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

The Chef’s Wife UK Holiday – York

IMG_5444I love England to bits. There is just so much to see and do. One of my most favourite cities in England is York. In my opinion, it is so packed full of attractions, it’s the best place to visit after London. Like London, York has a very long and rich history. Spanning back nearly two thousand years – founded by the Romans, conquered by the Vikings and in modern times made famous by the steam train era and rise of large confectionary companies.

IMG_5452We start our day just on the outskirts of York, at a designer outlet shopping village. It’s strongly encouraged that you don’t bring your car into the walled city. The Tour de France started from York, just a couple of weeks before we were there – I was blown away by how many bikes were in the city. It seemed to be many people’s main mode of transport. There were literally thousands parked around the place. We opt to “park and ride”, the bus is very convenient and cheap too. In no time we see the city walls and we are in the heart of York.IMG_5318

We stop just near to the tourist information centre – a must stop for visitors. We pick up a York Pass, which is a pre-paid card (RRP £36 for an adult 24hr pass) so you don’t have to pay admission at 30 of York’s top attractions – you end up saving about 30% and it also offers many discounts on tours and eating out.

After collecting an armful of flyers and leaflets we set off to the Jorvik Viking Museum. In the Coppergate area of York they found 40,000 Viking artefacts in the early 1980s. We saw helmets, weapons, pottery and much more in the museum. Little chef loved it and the highlight for him was going on an interactive journey through recreated Viking village where you can smell the fires, cooking and really feel as if you are there. Little Chef thought this was pretty cool, as you sit in a moving “time capsule”.IMG_5335

Just around the corner is the ancient Clifford’s Tower – the keep of York Castle, which is now mostly gone. We walked up the many steps, rewarded with one of the best views in York from the top. Next to the tower, outside the Castle Museum was a vintage fair. Little Chef loved the helter skelter – what a beauty! IMG_5344

And we just couldn’t say no to some locally farm-made “Ryeburn of Hemsley” Ice cream from the vintage Fordson Thames ice cream van – one of just a handful still in operation.IMG_5343

IMG_5380We were hoping to stop at the Yorkshire Institution, Bettys, for morning tea. I love a high tea as much as the next person and I have heard the Betty’s experience is quintessentially English. Unfortunately many other people had the same idea as us and the queue was snaking out the door. We had so much to fit into our day, so we instead grabbed a macaroon and some fondant fancies from the shop counter. It is a beautiful olde worlde shop, where the assistants are dressed up as they would have in Victorian times. I would definitely recommend you make a booking at Betty’s.IMG_5385 New Image1

We ate our goodies from Betty’s in the grounds of the enormous York Minster, the ancient cathedral. Then had a wander about the rest of the city centre. IMG_5402

One of my favourite streets is the narrow medieval lane “The Shambles”. I found a fab little butchers down there that sold many many types of pork pie, chili, black pudding and wild boar to name a few. IMG_5358 IMG_5350 IMG_5362

York is a great place for shopping. One of the things I really love about York is it’s abundance of one-of specialty shops and boutiques. Every other town has the same old chain stores, but in York there are so many interesting little places to find a one of a kind gift.

IMG_5442It was time for a bite to eat. With so much still to see we decided to eat on the run. Chef and I do enjoy a hot roast roll at the York Roast Co. York has a long history with the humble hog, dating back centuries to before the War of the Roses, when kings would go hunting for wild boar in the forests. Chef and I enjoyed a couple of rolls, with apple sauce, gravy and a few morsels of pork crackling on the side – scrumptious!IMG_5426

York’s Chocolate Story celebrates the city’s rich confectionary industry. From the history of the coca bean to the process of making chocolate bars. Rowntree, the company that developed Kit Kats, Smarties, Areo and many more, still operate in York. One billion Kit Kats are made in York each year. Terry’s, maker of one of my favourites the “Chocolate Orange”, was taken over by Kraft. York’s Chocolate Story is an interactive and interesting attraction. A must stop for chocoholics!IMG_5429

By this time, though York is fairly compact, our feet were in need of a rest, so we hopped into a tour bus. Little Chef wanted to go on a red double decker bus while we were in the UK, so that box was ticked too.

We hopped off the bus near the National Railway Museum. It is a free attraction to enter, for a small donation Little Chef received a lovely train colouring book. It’s a vast museum which houses many trains including opulent royal carriages once owned by Queen Victoria, iconic locomotives like The Mallard steam train and a Japanese bullet train.IMG_5568

It would have been nice to spend a couple of days in York and experienced even more. We passed the York Dungeons, somewhere Chef and I had a bit of a fright a decade ago.  For the older kids and adults the York Dungeons are full of very interesting and often gruesome historical tales. There are many ghost tours at night too, which I bet would be fascinating, since York was home to famous baddies – highwayman Dick Turpin and gunpowder plotter Guy Fawkes. York is one of the most haunted cities in England.

We walked a couple of miles on along the stone city walls, on the way back to our bus stop. We had a brilliant day out in York. I’d plan your day before you go, to make sure you get the most out of your time there.20140725_160407

Many thanks to Rachel and Kay at York Visitor Centre for the use of our York Passes and fantastic expert advise – it really made our trip.

Visit http://www.visityork.org/ for more info on this beautiful city and http://www.visityork.org/food/ for the insiders tips on where is best to eat and drink in York.

Joondalup Festival 2014

UntitledaThe annual Joondalup Festival is on this weekend, 2pm till 10pm each day! It’s a great community event. The weather looked a bit dicey, but luckily we didn’t get rained on, though it threw it down just after we left. Little chef and I headed down the Joondalup CBD in search of food trucks, and we found so much more.UntitledpThe main food area is on Grand Boulevard. Long communal tables have been set up to dine at – under the gumtrees and fairy lights. There are lots of food stalls including paella, juices, Japanese, Hare Krishna Vegetarian, churros, pizza etc etc. We were spoiled for choice!IMG_0841

El Asador

El Asador on Urbanspoon
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I’ve been dying to try these meaty ribs since I saw them at the Beauford St Festival (the line there was too big). The Argentinian beef ribs are grilled on massive coal BBQS. I can smell them a mile away – devine! The ribs were topped with chimichurri (a salsa made from herbs and spices like parsley & garlic). They were lip smacking-ly good.IMG_0868

Butty’s

Buttys Food Truck on Urbanspoon
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I’m a BIG fan of Butty’s burgers. Take it from me, their Rib burger (bursting with sous vide rib meat) is TO DIE FOR! Tam is an excellent chef and I was pleased to hear that he’s got a few more foodie things in the pipeline happening soon. This time Little Chef had some cheesy fries – and I may have pinched a few… They are proper crinkle cut fluffy fries, with a sprinkle of spice, melted cheese and onions. Yummo.IMG_0872

Delish IceIMG_0846I love Delish Ice, in a gorgeous retro caravan. It’s a staple at most hawkers and markets around Perth. Somehow I always seem to miss out on the salted malted caramel ice pop! Not this time! It was just as good as everyone has been saying and Little Chef loved his Raspberry Lemonade ice pop too.IMG_0848

Maison Saint-honorè

Little Chef just couldn’t go past the macaroon stall. He picked a scrumptious blueberry flavoured macaroon, which he wasn’t prepared to share, even for a ride on the carousel!IMG_0890

So if you’re looking for something to do this weekend, you can’t go too far wrong with a trip to the Joondalup Festival. There’s great live music, rides for the kids, fashion shows and a big top with a big program of cabaret and other fun shows. Entry is free and there’s lots to do for all the family. Luckily, It looks like the weather forecast for Sunday is dry! Untitledd

And don’t forget that Butty’s Burger!Untitledb