Pokolbin Jan 19 2010
Posted by Lisa Hill on January 19, 2010
Today was the day that Tim went ballooning, which meant a crack-of-dawn start to the day for both of us – for who can sleep in when a spouse is hurtling about in the sky with nothing but a wicker basket between him and the ground?
To allay my anxieties, I loafed in bed reading Oxen of the Sun from James Joyce’s Ulysses and the intense concentration required to make sense of it kept my mind off things for a while. Then – phew! he was home safely clutching a certificate to prove he’d done it and some chocolates for me. A snooze was in order and we didn’t surface for action until well after noon.
The new eating plan is that we’ll dine out for lunch, and eat in for dinner, so we set off for Pokolbin, (about 20k from Bellbird Cottage). It’s changed a bit since our last visit. Amongst other things there’s a mini shopping complex with a Smelly Cheese shop, a swish general store, gift and dress shops and a restaurant, but we settled on the Firesticks Restaurant at Poole’s instead.
The architecture is superb – reminding us of a similar open plan design at Home Hill in the Huon Valley in Tasmania on our last trip.
The Firesticks style is open, airy and minimalist – with huge picture windows looking out over the vineyards and a lake – and how lovely it is for water-parched Melburnians to see fountains!
Service at Firesticks is excellent, and there’s a very good lunch menu with entrée and main course options for each dish. We were offered some pretty little tasters with white asparagus and cherry tomatoes on char-grilled home-style bread – which went well with a Firestick sparkling brut for openers. Tim chose the kingfish, which was served on a bed of finely slice Kipfler potatoes topped with basil pesto accompanied by vine-ripened cherry tomatoes and olives with EV olive oil and lemon dressing. He chose a Cockfighter’s Ghost premium Reserve chardonnay to go with this, while I had a Clare valley Riesling with my Petana trout tagliatelle with capers, dill and crème fraiche.
Desserts were divine! Tim had an affogato, while I had peaches with ice-cream and a berry jus. It was all very nice but we were still a bit sleepy so we made our way back to the cottage, snoozed the afternoon away and had a very late antipasto dinner at about 9.30pm.