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)

Archive for the ‘Victoria’ Category

Marvellous Metung, Labour Day Long Weekend 09

Posted by Lisa Hill on March 8, 2009

Metung is a lovely spot just out of Bairnsdale, and the perfect place for a long weekend. It’s a small fishing village with not much more than a general store, some good restaurants and the yacht club, but one can also idle away one’s time in the small gift shops and galleries. These come and go, since Metung is a tourist town and there’s not enough year-round trade for any of them to last very long but they are interesting while they are there. There is a wealth of terrific accommodation choices and the scenery is superb. The energetic can swim, sail or play tennis, but we are content to loaf about with books and the weekend papers.

The family used to have a house on Chinaman’s Creek, but even with a gardener and casual cleaner it became a bit of a chore to maintain it. Nobody swam in the pool, and the Valhalla stayed in its moorings all the time because it was too big to sail without a small crew. Still, after it had been sold, nostalgia kept us away for some time, until we discovered Moorview.

Moorview is a delight. It’s a luxurious B & B and it’s a very comfortable place for couples to stay. Perched high on the hill overlooking a swish new chook shed and an emerging orchard, the view then gives way to the valley and Lake King in the distance. It may have been a dry summer in Melbourne but they’ve had copious rain here so the grass is green and the garden is flourishing. On arrival there are drinks and scrumptious handmade nibbles (the pate is divine!); and breakfast in the diningroom is generous with home-made delicacies as well. Greg and Vicki know all the best places to dine and they are excellent hosts in every respect.

En route, the Wild Dog Winery is a good spot to stop for lunch. On the Warragul-Korumburra Rd at Warragul, this new winery restaurant promises to be a pleasing addition to the gourmet food trail in South East Gippsland. The décor is minimalist, the ambience serene and the view over the vineyards and down into the valley is lovely. It’s not easy to choose from the extensive menu. Among the more innovative offerings there was an emu sausage dish, sweet potato gnocchi, and venison carpaccio, which Tim could not resist. He also had some sardines in a tomato sauce and I elected to have the barramundi with a herb mash and grilled truss tomatoes. It was cooked to perfection (though the hungry would be well advised to add extras such as chips or mash). The recommended wines are from Wild Dog’s own cellar, and the Estate Riesling is a crisp well-balanced drop which could accompany any fish or seafood dish with distinctioon.Our friends had been there before, however, and so they knew about the 2007 Shiraz, which is an exceptionally good wine, robust and full flavoured and drinking well even when young.The service though perhaps a little too relaxed between courses is friendly, and the meals were served with care. All in all a very pleasant lunch and we shall certainly be returning.

For dinner on Saturday night we went to the River Grill in Bairnsdale, recommended in the Age Good Food Guide and very nice it is too. I had the best escargots I’ve ever had, and Tim is planning to reproduce the ocean terrine and red pepper salsa entrée at home. It was made with prawns, salmon and mash – and it looked and tasted divine! For main course I had corn fed chicken with a green peppercorn sauce while Tim had rack of lamb, both beautifully presented and absolutely delicious, washed down with a Sarsfield Pinot Noir. The dessert menu was very tempting indeed but alas, we had dined too well at lunch even to manage one shared between the two of us. Never mind, next time I shall certainly try the pannacotta, or maybe the creme brulee, or perhaps the apple galette, or …..
On Sunday we took a drive beside the Tambo River (and amused ourselves greatly when Maisie (our pet name for the Navman) insisted that we should return to Bairnsdale via a non-existent bridge under repair at Upper Tambo). This area is blessed by beautiful countryside and it is such a pleasure to see green grass and lush vegetation after miles and miles of dry paddocks on the way down from Melbourne. There were many families fishing for bream in the river and apart from some hoons from a car club it was a most enjoyable peaceful morning to be out and about.
For lunch we went to the Fisherman’s Wharf Restaurant at Paynesville. It’s not as upmarket as it used to be, but it’s a nice place for a casual lunch. Tim had a very generous Ploughman’s lunch, and I had whiting, chips and salad. After that we called in at Wine Justice for some gourmet cordials and then strolled along the waterfront back to the car. Alas our plans to check out the book shops in Bairnsdale came to nothing because everything was closed, so we came back to Moorview to loaf about with books. Tim is reading Reach for the Sky by Paul Brickhill, and I’m enjoying by Daphne Du Maurier, from the shelves here at Moorview…The Scapegoat

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