The madness has started this week. My children's school breaks up in a week and a half, and so the round of Carols, year level break ups, piano and ballet end of year concerts has just landed on us. I managed to get the Christmas tree up yesterday, as you can see in my last post.

I think the dark circles under my eyes says it all. Mr AV's work always seems to go a little bit crazy at this time of year  (when we moved 2 years ago in the week leading up to Christmas he had a short notice trip to San Francisco. Which meant that I moved from Melbourne to Adelaide with a 5 year old, a 2 year old and a 6 month old on my own. Not ideal. He also suggested early in December that rather than "all the driving around on Christmas day" as we shuttled between his parent's house and mine, that we might also hold Christmas dinner at our new house to save the hassle of that enormous drive (a distance of some 15 KM), which would of course make life much easier, what with a half renovated house, moving boxes to unpack and three small children underfoot. Lets just say I wasn't that accommodating to his request). So Mr AV has been a bit absent the past few weeks shuttling around the country, and making mad dashes back to things like the Carols on Thursday night.

School Junior Primary Carols was on Thursday night, which was very cute - I love the children's enthusiasm. Friday night I went out to dinner at the Stirling Hotel's Grill restaurant with some of the School mothers (the Fun ones). I decided to theme myself and wore Christmas Bling - here's my giant sparkly necklace. It's an old Kate Spade one (someone once asked me if it was real. Insert hysterical laughing here - can you imagine how much it would be worth?).


I decided to match it with more bling - my Sergio Rossi peackock feather shoes. To refresh your memory, here is a pic from a few months ago.


Last night Mr AV and I went to Ruby Red Flamingo (which is in the former Manse restaurant in North Adelaide for Adelaide readers). They have a no bookings policy, and usually I won't frequent a restaurant that does that, as I had a bad experience in Melbourne (at Cicciolina in St Kilda) years ago where we arrived at 7pm, was told it would be an hour and a half, and were finally seated with our two friends at 10.45pm. By then we were not very hungry having filled up on bar nibbles and as we had been drinking for almost 3 hours, were fairly tipsy as well. They could have given us stale bread and we would have thought it delicious.

Anyway, Ruby Red was ok - only waited an hour, and the service was fast, but my main bugbear was that it was all very "Melbourne" in style (as in Collingwood/ St Kilda grunge cool style) where the chairs were all odd as were the plates, glasses etc. All from Op shops (what you call "thrift stores" overseas readers). Here's a pic of the 70's faux earthenware plates to illustrate my point. These type of plates make my skin crawl for some reason - I just loath chipped plates and glasses, and cheap mismatched ones do the same thing. They were awful plates back then, and they haven't improved with age. I'm sure that a basic white commercial plate wouldn't have cost much, it's more a look they're going for. Aside from that the food was good.


So lastly, a giveaway! Thank you to all of you who read along and leave a comment - I can't tell you how much I've appreciated it. On Friday night we called in before dinner at the Stirling to a drinks party at a friends beautiful home to launch a cookbook, After Dinner Mints for Breakfast. Jess founded the Captain Courageous Foundation after her third child was diagnosed with Diamond Black-Fan Anaemia at eight weeks of age and it funds very important research into Bone Marrow Failure disorders. Jess is truly inspirational - not only a very involved mum with all three of her children, but she manages the day to day difficulties of managing a very serious condition, and the worry that brings, with no complaining or sense of martyrdom.


The cookbook is gorgeous - it's been endorsed by Maggie Beer no less, and it's a collection of recipes from friends and family that are all tried and tested and beautifully photographed in a hardback cookbook. So I decided to buy two copies, one for me and one for a blog reader. The book cost $50.

So, to win the cookbook, all you have to do is become a follower (if you haven't already), and comment on this post. The competition closes next Sunday at 7.00pm Adelaide time, and I'll draw a winner by random org number generator then.

If you don't win the book, but would still like a copy, then look out for it at the Magnolia Square Christmas market later this week if you're in Melbourne, or you can buy through the online shop in the link above.


Hope you had a great weekend xx

20 comments:

  1. Luff the necklace and loathe a non booking policy!

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    1. I'm going back to my non-patronage of the non booking policy restaurants.

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  2. I'm so embarrassed to admit we have been eating off of plates like that for four (yes four) years, because when we moved in here I packed all the good stuff away and was left with a hand-painted spanish dinnerware set (which in hindsight was quite lovely 'til we trashed it) and the left over dinner plates from our 70s dinner party... (way, way, way before it was cool to eat off of 70s dinner plates and eat 70s food). I admit, I feel like I need a "cleanse", a day of sorting the WIR has helped a little.
    Also, I am worried we are married to the same man ...
    Kx (The Blog a House Built)

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    1. Oh dear K! It will be very nice indeed to move into your new kitchen and have a big purge. And get all your stuff out of storage. We could well be married to the same man - mine travels so much it's highly possible that he has another family stashed somewhere (although why you'd ever want to inflict that on yourself is beyond me)!! xx

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  3. Oh, count me in please! Now that we've moved and I have my kitchen back I'm in the mood for experimentation! (And that pear and hazelnut tart looks great!) Hang in there for the Christmas frenzy, it'll be over before you know it.

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    1. It's full of Australian style recipes Liene, I'm sure you'd find it very interesting! I'm hopeful the week leading up to Christmas, after school breaks up for the year, will be a little more peaceful!! Not likely I guess...... xx

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  4. We should not encourage the no bookings nonsense! The restaurants here in Melbourne are very keen on this concept and it drives me crazy. We ate "dinner" at 5 p.m. to get a table at a popular place. What were we thinking? And as for waiting around for over an hour to be seated.... blah to that!

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    1. It puts me off immediately if I see they have a non bookings policy, no matter what the reviews. And it does induce a sense of panic that you won't get a table. This one told me they'd been full from 5.30pm when they'd opened, with a queue out the door. We got there at 6.45, which was ridiculous in itself. You were eating at Toddler meal time at 5!! xx

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  5. That necklace is gorgeous, it would have looked fab with those shoes. Showed up to no booking restaurant at 6.15 ( yes imagine getting children/home/self sorted at such a ridiculous hour) on Saturday night only to be told '45 minutes' when we piped up we were gong to Blondie we were shown to a table five minutes later! Have heard of that amazing cookbook - what a brilliant and inspired thing to do - via an old school friend from Launceston on Facebook as her younger sister was one of the two who put it together and how the name derives from what their parents used to feed them after a lavish dinner party! Rx

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    1. You were lucky! It made me very agitated to see people arrive after us with larger groups be shown to tables before we were! I was reading through the cookbook and saw one of the authors was originally from Tasmania. Loved the title and the story that went with it - my sisters and I used to do the same thing after one of our parent's dinner parties. We'd rush into the sitting room in the morning to search for leftover After Dinner Mints. My youngest sister will still eat a whole packet in a sitting if given a box! xx

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  6. Goregeous necklace! What a coincidence - I was reading about that cookbook on that way to work this morning!

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  7. That is a funny coincidence Natalie! It's a really lovely cookbook. xx

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  8. Love your necklace and shoes. Agree the plates at the Ruby Red Flamingo are awful!! Would love to win the cookbook ... looks gorgeous. Jo xx

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    1. Thanks for entering Jo - let's hope this strange hipster phase with the ugly plates doesn't last! xx

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  9. Hi Heidi. Just caught up on your entertaining postings. I got the giggles when I read about your stressful Xmas Tree decorating exercise. When my kids were younger I too found it to be a huge headache. Thankfully they are at an age where they are quite happy to decorate by themselves and do a decent job. I completely cracked up when you expressed your disgust at those horrendous plates. I totally agree. Who would want to eat from them?!? As for lining up at a restaurant. My husband and I flatly refuse. Thanks for mentioning the cookbook. Its nice to support a worthwhile cause. I'll make a note to look it up on line. Jane xx

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    1. Jane, the one and only reason we decided to go to a no bookings policy restaurant was that it is basically impossible to get in anywhere in Adelaide on a Saturday night at short notice this close to Christmas. So, back to bookings only restaurants. I think it's slightly lazy on the restaurant's part - they don't have to spend time doing bookings, get more revenue from the bar while you're waiting, and the slightly haphazard style of serving the food at RRF meant that our mains came out before the antipasto. All very odd. xx

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  10. I've never been to any of those "Melbourne-style" restaurants, even though I live in Melbourne...? Are they all clustered in a certain area? (ie Collingwood / St Kilda) Even the ones in Richmond have proper plates and chairs. We wouldn't go to a restaurant with chipped, mismatching plates and I suspect many Melburnians wouldn't either. The ones who dine out a lot go to Shannon Bennett or France Soir or Pearl; anywhere where the service is as beautiful as the atmosphere – and they prefer reservations.

    I've heard of Manse but didn't realise its decor was a bit hodge-podge. I'm sorry you had such a bad time there.
    Will look out for that lovely cookbook.
    x

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  11. Janelle, I'm sure they were all the go a few years ago in Melbourne. MoVida in the city springs to mind.... and a lot are in Fitzroy St Kilda etc - Cicciolina in St Kilda is still raved about, and has always been a no bookings place. Adelaide tends to get these trends a few years later, so there are a few popping up. Interestingly, John Lethlean reviewed it in The Australian on the weekend and raved about Ruby Red Flamingo. The Manse was a previous owner/ incarnation (and went into liquidation). Completely different as it was Silver Service and very uptight. And had matching plates and glasses and chairs. xx

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  12. love your necklace! :)


    www.freakyfridayblog.com

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Architect & Interior Designer. Mother of three. A sometimes Cook, Baker, Reader, Gardener, Fashion Lover, Renovator, Writer of random things in South Australia email me on anadelaidevilla@bigpond.com
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