Friday, 12 December 2014


It was with almost unparalleled excitement that we left Clare en route to Adelaide via the Hills, to stay with an old friend of Fiela’s. Apparently there was an entire downstairs area at our disposal, with a bathroom of our own! Oh my, I was going to implode with excitement.
Adelaide Hills anyone?

Before this though we drove through the beautiful Adelaide Hills, stopping off at Hahndorff for lunch at a suitably German pub with an even more suitable menu of variations on the German pork and potatoes theme. We met up with Andrew who endeared himself pretty quickly, what with icecream suggestions for the kids, Harrisons smoked salmon for me and German beer for Fiela.
Blurry photo of Adelaide city centre.

On we drove through those winding hills to Belair, an established suburb up high on the ridge around Adelaide and met the Blythe’s in full, yet another wonderfully accommodating family happy to welcome dirty camping types on to their front driveway, even going so far as to let us into the house! After the kids reacquainted themselves with the joy of ABC4Kids and we’d all eaten enough for five families, not two, we slept under a roof enclosed by solid walls for the first time in six months. It felt wonderful and strange all at the same time, but when I took five steps in the middle of the night and was in a bathroom, decidedly much more on the wonderful side of the spectrum.

We stayed here long enough to eat and drink ourselves silly with the Blythes, drive the dog and cats to distraction and confirm for the Blythe children that yes, they really didn’t want any little brothers or sisters hanging around.

Barossa Valley Steam Train. We lost Caesar to this for about an hour.
From here we took a day trip into the Adelaide Hills, stopping in at Shaw&Smith for the classiest wine tasting I think I’ve ever done (awesome wines!) and whilst we had a few other wineries we wanted to look at, the wine guy here recommended one we’d never heard of, Pikes&Joyce as a nice spot for lunch. Off we drove, through more picture postcard villages, vines and winding roads till at the top of a hill near Lenswood, overlooking the Adelaide Hill wine district was a cellar door and restaurant that has settled into the Top 5 of Excellent Uyshuis Winefarm Experiences (if you’ve been reading since the Margaret River, you’ll know this is quite a feat!). The wines are great and not outrageously expensive, the view is great and the tasting platter was sublime. These guys are relative new comers (the building had only been refitted in the last six months) but they are producing a quality ‘winery’ experience. Look to it     Radelaide-ians, this place is awesome.
Tasting platter at Pikes&Joyce. Mmm Yummy!

Another day was spent driving through Adelaide city itself (this took three minutes). We stopped off at the beach and had some pretty amazing calamari overlooking an extremely windy Glenelg.

Another day trip was spent in the Eden and Barossa Valleys. First stop was Penfolds where Fiela was promptly lost amongst the shiraz and cabernet sauvignons for half an hour or so, then for my own little slice of paradise- Maggie Beer’s Farmstall. The lady herself was there, even opening the door for me (OK, she was opening it for someone behind me but I’m taking it nonetheless) which was possibly the second best thing there. Do you want to know what the most interesting thing about her global domination shopfront filled with her own beautiful albeit expensive produce is? Her husband’s collection of rare pheasants out the back. My demigod had been demystified and I was hungry for anything  but quince paste and pate, so we headed to Saltram’s for a lovely lunch. Just to make sure, we stopped at Yalumba for a quick taste of their wines. Yep, they’re still uniformly shithouse.
Mr Beer's Golden Phesant things.
Where all the quince for the paste comes from. No prizes for guessing what's fertilising these trees.

More weird pheasanty things.

Packing up at the Blythe’s was pretty hard to do. The comforts of static walls, friendly conversation and great food is hard to give up, especially as you stare down the barrel of warm showers in the cold wind and going back to a kitchen the size of a doormat. I was definitely feeling a bit set-up fatigued, even after our relaxing sojourn at Belair. And I knew it was justified when even Fiela the Never Fail voiced his reluctance at moving on. We only had seven weeks left and homesickness was setting in for everyone. But we got on with it and did move on to a pretty spectacular spot: the Fleurieau  Peninsula.

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