of F1. It was a crazy race where anything and everything happened (a bit like this year’s Azerbaijan race). Torrential rain caused a mass pile up on the starting lap, which took out about 13 of the cars. It was a spectacular sight and a wonder no one got hurt. Back in those days each team was lucky to have a spare car, so many of the drivers were still able to race at the re-start.

Cars were aquaplaning off the circuit left right and centre in the horrendous conditions. Michael Schumacher was winning by miles (he was the rain-meister after all). His Ferrari came up to lap David Coulthard in the McLaren and he ended up slamming right into the back of him, as visibility was so poor. He lost one of his front tyres and had to three-wheel it back to the pits. I remember chuckling as he stormed down to DC’s garage, it looked like there was going to be a punch up. In the end, after even more bingles, only 8 out of 20 cars finished and the bright yellow Jordan’s earned their very first race win, and a 1-2 at that (Damon Hill & Ralf Schumacher).

 

RB10 at the WA Motor Museum

At the WA Motor Museum (Whiteman Park, Western Australia) the RB10, Daniel Ricciardo’s race winning Red Bull from his break out 2014 season, sits proudly rotating on the turntable. This car is the real deal. It’s not a shell or a replica. Its Renault engine is hidden under the shiny Newey-designed chassis. Even the steering wheel, with its many buttons, is still in the cockpit.

This car took Daniel to his maiden Formula One victory in Canada and then wins in Belgium and Hungary later that year. And he’s been kind enough to loan his very special car to the museum, on a long term basis. We’re so lucky to have this here in Perth.

It blows my mind at how much it is worth, “seven figures” according to Daniel Ricciardo, that’s over a million dollars! In future, I’d love to see some more memorabilia at the museum on Daniel Ricciardo and other past Aussie F1 drivers.

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Anyways, I could go on about F1 till the Minardis come home… Of course Daniel is my favourite of the current drivers, but not just as he’s from Perth (and is wildly entertaining off track). He grabs every chance he gets with both hands and is so fierce. Given the right car (and engine), I have no doubt he’ll be our very first West Aussie F1 World Champion.

Did you know Danny Ric is a bit of a foodie too? He’s always hunting down the best food whenever he travels, Sushi in Japan, BBQ in Texas and he is a partner in a micro-brewery in the South of France with another of my F1 faves, 2009 World Champ Jenson Button. How cool is that! Blue Coast Brewing Co is just outside of Nice. I wonder if he’ll bring it to Perth one day?

And for now, we all have a little slice of F1 at the WA Motor Museum. How lucky are we!? Make sure you go down to Whiteman Park and check it out.

Here’s my Buggybuddys review of the Motor Museum. I was stoked to be able to write about cars for once!

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More on the WA Motor Museum here.

NEW Vines Mini Golf & Kid Friendly Swan Valley Eats

The newly opened Vines Mini Golf course at The Vines Resort is very impressive. This stunningly landscaped miniature golf course has wine barrels, tractors and lots of timber, giving it a real Swan Valley feel.

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The course has been designed for both adults and children to enjoy. And the three of us do love a family game of mini golf! Everybody tees off from the same point, but depending on your own choice, you can aim towards the blue or red flags – designed to give you a slightly different experience if you play more than once.

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Each hole has its own individual challenges – sand traps, slopes and hills, bridges, tunnels and water features. There are streams meandering past many of the holes. We lost a couple of balls in there… whoops!

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All the holes were fun and each had its own individual challenge. There’s a hole with two tunnels, taking the balls down to a lower level, that was a big hit with Little Chef. He was stoked that he got TWO holes in one too!

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Unlike traditional golf at The Vines, there’s no strict dress code, though everyone must have footwear on at all times and you cannot wear high heels on the course. There’s no shade and the average play time is about 1 hour, so remember to slip, slop slap!

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When we played, we were lucky to get a sneak peek before the course opened to the public. They were still making a few finishing touches, including a fun “winner’s podium”, just to make it a little more competitive – everybody wants to be on the top step and get mini golf bragging rights!

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Vines Mini Golf is a “hole” lot of fun! We enjoyed the challenges of trying to keep the ball out of the water and of course, Little Chef beat me. I’ll be challenging to a re-match very soon. We will definitely go back there again. It’s loads of fun for the whole family – no experience necessary!

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8 Swan Valley Kid-Friendly Eats

And while you’re in the Swan Valley, how about you try one of these kid-friendly spots?

Oakover Grounds – this winery has excellent casual food in a beautiful setting on a lake. There’s free peddle boats and fishing too! If you’re lucky enough to catch a fish (like us) you can pay for it and cook it up at home! Read my blog here.

For Kids: kids menu, loads of space for them to run around, peddle boats and fishing.

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Taylors Art and Coffee House – my favourite Swan Valley brunch spot. There’s fluffy pancakes, great coffee and other scrumptious creations. Read my blog here.

For Kids: kids menu, casual vibe and a sandpit in the back courtyard.

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The Hen – The Hen has bucket loads of character, for a new spot. The rustic, country vibe works well in the Swan Valley and we enjoyed a tasty lunch there last year. Read my blog here.

For Kids: kids menu, and loads of space for them to run around – balls and frisbees available.

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Maison St Honore – this macaron factory is a fantastic spot for a sweet treat and coffee. There’s a few savoury items available too and I did spy a brunch menu, so I’ll have to “investigate” that further! Read my blog here.

For Kids: scrumptious treats, loads of lawn and a playground.

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Fun, Food and Flying Pigs at the 2017 IGA Perth Royal Show

It’s showtime! The IGA Perth Royal Show is on NOW till Saturday the 30th of September.

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Growing up, the Perth Royal Show was a firm favourite of mine. I have fond childhood memories of Bertie Beatle showbags and cuddly animals, as well as stomach churning rides when Chef and I were dating in our early 20s.

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This year it was Little Chef’s very first time experiencing all the fun of the show and he’d given us very strict instructions on what show bags he’d like and just what he wanted to see and do.

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Not surprisingly, other than the rides and side show alley, he was most excited about seeing all the animals. Little Chef cuddled chicks, guinea pigs and patted some piglets too.

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Just outside, you’ll find the “Racing and Flying Pigs Show”. This goes for about 15 minutes and we loved seeing those porkers fly!

We really enjoyed “Walk Through WA”, here all regions of WA are featured. Little Chef loved the farming virtual reality, seeing cute baby camels and also prospecting for gold, where he found a gold coin to keep.

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Before we knew it, it was lunchtime! We headed to the huge Taste WA tent, which was a perfect place to discover some delicious Royal Show award winning West Aussie produce to eat – from Perth’s best sausage to gold medal pies and bread.

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There’s loads of seating, making it a good stop in the changeable weather.

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Little Chef tucked into crumbed Pilbara Spanish Mackerel. The hand cup chips are from the south west – even the salt is from WA!

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I had some saucy Linley Valley pork ribs and chips.

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While we were chowing down on all that, we watched a cooking demo by West Australian Food Ambassador, Chef Don Hancey.

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There’s a bar and cider truck from my favourites Core Cider House too!

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There’s loads of other food options all around the show. From the run of the mill hamburgers and hotdogs, to something a bit wild and wacky – deep fried Oreos anyone?!

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OMG… I sniffed out these giant turkey legs and lamb shanks, which looked A-frikkin-mazing! Too bad we’d just had our lunch.

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These meaty morsels are found at that little food vendor with the yellow roof that’s between the top of the oval and the Ferris wheel. I remember it from when I was a kid, so it’s been there quite some time! A trip here is definitely on my list for next year! Continue reading