Travels with Tim and Lisa

"If my discoveries are other people's commonplaces I cannot help it – for me they retain a momentous freshness" (Elizabeth Bowen)

Huon Valley, Tasmania, January 2009

Posted by Lisa Hill on January 17, 2009

Woodbridge Weaving garden Tas 16.1.09 041 Contrary to the optimistic 7 day forecast I’d read in Melbourne, Friday dawned rainy and cool, and by the time we’d motored down to Peppermint Bay en route to the Huon Valley it was bucketing down. We stopped for a restorative coffee at Peppermint Bay where we also bought some gourmet delights for an alfresco lunch (later on when the weather improves). I bought a lurid orange showerproof jacket as well, but Tim soldiered bravely on in his shorts!

Woodbridge Weaving Tas 16.1.09 043From there we went to the Woodbridge Hill Weaving Studio where we met Anna – who makes the most beautiful tapestries, scarves and hats you can find! She gave us a demonstration of how weaving is done, and Tim told her all about how his father helped to establish the mohair goat industry in Australia – and since there was an irresistible mohair beret that turned out to be just the right size, we bought it straight away to keep the chill winds at bay, before splashing our way back through Anna’s glorious garden to the car.

Grandvewe Tas 16.1.09 047After that we made our way to the GrandvEwe Cheesery where they make scrumptious cheeses from sheep’s milk. Just like us, the ‘girls’ were clearly unimpressed by the rain, and demanded to be brought in under cover until the skies cleared. Since it is obviously in everyone’s interests that they be happy, the sheep dog escorted them into the shed as we watched. GrandVewe Tas 16.1.09 044The rain thundered down, but we didn’t care because we were sitting high above the paddocks on a covered deck – enjoying a delicious ‘ploughman’s lunch’ of cheeses, lamb sausage and the biggest, fattest olives I’ve ever seen, (all produced on the property) washed down with a very good Riesling.

Cygnet Tas 16.1.09 055 We then journeyed on in a loop around the valley, calling in at Cygnet where we found a fabulous ‘lazy susan’ for our dining table.The artist used carefully selected broken pieces of Meakin china to decorate the wooden base so it looks just perfect for our 1930s decor, so of course we had to have it. We had just finished calculating the postage back to Melbourne when Tim discovered a framed pair of sea urchins that he just had to have for his office! (Yes, I know it seems a bit odd, but Tim is fond of sea urchins from his seafood marketing days with DSE.)

Our last port of call was the Apple Museum. Tasmania is known to all as the Apple Island, but we had no idea that there were so many varieties grown! Sadly, these days there is not much call for tinned apples for making pies because most people buy those horrible ready-made ones from the frozen food shelf in the supermarket, and (unless you go to a farmer’s market like we do) bottled apple juice is more flavouring and sugar than real apple juice. On the other hand I don’t think we should mourn the end of factories where the machinery used was so dangerous. A cheerful young man demonstrated the peeling and coring machine that they used to use and the speed at which it worked meant that there must have been countless lost and damaged hands and fingers.

We’d left it very late for dinner, but we managed to get in to the Steak Bar and Grill where we washed down a steak for Tim and venison sausages for me (four, and that was just the entree size!) with a 2002 Penfolds Kalimna. The hill back to Gattonside seemed a bit steeper than earlier in the day after that!

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3 Responses to “Huon Valley, Tasmania, January 2009”

  1. R said

    Dear Lisa,

    It looks like you should be commissioned by Tourism Tasmania!

    I am taking notes of the places you have visited, so that one day in the not too distant future we might also make the same trip.

    It looks just lovely.

    But where are you finding the extra time to blog and read? You are amazing.

    Happy travels,
    Rebecca

  2. HillFamilySouthernDivision said

    Oh yes please, I’d love a job with Tourism Tasmania – but really they don’t need me because the place sells itself. Everyone who comes here falls in love with the place:)
    The blogging is easy with my new little netbook. Yesterday while we had our al fresco lunch here at Gattonside I just plugged the camera into the netbook beside me on the table. If you download Picasa as your photo software you can see a little red ‘blog this’ button down at the bottom of the screen which automatically sends the photo to Blogger and then you just add the writing – easy to do with a glass of nice wine in your hand!
    The only thing I have to do is remember to charge everything up at night so there are wires and double adpaters everywhere!

  3. […] PD Just in case you’re wondering, that beautiful hand-made lazy-Susan made with Meakin bone china comes from a craft shop in the Huon Valley in Tassie. […]

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